Slightly different conference/relegation idea

Submitted by MichIOE01 on December 11th, 2018 at 12:10 PM

So I had the idea this morning of another conference realignment set up.  Since we've already got one post on it, why not throw out another.

So the general idea would be for 16 team conferences, split into 2 8 team divisions.  But the divisions are upper and lower, and each division gets a championship.  The championship games would be set up like the Big 12, where the top 2 teams would go after playing everyone in their division.  The upper division champion would go to the playoffs, the lower division champion would get promoted (with someone getting demoted from the upper division).  Teams would play 9-10 conference games, 7 division opponents and 2-3 opponents from the other division.

Everyone in the conference would get the same conference payout, so lower division teams aren't getting short changed.  Conference revenue would increase due to 2 more teams (and the resulting TV contract increase) and an extra championship game.

For the B1G, the upper division could have OSU, UM, PSU, MSU, Wisc, Iowa, New Team #1 (Texas apparently), New Team #2 (Oklahoma apparently) in the upper division (Big Ten) and Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland, Minnesota in the lower division (Little Ten).  Whoever wins that upper division is worthy of the playoffs.

If we got 4 of these mega conferences that would make a 4 team playoff, but only include 64 teams.  Could maybe increase it to 6-8 mega conferences to include more teams and expand the playoffs.  That way everyone would have a chance (UCF would make it into one of these conferences, have the chance to get promoted, then have the chance to win the upper division and make the playoffs).



December 11th, 2018 at 12:16 PM ^

I like the idea of having more competitive conferences, but everyone regardless of how well that team did last year should have a chance at the playoffs. Say Michigan is the worst team in the upper division one year, do you want to have absolutely no hope next year?


December 17th, 2018 at 12:02 AM ^

Let the top team from the top division host the top team from the bottom division they did NOT play in the regular season.

Or alternatively have relegation games instead of automatic relegation--the top (1 or 2) team(s) from the bottom division plays the bottom (1 or 2) team(s) from the top division.

Arb lover

December 11th, 2018 at 12:48 PM ^

College teams can be entirely different year to year, so why base the ability to even go to the CFP on whether a team was good enough in years past to be in the higher division this year?

Trying to avoid my sarcastic remark about certain sec/acc teams.


December 11th, 2018 at 2:57 PM ^

This is exactly the point.  Does anyone besides Alabama and Clemson like the fact that their team could finish in a drastically different position form year to year?  Applying consequences to recruiting and building a team like that might actually fix it and create more stability and parity.  It's getting boring to me to watch teams try to align the stars for a championship run by rearranging coaches and recruit kids with a win now attitude.


December 11th, 2018 at 1:02 PM ^

I agree with everyone above who thinks a structure that eliminates half the teams from playoff contention based on their previous season(s) sucks.

How about just keeping the traditional power 5 conferences, expanding to a 6 team playoff, 4 best conference champions guaranteed spots (to eliminate the odd 3-5 loss conf. champion) + the next 2 best teams at-large regardless of division or conference. Conference championship games become defacto first round playoff with possibly all 5 champions getting in.

Red is Blue

December 11th, 2018 at 1:13 PM ^

I'd imagine the argument for selecting the four "best" conference champions is; what if someone like NW 2018 wins the conference championship game? 

That being said, I like the idea of using as objective criteria as possible, so why not take all five conference champs?  If someone like NW 2018 gets in, then so be it. 

By the way, what if both Pitt and NW had won, taking the four "best" still lets one in.


December 11th, 2018 at 1:12 PM ^

Can you imagine a conference with OSU, UM, PSU, MSU, Wisc, Iowa, Texas and Oklahoma in it?  The "winner" will likely have 2 or 3 conference losses with a packed schedule like that.



December 11th, 2018 at 2:55 PM ^

All conferences need to be more regional to reduce travel time and expense for ALL sports.  I would propose five Premiere Division conference with relegation for the worst team each year into a Second Division, with the winner of the Second Division promoted each year.  You don't need to schedule conference games five years out - it can be easily done at the end of each season.

