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Tyler’s Take: The Road To 72

Tyler B.

With the Big-12 vs. SEC bowl game starting in 2014 it’s clear Mike Slive, President of College Football, decided to use his middle finger to draw a line in the embarrassingly messy sandbox of college football to let everyone know he will indeed draw when his hand is forced. And after Slive appointed Chuck Neinas as his Vice President, ironically, an “enemy” of his less than a year ago, he ensured this summer and beyond  will feel like a nuclear winter for certain conferences and about a third of all existing FBS football schools. An even bigger issue, without a streamlined version of college football in place when the BCS contract expires could the NCAA be the next superpower left out in the cold?

You mean… college football completely divorces itself from the NCAA? Absolutely.

1)      Conference expansion.

2)      Conference title games.

3)      Birth of the BCS.

4)      Billion-dollar TV contracts.

5)      Conference realignment that makes no sense.

The last 20 years has given us plenty of evidence about where this sport has been heading, so it’s almost comical that the NCAA is going to get caught with their pants down on this issue. I mean they might as well wake up one morning and chant “ICEBERG DEAD AHEAD!” right before college football as we know changes forever.

The absence of NCAA leadership during a time period when college football has grown exponentially has proven that nobody in Indianapolis is remotely capable of captaining a ship this size. The NCAA is fantastic at monitoring a few insignificant and impermissible phone calls to teenage recruits in the off-season, but clearly not at running a billion-dollar industry. And in its defense nor should it.

Doesn’t COMPANY XZY (the winning bidder) that will govern college football with departments specializing in finance, consulting, management and common sense sound like a better alternative than the NCAA? It does to me.

When it comes to the creation of super conferences I have two questions:

1)      How long will it take?  I believe football super conferences will be announced within 18 months, however, this date is moving because the fluidity of the FSU situation.  But with now with the Big-12/SEC partnership, does it even matter what FSU does? FSU leaving for the Big-12 today would be just like leaving for the SEC in just a few short years.

 

2)      Will the NCAA be a part of the super conference? I say it’s 80/20 the NCAA remains in charge, but just the threat of losing college football has to scare the NCAA enough to take/talk action.

 

Will someone make copies of the current NCAA rule book and sell it to the highest bidder – a private company – so they can run the sport? What can the NCAA do if JP Morgan wants to partner up Deloitte and a few other companies to buy college football? They bypass the NCAA and meet with the AD’s of the five major football conferences to buy and run college football. How hard is that? And with a private company running college football how much political red tape would be removed the second the contract is signed?

The NCAA losing college football is a far-fetched idea I understand, but business is business and a billion-dollar industry doesn’t go unnoticed on Wall Street. And as each year passes the bottom line becomes more and more important than coaches, players and teams. Does this sound any different than a Fortune 500 company?

Something to think about: Does the NCAA hand out scholarships? Is the BCS title the same as the NCAA title? From the most simplistic view, what does the NCAA do besides govern when it comes to college football?

So now onto the Super Conferences… What I wrote below is pretty much identical to the article I posted on this very site back in August. Only now it makes a lot more sense.

What does a season look like with FBS 72 teams?

  • Four 18-team conferences, each with two divisions of nine.
  • 12 regular season games.
  • Every team in the division is played.
  • Three rotating teams from the opposite division (home and home two-year series).
  • One out of conference game is played and it’s a conference vs. conference challenge.
  • Divisional winners play title conference games.
  • NCAA tournament is created with 8 teams — Title game winners of the four conferences and four at-large teams selected by rankings.
  • Highest seeds host first and second round games.
  • Title game location goes to the highest bidder.
  • Any team with a winning record is eligible for a bowl game bid against any bowl eligible team.

How do we get to 72?

Step 1: If a team didn’t average more than 30,000 fans for home games it doesn’t deserve to play with the big boys. End of story. I removed several BCS schools and Independents:  Washington State (24,000), Army, Navy, Duke (23,000), and Iowa State. But feel free to swap “borderline” teams that did/didn’t make the cut: Navy (32,653), Army (31,667), UCF (39,314), East Carolina (49,665), San Diego State (34,133), UTEP (29,350), Houston (31,100), and So. Miss. (29,400).

Step 2: Schools that don’t make the cut are “demoted” to the FCS. (There will be revenue sharing from the new league of 72 schools to help those schools who got cut.) These new FCS schools realign in a shocking fashion… by sitting down at a table and looking at a map. Either that or they shut down their football program.

Who goes where?

