Since we are blowing the whole thing up, why don’t we look at what a truly consolidated power structure in which all the big boys stay at the table, invite a few of the little guys that have been chirping the loudest and push everyone else out of the picture. The result is 5 conferences, 15 teams each and a 75 team SugerMegaUltraDivision1BowlPlayoffChampionshipDivision.
My rules, 15 teams per conference, Big East disappears, no members poached from within the 5 remaining conferences. 65 teams from the Big Six Conferences, Notre Dame and 9 other teams survive.
The conferences would each be split into 3 divisions, 5 teams each. Four inter-division games are obvious and from there we have two options, option one is 3 cross division games per division and 2 non conference games and option 2 is 2 cross division games per division and 4 non conference games. Personally, I like the first option because if you mix any match-ups for rivalries you still play all the teams every other year as opposed to once every four years. I think if you are consolidating like this, non-conference games are less of a necessity.
Since I have already blatantly stolen some of the ideas from UMFootballCrazy’s Big 16, why stop now. Besides the 3 division format, I also liked the 4 team conference playoff at the end. 3 Division winners plus a wildcard face off in a four team conference championship. The 5 conference winners plus 3 wild cards could then face off in an 8 team playoff for the national championship.
10 11 12 14 15
New teams: ND, Pitt, Rutgers and Syracuse
2009 projected playoffs: MSU @ OSU, PSU @ Iowa
Michigan could preserve rivalries with Ohio St and Minnesota and under the 3 game scenario, rotate among the other 4 in each division every other year.
New teams: Memphis, Cincinnati, Louisville
2009 projected playoffs: LSU @ Florida, Cincinnati @ Alabama
Big 12 Bible Belt Conference
New teams: TCU, Colorado St, Houston
2009 projected playoffs: Nebraska @ Texas, TCU @ Oklahoma St
New teams: UConn, West Virginia, South Florida
2009 projected playoffs: WVU @ Georgia Tech, Clemson @Virginia Tech
New teams: Boise St, San Diego St or Fresno St, Utah, BYU, UNLV
2009 projected playoffs: Arizona @ Boise, BYU @ Stanford
Conference champions are then seeded 1-5 with the three at large selections going 6-8. Seeding are adjusted so that conference opponents can’t meet until the championship game. To make this work #7 TCU is switched with #8 Iowa.
Personally I like some of the ideas brought in from international soccer better than this, but that radical of a change isn’t likely to happen anytime soon or ever for that matter. National championship participants would probably be playing 17 games in a season which does seem like a bit of a stretch. Basketball scheduling would be an 18 game conference schedule with 4 opponents (probably division) getting a home and home and the other 10 teams getting one match-up each during the regular season. Conference tournaments could either be 1st round bye for 1st place team or Big East style bracket where 1-9 get a first round bye and then 1-4 get a second round bye. I didn’t have much trouble making up the conferences or the divisions, but a couple teams could probably move around. West Virginia could fit better in the Big 10 and switch with Syracuse or Rutgers. As far as teams in or out of these conferences, the hardest calls where which California team to take, San Diego St or Fresno St and which teams to add to the former Big 12, could potentially bring in Tulsa instead of Houston or Colorado St.