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Author Topic: Radical College Football Revamp Proposal  (Read 369 times)

CoreySamson

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Radical College Football Revamp Proposal
« on: October 17, 2020, 05:45:40 PM »

I think FBS college football needs a revamp. Not the rules of the game per se, but everything else: the conferences, the schedules, and the postseason. My two biggest changes involve new conferences with a Premier League-style tiering system and an exciting all-new postseason modeled after the World Cup and the FCS. So here's my idea to make college football more exciting for all. Feel free to comment about changes you would make. Enjoy!

1. Conference Realignment

The current way the FBS conferences are set up is a bit complicated with several independent teams and uneven conferences. My new proposal would reorganize all FBS teams into 8 conferences based on geographical location. The kicker is that the conferences will have two tiers, like how the Premier League in England tiers its teams. I would just call them FBS-A and FBS-B. At the end of the season, in each conference the last-place team in Tier A would trade places with the first-place team in Tier B. This would allow lower tier schools a chance to compete with the top ones. I'll have more on this in section 3.

The conferences would be different from the ones in other sports, possibly causing confusion, but certain teams already play in unusual conferences in other sports. For example, Vanderbilt's  women's lacrosse team plays in the AAC, not the SEC; so I don't see a problem reorganizing the conferences in football only. Also, I relegated Liberty and Old Dominion back to FCS in order to get 128 teams, which is much easier to divide than 130.

Here are the conferences and their respective teams in each tier:

PAC (Pacific Athletic Conference)
Tier A:   Arizona   Arizona State   Oregon   Stanford   USC   UCLA   Washington   Washington State
Tier B:   California   Fresno State   Hawaii   Nevada   Oregon State   San Diego State   San Jose State   UNLV

HPC (High Plains Conference)
Tier A:   Boise State   BYU   Colorado   Iowa   Iowa State   Nebraska   Texas Tech   Utah
Tier B:   Air Force   Colorado State   New Mexico   New Mexico State   Utah State   UTEP   UTSA   Wyoming

Big South Conference
Tier A:   Baylor   Kansas State   Missouri   Oklahoma   Oklahoma State   TCU   Texas   Texas A&M
Tier B:   Houston   Kansas   Louisiana Tech   North Texas   Rice   SMU   Texas State   Tulsa

MSC (Mid-South Conference)
Tier A:   Alabama   Arkansas   Auburn   LSU   Memphis   Mississippi State   Ole Miss   Vanderbilt
Tier B:   Arkansas State   Louisiana   South Alabama   Southern Mississippi   Troy   Tulane   UAB   ULM

SEC (Southeastern Conference)
Tier A:   Clemson   Florida   Florida State   Georgia   Georgia Tech   Miami(FL)   South Carolina   Tennessee
Tier B:   Coastal Carolina   Florida Atlantic   FIU   Georgia State   Georgia Southern   Middle Tennessee State   USF   UCF

Big East Conference
Tier A:   Army   Maryland   Navy   Notre Dame   Penn State   Pitt   Syracuse   West Virginia
Tier B:   Boston College   Buffalo   Kent State   Marshall   Rutgers   Temple   UConn  UMass

AEC (America East Conference)
Tier A:   Cincinnati   Duke   Kentucky   Louisville   North Carolina   North Carolina State   Virginia   Virginia Tech
Tier B:   Akron   Appalachian State   Charlotte   East Carolina   Miami(OH)   Ohio   Wake Forest   Western Kentucky

Big North Conference
Tier A:   Indiana   Michigan   Michigan State   Minnesota   Northwestern   Ohio State   Purdue   Wisconsin
Tier B:   Ball State   Bowling Green   Central Michigan   Eastern Michigan   Illinois   NIU   Toledo   Western Michigan

2. Season Structure

In this proposal, teams would play an 11-game season with 7 conference games and 4 non-conference games. All conference games would be Tier A versus Tier A or Tier B versus Tier B. Non-conference games would be decided years in advance and could be Tier A versus Tier B. No FCS-FBS games would be played under this proposal.

