New Power Conference Structure

Submitted by UMVAFAN on November 30th, 2016 at 11:08 PM

Pretty simple, create six 10-team power conferences and a system with an 8-team playoff. The six champs get an auto bid with two at large spots awarded (independents and non power conference teams can get in this way, too).

The round robin format will produce a true champion in each conference with no unbalanced schedules. All teams will play each other once and it eliminates the guess work. There will be ties at the top from time to time, but head to head outcomes or point differentials can help break ties objectively. This takes the polls and committees out of the equation for 3/4ths of the playoff teams.

Each team will still play 3 non-conference games with the 9 conference games. This will bring better early season match ups as teams won't fear that a non-conference loss will kill their playoff chances. It will also make the conference games even more meaningful, and not diminish the value of the regular season as some argue will happen with a 8 team playoff. And without conference championship games, the first round of the playoff can be played the first week of December, and the current bowl structure with a Final Four can be maintained. This means the season isn't lengthened, thus eliminating the arguments that an 8 team playoff makes the season too long and kills the bowl system. Overall, this would probably produce huge TV ratings and more money for conferences than the current system.

Below are my proposed conferences with Notre Dame remaining an independent and Rutgers, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, and Iowa State eliminated from the power conferences. It actually makes some pretty compelling basketball conferences, too. Have fun dissecting:

Big Ten - Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa

Pac 10 - Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, UCLA, USC, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State

ACC - Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Clemson, South Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Georgia, Georgia Tech

SEC - Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M

Heartland - Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, Utah

Northeast - West Virginia, Penn State, Pitt, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Maryland, Syracuse, Louisville, Kentucky



November 30th, 2016 at 11:49 PM ^

I'm sure OP knows that this will not happen in the foreseeable future for monetary and nostalgic (read: college football "tradition") reasons. But this format does seem like an ideal, albiet unrealistic, solution to the problem. 

Personally, I would like to see ND in a conference. That'll give 'em a chance to finally win a conference championship. Fuck them and their independent bullshit.



December 1st, 2016 at 7:33 AM ^

Vandy beat Tennessee and Georgia this year and under Franklin had a good trajectory.  Someone isn't up to date.

I'm for four conferences of two divisions each, ten teams per division, or eight conferences of 10 teams each.

Winners of each division play within the conference, conference winners play for NC. Very neat math.


November 30th, 2016 at 11:18 PM ^

So simple, it could all be described in a single paragraph!

I don't understand why people want to end the idea that conferences should be voluntary associations.  Instead, everybody with an hour to spare gives us a stream of "let's force South Carolina out of the SEC and into the ACC!" stuff.


San Diego Mick

November 30th, 2016 at 11:19 PM ^

year in and year out like the old Big East. I like some of what you propose, like the 8 team playoff but I would start the Quarterfinals in mid December, that would give teams who win 2 weeks to prepare for the Semis and the Finals kept when they are.

This would make teams not get rusty. Also, paragraphs are great, use them.


November 30th, 2016 at 11:42 PM ^

Clicked on yet another conferenct alignment thread thinking, 'maybe this one will be different, maybe it will be better than the million others.' Nope, it's worse. 


December 1st, 2016 at 9:27 AM ^

Everybody has to come up with some idea that would require a massive change in the current structure. The exercise is a waste of time because 1) it will never ever ever happen and 2) all of these ideas would completely change the sport. Anything that would result in watering down the meaning of rivalries, regular season, etc would completely alter college football irreversibly. There's a reason we love college football and not the NFL.


December 1st, 2016 at 3:47 PM ^

It could happen if people tuned out due to the absurdity of 3rd-4th best teams in conference 'title' games and having to waste $60 to see a drubbing of Rutgers, the 'incestuous' ref biases, kid rape scandals, cable dying off etc. Getting the $$ out of it is the best way to make it purely about sport

It's funny your ending comment, when i believe this would greatly improve CFB and make it less like the NFL

However the OP's playoff expansion alone would likely put an end to a lot of grievances the fans have now

Blue Palasky_68

November 30th, 2016 at 11:59 PM ^

The bowl system needs to be blown up. When you have to put sub .500 teams in bowl games to fill the slots, you have too many bowl games! Fuck the current bowls and adopt the FCS model!

