Blog Entry

College Football Restructure

Posted on: December 27, 2009 12:24 am
Edited on: March 15, 2010 8:24 pm
I basically started from scratch. I took all the BCS teams, plus, Notre Dame, TCU, Boise State, BYU, Utah, ECU and UCF. I had to add ECU and UCF to make it an even 72 teams and they were the best choices geographically. So I split those teams up into 6 conferences of 12 teams. Those would obviously be the 6 new power conferences. Which would get automatic bid to the playoffs. I took the rest of the teams and split them up into 4 conferences of 12 teams. I'll explain how they fit into the playoff/bowl system at the end. When sorting out the conferences, I did my best to keep big rivalries intact. (i.e. Ohio State/Michigan, Texas/Oklahoma)  

Power Conferences

Northeastern Conference
Syracuse, UConn, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Boston College, Penn State
Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana, Ohio State

Mid-Atlantic Conference
Rutgers, Maryland, West Virginia, Louisville, Virginia, Virginia Tech
NC State, Wake Forest, Duke, North Carolina, East Carolina, Kentucky

Southeastern Conference
Georgia Tech, Miami, Florida, South Carolina, UCF, Clemson
Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida State, South Florida, Georgia

Mississippi River Valley Conference
(I know, it's a mouthful)
Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota
Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State

Central Conference
Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, BYU
Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, TCU

Pacific Coast Conference
Utah, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Boise State
Stanford, UCLA, USC, Cal, Arizona, Arizona State

Mid-Major Conferences

Great Lakes Conference
Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State, Ohio, Toledo, Buffalo
Northern Illinois, Ball State, Miami (Oh), Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan

Western States Conference
Air Force, Colorado State, Idaho, Nevada, Utah State, Wyoming
San Diego State, UNLV, Fresno State, Hawaii, New Mexico, San Jose State

Eastern States Conference
Army, Navy, Marshall, Memphis, Temple, Western Kentucky
Southern Miss, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Troy, UAB, Middle Tennessee State

Gulf Coast Conference
Tulane, Arkansas State, Rice, La-Lafayette, La-Monroe, La-Tech
New Mexico State, UTEP, North Texas, Southern Methodist, Tulsa, Houston

Season Format

Go back to the 11 game season.  Each team get one bye week during the regular season. 8 team playoff at the end of the season. Each power conference champion gets and automatic bid to the playoff. The remaining 2 slots in the playoff will be filled by the 2 highest ranked undefeated mid-majors. If there are no undefeated mid-majors then the 2 open slots would be filled by the 2 highest ranked non-conference champs from the power conferences. The only way a mid-major team can get to the playoff is if they go undefeated.

All the post-season bowl games will still be played, except for the Rose, Orange, Fiesta, Sugar, Cotton and Gator, which would be part of the playoff. Any team with at least 6 wins is eligible for a bowl game. Here's where it gets a little confusing, the 4 mid-major conference champs get automatic bids to the FCS playoffs if they are not in the BCS playoff. They have the choice to take the bid to that playoff or decline it and go to a bowl game. The BCS National Championship Game would always be played on New Years Day. 

Using the 2010 Calender, this is how the season would play out.
  • September 4th: Opening Weekend
  • November 20th: Regular Season Ends
  • November 27th: Conference Championship Games (which are essentially the 1st round of the playoffs)
  • December 4th: Off week
  • December 11th: BCS Playoff Quarter-Finals
  • December 18th: BCS Playoff Semi-Finals
  • December 25th: Off week
  • New Years Day: BCS National Championship Game
Here's a link to the 2010 calender if you want a reference to look at


Playoff Format

Qu arter-Finals
1 vs. 8 - FedEx Orange Bowl, Dolphin Stadium, Miami, FL
4 vs. 5 - AT&T Cotton Bowl, Cowboys Stadium, Dallas, TX
3 vs. 6 - Allstate Sugar Bowl, Superdome, New Orleans, LA
2 vs. 7 - Toyota Gator Bowl, Municipal Stadium, Jacksonville, FL

1/8 vs. 4/5 - Rose Bowl pres. by Citi, Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, CA
3/6 vs. 2/7 - Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, University of Pheonix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

BCS National Championship Game
1/4/5/8 vs. 2/3/6/7 - FedEx/Citi/Allstate/Tositos BCS National Championship Game, Rotating Site

I think this would be a great system if the NCAA and BCS we're to do some major restructuring. This would obviously not work because the current conferences would lose so much money along with a bunch of other reasons.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Jul 21, 2009
Posted on: December 31, 2009 12:45 pm

College Football Restructure

Dude, at least someone is thinking about ways to change the BCS mess!  I would add a change in the polling structure so no official polls count until the third week has been played. I fail to comprehend how a team can be ranked #1 before it's played a single game!