College Football Divisions.jpg


December 11th, 2018 at 3:53 PM ^

What is in this for the "lower division schools" --- Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, Rutgers, et cetera?  You are essentially making them second-class citizens of their own conference.

You need to incentivize them as well.  I don't see that in this plan.


December 12th, 2018 at 8:27 AM ^

first off.  i like 4 18 team conferences.

2 nine team divisions.

8 game division season.

division champs advance to conference championship game (CCG).  tiebreakers could get interesting, but i'm sure they could be figured out.

CCG winners advance to the final four.

teams can play inter-division teams, but the game doesn't count in division play.  in fact, i would encourage two inter-divion games a year.  one game could be a fixed opponent, for instance if purdue and indiana were split, they still could play.  i'll guess the game would matter.  kind of like how louisevill v kentucky matters in basketball.  my preferred split  would be michigan and msu.  the game would matter and there is the possibility of a rematch in the CCG. 

12 game season with option of 2 extra games for non final four teams.  1 game played post season like a bowl game.  1 game played after spring practice.

Some accommodation would need to be made for the remaining 48 FBS schools not in play.  

A few comments:

using only intra division games to qualify for CCG eliminates scheduling disadvantages for CCG qualification.  scheduling games with the other division allows schools like michigan and michigan state or indiana and purdue or illinois and northwestern to be in opposite divisions.  the teams could still play annually with the added bonus of possibly meeting in the CCG.  

The 2 extra game idea equalizes practice time and gives Northern schools a game in the Spring.

i love relegation for european soccer.  i don't like it for college football.



December 12th, 2018 at 1:05 PM ^

I dont like the 2 year cycle.  Any team in the lower division has virtually no chance to make the playoffs that year.  


Not to mention Michigan probably gets relegated in 2017 and so for 2018 we have a "wasted" year trying to earn promotion.  We wouldnt have gotten Shea in that scenario.  Can you imagine the disaster that would be for recruiting in general?


2017 upper division record for Michigan

Losses: OSU, MSU, PSU, Wisconsin

Likely Losses: Oklahoma

Tossups: Iowa, Texas


If we dont get the right bounces we'd be down



December 16th, 2018 at 10:38 AM ^

The only system that I will accept at this point is one that gets rid of the committee and or pollsters to select playoff teams.

You're system sounds like a caste system.  I don't think that is good.


December 18th, 2018 at 11:05 PM ^

How about this:  The winner of the Big Ten Championship Game plays the winner of the Pac 12 Championship Game in the Rose Bowl, and all the other teams settle for second-best or worse. The CFP can fuck right off.


December 19th, 2018 at 4:28 PM ^

I always held that relegation/promotion could fix the issue (Too many teams trying to qualify into too few playoff positions/games) but, as explained well by the rest of you, creates other issues.

We already have unforseen recruiting/retention issues with this "pick the best team for the playoffs" crap.  Why wouldn't the Aubrey Soloman's out there establish their talent then transfer to a 'Bama, or similar, who was practically selected, pre-season, for the playoffs by virtue of their talent before any on field achievement? Convince me that a 1-loss Bama wouldn't have gotten in ahead of OU if they had been edged out at the end of the SECCG to GA. Win and advance on the field is the only thing that keeps that from happening. Prioritizing PERFORMANCE over potential is the true measure of competition, but if 'Bama's already penciled in for 2019 CFP, why not transfer if you have a decent shot at starting?

So, back to the subject at hand: Conference Governance is gone with any Pro-Reg ideas right at the start. This is the real deal killer. 

If you can only play so many games, then the number of playoff games determines the number of conferences you can have to legit play into the playoffs. 8 feels to me to be the right number. NO selection committee. Have a big reorg and seed 8 conferences and be done with it.

Nope; won't happen with current conference administration form.

Do we have to see a flood of transfers before Conference Governors decide to abandon the current farce of the CFP? Thank UCF for forcing the hand, too. They're proving that it was only lip service that those Group of 6 teams had a chance to win a Natty.