A few weeks ago, we had some discussion regarding relegation and how the NCAA might look with relegation. And then we discussed the purely hypothetical–even absurdly hypothetical–circumstance of which school is each conference’s weakest link. Then we took the absurd one step further and talked about conferences swapping schools. We thought we were done. Little did we know that the Big XII would jump back into the discussion… with Oklahoma seemingly parading itself to other conferences and news that five Big XII schools may have raised their skirts for the Big 10 to look at several years ago. All in all, the Big XII seems particularly unstable. What does that mean?
The Confidential has had some fun recently exploring different topics for hypothetical realignment scenarios such as relegation and team trading. While the tectonic shifts of conference realignment have settled since the ACC added a Grant-of-Rights, and the Big XII seems to have resolved their Conference Championship Game dilemma, there has been chatter among some of the private schools that changes could still be on the horizon.
A few weeks ago, we had some discussion regarding relegation and how the NCAA might look with relegation. And yesterday we discussed the purely hypothetical–even absurdly hypothetical (but not openly hypothetical enough for a few folks to avoid getting their wookies bent)–circumstance of which school is each conference’s weakest link. So let’s wrap things up with one final circumstance… suppose each of the ACC, Big 10, SEC, and Big XII could swap out one school for another school–which swap of non-elite schools (i.e. nobody is trading Penn State) would be most beneficial for each conference?
In our last article, we discussed the pros and cons of NCAA relegation. In this article, we will explore it in a bit greater detail–how could the Conferences be aligned in a football-centric way to allow relegation?
Division 1: Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Louisville, North Carolina State
Division 2: Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, Boston College, Virginia, Syracuse, East Carolina, UConn
Division 3 (10): Temple, Marshall, Old Dominion, FIU, FAU, Appalachian State, UMass, Buffalo, Army, Navy
Division 1: Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Maryland
Division 2: Minnesota, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Northern Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois
Division 3 (10): Bowling Green, Ohio, Miami, Akron, Kent State, Toledo, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Western Michigan,
Division 1: Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas A&M
Division 2: Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, UCF, USF
Division 3 (9): Middle Tennessee, UAB, Western Kentucky, South Alabama, Georgia Southern, Troy, Georgia State, Southern Mississippi
Division 1: Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, West Virginia
Division 2: Kansas, Iowa State, Houston, Memphis, East Carolina, Tulsa, Tulane, SMU
Division 3 (9) : Rice, UTEP, Texas State, UTSA, North Texas, Louisiana Tech, Arkansas State, Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana Monroe
Division 1: USC, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Oregon State
Division 2: Washington State, Utah, Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, Boise State, San Diego State, Utah State
Division 3 (10): Fresno State, San Jose State, Hawaii, Wyoming, Nevada, UNLV, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Air Force, Idaho
Total Schools: 80 in Division 1 and 2, 48 in Division 3, plus Notre Dame & BYU =120. Pretty sure no omissions, but you will let us know. And there is room for a few more schools to move into the mix from FCS.
Obviously, the last few schools in Division 1 can be tough choices. Arizona and Oregon State? Texas Tech? Excluding Missouri? Maryland over the rest of the Big 10? Pitt and North Carolina State?
But that is the beauty of the system–over time, relegation and promotion would fix itself. And nobody that gets beat up in Division 1 can complain about being dispatched to Division 2. And the same between Division 2 and Division 3.
What do you think?
The recent “conference realignment” has been troubling to some based on the degree to which on-field performance has not mattered. In a strange way, college sports fans might have been able to better understand the Big 10 adding Texas and Oklahoma, rather than Rutgers and Maryland. The latter added cultural fits, perhaps, but it was rather plainly a case of the Big 10 going after television demographics rather than on-field performance. Even if the Big 10 adding two more football kings would have destroyed the Big XII and radically altered the sport, at least the Big 10 would have added football teams in a football-centric world. If you are a sports conference, you should be looking to add the most successful institutions–not the ones that give you the most bang for the buck. Performance should matter. When a Rutgers has more value than Oklahoma, it is obvious performance does not matter. If so, would you prefer an NCAA with promotion and relegation? (Click here for Part II)
July 1, 2014, the day the impossible has become reality. The Louisville Cardinals year and half worth of anticipation, more like a life time, has come to an end. The University of Louisville Cardinals are now officially a member of the ACC.