The recent wave of major conference realignment — Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC, USC and UCLA to the Big Ten — has already altered the college football landscape significantly and those programs haven’t actually changed conferences yet.

Look no further than Big 12’s new media deal or the delay with the Pac-12’s new media deal for proof.

The effect will be felt even further this fall when BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF begin competing in the Big 12 Conference, realignment that trickled down into the American Athletic Conference, Sun Belt and Conference USA, all of which have added or will add new schools in the next two years.

Come 2024, college football at the FBS level will look significantly different than what came before it and according to a sitting conference commissioner the nomenclature and ideas surrounding FBS football should change as well.

AAC commissioner Mike Aresco released a statement Thursday in which he argued that the Power Five/Group of Five designations that have been in use for nearly 20 years should, “be discarded and confined to the dustbin of collegiate history.”

The statement reads:

“In recent weeks I have seen references to the “Power Five” in interviews and public conversations which suggest that the P5 is all that matters in college athletics. This profoundly misguided, especially in the current environment.

As it now stands, in terms of competitiveness, the gap between the number two and three conferences is far greater than between the number three conference and The American. There are P5 conferences that have lost the marquee teams which game them that status in the first place and whose value today is much harder to define. There are P5 conferences that have added multiple teams from The American and other conferences among this group that have discussed adding schools from our conference. If the P5 label means that you are vastly different, why is this so?

Five American Athletic Conference schools were once BCS or Southwest Conference teams. If the difference is so vast, why does The American have four New Year’s Day football wins over top-10 teams and dozens of regular season football wins against the labeled P5? If the gap is so vast, how could The American have won a national championship in men’s basketball and three national championships in women’s basketball? How could The American have been to a Final Four, an Elite Eight, multiple Sweet Sixteens, and have had a College Football Playoff team? How could The American currently be home to the number one men’s basketball team in the country? At this moment in history, separating conferences with a so-called “Power Five” moniker lacks meaning in the context of competitiveness.

It is troubling to see media-manufactured labels, confirmed by college sports leadership, which do not reflect the reality of college sports going forward. This creates a divide at five that should not exist and creates harmful effects. Documents have recently come to light that describe a P5 legislative initiative around NIL that has not been shared with the wider membership. This is not a healthy approach, as such an initiative should be a collaborative effort among the wider Division 1 membership, including all FBC conferences. These five conferences do not speak for all of college athletics. The Power Five and Group of Five labels should be discarded and confined to the dustbin of collegiate history. There are 10 FBS conference, some more successful than others, but all sharing similar goals, experiencing similar challenges and competing successfully against each other.”

Later, the AAC released a revised statement, one a minor fix (changing the number of American schools that were either BCS or Southwest Conference teams to six), the other a softening of language (“be discarded and confined to the dustbin of collegiate history” was changed to “be discarded and confined to a closed chapter of collegiate history.”)

Aresco’s overall point remained, however, that is that the Power Five and Group of Five labels will no longer be an accurate come 2024, if they aren’t already inaccurate.

In July, The New York Times’ Alan Blinder argued that there is going to be a Power 2 going forward — the Big Ten and SEC — a second tier that includes the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 and then a final third tier made up of Group of 5 conferences and Independents.

“The Power 5 could formally survive, but the existing gaps between leagues, such as in fan obsession and competitive strength, are becoming far harder to hide,” Blinder wrote. “The Big Ten and SEC swagger in one tier. Not all of their members are championship contenders, but enough are. And plenty of seats are filled, and the television riches rain down... The second tier more clearly belongs, for now, to the ACC, the Big 12 and the Pac-12 — proud, often-successful leagues dented by exoduses, comparatively meager media deals, assorted sporting debacles or some combination of those woes.”

Added Blinder: “The fear of leagues like the ACC, the Big 12 and the Pac-12 is that they’ll be relegated, even informally, toward the college sports muddle, leaving them forever unable to keep up with the conferences that distribute the largest payouts and use those dollars for best-in-class coaches and facilities that help them stay atop the ecosystem.”

The Power Five conferences do currently have a degree of separation from the Group of Five conferences as autonomy conferences, which means greater independence from standard NCAA rules when to comes to providing resources for student-athletes, but NCAA legislation could easily change that in the future, in favor of the Big Ten and SEC.

Aresco has long disputed that the AAC is considered a Group of Five conference, contending rather that the league is part of the Power Six, a label he created that was widely ignored.

It is difficult to argue that Power Five and Group of Five labels will be an accurate label for the haves and have nots in collegiate athletics going forward, though, as conference realignment has reshaped the landscape.