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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: Aug 13, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2009 10:23 am

College Football Restructure

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?
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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 2<sup>nd</sup> in the pre-season poll. Team B is ranked 23<sup>rd</sup> . 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.


Since: Dec 7, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2009 8:56 pm

College Football Restructure

Cusefan, very good job of proposing something that makes a lot of sense, which is something the major NCAA D1 programs seem to lack when it comes to a playoff and bowls.  If 150+ D2 schools and a close to equal number of D3 teams can get their playoffs done by mid-December, then the top tier D1 schools can find a playoff format that finishes by the first week in January.  

The money is no excuse either.  If a major network offered the NCAA or the BCS schools an extremely rich contract to have a playoff, we'd have one ASAP.  Time to put aside yesterday and go to a playoff system.  Tradition is only worth keeping if it actually still serves a useful purpose and has meaning.  With umpteen bowl games now dotting the football landscape, I say it is time to move forward.  Basketball has March Madness.  Why can't football have December Delight or December Delirium.

Great topic cusefan.  

Since: Aug 10, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2009 7:39 pm

College Football Restructure

CuseFan4eva,  I like it.  It's very creative.  Big ups.  I like all of the conferences with 12 and a championship game.  The only thing I would change is the playoff format.  I would have at least 16 instead of 8.  I would take the 10 conference champions as automatic qualifiers and then fill the rest with at-large bids.  I have a 24-team format that resembles D-II.  Having 24 instead of 16 eliminates or reduces the argument that a 9-4 C-USA, MAC, Sun Belt champ, etc. gets in instead of an 8-4 Auburn, for example.  As I've said before, I would simply dissolve these bowl games and have a straight playoff structure.      

Since: Nov 29, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2009 4:44 pm

College Football Restructure

Very cool idea - while not perfect - it is a heck of a lot better than what is in place today.  I like the idea that someone suggested of giving "Mid-Conference" teams the ability to be promoted and subsequently the possibility of poor power conference teams being relegated.  That said - as many have noted - the whole bowl season isn't really about determining a winner - it's all about the dollar.

Putting a man on the moon - no problem......being able to create a system that produces a true national football champion - not so much.  Very unfortunate that this can't / won't be fixed.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2009 4:07 pm

College Football Restructure

The format is not the problem, its the money. There is no way that anyone associated with the Rose, Orange, Fiesta, etc... will allow themselves to be reduced to a playoff game. These bowls generate millions of dollars a year for the schools and for TV. The Rose Bowl with all its bulls**t pagentry will not allow itself to be called a quarterfinal game.

The other problem is where are you playing these games? Classes are over in December and the campuses are empty. Are you going to make a teams fans/students travel to the Orange Bowl for a first round game, then go to the Rose Bowl for another the next week. That won't work either. These games will have to played before December.

Incorporating the bowls and the travel schedule has always been the sticking point for a playoff system and until someone figures it out, we will be stuck with the BCS. The only hope we have for quick action is if teams start losing and you have a bunch of one loss teams laying claim to the top spot 

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2009 3:02 pm

College Football Restructure

Great second half of your post. I glossed over yours before posting mine and didn't see the end of yours. Love the remark about the independent "ND" - made pretty much the same statement in mine.

Wholeheartedly agree - 6 conferences, 8 conferences, 20 conferences, who cares - winner goes to the tourney and let them settle it on the field. It aint about second place.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2009 2:53 pm

The rich get richer

It probably would work because it would effectively shut the tap on any "non-power" teams while keeping the current mafia happy. And I know why you like the idea, being part of a "big-6 conference", but really all you've done is take the current big-6 and flesh it out to 12-teams per league (which will happen at some point anyway as conferences expand). You allowed a few mid-majors to make the leap is all you really did, then just lather-rinse-repeated the current BCS mess but added in a playoff for the winners of the "big-6" conferences.

My biggest question is, why include ALL the current BCS teams (Duke, Syracuse!), when there are mid-majors better than them currently? That is the problem with the current structure - it makes sense the instant you create it, but not years down the road as teams get better or worse. Who is to say that someday a team like Kent State or FIU becomes a serious powerhouse, but according to your system they are in the "lesser" teams and could only get in with an undefeated season, while allowing a 2-3 loss team from a "power conference" (cough, cough, tOSU) just because they are a "power team". It's the same issue with the Big East this year - they are a power conference so it doesn't matter that head-to-head the MWC would leave them in the dust (and the ACC also, wont go as far as Pac-10, Big10, Big 12, or SEC so that I dont get into a pissing contest on here). Why should a conference be allocated top-level entry when they dont prove it year-to-year.

The only thing that makes sense about the current BCS is that they evaluate the conferences on their 5-year cycle. It remains to be seen if they "do" anything about the fact that the MWC is likely the 5th or 6th best conference now.