The season's first 2 weeks would start with each team playing 2 non-conference games. The next 2 would be conference, the next 3 after that would be non-conference plus a bye for every team, and the last 5 would be conference games. The regular season would start the last week of August and end the week before Thanksgiving. See section 3 for Thanksgiving weekend. The week after would be a bye for nearly everyone and the Army-Navy game. After that, everything is postseason. (Note: This proposal eliminates conference championship games.)

About those non-conference games: each team from each conference would play 2 teams from 2 other conferences, however, the entire conference's teams would play the other conference's teams. This sounds confusing, so I'll do an example:
LSU's non conference games are against teams from the Big South and the PAC. They will be playing Oregon, at Fresno State, at Texas, and SMU. However, the rest of the MSC (LSU's conference) will be playing teams from the Big South and the PAC the same weeks LSU is playing teams from those conferences. Maybe Alabama's playing Baylor; maybe Auburn's playing USC.

Hopefully that clears it up.

3. "Do Or Die Weekend"

The Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend in my season will be referred to as "Do Or Die Weekend". In addition to the last placer in Tier A and first-placer in each conference that are automatically trading places for the next season, the second-last Tier A team would have to play the second-best team from Tier B to stay in Tier A next season. If the Tier B team wins, they get to play in Tier A next season. Same goes for the third worst Tier A team and the third-best Tier B team. This weekend would be chaotic and fun, and would be on at a time when many would be off work and have time to watch.

4. Postseason

Here's the really fun part. In my proposal, the 8 Tier A conference winners and 8 at-large spots would make it into the expanded College Football Playoff. The 16 teams would then be divided into 4 groups of 4 to play a round-robin tournament with each other. The top 2 teams from each tournament would make it into the quarterfinals. These round-robin tournaments would be fun because they would be played at teams' home stadiums instead of neutral sites. One of the biggest criticisms of college football I see is that southern teams don't play up north later in the season, so this could remedy that problem.

Here's a schematic of who would host each game in the tournament:
Week 1:  #1 seed at #2 seed      #4 seed at #3 seed
Week 2:  #3 at #1      #2 at #4
Week 3:   #4 at #1      #3 at #2

This pattern would be replicated across all the groups. Each team would get 3 points for a win, 0 for a loss, 2 for an overtime win, and 1 for an overtime loss. The two teams with the highest amount of points would proceed to the quarterfinals. If there were a tie, then I would incorporate something I call the Football Index, which would be point differential plus the turnover margin times 10. For example, if a team had a point differential of 15 and a turnover differential of 2 during the tournament, then their Football Index score would be 35 (15+10x2).

As for the New Year's Six Bowls, I would not do away with them. The top teams who missed out on the Playoff would play in these bowls as a consolidation prize. I would also add two more big bowls, the Rodeo Bowl to be played at NRG Stadium in Houston, and the Freedom Bowl to be played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

As for the top 32 teams in Tier B, they would play an FCS-style end of season tournament, almost like the NIT in college basketball.

The rest of Tier A's members would play in other bowls, such as the Liberty Bowl, Sun Bowl, and others.

If there's anything I missed or wasn't clear on, feel free to comment. Thanks for reading!
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Re: Radical College Football Revamp Proposal
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2020, 06:09:58 PM »

Your proposal has 17 games instead of 13 for teams that keep advancing. That is... as likely as anything else you wrote. I know this is off topic, but I feel like this is outside the realm of what we're even supposed to have in OT.

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Re: Radical College Football Revamp Proposal
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2020, 07:04:00 PM »

No conference realignment will ever involve Iowa moving out of a conference with the teams that it has historically been with (basically Tier A of your Big North Conference). UCF deserves to be in a Tier A, regardless of which conference that is.
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Re: Radical College Football Revamp Proposal
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2020, 07:23:45 PM »

At this point expecting any type of organization in college football just isnít going to happen.  It was bad before this year and COVID just made it more obvious how much a cluster-f$&/ it really is. 

