10 Conference Changes That Should Occur Before Playoffs Begin in 2014
Now that the rush to switch conferences has died down and we actually have a plan for a playoff in place, let's take a look at some changes that could still be made before the new system gets here.
The 10 suggestions listed here are ideas for improving the college football world as a whole, and while really just the opinion of one person, arguments can be made that many of them benefit all college football fans.
The majority of things listed have to do with teams that should still move conferences, and a few of them are regarding the the system of determining which programs should qualify to play at the highest level and which should be sent back to the relative obscurity of a lower level of play.
Hopefully, some of these actually take place, but as we have geniuses such as Jim Delany leading our current system, it's not entirely likely.
10. Blow Up the Big East and Start over
When considering the biggest jokes in college football, one can talk about Lou Holtz' affinity for Notre Dame, Les Miles' taste for grass, the green kind, and the Big East.
The conference's inability to compete anywhere near the level of the other BCS conferences is well-documented.
Pitt and Syracuse are leaving, West Virginia is gone, and the pickings around the rest of the country are slim.
The conference desperately needs a boost, or to start over from scratch and try to lure some new members.
UCF and SMU just don't cut it.
9. SMU and Houston to Big XII or MWC
Houston and SMU are both in Texas.
Both of them are moving to the Big East.
The nearest school in the conference to Houston is Louisville, which is almost 1,000 miles away.
Dallas, where SMU is located, is about 850 miles away.
Moving these programs to either the MWC or Big XII makes both geographical and fiscal sense for the programs.
8. Penn State Booted
Penn State needs to feel some heat from the B1G.
Apparently, the program must still consider the possibility of being booted from the conference.
I'll confess, this is a matter of opinion, but the conference needs to kick them out into the cold, only if the program continues to hang on to their football program this year for dear life.
Football is not more important, on any level, than protecting out children.
Until the university has been punished and learned that lesson, they need to be shunned by the major conferences.
Probably not, but something needs to be done, and it needs to be drastic.
7. Wins for FBS Eligibility
I think we would admit, there are some teams that don't belong in the level of college football in which they are currently playing.
Some of the teams in the BCS conferences don't fit, annually getting pummeled by the "big boys" of the conference.
Some FBS teams are miserable doormats, such as Rice or UTEP.
So let's come up with some kind of rotating system whereby team wanting to join FBS football can move up by virtue of wins, and those that lose too often get demoted.
Three seasons in a row of losing football should equal a demotion, or something of that nature.
This system could also be applied to BCS auto qualifying and non-auto qualifying teams.
It's just an idea.
6. Duke Needs the Boot
David Cutcliffe has done what he can to help raise the Duke football program from an embarrassing debacle to merely being a train wreck.
Recruiting is extremely difficult given the restrictions he has to work with, and Cutcliffe has done an admirable job, however, the Blue Devils are simply never going to win a conference title, and will never be relevant on a national scale.
If it were not for the impact the basketball program has on the ACC, Duke would not be part of the ACC.
5. Indiana Too
While we are on the subject of teams that need to be booted from "major" conferences, let us turn our eyes toward the woeful happenings in Bloomington.
The Hoosiers have had only one winning season since 1995, so you can begin to estimate how few and far between conference titles have become for this program.
So why are they still in the conference?
I understand that it's not realistic to boot a program that has been a part of the conference for a century, but there has to be something we can do here.
4. Mountain West Adjustments
The MWC has some solid squads floating around, and the potential to add a few more such as BYU.
The conference could develop into a solid replacement for the dysfunctional Big East, and Boise State would then have the opportunity to establish itself as a power in the conference, as well as find itself featured regularly in postseason play.
Just a few tweaks, such as luring another solid program away from one of the "major" conferences, and picking up BYU again would clearly vault the conference above the Big East, and possibly even the ACC in the conference pecking order.
3. BYU to MWC or Pac-12
BYU is currently the lone independent in the college football landscape that is not a service academy or Notre Dame.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall has done a fantastic job of managing the program in the midst of their new found independence, and the Cougars are poised for another solid season in 2012.
That said, either the Pac-12 needs to scoop them up and set up an annual "Holy War" with Utah that could have conference title ramifications.
If not the Pac-12 or MWC, they will most likely end up affiliated with the Big East or some other conference that makes absolutely no geographical sense.
2. Navy, Army and Air Force in Same Conference
Right now, Air Force is a member of the MWC, while Navy and Army are independents.
However, no conference could ask for a more intense set of rivalry games than the ones that would be set up by inviting these three into the same fold.
Not only that, the young men playing in these games deserve a little more national exposure than they receive, and a move to a major conference provides that opportunity.
1. Navy, Army and Air Force in Same Conference
Apologies to Irish fans, but this has to be said.
Notre Dame, while a fine institution of higher learning, is not the same program that it used to be.
The program hasn't even sniffed a national title in a long time, and is rarely even relevant any more, except when they lose to a team such as Navy or USF that they have no business losing too.
At some point, the university administration and athletic department need to realize that a move to the Big Ten could remain extremely lucrative for Irish, even if the Irish have to lose their television deal, there has to be a way they can keep a lion's share of the revenue by sharing it with the B1G.
This would also ensure that an exception explaining how Notre Dame can become eligible for the playoffs would not have to be rewritten every time a new postseason format is introduced.