Wednesday, June 9, 2010

NCAA Division 1-A (FBS) Superconference Realignment

I've decided to return from my blogging hiatus to weigh in on a topic that threatens to possibly shake the foundation of college sports as we know it. The talk about the seemingly imminent conference shakeup in the following weeks and months has become as omnipotent as its ramifications. Anyone involved in college sports, from players, coaches and administrators, to fans and bloggers have no choice BUT to care about each and every slight development, because no team will be unaffected if the dreaded "superconferences" become a reality. As an avid fan, and recent Syracuse alumnus, I can't help but also consider what it will mean for my school and its conference, the Big East. Though there is no doubt one or both will be shuffled in the aftermath, I've come up with a best-case solution for the conference and school, as well as the remaining entities as well. Check out my "least damage possible" eight superconference scenario below for the would-be 131 schools of Division I-A (FBS), and a possible postseason format to go with it. Also note that the only way this could ever shake out is if one of the biggest dominoes (Notre Dame) fails to fall. The next blog post will detail the restructured Division I-AA (FCS).

Big 16
East- Indiana, Michigan, Michigan St., Penn State, Ohio St., Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern
West- Iowa St., Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas St., Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin

East- Arizona, Arizona St., Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma St., Oklahoma
West- Washington, Washington St., USC, UCLA, Stanford, California, Oregon, Oregon St.

Mountain West
North- BYU, Utah, Boise State, Air Force, Wyoming, Colorado St., Colorado, Utah St.
South- TCU, UNLV, San Diego St., New Mexico, Nevada, New Mexico St., San Jose St., San Diego St.

East- Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Florida St., Miami (FL)
West- Alabama, LSU, Mississippi, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi St., Georgia Tech, Clemson

East- Boston Coll., UNC, Duke, Syracuse, UConn, Maryland, NC State, Wake Forest
West- Virginia Tech, Virginia, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Rutgers, Louisville, Pittsburgh, USF

East- Houston, SMU, Tulsa, UTEP, Rice, North Texas, North Colorado, Weber St.
West- Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, Montana St., Sacramento St., Eastern Washington, Idaho St., Portland St.

East- Temple, Ohio, Bowling Green, Toledo, Buffalo, Akron, Miami (OH), East Carolina
West- Kent St., Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Ball St., Marshall, Memphis

Sun Belt
East- Mid. Tennessee St., FIU, Florida Atlantic, Appalachian St., Western Kentucky, UCF, Southern Miss, Jacksonville St.
West- Troy, La.-Monroe, La.-Lafayette, Arkasnas St., Louisiana Tech, UAB, South Alabama, Tulane

Independents- Notre Dame, Army, Navy

From here, the BCS standings could still work-- alleviating any potential legal or logistical issues there. The winners of each of the eight conference tournaments would be seeded by their BCS ranking, along with four at-large schools, one of which could be Notre Dame if they win 10 games and have a BCS ranking above 12. These schools would then be placed into a 12-team single-elimination tournament, with the top four seeds getting a bye. Similar to the past rule, no more than two teams per conference can enter the tournament. All games would be held at current bowl sites, no team can face a conference foe in the first round. An example of what last year's postseason would have looked like under this format:

1. Alabama (SEC)
2. Texas (Pac-16)
3. Cincinnati (ACC)
4. TCU (MWC)
5. Florida (SEC at-large)
6. Boise State (MWC at-large)
7. Oregon (Pac-16 at-large)
8. Ohio St. (Big 16)
9. Houston (WAC)
10. Iowa (Big 16 at-large)
11. Central Michigan (MAC)
12. Troy (Sun Belt)

Round 1
(5) Florida over (12) Troy
(6) Boise st. over (11) Central Michigan
(7)Oregon over (10) Iowa
(8)Ohio St. over (9) Houston

(1)Alabama over (8) Ohio St.
(2)Texas over (7) Oregon
(6) Boise St. over (3) Cincinnati
(5) Florida over (4) TCU

(1) Alabama over (6) Boise St.
(5) Florida over (2) Texas

National Championship Game
(1) Alabama over (5) Florida

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