New college football commissioner unveils plan for conferences, schedules and playoffs
The college football landscape is going to change, and a college football commissioner is needed to guide this transition. Since it is my concept, I accept the position! And as an old boss I admired once told his management team: "I am a benevolent dictator!"
My goal is a college football playoff to determine the champion. Why? Because NCAA FBS (Football Bowl Series) teams are the ONLY NCAA TEAMS THAT DO NOT DETERMINE THEIR CHAMPION ON THE FIELD IN SOME SORT OF PLAYOFF! The FCS (Football Championship Series-formerly I-AA) plays 11 games a year and ends the season with a 32-team playoff. The two teams playing in the championship game are playing their 16th game of the year. What I propose to you the fans will take 16 games for a champion to be named.
The first thing to address is conference expansion, and I am for it. My solution is five 16-team super conferences. Five 16-team leagues would cover 80 teams. I would GENTLY suggest the above groupings.
So, how do you schedule? Each super conference will have four 4-team divisions. You would play the three teams in your division and all four from another division. This would be a seven-game conference schedule for all of the above teams. Add four non-conference games and you have an 11-game schedule. Then you play semifinal and finals for the conference championship. I would GENTLY suggest that divisional play rotate each year. That way a player who plays four years of football would get to play against each team in his conference at least once. Semifinals would be home games, and this would rotate each year. The five conference winners would get the first five slots in the eight-team playoff.
THE OTHER 40 TEAMS
So what about the remaining 40 teams in the current FBS? That proved easier than I thought it would. The remaining 40 teams would form the new Conference USA because it would cover the USA. It would be divided into four 10-team divisions with each division having five team subdivisions.
Conference USA divides nicely by geography. This conference would play six conference games (four from your subdivision and two from any other division) and four non-conference games. This group would have an eight-team playoff for the conference championship and a berth in the national championship playoff.
That gives us six teams. The other two teams would be selected from the losers of the super conference championship game. This would be by 1/3 sports writers vote, 1/3 combined computer vote and 1/3 fan vote. Yes, I said fan vote. FANS SHOULD HAVE A SAY!
PLAYOFFS PLUS BOWLS
That gives us eight teams for a playoff and a true national championship. And you could still keep the bowl games. We might see that drop in the number but wouldn't that be better? If this came to fruition by 2013, playing dates would look as follows (see graphic below):
This configuration gives plenty of open dates and still accommodates the bowl games. Besides crowning a true champion, there is one other benefit. Did everyone enjoy the Oregon at LSU game to open the season? What about Oklahoma at Florida State two weeks later? If a team's ability to get into the national championship game was determined on the field, do you think TV would pony up the money to air a lot more of these matchups? Would the fans benefit?
This entire thing is somewhat a pipe dream as no one in college football (conference commissioners, college presidents, athletic directors or TV execs) wants to give up THEIR power to broker their own deals. Chew on this set up and let me know what you think. VIVA REVOLUTION!"