This is an usual year. Nothing is normal and it seems that the easiest of tasks are now difficult. Some of our true joys have been muddled up. It is good to know that the NCAA is running normally. I am sure you are scratching your head or spitting out your favorite beverage at the mere sight of what I am typing, but hear me out or read me out…
College football this year is doing exactly what it does every year. College Football has again gave us moments to root for, it has given us excitement, it provided stability (Saturday means College Football), and College Football has found a way to evoke primal screams of “What! I can’t believe this!”.
I wanted to create a viable playoff where there is balance and also where the underdog gets their shot against the usual suspects of college football. You know who I am referring to… The Alabama’s, the Ohio State’s, and Clemson’s of the world. Let us finally take the blinders off and call College Football what it truly is, a billion dollar industry that exports its commodities to another multi-billion dollar industry (NFL). College Football is a cash cow for the NCAA and a pandemic cannot stop this locomotive in full vigor and I want to lean towards, embrace, and go all in with this idea. I pod weekly on QP Sports Exchange, Monday and Friday. This Friday I had the birth of an idea and here is the payoff to the idea. The Power Five conferences have 65 members as constituted at this moment. I want to expand it to 110. So you can have a visual of what the initial terrain looks like, here is a layout.
Here is the criteria for joining the Power 5. [A] The university must field or be willing to financially carry all 3 of the major sports in the United States, [B] has the school in any of the three sports accomplished anything significant in the 30 years, [C] either through alumni or boosters who are willing to get their facilities to a “Power Conference” median. Basically if you have the cash, you can get in. Any one of the three will do.
This exercise of mental gymnastics had its difficulties but here is the way! We have five 16 school conferences, the other three conferences will be the standard ten schools. I also kept schools geographically close, so no weird conferences where one school is 1200 miles away from the other schools. Everyone plays 11 games plus one game for seeding purposes if you are not part of your conference championship, which works out to 12 games total. How schedule is broken down. All schools will play a total of 9 games in conference. 8 regular season and the seeding game. If you are in a bigger conference, 5 games in your division, 3 in the other division, and one seeding game. The 3 other games will be split like this, let’s just take Alabama for instance. I will give you a breakdown of the conferences at the end of the blog but for now we will be using “Roll Tide” for this example.
Alabama’s division consists of Auburn, Tennessee, Memphis, Ole Miss, Mississippi St., LSU, and Louisiana. Alabama must play rivalry game, which is with Auburn and 4 others in division. The rest of the conference looks this way. Florida, Florida St., Miami (Fla), UCF, South Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and FAU. Alabama would play 3 games from this pool of the other division.
If you are in a 10 school conference, you would play 8 games in conference, seven scheduled and one seeding game, and 3 non conference games. Now a team who ended up in a 10 school conference is Penn State. Penn State in the Eastern Conference and their league members consists of, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Boston College, UConn, Buffalo, Temple, Rutgers, Navy, and Army. Obviously Pitt is the rivalry game.
How the playoffs would be is pretty simple. It is a 12 team tournament. 4 at large teams (That will be determined by rankings). 1st week would be schools from 5 through 12 would play and the top 4 would get byes. Winners of the first round would be re-seeded to create the 8 and then 1 versus 8, 2 versus 7, 3 versus 6, and 4 versus 5.
We can finally have what we want, a chance to see someone other than SEC and maybe create a little balance with the conferences as well.
The first university is Notre Dame. You obviously can’t have college football without one of the most storied college football teams in the history of the sport. Here are the rest of the conferences and teams in those conferences.
Pac-16 – Oregon, Oregon St., Stanford, California, Washington, Washington St., Boise State, and Colorado (North Division); UNLV, Fresno St., Arizona, Arizona St., Hawaii, San Diego St., USC, and UCLA (South Division)
The Big 16 – Stop calling yourself something when the math does not work!! Iowa, Iowa State, Indiana, Purdue, Nebraska, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Notre Dame (South Division); Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Miami (Ohio), and Northern Illinois (North Division)
SEC – Florida, Florida State, UCF, South Florida, Florida Atlantic U, Miami (Fla), Georgia, and Georgia Tech (Florida/Georgia Line Division); Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Memphis, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, and Louisiana (North Division)
ACC – Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina, N.C. State, Duke, East Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest (South Division); Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Marshall, Virginia Commonwealth, and Middle Tennessee (North Division)
Heartland – Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, and Tulsa (Outside of Texas Division); Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, TCU, SMU, Baylor, Rice, and Houston (Texas Division)
East – Penn State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Boston College, UConn, Buffalo, Temple, Rutgers, Navy, and Army
Rocky Mountain – Utah, Nevada, BYU, Colorado State, Air Force, Utah State, Wyoming, New Mexico, Grand Canyon U, and Denver
Midwest – Minnesota, North Dakota St., Western Kentucky, W. Michigan, C. Michigan, Toledo, Kent State, Ball State, and Akron
If I left someone out and it is a huge omission, let me know and I will try to adjust. The fact remains that the NCAA did not do a great job with parameters for this year and it may be time for the major forces in college athletics to collaborate for a clear cut way to legitimize their National Champion and allow for inclusion of some of the smaller schools.
Vince Carter from QP Sports Exchange.