Aaron M. Sprecher/Getty Images
For the casual football fan, the games involving the Top 25 teams are the only ones that matter. If you have a favorite team that's not in the Top 25, your ability to see it play is at the mercy of the decision-makers at the various football networks.
Those networks should get together with the conferences and create a Top 25 Network for year-round access. It would be sort of like the Longhorn Network, but dedicated to all the teams in the Top 25 instead of just Texas.
The Top 25 would be determined by the AP poll, because it takes all teams into consideration regardless of postseason eligibility. During the offseason, this network would provide a one-stop destination for all things related to the coming football season.
It would also give lower-profile teams normally left out of the TV equation more national exposure following a great season. Northern Illinois, San Jose State, Utah State and Northwestern would have benefited from the exposure during the current offseason.
The major issue would be what to do with the money generated by the network, because if each network gives up a game it would normally televise, then no one would go along with this plan at all.
That's an easy fix. Each conference would be awarded a percentage of the Top 25 Network's revenue based on its current television contract with its local network.
The current contract money, averaged to annual revenue cash flow would be the determining number for the final piece of the Top 25 pie. (For instance, a $3 billion contract over 10 years would be worth the same as a $1.5 billion contract over five years, because they both average to $300 million per year.)
This means that, If the Pac-12, Big 12, American Athletic, Big Ten, Atlantic Coast and Southeastern Conferences all had $300 million-per-year contracts with ESPN (for ease of argument), then they would all get an equal portion of the Top 25 Network's profits.
The network itself would receive a reasonable share of the profits, as well (for operating costs). This comes in no higher than No. 20 due to all conferences seemingly moving toward national networks of their own.
Even with national access to each individual conference, this would still be worth doing, but it's not high on the average college football fan's wish list.