View Full Version : College football "Super League?

Chip R
07-17-2009, 10:54 AM
I heard Nick Brunker at 1530 HOMER discuss this the other afternoon and thought a few folks might be interested in discussing whether this would work.


Woelk: Time for new college grid 'super league'
By Neill Woelk
Saturday, July 11, 2009

BOULDER, Colo. — In the world of college football, there are a few certainties:

The majority of fans and media want a playoff.

The majority of university presidents and coaches don't.

And, the current system as administered by the BCS will ensure that no serious playoff is in the future at least until the television contract expires (2014).

But that does not mean there will not be a meaningful college football playoff sometime down the line -- and the prediction here is that it will not involve the NCAA or BCS.

For years, there has been backroom chatter across the nation about the possible formation of a "super division" for college football. It would involve roughly 60-70 of the nation's top programs, and it would require those schools to abandon affiliation with the NCAA in terms of their football programs.

At first glance, this seems ludicrous. There's no way the NCAA would ever allow a group of schools to start their own college football league and still maintain NCAA affiliation in other sports, right?

Wrong. The NCAA would have no choice in the matter but to allow college football powerhouses to secede and still maintain their NCAA designation for other sports.

The reason? NCAA basketball.

Almost 90 percent of the current NCAA budget -- more than $590 million -- comes from television and marketing rights fees. A healthy part of that number comes from the NCAA Tournament television contract with CBS, an 11-year deal worth about $6 billion.

But the contract can be voided by CBS if a certain percentage of teams becomeineligible for the tournament. That number would certainly be reached if the NCAA decided to give the boot to 60-some schools who decided to form their own football league.

And, you can imagine the headache of trying to sell rights to a basketball tournament that did not include the vast majority of current BCS schools. It couldn't be done.

Thus, the NCAA would have to grit its teeth and allow a separate college football league to be formed. It would have no other choice. (Of course, if the NCAA did decide to stick to its guns, the new college football league could simply form a basketball league also and go from there).

The possibilities of a new college football league are endless.

For starters, it would eliminate needless NCAA meddling. It would allow -- in fact, it would encourage -- a playoff to determine a tournament-style national champion. It would permit member schools to rewrite recruiting rules, tossing out those that are silly or impossible to enforce, and put true teeth in those that are necessary.

And it would guarantee that every week would produce top-flight games. No more weekends of Akron at Penn State, Nevada at Notre Dame and Florida Atlantic at Nebraska.

Simply, no games outside the league -- and every game counts.

Our preliminary plan:

The new league would consist of eight conferences of eight teams each for a total of 64 teams. There are currently 65 schools in BCS conferences plus Notre Dame. We'd keep the majority of those, but toss out a few and add some from the other leagues.

Schools we'd toss: Duke, Iowa State, Kansas State, Cincinnati, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Connecticut and Washington State.
Schools we'd add: Utah, TCU, BYU, Boise State, East Carolina and Tulsa, giving us 64.

Each team would play seven conference games and four non-conference games. The scheduling process would be a formula similar to the NFL's scheduling matrix, and would rotate annually. No guesswork involved.
Eight conference champs and eight runners-up advance to a 16-team playoff. Four weeks -- and more hype than you can imagine -- later you have a national champion.

The two teams in the championship game would play 15 games, just one more game than many of the champs have played in past years.

Non-playoff teams, meanwhile, would be free to hook up with the bowl games that still exist.

All that's left is to sort out is how the conferences in the National College Football League would look (feel free to tweak to your heart's content):

East -- Boston College, Maryland, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, East Carolina, Syracuse, Florida State, South Carolina.

Atlantic -- Clemson, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Virginia, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Rutgers, South Florida.

Southeast -- Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Auburn, Mississippi State, Miami (Fla.).

Midwest -- Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, Michigan, Penn State, Minnesota, Illinois, Louisville.

Central -- LSU, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Missouri, Kansas, Purdue, Indiana, Tulsa.

Southwest -- Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas A&M, Arkansas, TCU.

Mountain -- Colorado, Utah, Boise State, Arizona State, Arizona, Stanford, Wisconsin, Nebraska.