Good writing though, I just am not a fan and don't think it would fix anything. I think you leave the conferences alone, and the winner of each conference is alloted a spot in the playoff, undefeated or not. Independents can pound sand - tell them to join a conference.

Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2009 1:34 pm

College Football Restructure

Wow what an incredible waste of time and energy. to think I clicked on this to see a novel approach to the horrible BCS nonsense we have now.  but I think I just read something that actually makes the BCS make sense........Dude do you over think everything in your life or just this? Jesus people its real simple - 16 team playoff.  thats 8 bcs games. then 4 then 2 then a national champion that makes the NC win it on the field. how do you do it? thats simple.  keep all the bowl games, all except the top 16.  they go into  a playoff system that starts the 2nd week of dec. the first weekend of jan would be NC game. why is this hard? the bowls would make the same amount of money as they always have for the teams not in the NC hunt.  The playoff would make waaaaaay more mony than the top bowls by themselves would. If congress actually steps in to help out it would be the first time in 20 years that congress would have done something that made sense.  get this done
Hater. Cusefan gets a little run on CBS front page for an original idea and you take personal shots at  him, rip the guy for putting some brainpower into it and tell everyone the solution is so simple and huff and puff and all you give us is............................ a 16 team playoff?  

Maybe dude does take a complicated and analytical approach to the other things in his life. That's his choice. The same concern could be said about you under thinking things, so maybe it's better to leave the tough questions to guys like Cusefan and you can focus on the simple things like shoelaces, chewing bubble gum, and walking if you can't appreciate another person's attempt at a solution (no matter how much you may disagree). 

But let's entertain your "idea" first. How do you select the top 16? Which system do you use? You said "keep all the bowl games except the top 16?" Huh... what does that mean? 16 bowl games are now playoff games? That's 32 teams... or did you mean the 16 teams from the top 8 bowl games? Or the top 16 teams from any bowl game? What about all of the conference affiliations and contractual obligations with these bowl games? You think getting the Rose Bowl to play along with the BCS back in the day was tough... now you want to add 4 more to the mix without any kind of agreement which the next best 4 are and... oh yeah, it's oh so simple? 

The argument for who gets the #2 spot is usually a heated one, so I guarantee that there will be a ton of more programs that will have a stronger claim to the final #14/#15/#16 spots than what we have today. Most would agree that would be a bigger mess than the BCS itself now.  Take a look at the final BCS rankings... can you say with a straight face that West Virginia would deserve the final spot over those that follow them such as Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Stanford, Arizona, Nebraska, Utah, USC, Wisconsin, etc ? 

If you're going to poke holes in his idea, then point out the fact that he's ripping apart storied conferences like the Big-10 and the SEC by making a hybrid out of them with LSU now playing in the same division/conference as Northwestern?!?!?!? Or the fact that he's making it difficult for the "Mid-Major" conferences to figure out who gets in with a silly undefeated clause when he could simply force the four mid-majors to do a "play-in" round (similar to the hoops tourney) to determine which of the two champions get to fill the round of 8.

But at least he is tackling one of the root problems of the situation and that has to do with the conferences themselves. They are not thinking in alignment when it comes to a playoff, don't operate under the same rules and they don't all declare a champion the same way. But probably most importantly they all want to get in more of their teams into the BCS than the next conference -- especially the little ones.  

The NCAA basketball tournament works because it is very clear about how you get in as an automatic qualifier -- every conference gets one bid either via a tournament or a regular season championship. The remaining spots are voted on by a committee, which is always the source of controversy towards the end but a wide open 16 team NCAA football playoff based on nothing but voting and perception would be a cluster F of nuclear proportions in comparison. 

I'm in favor of any system that makes it impossible for a conference champion to be left out of a shot at the title and says very clearly that if you don't win your conference, then you don't deserve a shot at the national championship. Period. Let the conferences decide who to send and let them duke it out on the field. No more beauty pageants!!! 

(And if that leaves Notre Dame scrambling to join a conference for football despite the fact they don't want to... well, who cares?)

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2009 11:10 am

College Football Restructure

This is definitely a good approach, but because of the whole money issue it seems like college football will never be fixed.  Many people could come up with similar ways or restructuring it, but the College President's simply don't want to.  It's ashame because I don't really watch much college football because I know at the end of the year there is no true champion.  Boise State vs Oklahoma was the best bowl game maybe ever, and that wasn't a championship game.

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: December 27, 2009 11:14 pm

College Football Restructure

In a perfect world, yes, this system would work a lot better than the current system. However, as you stated the money issue really gets in the way here. Also, to improve upon your system I think a relegation system would need to be put into place simply for the reason that say a team such as Tulsa, or Houston has several undefeated seasons and completely dominates a mid-major conference, but say a team like Vanderbilt, or Baylor, or Syracuse goes several years without winning a single game. I think it would improve upon your system to have a way for the mid-majors become majors, and visa versa.

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