Chitown Kev

December 1st, 2016 at 12:11 AM ^

Because that's their BB moneymaker.

Also, TX and OK would almost have to be joined at the hip.

Also make it a true BE and give Maryland back to the ACC in exchange for Miami or Florida State


December 1st, 2016 at 12:15 AM ^

I kind of like that new setup but I have a few suggestions for the Big Ten. I would add Penn State, they are a traditional powerhouse with a huge fanbase that is out of place in the Northeast conference. This will give the league a third power program and help increase the Big Ten's exposure on the east coast.

I would also add Nebraska, they aren't really too happy in the Heartland conference due in part to their off field rivalry with Texas. They are no longer the power program of old but they are a storied brand that would also allow the Big Ten to split into divisions and hold a title game, perhaps in Indianapolis.

Also, reports indicate that Maryland is having financial difficulties in the Northeast conference. They are probably open to membership in the Big Ten and would bring a very good TV market as well as a fertile recruiting base.

Since the Big Ten would have 13 schools at this point, you need a 14th to balance the schedules. I recommend Rutgers out of the Group of 5. The buyout would be very low and you can phase them in over time, keeping the original Big Ten schools' revenue streams neutral, at least until you can renegotatate a media rights deal, which will be a massive one since Rutgers allows the B1G to claim the largest market in the country.

At this point, the league would look like this:




December 1st, 2016 at 9:41 AM ^

But it presents some problems. Without Nebraska, Texas is the only historic power of the heartland conference, and they've been flirting with the Pac 10 for academic reasons for years. If they jump ship that conference would dissolve. I have a feeling Colorado might pre-empt them and strike a deal to join the Pac 10. That would put the Pac 10 at 11 teams though--I'd expect them to go after Utah shortly after due to physical proxiity and the fact that Utah has no historic ties to the Heartland anyway. They could have 6 team North/South divisions and institute a conference championship game. At 7 teams though, the Heartland would be on the ropes and might make an overture to OK and OK State with the lure of reigniting the historic Red River Rivalry and keeping the Oklahoma teams in the same conference. The SEC could retaliate by adding Mizzou, which would decrease their bball/football disparity for the short term. They could also add Vandy in a feinted move to make the SEC less of an academic shitshow.

The ACC looks okay but let's face it: Florida and Florida St aren't going to want to share a conference so it's only a matter of time before the SEC tries to lure Florida in and reignite the Tennessee/Florida rivalry of the late 90s. Georgia could come in a package deal to preserve their rivalry with Florida. And South Carolina isn't going to want to sit in the shadow of Clemson, so I'd expect them to jump to the SEC as well. Without Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, the ACC would be on the ropes and need to act quickly to avoid dissolution. Without Penn State, the Northeast doesn't even deserve to exist so I'd imagine the ACC would try to poach Louisville, Syracuse, and Pitt with the prospect of creating a bball superpower. VA Tech and Virginia could come along to give them at least one respectable football program and top academic program (respectively) in the deal.

At that point the Northeast would be defuct. My guess is that the SEC would try to add Kentucky due to physical proximity and improved bball power. That would give the conference 14 teams and the opportunity to have two 7 team East/West divisions and a conference championship game. BC probably doesn't deserve to go anywhere but the ACC might add them just to improve their already impressive academic standing and to profit from the New England TV market. Throw in Wake Forest as a basketball school and it would give the ACC 14 teams and the chance to have a conference championship game too.

At this point, WVU and the Heartland might form a deal out of sheer desperation. The Heartland could add Iowa State to get to 10 teams and change their name to the Big 12 in a thinly veild attempt to obscure their inadequacy.

That would leave us with the perfect alignment IMHO.