rundown of Michigan's riser
Littlest Elf out the box version of a big 14
Conference Name: The Ginormous 14 Team Composition: The 11 teams of the Big Ten are "grandfathered" in and 3 other teams are offered a seat at the table when the 14 rings of power are forged in the fires of mount doom (say, columbus, OH) Say, the 3 upstarts to invite first are ND, Pitt, and Okie State. If these teams opt out, substitute others that help expand the conference's power in desirable ways (ie., expand it's geographic size while keeping a midwestern rust/corn belt identity, are academically and financially good additions to the federation, etc). Rivals:
Each team would have 2 rivalry games that would occur every year and these would be ironed out before the inaugural season of the confernence taking into account mainly historical and geographic factors in deciding who gets who. So, Michigan's rivals would end up being Ohio St and Mich St and since these teams would probably mutually select each other and they are all full member teams. As a second example, Okie State would have less say in this process as a new team and might end up with Indiana and Iowa as rival based mainly on geography in this case. Conference rivalries would be reviewed by the league's brass every 4 years and teams who are looking to change this up would have some say in getting this done.
A preseason midsummer draw would determine 2 divisions each year ala FIFA's way of organizing the world cup except all members are equal regardless of rankings, history, or geography. Once Group A and Group B's members are determined, the schedule would be organized such that each team plays the 6 members of it's group, 2 members of the other group, and 3 non-conference games that would always take place prior to the onset of a team's conference schedule (no exceptions). For rivals not placed in the same group, they would automatically be slated to play each other as an "other group" game with home field alternating from the previous year. Games would be set up as randomly as possible while ensuring that each team has equal numbers of home games each year and is basically even head to head within each 4 year span. The Season: Stage 1: 3 non-conference games of the team's choosing Stage 2: 8 pre-determined inter-conference games from the draw Stage 3: The Championship Game and Conference Tournament Finale Games --The top teams from Group A and B as determined only by Stage 2 play at a predetermined neutral site with the undisputed conference championship at stake. --The rest of the teams get a random draw for their twelf game and a coin flip determines the home field. Only matches that did not occur during Stage 2 would be permitted to avoid rematches during this draw. There would be an off week between Stages 2&3 for obvious logistic reasons. Stage 4: The postseason plays out as usual and the overall records and total "body of work" would determine who the BCS wanted to send where, so that it would be possible for a team other than the Stage 3 conference champ to be the #1 team if non-conference and stage 2 records sway voters in favor of another strong team in the conference. ...and if the score is tied at the end of the games, it goes to penalty kicks or a syrup drinking contest.