Saw this old Sports Illustrated article from 1990 linked on Pacific Takes, and it's a fascinating read. These were the days when the Southwest Conference was still a conference, Arkansas hadn't moved to the SEC, the Big 8 was playing in the Orange Bowl, Penn State had just moved to the Big 10, Colorado was flirting with the Pac-10 and the Big East didn't have a football conference. The BCS hadn't even been created yet.
And what was the worry then? A mass scramble of conference realignment, with super conferences that elevated some schools and left others behind. The Big 10's move to 11 schools did trigger some expansion from 8- and 10-team conferences to more 12-team conferences. Most of the independent football programs joined conferences, and some mass realignment left half of the SWC on the outside looking in. The Cotton Bowl lost its status as one of the game's premier bowls, and has never recovered.
How will the upheaval shake out this time around?