FanPost

(Another) Complete College Football Reorganization Idea

Last week, ragnarok posted an article detailing a plan for a complete restructuring of college football, reorganizing the current 120 Division 1-A teams into 10 conferences of 12 teams each. While it was a good plan, there were some basic objections that I had, such as:

1) The inclusion of non-BCS D-1A teams that never draw big crowds, and never contend for conference championships or at-large BCS bids doesn't make sense to me. Schools such as San Diego State and Idaho seem to serve as nothing more than easy wins for big time programs and even their WAC counterparts. The odds are that they won't ever contend for a championship, and schools that consistently draw crowds in the 15-20,000 range aren't really going to be able to compete with big-time programs.

2) In my opinion and in the opinion of the majority of the country, any new system implemented in college football needs to be based around a playoff. 12-team conferences aren't playoff friendly at all, because a 12 team conference needs two 6-team divisions, meaning that not all of the teams in the conference will play each other over the course of any given season. This means that a conference championship game at the end of the year would be necessary to determine which team represents that conference in the playoffs- which would push back the start of the college football playoffs a week, into the holidays, into finals, and possibly even into the NFL playoffs. 10 team conferences make it very clear who the champion is and allow every team to play every team, while leaving room for 3 OOC games. 

3) 10 divisions doesn't really fit well into a playoff system. You would need to have six teams that receive a bye into the 2nd round and have a 4 team first round. In short, the playoffs would be the length of a 16-team playoff (4 weeks) even though there would only be 10 teams involved. 

So, with these issues in mind, I designed an 80 team, 8 conference system that allows for each conference to send 1 representative to the NCAA playoffs (or 2, if the NCAA decides to go with a 16-team playoff system). The conference layout is as follows:

Here's a list of each conference and each team within it:

 

Pacific Coast Conference

 

  1. California
  2. Stanford
  3. Hawaii
  4. Fresno St.
  5. Oregon
  6. Oregon State
  7. Washington
  8. Washington St.
  9. USC
  10. UCLA

The PCC, the blue conference on the far left, is basically the Pac-10 minus the Arizona schools. It preserves the regional rivalries currently present in the Pac-10, and adds two WAC teams in Hawaii and Fresno St., which already is somewhat of a rivalry. Besides, I wouldn't exactly mind going to Honolulu every other year. 

Western Conference

  1. Boise St.
  2. Utah
  3. BYU
  4. Nevada
  5. UNLV
  6. Arizona
  7. Arizona St.
  8. New Mexico
  9. Colorado
  10. Colorado St.

 

 

This conference is a mix of the best of the MWC, WAC, and some middle-of-the-pack Big XII and Pac-10 teams (it's the red conference on the above map). I chose to add UNLV and Nevada instead of San Jose and San Diego State because 1) They draw better crowds, 2) It's already a pretty heated rivalry, and 3) I think 7 teams in California is a little much and doesn't really represent the number of high-caliber teams there are in the state. 

Midwestern Conference

 

  1. Nebraska
  2. Kansas
  3. Kansas St.
  4. Missouri
  5. Illinois
  6. Northwestern
  7. Iowa
  8. Iowa St.
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Minnesota

The Midwestern Conference, the light green conference on the map, is a blend of 5 Big 10 teams and 5 Big XII teams. The conference unites Iowa and Iowa St., keeps the Kansas-KSU and Kansas-Mizzou rivalries intact, and well as the Illinois-Northwestern and Wisconsin-Minnesota rivalries from the Big 10. All 10 teams a very close to each other as well, which is weird because I don't exactly think of Kansas and Wisconsin being close to each other. All of the distances are pretty much driveable, which should improve attendance throughout the conference.

Gulf Coast Conference

 

  1. Texas
  2. Texas Tech
  3. Texas A&M
  4. Baylor
  5. TCU
  6. SMU
  7. UTEP
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Oklahoma St.
  10. Louisiana St.

This conference is a powerhouse, plain and simple. There are at least 3 perennial national championship contenders in here (LSU, Texas, Oklahoma). The GCC is basically the best of the Big XII + some other teams in Texas + LSU. Granted, LSU is a little removed from the rest of the conference, but I couldn't really find another place for them to go. Also, I tried to keep LSU out of the Deep South Conference (coming up next) just to avoid having one conference totally stacked with teams that always seem to be in the top 15. 

