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College Football Overhaul: Conference Realignment

I love college football. Even with the many flaws that are within the game – it remains one of the most entertaining forms of content in the world. I got bored the other day and decided to see what I could do about making the season more meaningful and entertaining for me. Everyone thinks they can fix college football – so this is what I think would work.

With this map I have the sport moving to four conferences with 18 teams, 72 teams total in Division 1.

Each conference would have two divisions with nine teams. To help build the schedule – each team plays a game against those within their division. That’s 8 games. Teams get to 12 games by playing four of the teams in the other division within their conference. There would be no out of conference games.

Geography and traditional rivalries were heavily considered when I put this together. I respected state borders and kept in state teams in the same division.

Pac 18

When I started working on this map I started on the West Coast. The first version of this had Fresno State, Colorado State and Utah State included – but as I moved the map East I had to bump them out. The reality of the geographical college football landscape is that there are just a larger number of competitive teams on the East Coast. Therefore, I had to stretch the Pac 18 all the way to Missouri in order to make things work.

The Pac 18 Coastal has a traditional Pac 10 vibe to it. Boise State earns their way in with the Power 5 schools after proving year in and year out that they belong with the big dogs.

The Pac 18 Desert reminds me a bit of the old Big 12 – with Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Colorado joining the Arizona and Utah schools. BYU has to dump their conference independence – but fits in well in a division with their rival Utah.

Big 18

The Big 18 turned into a fun combination of many of today’s college football conferences. We have Big 12, Big Ten, AAC and SEC schools in this new conference.

The first thing I started with was finally placing all of the Texas schools in the same division. I then added in the two Oklahoma schools along with neighboring Arkansas to get to nine in the Greater Texas division.

The Mississippi River division was hard to put together. The name is from all of these schools coming from states that border the river. I wanted to keep in-state rivalries in tact – and it would be interesting to see the SEC schools going to play in-division games in the North late in the season.

River Valley

I am unsure about the name that I gave this conference – but all the schools are generally in the area of the Ohio River Valley.

The Great Lakes division has classic Big Ten vibes – and it finally pulls Notre Dame into a conference. I also included neighboring West Virginia and the two Virginia schools.

The Northeast division is probably the weakest of all from a football standpoint – but the strongest from a patriotic standpoint thanks to the two military academies.

ACC

The new ACC is a combination of SEC, ACC, and AAC schools. This is the strongest conference with Clemson, Alabama, and Georgia at the top.

The ACC: Southeast is the strongest division that I put together. You have SEC powers Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia joining the Florida schools. Georgia Tech is also there.

The ACC: Mideast is a strong baseball and basketball division – but the football is just OK. Clemson likely runs away with this division most years, but the battle for 2nd could be interesting. I had to bump Wake Forest out of this division to get it down to nine. For me, it did not make sense to have four schools coming from North Carolina – so the Demon Deacons got removed.

Playoffs

Playoffs would consist of 16 teams. The top two teams from each division make the playoffs. The top seed from one division would play the two seed from the opposite division. The winners would play for the conference championship.

The conference winners would get us to our college football playoff semi-final. The Pac 18 winner would play the Big 18 winner. The ACC winner would play the River Valley winner. The teams that win those National Semi-Finals would go on to play for the National Championship.

So you have 12 regular season games, a conference semi final, a conference final, a playoff semi final, and a national championship. That is a maximum of 16 games. Clemson played 15 games last year – not bad.

Wrap Up

After staring at this for a while it is really hard to if there is anything that I missed. Were any important or traditional schools left out that should have been included? Any ideas for better conference names? Is there a better way to draw this up? I’d love to hear any input and will update this if there are any big changes.

– Buzz

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