ATLANTIC #1

1)      North Carolina

2)      N.C. State

3)      Wake Forest

4)      East Carolina

5)      Virginia

6)      Virginia Tech

7)      Vanderbilt

8)      Tennessee

9)      West Virginia

ATLANTIC #2

1)      UCONN

2)      Boston College

3)      Maryland

4)      Syracuse

5)      Rutgers

6)      Penn State

7)      Pittsburg

8)      Cincinnati

9)      Louisville

SOUTH #1

1)      Miami

2)      Florida

3)      Florida State

4)      South Florida

5)      Georgia

6)      Georgia Tech

7)      Clemson

8)      South Carolina

9)      Kentucky

SOUTH #2             

1)      Alabama

2)      Auburn

3)      Ole Miss

4)      Miss. State

5)      LSU

6)      Arkansas

7)      Oklahoma

8)      Oklahoma State

9)      Missouri

MIDWEST #1

1)      Notre Dame

2)      Purdue

3)      Illinois

4)      Northwestern

5)      Ohio State

6)      Michigan

7)      Michigan State

8)      Minnesota

9)      Wisconsin

MIDWEST #2

1)      Iowa

2)      Indiana

3)      Kansas

4)      Kansas State

5)      Nebraska

6)      Texas

7)      Texas A&M

8)      Baylor

9)      TCU

WEST #1

1)      Colorado

2)      Air Force

3)      BYU

4)      Utah

5)      Arizona

6)      Arizona State

7)      USC

8)      UCLA

9)      Stanford

WEST #2

1)      Cal

2)      Utah

3)      Oregon

4)      Oregon State

5)      Washington

6)      Hawaii

7)      Texas Tech

8)      Boise State

9)      Fresno State

Will this happen? I think college football will look something similar to this within a decade. Either way, during the past two years there has been no better place in the sports world when it comes to college football expansion coverage. I think our John Pennington would write a 1,000 page novel on this in about 24 hours if needed…

Tyler B. works as a communications specialist for a Louisville, Kentucky company.  A lifetime SEC fan – long before it became “acceptable” to cheer for every team in the conference – he plans on writing several books about college football that have a fantastic chance of never being written. 

Our Overtime section is a collection of columns, opinions and posts from outside parties.  The views expressed on this page do not reflect those of MrSEC.com.

If you have experience as a writer and would like to share your opinions on SEC news, contact us at admin@mrsec.com

 


5 comments
JRsec
JRsec

As crazy as some will think this is I have already done a similar schematic.  The reason you will be proven correct about an eventual similar arrangement has nothing to do with football.  The geographic alignment will have everything to do with the economy, having reached peak oil with the resultant fuel prices, and the effort to keep fan bases energized as many of them have to make tough choices about their remaining discretionary income. 

 

With high def televisions, air conditioning, clean bathrooms, and a well stocked kitchen where every item is not costing me $5 my 40 plus years of season tickets could well come to an end if those marketing the stadium experience don't soon make some changes.

 

I go for the game and for the social experience.  I like to keep up with other games while I'm there.  I like to talk to the people I've known for those 40 years who sit around me and catch up on their kids and grandkids during halftime and before kickoff.  In the last decade that has become impossible.  I can't shout loudly enough into the ear of my friend seated right next to me to be heard over the constantly blairing music coming from the loudspeakers of the stadium.  Who are the morons who think that silence before a game is a bad thing.  Don't they know that older people, who pay the #$%@ bills like to talk to their buddies and that it would be far easier for us to avoid the drunks, avoid the traffic, keep up with other games, and relax on Saturday, if we didn't want to talk to old friends at the stadium.  The reasons for staying home now outnumber those of going to the game 10-1.

 

My suggestions:  If the school needs revenue sell me a parking place along with my tickets.  Keep the #$%@ vendors from standing in front of me because they want to see the important play that I paid well over $300 bucks to see (counting the contributions I make averaged out per game with ticket prices.)  Let me talk to my friends!!!  In the concessions area have a wall of flatscreens showing the other games in progress so that I can go to the men's room, buy a $5 coke and a $5 dollar hotdog, stand out of the sun while I eat them, and see what the hell is going on everywhere else before I return to my seat.

 

Finally, if you continue to tick off the old folks, who were blessed to earn a decent wage in a better America than the ones these poor kids are inheriting, and peak oil makes it too expensive for all of those kids with lousy paying jobs to be able to afford to buy tickets and drive to their teams games, who the heck is going to fill our stadiums outside of the super wealthy, the locals, and the students.  All of your average attendance will be below 30,000 then.

 

Solution:  Take what you've started with, regional play, outside of old conference alignments.  Add to that socially friendly environements with some of the amenities of home, graduated ticket prices so that the young can get tickets (even in the end zones and upper decks cheaper than $75 per, and the old who can afford them pay $100-150 per to sit under the eaves on the lower deck, with premium for yardline locations, and all available upon  their annual contribution to the fund and we might just be getting somewhere.  Our world problems won't go away.  Our self imposed thoughtless ones could.  Innovation to the social side of the events can help to save the game day experience.  I've nothing agains tailgating, the crud starts inside the stadium.  That we can fix. 

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I could see how a lot of this could happen, but there is no way that current schools in the big 4 conferences will get kicked out because of attendance below 30K.  If the ACC breaks up then I think it's very possible that Duke and Wake Forest get left out, but if we are talking about a surviving league then all their current members will be intact.  It will end up coming down more to TV audience and market access for the deciding leagues than attendance.

 

The big 4 leagues will still have a lot of discretion over who gets in and who is left out because there will not be one body over everything who gets to move the pieces around.

Puzzled
Puzzled

"These new FCS schools realign in a shocking fashion… by sitting down at a table and looking at a map."

 

What map has Kentucky in the South, but Tennessee not?

Tyler B
Tyler B

I agree with your point, but in certain cases I "packaged" teams because it's nearly impossible to make it perfect. You can make a case for 80 teams so the Duke's of the world can hang on, but when it's all about tv eyeballs the Durham market is more than covered already. I just want someone to take charge of this because it's a great example of the inmates running the prison.

GSpillsNC
GSpillsNC

Or North Carolina for that matter?

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