Now of course if my team is competitive Iíll be watching regardless...
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CoreySamson

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Re: Radical College Football Revamp Proposal
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2020, 08:29:35 PM »

Yeah I know some of this is pretty far-fetched, but itís fun to imagine what could be.
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KeithE4Phx

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Re: Radical College Football Revamp Proposal
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2020, 12:22:14 AM »

File this under "Not Happening."  Ever.
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Billy F 1988

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Re: Radical College Football Revamp Proposal
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2020, 01:07:24 AM »

Ooooh I can sense the CFP troglodytes howling at the seams. Yeah. A major NOOOOPE would be more like it.
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Re: Radical College Football Revamp Proposal
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2020, 01:16:31 AM »

I would think that more likely is for the NCAA to completely implode, this mainly due to off-the-field issues, resulting in a very fast reorganization of college sports at all levels into an overseas private sports club model.  Where things would go from there is anybodys' guess.

Mike
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Re: Radical College Football Revamp Proposal
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2020, 01:59:45 AM »

There is an argument to be made that most future professional athletes know where they're going. Hockey and baseball both have parallel farm systems to college, and you have your choice of which track as an athlete. NBA has essentially moved to letting high schoolers play without ever going to college through the G-League, and I imagine the NFL will someday get there as well. College football will always exist, and it will continue to be a pathway, but no longer the pathway, and how that impacts college football remains to be seen.

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Re: Radical College Football Revamp Proposal
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2020, 02:46:44 AM »

I have thought about this as well but differently.

CONFERENCES AND SCHEDULING
Each conference has 12 to 16 teams (6 to 8 in a division). No tiers. Teams will play 4 division opponents and 4 opponents from the other division. That gives you 8 conference games. The non conference schedule would be 5 games. 2 at home, 2 on the road and 1 neutral site game between the 2 schools. All non conference games need to be done by Week 8.

I would like trying to keep major traditional rivals in the same conferences if possible and we add more teams to Division 1-A to make it 140 teams total. No more independents. The how to breakdown the conferences will come later since that will take me time to sort.

PLAYOFFS
The division winners will play against each other in a conference championship game. That championship game will rotate around to major college and NFL stadiums (50k seating at a minimum) that are geographical to the conference. So for instance, teams in a conference from the Midwest would play in places like Camp Randall, Ohio Stadium, Ford Field, Lucas Oil Stadium, US Bank Stadium, Soldier Field and Lambeau Field.
Those winners of the conference games advance plus wild card teams to make a field of 16. The number of wild cards depends on the final number of conferences. Likely between 4 and 8 wild cards. The seeding and the wild cards will be determined on overall record, head to head games, common opponents, strength of schedule. If there is still a tie for a playoff spot, a playoff committee of 21 Athletic Directors (not including the schools involved) will determine the remaining seedings and the remaining teams that gets in.
The first round of playoff games will be hosted by the top 8 seed schools.
The subsequent rounds will be played at major stadiums that did not host a conference game.
The championship game would be on a 10 stadium rotation throughout the entire country.  Those stadiums would be...
1 Rose Bowl, Pasadena CA
2 Superdome, New Orleans LA
3 MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford NJ
4 FedEx Field, Landover MD
5 At&T Stadium, Arlington TX
6 Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta GA
7 Century Link Field, Seattle WA
8 Lucas Oil Field, Indianapolis IN
9 Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens FL
10 State Farm Stadium, Glendale AZ
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Re: Radical College Football Revamp Proposal
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2020, 06:01:22 PM »

There is an argument to be made that most future professional athletes know where they're going. Hockey and baseball both have parallel farm systems to college, and you have your choice of which track as an athlete. NBA has essentially moved to letting high schoolers play without ever going to college through the G-League, and I imagine the NFL will someday get there as well. College football will always exist, and it will continue to be a pathway, but no longer the pathway, and how that impacts college football remains to be seen.