Since: Oct 5, 2009
Posted on: December 31, 2009 11:55 am

College Football Restructure

Very nice try Cuse! Ignore the haters. This is similiar to a playoff system that I have suggested in the past. I even suggested making it a 32 team playoff. Most bowl games will be used including the big four. The money issue is resolved by having a bowl revenue pool that will have per game payouts. If you lose in the first round you get a payout for one game. If you win the title game you would receive a payout for 5 games. I know what you are thinking. Possibly a 17 game season for the winner? No, the regular season would be cut to 10  games and every conference would be required to eliminate their title game. That would leave a 15 game season for the two teams that make it to the title game. Not to bad considering that right now there is a 14 game season for teams that play in "conference title game" conferences. Example of the money layout is below.

2011 Playoff Bowl pool=$128,835,000

$128,835,000 (estimated 09/10 total bowl payouts) /31 bowl games=$4,150,000 per game payout- $2,075,000 per team per game

Lose in the first round=$2,075,000 payout

Play in the national championship= $10,375,000 payout per team.

Sounds very lucrative to me for all teams involved.

Since: Nov 2, 2008
Posted on: December 31, 2009 3:23 am

College Football Restructure

A playoff would hafta be done prior to the bowl games and the championship played  in one of the bowls... In your format, one team could play in 3 bowl games thus making a huge amount of money... And they would never ever ever take Ole Miss outta the SEC... If they did away with the non-conference schedule and just played 11 conference games including the conference championship game and then matched these winners up with the other conference champions you would have a team playing 14 games if you had 8 conference champs to win the whole thing... The BCS and NCAA wont let this happen because what would everyone talk about all season when you know it's gonna get settle on the field... Every game wouldnt matter and fewer people would watch the regular season games...

Since: Dec 30, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 8:32 pm

College Football Restructure

Show me the money! Exactly right. The big conferences have WAY TOO much to lose with a playoff system. The current Bowl system money is so large for these conferences they would never agree to a playoff system where they could end up with a smaller payout. The only way the TCU's and Boise States get a bigger piece of the pie on a regular bases is to figure out how to get into one of the big conferences. If they want to play for a Nat'l Championship that will be the only way they will get a chance.

You can tell who controls the bowl system by this years pairings. There's no way the SEC lets AL or FL play TCU or Boise State. They put TCU against Bosie State so there's no future agument over conference power. You don't see TX or Cincy lining up to play either of them either for the same reason. Both those schools deserve to play a power conference to prove the system is a farse. The Power Conferences have way too much control over this system and they will not let it go. NO WAY!   

Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 10:03 am

College Football Restructure

to add i wouldent change the confrences around keep everying as it is. just make it a playoff system adding all major and mid major champions to the Nation Championship playoffs then send the 2~3 seeds from the confrences to a version of the NIT style of a playoff. if you dident make it to bad. Im sick of some bowl games like the brut sun bowl??? People still use Brut products? really?

Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2009 9:57 am

College Football Restructure

that makes sence and is close to what i was saying to friends and co-workers.
i still think you can keep the lesser bowls like the tacobell cheesy nacho vista bowl for the teams that dident make the cut. and have the lesser bowls set up like the NIT in basketball the NCAA turny is where its at but the NIT is like saying your good had a good year but you werent great. And Football can be no different the sponcers still get there names in lights the schools get spotlights on there programs everyone wins. ADD the champions form the big confrences and the champs from D1a (D2) and lets play football. I just think that the Major Schools are scard to do this only because thay think there sh*t dont stink. And dont want to be embarasses on National TV ask Mich. vs App State. But yes i like that set up im all for it. It should be done. But it wont. BCS = Bowl Cammity Sucks.

Since: Jun 25, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2009 9:37 am

College Football Restructure

I gotta tell you, buddy, this reeks even worse than the system we have now!

The ONLY system that will work and be consistent with all of the other playoffs the NCAA sponsors is to have a 16-team playoff (minimum).  All of the 11 conference champions qualify.  The final 5 could be picked using an RPI type of selection system.  RPI works (mostly) in basketball because it penalizes schools who only schedule Cupcake U's in the non-conference.  The bowls could then pick from the remaining schools to line the pockets of every BCS conference school with a .500 or better record.

Who would be in the playoffs this year, hypothetically?  This year's BCS teams with bowl destination in parentheses.

SEC - Alabama (BCS championship)
Big 12 - Texas (BCS championship)
Big 10 - Ohio State (Rose Bowl)
ACC - Georgia Tech (Orange Bowl)
Pac-10 - Oregon (Rose Bowl)
Big East - Cincinnati (Sugar Bowl)

MAC - Central Michigan
MWC - TCU (Fiesta Bowl)
WAC - Boise State (Fiesta Bowl)
Sun Belt - Troy
C-USA - East Carolina

The other five would probably include Florida (Sugar Bowl), Iowa (Orange Bowl), Penn State, Virginia Tech, and LSU.  You KNOW that a mid-major that isn't a conference champion would NEVER, EVER, be selected as an at-large team.  So at the end of the day, the fat cats get one MORE bid to a 16 team playoff than they are getting now.  Expand to 24 teams and the fat cats probably get 6 or 7 of those as well.

