Reimagining the College Football Landscape

I think it’s become very clear to many fans and members of the media that the NCAA is long overdue for a reboot. Sometimes change is neccessary for the greater good of an entity regarldess of how unfamiliar and different it makes things. However like many other circumstances in 2020 I believe it’s time to cancel the way things are and start fresh with something that quite simply makes sense. What I propose in my opinion makes a lot of sense, not only from a competitive standpoint but also a financial one. I believe what I am proposing will not only be better for the game of football, but also better for recruiting.

Many want the Power 5 to separate themselves from the FBS and have the Group of 5 join the FCS. Well I, as usual would like to be a bit more complicated than that. As of now there are a perfect and symetrical 256 teams in Division 1 college football. Since I’m a nerd for simple math, lets quickly divide by 4. Did you get 64? If so great! I believe the magic number is 4 divisions of 64. How do we get there though? That’s the… wait for it… $64,000 question.

I went back 5 years in FBS and FCS and gathered numbers for 7 factors. For each school I ranked all 256 by:

  • Win/loss record
  • AP preseason rank
  • AP highest rank at any point that year
  • AP final rank
  • Recruiting class ranking
  • NFL Draft picks
  • Revenue

Using these various rankings I was able to obviously find a pattern and realize that some teams really have no business in the FBS and some others deserved to be in it. Some teams shouldn’t be in certain conferences and others should have that spot. Maybe they generate a ton of revenue but can’t compete consistantly or the other way around for a variety of reasons. So I brainstormed and factored in that by this time next year players will also be allowed to make money from their own likeness,(I’ll be elaborating on that more in another article) and when we combine that with the crazy talk movement I have a feeling we’ll see in the transfer portal as a result of… we have no other choice but to blow it all up and start fresh. So bear with me here, but I think I’ve found a solution… First thing’s first, know that I’ve combine the FBS and FCS here

  • 4 conferences of 64 will contain 8 divisions of 8 each
  • Conference 1A are the top 64 teams in college football according to my research
  • Conference 2A are 65-128
  • Conference 3A are 129-192
  • Conference 4A are 193-256
  • Each team plays a 12 game season
  • Each team plays all 7 of their divisional opponents
  • Each team plays 3 teams outside of their division within their conference
  • Each team plays 1 rivalry game (if the rival team is already in their division they may schedule another out of division conference game)
  • Each team plays 1 team from the conference below them (for conference 4A the will substitute by playing another conference team outside their division)
  • Army Navy and Air Force are the only exceptions as they will always play each other, essentially having 2 rivalry games each
  • Playoff field is expanded to 24 teams shared by Conference 1A and 2A and an identical playoff field is shared between 3A and 4A
  • Conference 1A will be guaranteed 20 playoff spots including the 8 division winners
  • Conference 2A will be guaranteed 4 playoff spots which will be the top 4 ranked division winners in the conference
  • The 25th ranked team in the nation, which can be from either Conference 1A or 2A, will play a play in game against the 24th ranked team
  • All top 25 ranked teams now all season long are the current playoff seeds in order
  • Top 8 teams get a bye in the first round and teams ranked 9-24/25 play in round 1
  • Round 2 the teams are re-seeded so that top ranked team plays lowest ranked team available and so forth (no other reseeding takes place afterwards)
  • Those finishing last in their division get replaced the following season by division winners in the conference below(Army Navy and Air Force are the exceptions)
  • Each season the conference divisions get realigned according to the current ranking, thus keeping a competitive balance
  • The bowl season is replace by the playoff games, so bowl sponsors will have to choose which playoff games they want to sponsor (48 in total)

So now let’s take a look at what the 2021 conferences and divisions could look like:

Conference 1A:

Conference 2A:

Conference 3A:

Conference 4A:

As you can see, it doesn’t resemble what you’re used to. However, if you keep in mind that teams will be knocked out for poor play and rewarded for good play, I think you might actually like the idea. A team like Arkansas would likely get bumped to 2A, but Deion in Jackson State has the potential to rise. Can SMU return to the big show and will North Dakota State prove to be a mistake? Lot’s of potential for schools to have a big pay day and close the gap between schools in the current top heavy system. Let me know how you feel as I’m sure I’ll be called crazy by many. If you don’t like my system, what would you do?

It’s A Football World… We’re all just passing through.