The Great College Football Conference Whirlwind

Is anyone sick of all the debate about the BCS, schedule strength, which is the best conference and all of that? I know I’m not, so if you are sick of it all, I wouldn’t keep reading about my fictional conference whirlwind idea. But if you would love to see college football change it’s evil ways, then read on my friend, for this fictional story would be every college football fan’s dream come true.

The date is January 20, 2011. The 2010 season just wrapped up with undefeated Auburn clobbering undefeated Ohio State in the BCS championship. Miraculously, four other teams finished the season undefeated and demanded they finish ranked number one. In a surprising move, the coaches voted Auburn number one yet the AP Poll nearly unanimously picked Oklahoma as number one after beating then undefeated Miami (FL) in a close game. The congressional hearings and investigations into the BCS are still ongoing, but have not yet reached a conclusion.

Bill Hancock, Oklahoma native and Executive Director of the BCS for the past few years, decides enough is enough. He’s not waiting for Congress to tell him what to do anymore. In a surprise move, he announces the official end of the Bowl Championship Series, despite heavy lobbying to the contrary. He calls upon the NCAA to implement a fair system for the Div. IA postseason that involves equal access for all. The NCAA takes a couple of weeks, and then comes out with the Great College Football Conference Whirlwind.

Heralded by both supporters and detractors, the plan calls for a complete overhaul of the current system. After all, they thought, what kind of system do we have that puts Hawaii and Louisiana Tech in the same conference? And what’s the point of this conference anyway if the winner is not guaranteed any significant postseason revenue? They looked at a map of all college football teams and decided it was time to change around all of the conferences in order to create parity in Div. IA college football.

The new conferences were each of made up of exactly ten teams. They created twelve conferences so that each of the 120 teams was in a conference. The conferences applied to football only, as they figured teams like Duke have fantastic basketball programs but terrible football programs. No need to keep the same conferences across sports. Plus, tons of schools don’t even have football programs yet do have basketball programs. These new conference assignments were only for football. Each conference was based solely on geographic location, so that the closest teams to each other always played in the same conference. Each team was required to play 9 conference games a year and 3 non conference games a year, so that certain rivalries could continue. No FCS-FBS matchups are allowed. Here are the conferences they created:


Pac-10
USC
UCLA
Cal
Stanford
Nevada
UNLV
San Jose State
San Diego State
Hawaii
Fresno State

WAC
Oregon
Oregon State
Washington
Washington State
Idaho
Boise State
Utah State
BYU
Utah
Wyoming

MWC
Colorado
Colorado State
Air Force
Arizona
Arizona State
New Mexico
New Mexico State
UTEP
Texas Tech
North Texas


CUSA
Auburn
Alabama
UAB
Memphis
Vanderbilt
Mid. Tennessee
Tennessee
Western Kentucky
Kentucky
Louisville

Big Midwest
Nerbaska
Kansas
Kansas State
Missouri
Iowa
Iowa State
Minnesota
Wisconsin
Northwestern
Northen Illinois

Big East
Boston College
Syracuse
Buffalo
Connecticut
Army
Rutgers
Temple
Penn State
Navy
Pittsburgh


Southwest
Texas
Texas A&M
Rice
Houston
Baylor
TCU
SMU
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Tulsa

ACC
Clemson
South Carolina
Wake Forest
North Carolina
North Carolina State
Duke
East Carolina
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Maryland

SEC
Florida International
Florida Atlantic
UCF
Florida
Florida State
Miami (FL)
Troy
South Florida
Georgia
Georgia Tech


Sun Belt
Arkansas
Arkansas State
Mississippi
Mississippi State
Southern Miss
Tulane
LSU
LA-Lafayette
LA-Monroe
Louisiana Tech

MAC
Central Michigan
Eastern Michigan
Western Michigan
Michigan
Michigan State
Notre Dame
Purdue
Ball State
Indiana
Illinois

Big Ten
West Virginia
Marshall
Ohio
Ohio State
Akron
Kent State
Cincinnati
Miami (OH)
Bowling Green
Toledo


College Football Map

This map shows each of the teams. Each team has a colored dot on its helmet. Look for the same colored dot on the teams around each team and you will see how these conferences make geographic sense and also spread the big schools around.

The BCS rankings are replaced with the official NCAA rankings. They are made up of 9 equal parts- Harris Poll, AP Poll, USA Today Poll and the six existing computer rankings that constituted the BCS rankings. Tie breakers in each conference are determined by dropping the lowest ranked teams in the NCAA rankings until only two teams remain at the top of the conference. Their head-to-head matchup is the tie breaker in every instance.

The NCAA also announces that each conference champion gets an automatic bid to the NCAA football tournament. All 12 conferences get at least one representative. The other four at large teams are selected by a committee using the NCAA rankings as their guide, just like the basketball tournament. Once all sixteen teams are selected, they are seeded 1-16 using the NCAA rankings.

The first two rounds of the new sixteen-team tournament are played as home games for the higher seed. Traditional 1-16, 2-15, etc. matchups are used. After the first two rounds, the bowl season begins. The bowl season is unchanged, as they remain meaningless exhibition games between teams with six or more wins on the season. At the conclusion of the bowl games on New Years, the semi-finals begin at a neutral site like the Final Four in basketball. The winners play at the same site for the national championship.

The announcement is met with cheers of joy. ESPN covers the massive change in the sports scene day and night. The new system is thoroughly explained. Teams and coaches all begin preparations to win their new conferences. Everyone feels like they have a fighting chance. Smaller schools begin to bring in more talented recruits, as they can offer a lot of playing time and a shot at the title and national exposure. Everything is right in the world of college football.

So what do you think? I know it will never happen, but wouldn’t it be incredible if it did? Which do you think would be the best conferences if they were aligned like this instead of how they are now? I would say the new WAC and Southwest Conference look tough to win. Let me know what you think in the comments!


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