December 14, 2017

Realignment Solution: The Big 76

OK, I’ve tried to keep this quiet up till now, but can’t hold out any longer.

My source absolutely swears this is true.

You know how last week, University of Connecticut president Susan Herbst said, “Geography no longer matters in college football.”

Then, like, was it yesterday – West Virginia joined, or maybe wanted to join, or thought it joined its natural allies by becoming the Xth member of the Big XII.

Well, here goes. The real plan, the one everyone’s keeping under wraps, is to create the (wait for it)….

SuperDuper MegaMax Conference America/USA/Galaxy/Universe.

The Big 76, for short.

My source can’t be named because he/she/it is not authorized to comment on anything outside of his/her/its department at Target.

But don’t worry, this is really happening.

Seventy-six teams in one conference – horseradish, you say? Wait a minute, my cynical friend, this thing actually makes some sense.

Here’s how it’ll work…

There will be nine divisions of eight teams each. (Well, actually, one division has 12 teams, but you’ll see why).

For an eight-game conference schedule, each school will play one game per season – selected at random by a computer in Opalocka, Florida — against one team from each of the other eight divisions.

No games against your own division’s teams?

Well, no, not every year. But every ninth year, after completing the round-robin against the other divisions, you get to play the other seven teams in your division, plus one at-large opponent who must be at least five states away.

Of course, the greatest news is that this all sets up perfectly for what everyone has always wanted – a true, settle-it-on-the-field college football playoff!

It’s simple.

The top 52 teams automatically make the round of 64; with 24 schools competing for the final 12 spots.

Games continue Saturday after Saturday, as the field is pared to 64, then 32, then 16, 8, 4, and finally – the National Championship Game, approximately March 1.

Don’t you see, it flows seamlessly into March Madness. And the champion (assuming it comes from the top 52 schools) must only win six playoff games to claim the title.

OK, I know you’re all on board with this, and can’t wait to see which division (don’t you dare call them conferences – there’s only the SDMMCA/USA/G/U) your favorite school will end up in.

So here they are….

 

Brainiacs Division

All of these schools rank in the top 25 of U.S. News’ rankings of leading national universities. In fairness, so does Cal and USC, but they were placed elsewhere, as you’ll see….and no doubt agree.

Duke

Northwestern

Notre Dame

Rice

Stanford

UCLA

Vanderbilt

Virginia

 

That-Smell-is-Manure Division

All of these rank in the top 15 of leading Biological / Agricultural Undergraduate Colleges and Universities in 2010, from uscollegeranking.org. Here, Bessie…

Illinois

Iowa State

Michigan State

Nebraska

North Carolina State

Purdue

Texas A&M

Virginia Tech

 

Cool Schools Division

Admit it, knowing what you know now, don’t you wish you had gone to school in Madison, Boulder, Berkeley, Austin or one of these other cool locations? Awesome, dude.

Arizona State

California

Colorado

Florida

Michigan

Oregon

Texas

Wisconsin

 

God and Country Division

You got your Baptists and Catholics, your Methodists and Mormons, and some fightin’ men and women. Now let’s play some gol-dang football.

Air Force

Army

Baylor

Boston College

Brigham Young

Navy

Southern Methodist

Texas Christian

 

Miscreant Division

Each of these schools is currently, has been or should be under investigation by the NCAA for various misdeeds. 12 teams are in this division, the powers-that-be hoping that in any given year, 8 might be eligible for the playoffs. A six-team limit of former SEC schools was placed on this grouping.

Alabama

Auburn

Boise State

Florida State

LSU

North Carolina

Ohio State

Oklahoma

Ole Miss

South Carolina

Tennessee

USC

 

Roundball Division

These schools are much more likely to show up in the Elite Eight of hoops than the fantastic new ExtraSuperCool Eight of the college football playoff tourney.

Arizona

Connecticut

Indiana

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisville

Syracuse

Wake Forest

 

Cant-Get-There-From-Here Division

This is where it really gets fun, as grade-school students from all across the country follow along in a special online Geography unit, seeing how teams travel cross-country for days to arrive at destinations such as Lubbock, TX, State College, PA or Pullman, WA.

Iowa

Kansas State

Mississippi State

Oklahoma State

Penn State

Texas Tech

Washington State

West Virginia

 

NFL Doubleheader Division

Going to see the Dolphins, Vikings, Seahawks or five other NFL teams? See if you can check out the local college eleven as part of your weekend. Tickets are usually not a problem.

Cincinnati

Georgia Tech

Houston

Miami

Minnesota

Pittsburgh

South Florida

Washington

 

Nothing-in-Common Division

It was a very long day when the highly-secret Gang of Several put together and named these divisions (Nobody from the B10G or whatever it’s called was allowed in the room).  They could find nothing similar, or remotely clever, about these eight leftov—er rather, remaining, teams.

Arkansas

Clemson

Georgia

Maryland

Missouri

Oregon State

Rutgers

Utah

 

So there you have it…. Remember, you read it here first.

Sorry, gotta go. My source is headed to the Witness Protection Program and needs a lift.

Something about not having his/her/its license yet.

 

Jim Lefebvre is a college football author and historian.  His book is the award-winning Loyal Sons: The Story of The Four Horsemen and Notre Dame Football’s 1924 Champions. Jim writes mainly at www.NDFootballHistory.com.

 

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