College Football Realignment Dream Scenario

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    • #212694

      Kirk Herbstreet
      Ute Fan

      This is admittedly fan fiction but if I were in charge of CFB for a day, here is how I would engineer the upcoming mega changes (that are unavoidable in one way or another).

      1. 7 ACC schools would announce their intention to leave the ACC this spring (FSU, Miami, Clemson, UNC, NCState, UVA, and VaTech). All 7 of these schools would end up in the SEC shortly thereafter.

      2. In the immediate aftermath of this, ESPN would announce that it is not picking up its option to extend the ACC contract past 2027 (which is its legal right) making it a lot easier to get out of the ACC. Chaos ensues.

      3. The Big 10 sees its opportunity. It adds Notre Dame (who sees the writing on the wall) and with their help convinces Stanford and Cal to buy into the new world of CFB and join the Big 10. Utah comes along as the 4th addition (as it is not party to the 99 year membership term in the Big XII bylaws).

      4. The Big 10 still has its eyes on a presence in the south. The SEC and ESPN wanting to avoid litigation with leftover ACC schools and cut off the Big 10 from the south add Duke, Louisville and Georgia Tech to get to 26.

      5. The Big 10 goes to 28 with Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Kansas, Pitt and Syracuse. The ACC is down to 3 members (SMU, Boston College and Wake Forest).

      6. The SEC matches the Big 10 at 28 by adding West Virginia and Oklahoma State.

      7. The Big 10 and SEC look to secure their control over college basketball next (while also ensuring their is no litigation with the Big XII or what is left of the ACC). They enter into agreements with the Big East, the MWC and the AAC pursuant to which each of the SEC and Big 10 are guaranteed 20 teams in the 68 team field, the Big East is guaranteed 12, and the MWC and AAC get three a piece.

      8. The Big East expands to add Boston College, Wake Forest, SMU, Cincy, Central Florida, Washington State, Oregon State, Gonzaga, St. Mary’s and Pepperdine. The ACC is no more and any litigation is dead and a non-issue along with any buyouts.

      9. The Big East (with the support of its TV partner, Fox) reaches out to the remaining 7 schools in the Big XII. Realizing their predictamint and to try and salvage themselves as a power in college basketball, BYU, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor and Houston all join the Big East. Any litigation with the SEC and Big 10 is dead along with any buyouts.

      10. The remaining 10 spots in the hoops tourney will be given to the ten conference champions from the remaining conferences with the highest NET ranking.

      11. Each of the Big 10 and SEC split into 4 divisions (with Utah playing in the pacific with UW, OU, Cal, Stanford, USC and UCLA) and announce a defacto 12 team playoff with their conference champions playing in the Rose Bowl for what is viewed as the Division 1 championship.

      12. The remaining FBS conferences and the new-look Big East form their own 12 team playoff to determine their own champion.

      With schools in 35 different states represented in the Big 10 and SEC, there is enough political will to get an anti-trust exemption for the Big 10 and SEC passed. Stability returns to college football. TV ratings for both hoops and football are higher than ever.

      The end.

    • #212695

      Ute Fan

      That’s a bit out there and complicated, although I would take it.

      My hope now is that Utah ends up in a two-conference (football-only) power league (likely Big 10). I actually hope that all other sports go back to regional conferences. I hope that the PAC 12 comes back as a sports conference for all sports except football. The travel issues with these coast-to-coast conferences are terrible.

      • #212728

        Ute Fan

        Totally agree with you Proud. Chip Kelly’s comment about having all CFB teams go independent makes a lot of sense. This way all other college sports teams can remain regional. The only part about Chip Kelly’s idea I disagree with is the number of teams. Personally I prefer a top tier of CFB consisting of no more than 48 teams. Consolidating down to the best brands (as long as the number of teams includes Utah) would create the most exciting matchups week in and week out. No more body bag games, only high quality football. That would be the Utah Football dream scenario for me.

    • #212742

      Ute Fan

      The $ comes from broadcasting rights. Conference affiliation is the mechanism for collective bargaining- without this how would Utah negotiate and compete with the big dogs for broadcasting dollars? A Utah game is not going to bring as much revenue as an Ohio St. game.

      The reason we are not in the B10 is that we don’t bring enough eyeballs to move the needle- this would not be any better with independent negotiation for broadcasting $.

      The only mechanism I see for Utah to sit at the big-boy table is for a group of elite Universities to view Utah as a solid piece that helps elevate the whole- which was certainly true in the P12. The B12 is undoubtedly a step up from our old MWC affiliation and a step down from the P12.

      I suspect that independent Utah’s broadcasting clout would slot in about where the B12 currently sits- above schools like Wyoming and Fresno St. and below schools like USC, Michigan, and Texas. The only thing we can be certain of is that the schools with the most broadcasting value will not want to share any more than necessary with the schools holding lesser values. That is human nature and is immutable.

      • #212744

        Ute Fan

        Independent in the sense that football would be split off from all other team sports. But the idea is that all of the teams in the Top Tier would be part of 1 league that pools all of their resources together and shares the money equally amongst each other. That way they can collectively negotiate with the TV partners like the NFL does which would maximize TV revenue vs separate competitor negotiations taking place.

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