Why can't this make everyone happy??

Since: Aug 29, 2008
Posted on: December 30, 2009 9:31 am

College Football Restructure

Nice effort, CuseFan.  While there are certain tweaks to your suggested system that would probably be needed, I like the idea.  Unfortunately, there is virtually no chance of blowing up the current conference affiliations.  The Big 10 has their own TV network and they aren't going to give that up.  The SEC is close to having their own network as well.  Don't get me wrong, I like your proposed realignment, I just don't think the university presidents from the big schools would ever allow it.  So what you would have to do is tweak the current conferences by adding members from mid majors.

I also think that for the playoff to work, it would have to extend into January.  I don't personally have a problem with that, but I do appreciate the thoughts purists who want it to end on New Year's Day.

In any case, good thoughts and I hope SOMETHING happens in the not too distant future.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2009 3:35 pm

One Major problem

Nice work, but I see one major problem and one minor

1) Major problem -- the mid-major has to go undefeated. This promotes the scheduling of cupcakes and we will never see how good the mid-major really is. You will discourage them from playing Texas, UF, Alabama or something "easier" as Georgia, FSU, Oregon etc during the season. There is no incentive to play any of those teams. Instead the focus should be on getting that kind of matchups to truly determine if the mid-majors deserve a shot at a national championship game.

How about this -- every top 25 team has to schedule a game against the top 25 ranked mid-major teams. That way in the long run things will improve. Not in one year, but in several years. Also the caveat has to be that the top 25 team can only count it if another top 25 team hasn't scheduled a game against that team (so you can't avoid TCU, Boise etc)

2) Second problem is what about other schools. It would completely block those from even the most remote of chances to play for a title. As I said this is just a minor problem and could be fixed 

Since: Aug 13, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 10:32 am

College Football Restructure

Let's try that without the code messed up:

Nice proposal, I especially like that games end on New Year's Day, instead of 6 or 7 days later. Call me a hidebound tradionalist but NY Day is when College Football is supposed to end. And I agree, a team must be the Conference Champion to be eligibile. If you're not the best team in your conference, how can you be the best team in the country?

I do see a few problems:

  1. You don't want both semi-finals in the same time zone. Change out the Fiesta Bowl for the Orange or Sugar Bowl. Better yet, get rid of the "BCS bowl" and let the Rose Bowl always be the championship game, as it was originally designed (best of the vs best of the west).
  2. You've just dissolved all the conferences for Div 1-a (or whatever they call it now), The conferences are major power brokers and money makers. They won't just roll over and give up football. And they have the power within the NCAA to stop it.
  3. Teams won't give up traditional conference rivalries, such as splitting half the Big 11 from the other half. Playing a big conference rival is a money maker.
  4. Fans won't want to give up their traditional conference ties either. Being SEC, being Big 11, is a big deal to fans of those teams. And playing Ohio State or Alabama is a big deal to Iowa or to Ole Miss fans. The Missouri-Kansas border war is huge to those states.
  5. Why give any conference a pre-ordained spot, and deny others the same? Let every team/conferece have the same ability to make it in, even if we know that Troy and the La-La schools won't ever really have a chance. 
  6. Does a team have to play all 11 of their conference rivals as their 11 games? If so, you have just killed a lot of non-conference traditional rivalries, such as Notre Dame-USC (or Michigan), Pitt-West Virginia, Air Force vs Army vs Navy.
  7. I'd mention the fact that this takes a lot of "students" out of school during final exams, but honestly, except for the service academies, Notre Dame, Stanford and a few others (there's some wiggle room, so everyone can pretend their school is one of those few), do any of the schools even pretend to really care?
A simpler - not perfect, but simpler - way would be to continue to use the BCS standings to pick the top 8 teams, and go from there. There will always be arguments, but the more teams that are allowed in, the more diluted the argument. Two vs Three is a big deal. Eight vs Nine, not so much.

Put in the requirement that only conference champs plus independents that win a certain number of games are eligible. If you’re ranked first in the polls but 2<sup>nd</sup> in your conference, you don’t go.

And mandate that no polls can be used in the BCS if they start before October 1. Let the teams play 4 or 5 games so we know how good they are before anyone tries to rank them. Now, teams are ranked pre-season, and that ranking effectively kills some teams before they ever play a game. Think about – Team A is ranked 2nd in the pre-season poll. Team B is ranked 23rd. Assume that they are in the Big 10, and play the same conference schedule and equivalent non-conference games. Also, assume that they don’t play each other (which is possible in the larger conferences). They both go undefeated. At the end of the season, Team A will still be ranked in the top 3, while Team B will be lucky to make the top 5 and will never pass Team A – even though they had the same season. Waiting until the season is 4 games in will eliminate much of the self-fulfilling prophecy of the polls.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or