Hello, college football fans!
You know I am big on the college football/basketball realignment issue. I have proposed many different alignments with different levels of what I want to see and what I think may happen.
There is a lot of talk that eventually college football will eventually go to four Superconferences of 16 teams each, possibly breaking free of the NCAA. They first discussed this back in early 2010, before Nebraska joined the Big Ten and Colorado and Utah joined the Pacific 12 (then Pacific 10). In a 4 by 16 format, not all of the teams currently in BCS conferences will make the final cut. In addition, it will be harder for a Boise State to make it into the cut. 64 teams in the "BCS" is great if you are one of the 64 teams but lousy if you aren't one of them.
Another option is increasing the cut line to 72. It makes sure most if not all of the teams currently in the BCS stay and there is a chance for growth. Last year, Danny Flynn proposed a "4 by 18" alignment although it seems more like an "8 by 9"). SB Nation proposed a "6 by 12" model in its "Conference Redraft Project" (although the conferences were not geographically based). The assumption is that these six conferences have two divisions of six and conference championships like the SEC has now.
Another basis of these two realignments and the 4 by 16 models is that each team in the "BCS" has to go through the same path to get to the title game. Right now, some conferences have to play a conference championship to gain a BCS auto bid while others don't. Right now, some conferences play eight conference games and others play nine. I think there should be a uniform playing field for all teams involved and others seem to agree with me.
What's the ideal size for a football conference?
This proposal makes it 80 teams and eight conferences of ten teams each (8 by 10). Ten team conferences will not allow conference championship games but will allow full round robin play. If the NCAA and/or BCS ever allows a "playoff", it can take the eight conference champions and let them have an eight team playoff.
I also wanted to make these conferences geographically friendly, as opposed to the nightmare TCU in the Big East alignment we have now. I also wanted to put rivalries together instead of having to deal with the bitter divorce of Texas and Texas A&M and Florida trying to block Florida State from the SEC.
Just like Danny Flynn's proposal, most in state rivals will be in the same division. Basically, I am "starting from scratch" instead of keeping the existing conferences so there will be no politics or academic limitations getting in the way.
Here are my conferences:
Northeast: Army, Boston College, Connecticut, Navy, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, West Virginia
Midwest: Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Mid Atlantic: Duke, East Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, NC State, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Southeast: Central Florida, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee
Central: Alabama, Auburn, Iowa, Iowa State, Memphis, Minnesota, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri, Vanderbilt
Southwest: Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech
Mountain: Air Force, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, BYU, Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Utah
Pacific: California, Fresno State, Hawaii, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington, Washington State
If keeping the BCS model (which for the record I dislike), let the eight conferences each get one automatic bid (conference representatives would be determined by true round robin) and have two wild cards (you wouldn't have to make a Notre Dame or BYU rule and most of the top BCS busters like Boise State are included in these 80 teams).
This can be turned into a 4 by 20 model by merging the Northeast and Midwest, the Mid Atlantic and Southeast, the Central and Southwest, and the Mountain and Pacific.
Double check for me, but I believe the only in state teams that are in different conferences are Maryland and Navy (who have little if any rivalry whatsoever) and Tennessee and Vanderbilt/Memphis.
I'm not sure it's my favorite or any else's favorite realignment, but I think it's better than the mess we have now.