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Some more thoughts on College Football Re-alignment 
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 06:14 PM.
With all of the news about the Big XII and the SEC making a merger of sorts with their champions playing each other, it got me to thinking about the new direction of college football. There was one point in time where many people thought that the super-conferences would take over, but this wasn't to be the case. As of now, the largest conference in the nation is the Southeastern Conference with the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri. So what is the plan for the future of college football?

There have been many actions that have led me to believe that we are going to see a fundamental shift in the organization of college football, perhaps a shift in the entire athletic scene. The Big XII/SEC Championship is nothing new in fact. If you remember, the Big Ten and PAC-12 agreed not to long ago that the two conferences would meet in out of conference matchups. They already meet in the Rose Bowl which could be a set-up to a semi-final for the future. The important thing to remember is that you have the cooperation of the four biggest football conferences in the nation, and that is shaping up for a big shakeup in college football having more than implications in a potential playoff.

I foresee a future that is coming up sooner rather than latter where these four conferences mentioned in the previous paragraph are going to control the finale in college football. They are already giants in their own rights, and with the Big XII finally settling down after the years with Beebe, we have a perfect mix of numbers to make it work. I believe that after all of the mess, the magic number will be 14 for a while until the conferences are ready to jump up to 16. Right now, the Big XII has ten members, but Clemson and Florida State are looking to jump ship in order to save themselves from the ACC. It's possible that there could be more teams looking to join other conferences. In the next three years, I see the following.

Pacific Athletic Conference

Washington State
Oregon State
Boise State
California - Berkley

Southern California
California - Los Angeles
Arizona State
New Mexico

Boise State would be added for its football sense and nothing else. It would quiet them about not being in the big conferences, and it would potentially add eyes who have been attached to their story for the past ten years. New Mexico is in one of the largest television markets without a major professional team. It might take time, but New Mexico has the potential to be a good football school.

Big XII Conference

Syracuse/Virginia Tech
West Virginia
Iowa State
Kansas State
Oklahoma State

Texas Tech
Texas Christian
Florida State

The Big XII is going to have to raid somebody; it might as well be a conference that is going to be on its last legs. Florida State and Clemson have long been targets for both the Big XII and the SEC, but the Big XII has the votes to make it happen. It puts them in a larger market, and Cincinnati brings in viewers from Ohio and Kentucky. The Big XII might even target Virginia Tech, but with the Virginia Legislature being what it is, that could be a problem. In the end, I think Virginia Tech might be holding the bag.

Big Ten Conference
Ohio State
Penn State

Michigan State
Notre Dame

As much as I wish that they could split the conference down the middle, I don't think they are ever going to have East and West. The big name here is Notre Dame. While many people don't think that they will move, the fact of the matter is that they are at risk of being left for dead if they don't move soon. Notre Dame would be left out in the wind if the big conferences move on, and the door is shutting on them. I think Pittsburgh would add western Pennsylvania, but I suppose Syracuse could come in as well for the ride because of their New York branding.

I'm not going to do the Southeastern Conference, as they have fourteen teams and two divisions.

Now, this is all just possibilities, but the fact of the matter is you have fifty six teams playing in four conferences and eight divisions. At this point, having anybody from the outside is not going to work. If you close the doors now (saving room for later with eight teams per division), you have a neat, tidy little league that is ready to start anew.

I really believe that this is the direction that we are going in. The playoff of the future will place the conference champions of the "Big Four" (as I will call them from now on) into battle with each other. The two winners of the games will play each other for the National Championship. There are other rules that I will go over later, but some ideas on where these things could play out.

The B1G/PAC Championship could alternate between coasts and involve stadia like the Rose Bowl, the LA Memorial Coliseum, Jack Murphy Stadium, Seattle Stadium, Mile High Stadium, Phoenix Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, Ford Field, Soldier Field, Lambeau Field, New Vikings Stadium, Paul Brown Stadium, Cleveland Browns Stadium, and Heinz Field.

The XII/SEC Championship could alternate between their territories and include Cowboys Stadium, Reliant Stadium, Arrowhead Stadium, Edward Jones Dome, Superdome, Joe Robbie Stadium, Raymond James Stadium, Georgia Dome, and perhaps a few more.

And of course the National Championship could be anywhere; hell it could rival the Super Bowl before the NFL post-season begins.

With the game set up like this, you would need to create rules for scheduling. Since all the conferences are equal, lets choose a random team in Notre Dame. Now, you would have six teams in your division that you would play every year. You would also have three games against teams in the other division (as set up by the individual Conferences). Finally, you would play one team from each of the other conferences as set up by the conferences. So, Notre Dame would play the other teams in their division:

Michigan State

Then you would have three teams from the other division play. Since the B1G likes to have at least one game that is set every year cross-divisionally, Notre Dame would set up against Pittsburgh/Syracuse (the other teams are randomly chosen)

Ohio State

Then, the team would have to find an opponent to play from the other three conferences (again, I'm doing this at random):

Arizona State
Texas Tech

That's twelve games to play during a simplified regular season. If Notre Dame was to go to the Conference Championship, then the Inter-Conference Championship, then the National Championship, that would be fifteen games. That is doable within the year. And the Conference Championship brings forth another idea: all of these games are making an eight team playoff. Each team that goes to the Conference Championship will have played against every team that's eligible in their division. This really makes the regular season count, because you have to beat the best in your division (and you play every team in your division) in order to advance.

Now, I know there are some sour feelings coming up from some of the Big East/ ACC/ Mid-major schools. Heck, I can see it coming from some supporters of the big schools too. Here's the thing; we asked for the genie, and now he's out of the bottle. I know there are some that will go to the grave thinking that if we only have four teams in a playoff and stop there, everything will stay the same. The problem is that there is too much money on the table left to be taken. I know there are some that say that Title IX debunks it, but if that were true we would never see these large stadia, these large television contracts, these large conferences. College sports revolve around football; they thrive on it. We've taken the innocent sport and made it into a machine that will come close to rivaling the NFL. Nobody takes a super car, puts it at 60 MPH, and then does nothing to test the rest of it. We are looking at a billion dollar industry that can be created in a few years. College Presidents will flock over it.

Now, will this all happen? Probably not exactly as I've written it out, but the gap between the Big Four and the rest is now huge, and there's no incentive to make it any smaller. What you see above is a standardized league that is ready to make a huge leap into the future. Get used to the Genie; he ain't going back in the bottle.
# 1 Maxattax3 @ May 21
The Big12 and SEC will own their new bowl. Think about that.
# 2 TDenverFan @ May 21
New Mexico in the PAC? They are probably the worst team in the nation. I think Fresno State, Nevada, San Diego State, or Hawai'i would make much more sense.
# 3 Perfect Zero @ May 21
Remember, it's not about who's good, but who can bring in the most in television. I considered the four teams you listed, but New Mexico could bring in a very underrated market. The other four schools don't do that.
# 4 TDenverFan @ May 22
I highly doubt New Mexico's games dram more on TV than those 4. And I think Honolulu and San Diego are both bigger than Albuquerque.
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