With the Big-12 vs. SEC bowl game starting in 2014 it’s clear Mike Slive, President of College Football, decided to use his middle finger to draw a line in the embarrassingly messy sandbox of college football to let everyone know he will indeed draw when his hand is forced. And after Slive appointed Chuck Neinas as his Vice President, ironically, an “enemy” of his less than a year ago, he ensured this summer and beyond will feel like a nuclear winter for certain conferences and about a third of all existing FBS football schools. An even bigger issue, without a streamlined version of college football in place when the BCS contract expires could the NCAA be the next superpower left out in the cold?
You mean… college football completely divorces itself from the NCAA? Absolutely.
1) Conference expansion.
2) Conference title games.
3) Birth of the BCS.
4) Billion-dollar TV contracts.
5) Conference realignment that makes no sense.
The last 20 years has given us plenty of evidence about where this sport has been heading, so it’s almost comical that the NCAA is going to get caught with their pants down on this issue. I mean they might as well wake up one morning and chant “ICEBERG DEAD AHEAD!” right before college football as we know changes forever.
The absence of NCAA leadership during a time period when college football has grown exponentially has proven that nobody in Indianapolis is remotely capable of captaining a ship this size. The NCAA is fantastic at monitoring a few insignificant and impermissible phone calls to teenage recruits in the off-season, but clearly not at running a billion-dollar industry. And in its defense nor should it.
Doesn’t COMPANY XZY (the winning bidder) that will govern college football with departments specializing in finance, consulting, management and common sense sound like a better alternative than the NCAA? It does to me.
When it comes to the creation of super conferences I have two questions:
1) How long will it take? I believe football super conferences will be announced within 18 months, however, this date is moving because the fluidity of the FSU situation. But with now with the Big-12/SEC partnership, does it even matter what FSU does? FSU leaving for the Big-12 today would be just like leaving for the SEC in just a few short years.
2) Will the NCAA be a part of the super conference? I say it’s 80/20 the NCAA remains in charge, but just the threat of losing college football has to scare the NCAA enough to take/talk action.
Will someone make copies of the current NCAA rule book and sell it to the highest bidder – a private company – so they can run the sport? What can the NCAA do if JP Morgan wants to partner up Deloitte and a few other companies to buy college football? They bypass the NCAA and meet with the AD’s of the five major football conferences to buy and run college football. How hard is that? And with a private company running college football how much political red tape would be removed the second the contract is signed?
The NCAA losing college football is a far-fetched idea I understand, but business is business and a billion-dollar industry doesn’t go unnoticed on Wall Street. And as each year passes the bottom line becomes more and more important than coaches, players and teams. Does this sound any different than a Fortune 500 company?
Something to think about: Does the NCAA hand out scholarships? Is the BCS title the same as the NCAA title? From the most simplistic view, what does the NCAA do besides govern when it comes to college football?
So now onto the Super Conferences… What I wrote below is pretty much identical to the article I posted on this very site back in August. Only now it makes a lot more sense.
What does a season look like with FBS 72 teams?
- Four 18-team conferences, each with two divisions of nine.
- 12 regular season games.
- Every team in the division is played.
- Three rotating teams from the opposite division (home and home two-year series).
- One out of conference game is played and it’s a conference vs. conference challenge.
- Divisional winners play title conference games.
- NCAA tournament is created with 8 teams — Title game winners of the four conferences and four at-large teams selected by rankings.
- Highest seeds host first and second round games.
- Title game location goes to the highest bidder.
- Any team with a winning record is eligible for a bowl game bid against any bowl eligible team.
How do we get to 72?
Step 1: If a team didn’t average more than 30,000 fans for home games it doesn’t deserve to play with the big boys. End of story. I removed several BCS schools and Independents: Washington State (24,000), Army, Navy, Duke (23,000), and Iowa State. But feel free to swap “borderline” teams that did/didn’t make the cut: Navy (32,653), Army (31,667), UCF (39,314), East Carolina (49,665), San Diego State (34,133), UTEP (29,350), Houston (31,100), and So. Miss. (29,400).
Step 2: Schools that don’t make the cut are “demoted” to the FCS. (There will be revenue sharing from the new league of 72 schools to help those schools who got cut.) These new FCS schools realign in a shocking fashion… by sitting down at a table and looking at a map. Either that or they shut down their football program.
Who goes where?
1) North Carolina
2) N.C. State
3) Wake Forest
4) East Carolina
6) Virginia Tech
9) West Virginia
2) Boston College
6) Penn State
3) Florida State
4) South Florida
6) Georgia Tech
8) South Carolina
3) Ole Miss
4) Miss. State
8) Oklahoma State
1) Notre Dame
5) Ohio State
7) Michigan State
4) Kansas State
7) Texas A&M
2) Air Force
6) Arizona State
4) Oregon State
7) Texas Tech
8) Boise State
9) Fresno State
Will this happen? I think college football will look something similar to this within a decade. Either way, during the past two years there has been no better place in the sports world when it comes to college football expansion coverage. I think our John Pennington would write a 1,000 page novel on this in about 24 hours if needed…
Tyler B. works as a communications specialist for a Louisville, Kentucky company. A lifetime SEC fan – long before it became “acceptable” to cheer for every team in the conference – he plans on writing several books about college football that have a fantastic chance of never being written.