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pianoknight

Rethinking NCAA Football

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I like having the Auburn - Georgia Tech rivalry back. That is sorely missing.

 

I like how the SEC was managed. The Central is rather solid, the West is unchanged besides Texas (which I think is an odd addition), but the East is where I get excited. Having Florida, Florida State, Georgia, and Georgia Tech together would be mayhem. Miami and UCF add great road trip potentials and more historic matchups, especially between Auburn/Alabama and Miami.

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As a WVU fan, this is fairly close to a dream scenario for me as far as playing rival schools goes (and I feel like a lot of other WVU fans would agree).

 

First, I do like WVU being in the Big XII. I know it's a hassle as far as travel goes, and there isn't a traditional rival, etc. But every week in football and every game in basketball is fun. And while Oklahoma continues to come out on top in football and Kansas wins out in basketball, those outcomes are never decided from the very beginning of the season. There is parity.

 

However, it just feels so much more natural for WVU to play schools that are one- to three-hour drives from Morgantown, not three-hour flights. Seeing Maryland, Penn State, Virginia, and VA Tech every year makes sense. And of course, the Backyard Brawl should occur every year on the Friday or Saturday following Thanksgiving (and then twice in the winter/spring in basketball). I am pleased with the direction AD Shane Lyons and others at WVU are taking the scheduling (in real life). WVU sees Pitt, Penn State, Maryland, and Virginia Tech in the next few years, and it's my understanding that that will continue for the foreseeable future. But this set up would be ideal for cementing that.

 

A couple notes:

  • As you point out, there's no reason why a non-conference game couldn't account for any rivalries lost (especially OU/Texas).
  • One yearly rivalry regained that you didn't list is WVU vs. VA Tech.

For your created scenario to demonstrate the scheduling and postseason, did you use real data (like winning percentage, SRS, or other stats) to come up with the results? Or did you just kind of go by eyeballing it? I'd be curious to see how this would work out with real data (even if that data comes from a system and conferences not set up like yours).

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I forgot to mention: I can kind of understand why people would mention promotion and relegation given the continued stratification of college football. For instance, if Power 5, Group of 5, and FCS were three different tiers, you'd have schools like Houston or Boise State ready for promotion to the Power 5, and Illinois or Kansas close to relegation to Group of 5. However, college football is so steeped in tradition and conferences, it wouldn't work. The Power 5 would have to be one massive league in which the top X number of teams, by record or whatever other determinant, would play in the bowl games. Otherwise, what could you do? Relegate Illinois to the Mountain West and put Boise State into the B1G? That would be weird. And I don't see a sport so steeped in tradition as college football giving up its conferences anytime soon.

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21 minutes ago, Ted Cunningham said:

I forgot to mention: I can kind of understand why people would mention promotion and relegation given the continued stratification of college football. For instance, if Power 5, Group of 5, and FCS were three different tiers, you'd have schools like Houston or Boise State ready for promotion to the Power 5, and Illinois or Kansas close to relegation to Group of 5. However, college football is so steeped in tradition and conferences, it wouldn't work. The Power 5 would have to be one massive league in which the top X number of teams, by record or whatever other determinant, would play in the bowl games. Otherwise, what could you do? Relegate Illinois to the Mountain West and put Boise State into the B1G? That would be weird. And I don't see a sport so steeped in tradition as college football giving up its conferences anytime soon.

 

 

The geographical element is precisely why promotion/relegation can't work in NCAA football - heck, just in US collegiate sports in general.

 

The Lower 48 are bigger than all of Western Europe combined (image below).  To give you an idea of comparison, you could have a promotion based system if it were confined to a Texas-only league.  Sure Baylor drops down to Tier 2, but then Houston moves up.  And Texas State moves up from the bottom tier but maybe UTEP moves down.  All that travel is still within a few hours plane ride, or a day's drive.  Oh, and remember that in Euro leagues, teams often share stadiums, so you'd probably have a half dozen fields in Dallas / Houston / Austin and then maybe a handful in El Paso or Lubbock.  Everyone just shares.

 

But the problem is exactly as you laid out.  Let's say that Boise State is the best mid-tier team to move up and that the ACC is the league with an open slot because Boston College is terrible.  Next season, they move up, but they take Oregon State's place in the Pac-Whatever.  It's a nightmare and makes even the current oddball arrangements (WVU-Big XII) and even proposed arrangements (USF/UFC-Big XII) look tame.

 

America is just too geographically massive to make a promotion/relegation system work unless you were talking about a very confined league of maybe 20 teams.  And we're talking that basically everyone from USC to Bama to Penn State to Nebraska to Notre Dame and Washington would all be in some "blue blood" system of maybe 2 tiers of 10.  There are only maybe two dozen schools who have either the historical success / fanbase / finances to even pull off something like that. LSU could afford to travel to California and back to New York every week.  Louisiana Tech cannot.  

 

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53 minutes ago, pianoknight said:

The geographical element is precisely why promotion/relegation can't work in NCAA football - heck, just in US collegiate sports in general.

Shoot, yeah. I was coming at it from a tradition standpoint. I didn't even think of the cost/logistics. 

 

So the point still stands, while I can see why people would mention it, I agree that it doesn't work.

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Relegation is a nifty idea and I like the notion of rewarding better teams with a better league/conference, but it's just not the right solution for NCAAF. 

 

The ONLY way it kinda-sorta works is if you buddy up P5/G5 conferences so that Indiana goes down to the MAC and Northern Illinois moves up to the B1G. 

 

The problem there is that B1G/MAC (haha McDonald's) and SEC/SunBelt make good partners. But then you have BOTH the Mountain West and WAC in the PAC footprint. You could buddy the XII/AAC, but then the ACC is left out. 

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On 5/18/2019 at 9:48 AM, pianoknight said:

Relegation is a nifty idea and I like the notion of rewarding better teams with a better league/conference, but it's just not the right solution for NCAAF. 

 

The ONLY way it kinda-sorta works is if you buddy up P5/G5 conferences so that Indiana goes down to the MAC and Northern Illinois moves up to the B1G. 

 

The problem there is that B1G/MAC (haha McDonald's) and SEC/SunBelt make good partners. But then you have BOTH the Mountain West and WAC in the PAC footprint. You could buddy the XII/AAC, but then the ACC is left out. 

 

I'm not a fan of promotion and relegation but you could throw Conference USA in that list as well. Maybe even switch the AAC and CUSA to ACC and Big XII

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Hmmm.... a conference with 18 teams each divided into 3 divisions. A bit too many teams in a conference for my 5 cents thought. I always thought 6 conferences are plenty enough to keep competition up to higher standards for every fan to watch. Rivalries and traditions are the things that college football is all about. Do you think you could try and do bring back that Southwest Conference along with Big East Conference? I missed these competitions when these 2 were in the existence before Big 12 show up and the moves by 3 former Big East teams to ACC. Maybe 12-14 teams into 6 of 2-divisions conferences?? I mean you guys still be getting the conference championship games before the 16-teams playoffs. Just my opinion 

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