American soccer is already going through this. Over the last decade, the college draft system has been usurped by academies run by teams (similar to the European model). Some of the best new MLS talent have come through academies and were signed straight out of high school rather than wasting a few vital years in the college soccer system. Even if they aren't playing for the senior squad, there are reserve teams in the lower tiers where they can get playing experience alongside veterans who have fallen by the wayside. I don't think the NFL will go that far, but at least there will be a precedent to follow.

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Re: Radical College Football Revamp Proposal
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2020, 01:07:56 PM »

I have thought about this as well but differently.

CONFERENCES AND SCHEDULING
Each conference has 12 to 16 teams (6 to 8 in a division). No tiers. Teams will play 4 division opponents and 4 opponents from the other division. That gives you 8 conference games. The non conference schedule would be 5 games. 2 at home, 2 on the road and 1 neutral site game between the 2 schools. All non conference games need to be done by Week 8.

I would like trying to keep major traditional rivals in the same conferences if possible and we add more teams to Division 1-A to make it 140 teams total. No more independents. The how to breakdown the conferences will come later since that will take me time to sort.

PLAYOFFS
The division winners will play against each other in a conference championship game. That championship game will rotate around to major college and NFL stadiums (50k seating at a minimum) that are geographical to the conference. So for instance, teams in a conference from the Midwest would play in places like Camp Randall, Ohio Stadium, Ford Field, Lucas Oil Stadium, US Bank Stadium, Soldier Field and Lambeau Field.
Those winners of the conference games advance plus wild card teams to make a field of 16. The number of wild cards depends on the final number of conferences. Likely between 4 and 8 wild cards. The seeding and the wild cards will be determined on overall record, head to head games, common opponents, strength of schedule. If there is still a tie for a playoff spot, a playoff committee of 21 Athletic Directors (not including the schools involved) will determine the remaining seedings and the remaining teams that gets in.
The first round of playoff games will be hosted by the top 8 seed schools.
The subsequent rounds will be played at major stadiums that did not host a conference game.
The championship game would be on a 10 stadium rotation throughout the entire country.  Those stadiums would be...
1 Rose Bowl, Pasadena CA
2 Superdome, New Orleans LA
3 MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford NJ
4 FedEx Field, Landover MD
5 At&T Stadium, Arlington TX
6 Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta GA
7 Century Link Field, Seattle WA
8 Lucas Oil Field, Indianapolis IN
9 Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens FL
10 State Farm Stadium, Glendale AZ

First of all, I like playing 5 nonconference games. It can help schedule high quality games early on in the year that get hype for the season kicked off. It also helps any rivals who end up in different conferences a little more flexibility to play one another.

Second: I think the your conference play structure may lead to a few problems. Say two teams in the same division have the same record and haven't played one another. Who goes to the conference championship? For the conferences that have divisions, everyone plays all of their divisional opponents to avoid these types of situations.

Third: I think that if there is a non conference rivalry game it should be allowed to play over Thanksgiving weekend. I guarantee at least one of these situations will exist.

Fourth: The number of wild cards shouldn't vary between years. I would also call them "at large" because of the similarity to the NCAA basketball tournament selection process. I like the idea of conference champions getting a free bid, but you could have a situation where divisional teams A and B have the same conference record, didn't play each other, where Team A has a better overall record by 2-3 games yet Team B gets in automatically.

Fifth: I support 7 out of the 10 stadiums on the list. Here are my suggestions:

 - FedEx Field is a dump and has poor access to transit. Hopefully gets replaced or renovated beyond recognition.

 - For what I like about CenturyLink and MetLife, I think the temperature will be too cold for playoff games in Jan/Feb (assuming kickoff will be after 7 PM the temps will likely be in the low 40s-upper 30s). Same applies for FedEx Field. The indoor and southern stadiums do not nearly have this problem.

 - US Bank Stadium is the only other northern stadium that I would consider usable, that is, until someone else gets an indoor stadium with enough capacity.

All things considered I like this proposal a lot, there are certainly adjustments that could be made but that is true of all proposals.
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