Texas A&M already announced their intentions to join the South Eastern Conference and yesterday the Atlantic Coast Conference announced the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech could be on their way to the Pac-12. Who knows what will happen next but college football as we know it could be coming to an end with the creation of 16 team super conferences.
I’ve been resistant to the idea of the super conferences mostly because I’m afraid Boise State will be left behind. But on top of that, rivalries will be destroyed, the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” will only increase, and I’m not sure the model makes sense financially. Splitting $2 billion 16 ways is less money for each team than splitting $2 billion (or whatever the number is) 12 ways. You also have to think travel expenses will increase with conference teams spread across greater distances.
As a huge fan of college football and the English Premier League I have long thought college football needs relegation. To be clear, this is regardless of whether Boise State gets invited to one of the super conferences or not. Teams like Minnesota, Duke, anyone in the Big East, Vanderbilt, etc. shouldn’t get the extra exposure and TV money when they do nothing to deserve it. Not only that, relegation should improve the product on the field – wouldn’t you rather see Boise State than Washington State in the Pac-16 or Houston in the Big Ten instead of Indiana?
Relegate the bottom team in each super conference and promote the top four teams from the “non-AQ” or whatever they’ll be called. The top non-AQ teams will have the right to accept or decline the invitation. If they decline, the invite will go to the next best team. Geography doesn’t seem to be an issue with the super conference realignment so it shouldn’t be an issue with relegation/promotion either.
All other NCAA sports – basketball, soccer, wrestling, tennis, track, baseball and so on – would remain in whatever the realigned conferences end up as, since all teams in every sport except football have an opportunity to win a national championship.
I’m guessing Notre Dame would eventually join the Big Ten, BYU would probably rejoin the Mountain West but would definitely be a contender for promotion and I’m not quite sure where Army and Navy would end up but that would get sorted out.
If the super conferences do form, I doubt they will willingly accept relegation/promotion but perhaps TV executives, a college football commissioner or Bruce Feldman could get it implemented.
We can dream, right?
Note: Obviously the rules governing college football (and college athletics in general) need to be rewritten but that’s another story.
College Football Week 3 Recap:
#4 Boise State – 40, Toledo – 15
The Bronco defense did a good job containing the Rocket’s explosive wide receiver Eric Page limiting him to 69 yards on 8 receptions and zero touchdowns. But outside of keeping Page contained, they struggled to stop Toledo’s screens and the tackling was terrible – especially the linebackers. Kellen Moore was efficient and dominant as usual finishing 32/42 for 455 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 1 interception. The final score looks impressive but the defense was a little rusty after the bye week and benefited from two red zone turnovers by Toledo. We’ll see how they look this weekend in the home opener.
#1 Oklahoma – 23, #5 Florida State – 13
Saturday night’s primetime showdown at the Doak lived up to the hype with a hard hitting, close game. The Sooners prevailed thanks to a swarming defense and a clutch drive from Landy Jones and wide receivers Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills. Even though the Noles lost, this is the best they’ve looked in years – the offense nearly overcame the loss of quarterback E.J. Manuel and the defense has playmakers all over the place. Both teams should remain in the national conversation and be fun to watch the rest of the season.
Utah – 54, BYU – 10
I thought the Utes would win in a close game but never expected a complete blowout. BYU turned the ball over SEVEN times including six fumbles which obviously contributed to the beatdown. Utah’s offense struggled in the first half but offensive coordinator Norm Chow made some second half adjustments that really blew the game open. I don’t think this is what BYU had in mind when they became an independent. They already have two losses eliminating them from BCS bowl contention, they lost to their in-state rival and now have nine games to become bowl eligible for the Armed Forces Bowl. But at least all of the Cougars’ games will be on ESPN, right?
ESPN’s cleverly named “Road Test Weekend” didn’t see very many ranked teams lose on the road. Only #15 Michigan State, #17 Ohio State, and #21 Auburn lost on the road this weekend and really none of those have been particularly impressive.