alternate headline: man does job
a compromise that will probably infuriate everybody
|Michigan||Ohio St.||Penn St.||Iowa|
|MSU||Moby Dick||BE 1 (Pitt?)||Wisconsin|
|B12 2 (Mizzou?)||Illinois||BE 2 (RU/Cuse?)||Minnesota|
|Indiana||Northwestern||Purdue||B12 1 (Neb?)|
In here I'm assuming that we will poach at least 2 Big XII and 2 Big East teams. Moby Dick may be ND, Texas, or any other random school.
I attempted to preserve as many rivalries with the divisions as I could, while at the same time balancing geography and football prestige. The Fry/Osborne division is the only one I feel solidly about, the other 3 can flex around a bit to find the best fit.
To go along with the divisions, I decided to include 2 protected games for each team, much like the Big Ten's current format, to preserve up to 2 big rivalries/develop new ones. Without complete knowledge of rivalries of all teams, I tried my best.
Cross Divisional Protected Games
|Michigan||Ohio St||Ohio St||Michigan|
|Michigan||Minnesota||Ohio St||Penn St|
|MSU||Penn St.||Moby Dick||Purdue|
|MSU||Northwestern||Moby Dick||B 12 1|
|B 12 2||Illinois||Illinois||B 12 2|
|B 12 2||B 12 1||Illinois||Indiana|
|Penn St||Ohio St||Iowa||Penn St.|
|BE 1||Minnesota||Wisconsin||BE 2|
|BE 2||B 12 1||Minnesota||BE 1|
|Purdue||Indiana||B12 1||B12 2|
|Purdue||Moby Dick||B12 1||BE 2|
The 3 Divisional games and 2 protected matchups should ideally be played in the first 5 weeks of conference play.* Then we move onto:
Weeks 6-7 are a semi-randomized* draw. Each team will play 1 home and 1 away game. I call this a semi-randomized draw because there are rules. You cannot play
- Anybody you played in weeks 1-5
- Anybody you played in weeks 6-7 of randomized draw from the last year
- Anybody you played in the conference weeks 8-9 last year
At the end of Week 7, we lock into seeding for mini-playoffs in weeks 8-9
The conference splits in 2 for weeks 8 and 9. The top half of the conference is put into 2 divisions, seeded by conference record, H2H matchups, point differentials, and et cetera. These two divisions would play 1v4, 2v3, then winners vs.winners and losers vs. losers. The two winners that would emerge would then play for the Mega Ultra Super Explosion Conference Championship Game (Sponsored by State Farm)
The other bracket, tentatively named I can Has Bowl? Will follow much the same format, only all of these teams will be pretty much battling it out for the last few bowl berths available in conference. If scheduling trends continue with MACrifice type games, most of these teams can get to 6-6 if they win out. They're jostling for position, much like any teams that lose any of the games in the championship bracket. Keep in mind this new conference would probably send at least 2, and as many as 4 teams to the BCS every year.
As a final note, if 2 lower seeded teams have the same record, the conference can decide to flip them to give a better (IE, non divisional or teams that have not played this year) matchup
To illustrate this, I'll provide an example season
After 7 weeks of conference play, the standings are**:
|Michigan (6-1)||Ohio St. (7-0)||Penn St. (5-2)||Iowa (6-1)|
|MSU (3-4)||Moby Dick (4-3)||BE 1 (Pitt?) (4-3)||Wisconsin (6-1)|
|B12 2 (Mizzou?) (5-2)||Illinois (4-3)||BE 2 (RU/Cuse?) (0-7)||Minnesota (0-7)|
|Indiana (0-7)||Northwestern (2-5)||Purdue (2-5)||B12 1 (Neb?) (2-5)|
Which would lead to this type of week 8-9 seeding
|Seeds||Champion 1||Champion 2||I can has bowl?||I can has bowl?|
|1||Ohio St. (7-0)||Iowa (6-1)||Illinois (4-3)||MSU (3-4)|
|2||Wisconsin (6-1)||Michigan (6-1)||Northwestern (2-5)||Purdue (2-5)|
|3||B12 2 (Mizzou?) (5-2)||Penn St. (5-2)||B12 1 (Neb?) (2-5)||Indiana (0-7)|
|4||BE 1 (Pitt?) (4-3)||Illinois (4-3)||Minnesota (0-7)||BE 2 (RU/Cuse?) (0-7)|
Winner of Champion 1 v Champion 2 would compete in the Mega Ultra Super Explosion Conference Championship Game (Sponsored by State Farm)
And to be clear: All lower seeds have home field advantage throughout weeks 8-9. Conference Championship held at neutral site NFL stadium.
So there you have it. Let's lauch into Pro-Con
- Pretty much everybody can keep traditional rivals, either through divisional lineups or protected matchups. The only exception will be if Moby Dick turns out to be Notre Dame. In which case, to hell with Notre Dame, you shouldn't have made us make a 16 team conference. You'll get nothing and like it.
- In the end, you play with your skill level. Even if your Division and rivals all had down years AND your random seeds turned out to be bad, you will still be forced to win 3 games against quality opponents to win the Big Ten.
- You are guaranteed to see at least 2, hopefully 3-4 new teams a year due to the randomization in weeks 6-7. This should see you cycle through the conference every 4 years or so, not ideal, but hopefully it'll all work out.
- It makes my head hurt: Yeah, it makes my head hurt too
- Divisions are fairly static: Yep, I guess we could make a provision that realignment can happen every X amount of years, assuming this conference survives.
- Some teams may be screwed out of position due to the 8/9 cutoff: Yeah, but were we really expecting them to win the championship anyways? They should have won more games in weeks 1-7.
- The losers bracket sucks: You suck. That and 3-6 of those teams are angling for bowls, everybody else gets to play for pride and a chance to screw somebody out of a bowl.
- Some teams will invariably play each other twice in a season. This is not necessarily good or bad. In the championship bracket, it's a shot at redemption! In the losers bracket... it's a shot at redemption.
Feel free to let me know. I don't care about the hyphenations, but I suppose everything else is fair game.
*Truly random schedule generation would lead to weird results like playing Ohio State 3x
**This may or may not make sense with Divisions/rivalry matchups. I don't care. The total wins and losses add up correctly, and that's all I really care about to illustrate an example