Deep South Conference

 

  1. Arkansas
  2. Mississippi
  3. Mississippi St.
  4. Alabama
  5. Auburn
  6. Florida St.
  7. Tennessee
  8. Vanderbilt
  9. Kentucky
  10. Memphis

OK, OK, I realize that this is basically the SEC. However, 3 of the best SEC teams (in Georgia, Florida, and LSU) are gone, which I hoped would level out the playing field for the rest of the conferences. However, any conference with Mississippi, Auburn, Alabama, Florida St., and Tennessee in it isn't exactly going to be weak. It preserves most SEC rivalries (I had to break up Bama-Florida for the same reason as I removed LSU from the conference). Considering that there's only one playoff berth per conference, it didn't seem fair to have UGa, Florida, Bama, Tennessee, and LSU battle it out for one spot when 3 of those teams probably deserve a bid in any given year. 

Southeastern Conference

 

 

  1. Florida
  2. South Florida
  3. Miami
  4. Georgia
  5. Georgia Tech
  6. South Carolina
  7. Clemson
  8. Duke
  9. East Carolina
  10. Wake Forest

This SEC is even more southeastern than the current SEC, and is a combination of ACC and SEC schools (plus one non-BCS school in ECU). I originally wanted to put North Carolina and NCSU in this conference, but it seemed that that would make the conference a little too strong considering that Florida, Clemson, and Georgia are already in it. So I switched in 2 other Carolina schools in Wake and ECU, hoping that those two would be a little less successful than the former. Duke and UNC will just have to schedule each other OOC, I guess. But Ga. Tech and UGa are in the same conference, so it kinda evens out.

Great Lakes Conference

 

  1. Michigan
  2. Michigan St.
  3. Ohio St.
  4. Cincinnati
  5. Indiana
  6. Purdue
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Pittsburgh
  9. Louisville
  10. Syracuse

Yay, ND finally joined a conference! And half of the Big East and the rest of the Big 10 come together to form the GLC. The Michigan-OSU and Michigan-MSU rivalries are kept intact, along with having all 3 Indiana schools finally in the same conference. Every single GLC city is probably within a 7-hour drive of the furthest one, so the geography pretty much works out perfectly. With the exception of Syracuse. The alternative to having Syracuse in the GLC was to switch in West Virginia from the Eastern Conference, but somehow I just felt that Michigan and WVU don't belong in the same conference. 

 

East Coast Conference

  1. Penn St.
  2. North Carolina
  3. North Carolina St.
  4. Maryland
  5. West Virginia
  6. Virginia
  7. Virginia Tech
  8. Boston College
  9. Connecticut
  10. Rutgers
The ECC is basically a collection of the untaken teams from the Big East, ACC, and Penn St. This conference is pretty powerful as well, but the locations of the teams in the Northeast doesn't really work out well. That's kind of unavoidable anyways since there aren't enough teams in the northeast to put together an entire conference, but I think that this particular arrangement of teams is about as close as it's gonna get. 
So, know that there are 8 conferences with 10 teams each, creating a playoff system is incredibly simple. At the end of the season, a rankings committee comes together to determine which of the 8 conference champions will be seeded #'s 1-8. 8 plays 1, 7 plays 2, and so on. The first round would be played at the home of the higher seed, and the second round could be played at a neutral site. The National Championship could be played at a different site every year, not even necessarily one of the current 4 in the rotation. And, if the NCAA ever decided to expand the playoffs to 16 teams, the top 2 teams from every conference could go to the playoffs, with the first 2 rounds being played at the home of the higher seed. 
And if worst comes to worst and the NCAA can't come up with a playoff system, well, the current BCS system would work just as well. Take the #1 and #2 teams from the rankings and put them in the national championship game, and send the other conference champions to BCS bowl just like today. 
Any thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

 


 

 

 

 

 

The opinions expressed in a FanPost are, in every way, reflective of the opinions of every California Golden Blogs Marshawnthusiast. Moreover, they are reflective of every employee of SBNation, including Tyler "Blez" Bleszinski.

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