West -- USC, Oregon, Oregon State, California, UCLA, Washington, BYU, Notre Dame.

Impossible? It's may not be something I'd bet on happening -- but stranger things have occurred in the annals of college football.

07-17-2009, 11:05 AM
It really wouldn't surprise me to see the BCS conferences break away from the "others" to form their own division. I don't think you would see them cull out schools like Duke,Vandy etc... because it would just cause too much havoc. TV money would be crazy good and they could have their own playoffs which produce tons on TV money. I don't really think it will happen but it wouldn't surprise me either if it did.

Chip R
07-17-2009, 12:42 PM
I don't think this would ever happen for 2 reasons.

1. These schools just love their bowl games. If, God forbid, they slip to a 7-4 season and aren't in the BCS hunt, they have a nice bowl to fall back on.

2. These schools love their early season cupcake matchups even more.

Hoosier Red
07-17-2009, 12:51 PM
How UC goes and IU stays I have no idea.

07-17-2009, 01:34 PM
We've already got a "Super League." Most people just call it the Southeastern Conference, however. ;)

07-17-2009, 02:30 PM
We've already got a "Super League." Most people just call it the Southeastern Conference, however. ;)

Hey, when did you change your name? Does Wily Mo no longer rock? :confused:

07-17-2009, 02:34 PM
Hey, when did you change your name? Does Wily Mo no longer rock? :confused:

You can always tell a Louisville man. ;)



Wily Mo will always rock. In my heart if nowhere else. :D

07-17-2009, 03:32 PM
For a second there, I thought the suggestion was a sort of "Premier League" like European Football, with promotion and relegation. That might actually be better anyway, because then you could have playoffs for both the top teams (Championship, promotion) and bottom teams (relegation). Instead of selecting certain teams to cull from the "herd", why not just let the teams decide who gets sent down to the lower leagues by their play on the field?

07-17-2009, 06:29 PM
I'm not sure how the guy makes the leap from noting the university presidents and football coaches largely don't want a playoff, to assuming those same people will immediately implement a playoff as soon as they jump ship.

Also, no games outside the division means a reduction in home dates for most teams, most years. That's a lot of dough for TV to cover.

07-17-2009, 06:54 PM
If the idea of a playoff would be to open it up to give a Utah or TCU a chance to possibly win a national title then how does a system where 40% of the teams aren't even included work even begin to make sense.

I'm all for reorganizing conferences and having a nice balanced regular season schedule with a small (12 teams or fewer) tournament at the end of the season, but this idea is dumb.

07-17-2009, 09:50 PM
I recall reading a few years ago a suggestion that the power basketball schools break away from the NCAA, as well. I hate some of the NCAA's rules, particularly the one where a coach and/or certain players can put a program on probation, but then leave and escape any penalties, while the new coach and new players (who had nothing to do with it) are left to pay the penalty. So it wouldn't bother me to see the NCAA lose it's elite programs.

On the other hand, I wouldn't like anything that would break up the conferences as we now know them, as is suggested in the article above.

Hoosier Red
07-17-2009, 10:50 PM
My guess is if the major conference football and basketball programs left the NCAA, they would impose improved rules. They would more than likely make SMU of the 80's look clean.

Caveat Emperor
07-18-2009, 04:57 AM
I love it when big-school proponents theorize new and exciting ways to marginalize the little guys.

But hey -- whatever keeps Appalachian State or Toledo from ever playing Michigan again, right?

07-18-2009, 09:27 PM
I love it when big-school proponents theorize new and exciting ways to marginalize the little guys.

But hey -- whatever keeps Appalachian State or Toledo from ever playing Michigan again, right?

Aw, c'mon Caveat. Everyone knows that the Mid-Major conferences and Division I-AA (or FCS or whatever it's called now) only serve as cupcakes for the big schools. ;) Major conference schools are never overrated.

07-19-2009, 02:17 PM
Sign me up for the mentioned Soccer version where teams are up and down

Hoosier Red
07-20-2009, 09:43 AM
Sign me up for the mentioned Soccer version where teams are up and down

IU has now been relegated to the MAC, than the Sun Belt.