Saturday, August 13, 2011

If Relegation worked.... College football

With the news that the SEC may be expanding to 16 teams, it is becoming very clear that money is the sole motivating factor in college football; namely, big schools want to make sure there can never be another Boise State coming up and snatching a piece of their pie. The Victoria Times solution of a 12 conference, winners meet in the playoffs style change is never going to happen. What if there was a way to make it possible for small schools to make their way back into the discussion and keep the 4 super conference structure? I am of course proposing a relegation system in college football.
First, we need to construct the divisions in their 16 team alignments. The SEC is apparently taken care of: South Carolina, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State, LSU, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas A&M.
Next, we can move on to the Pac 10, which has been the subject of a 16 team expansion rumor as well. Let's finish them off at 16: Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, California, USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech.
Next, we will fill the Big 10 out, since they have 12 in place, as well as a desire to move into the eastern time zone. They do need 4 teams, so this is all speculative. The 16 included here include the last 4 are guesses: Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse.
This makes the final conference a bit more patchwork. Teams have been stolen from the ACC and Big East, which will mean a merger between the two will have to be executed. As luck has it, there are 16 teams left between the two. Here are the 16 that make the cut: Boston College, Maryland, NC State, Wake Forest, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, South Florida, West Virginia and TCU. That's a messed up conference
And that's the 64 teams in the "top division" of college football. Kansas and Kansas State don't make the cut, nor does Baylor or Boise State.  By my count, there are now 60 teams left in Division 1 football, including new teams Texas State, Texas-San Antonio, UMASS and South Alabama.
My proposal is to divide those 60 into 15 team conferences functioning as a "second division" for the 4 major conferences. Relegation, of which process I will suggest later, will only occur between these 4 conferences. First, the 4 conferences.
Pac 12 second level: Hawaii, San Jose State, Fresno State, UNLV, Utah State, Boise State, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Idaho, San Diego State, Colorado State, BYU, UTEP, Air Force. Obviously, Boise State looks like the top team in this particular conference, yes?
Big 10 second level: Kansas, Kansas State, Wyoming, Iowa State, Northern Illinois, Ball State, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State, Miami (OH) and Ohio. The leftovers from the Big 12 should dominate this conference.
SEC second level: Baylor, Rice, Houston, SMU, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, Texas San-Antonio, Tulsa, UAB, Troy, Tulane, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, North Texas.I like Houston as the top team in this conference, but advancement is going to be tough.
ACC/Big East second level: Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Western Kentucky, Buffalo, Temple, Army, Navy, UCF, East Carolina, Marshall, UMASS, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Arkansas State, and South Alabama. USA gets added to this conference so the SEC second level doesn't have three newbies. This conference is just as messed up as it's first level. I don't know who is good, though. East Carolina?
All right, so the greatest problem, obviously, is getting the schools to sign on for this. Obviously, none of the schools will want this to happen. Well, none of the top league schools, anyways. The solution, of course, would be to ensure that there is no direct relegation. Instead, make it a playoff for a spot in the top division. The bottom two teams from the top division (I envision those conferences, both the top and bottom also being divided into two sub-divisions) playing each other, while the top two teams from the lower division playing each other, with the lose of the first game and winner of the second playing with their stake in the top level up for grabs.
That was tough to understand, I'm sure. Let's look at the Pac 10. Obviously, one might expect Washington State to finish last in a "Western" conference of the Pac 10, and Colorado to do the same in the "Eastern" conference. At the second Level, Boise State might win the "west" and BYU might win the "East". As a result, Washington State would play Colorado, with Colorado being the winner. Boise State would play BYU, with Boise State winning that battle. Then, Boise State would play Washington State, with the winner moving to the top division. Make sense? I think so.
So, what do you think?

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