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College Football Through The Eyes Of Reason

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All this Big Ten expansion nonsense currently gripping Orange Nation in a sense of panic, not only because if its true our entire identity changes but also because we have to hope Boston College fans forget all the mean things we said about them. Then of course there's the Pac-10 "F You And Your Playoff" rhetoric which has struck fear into the heart of ESPN and ABC executives nationwide.

All of it is part of a great problem that some of us seem to be able to see and others seem to be blissfully ignorant of.
No matter the changes we make, no matter the conference shifts, additions and subtractions and no matter the BCS, playoff, plus one system we come up with to decide the national championship, we will always be trying to improve on an imperfect system.

If you just arrived here from planet Quertax (and if so, welcome!) and I explained to you that even though the American League and the National League operate under the same governing body, share the same talent pool and play the same game yet they continue to use the designated hitter rule differently, you would look at me with your 400 eyes like I was from Kromulax 9.


I know, don't try to tell a sports fan that their traditions are wrong. God forbid we ever alter the rules of a sport that worked in 1908 but no longer make any sense. That's a story for another time, likely related to the whole "things were better back then" mentality which is equally a crock of shit.


What I'm getting at it that if we really wanted to fix college football, let's fix college football. I don't mean tweak the BCS formula. I don't mean add a plus one. I don't mean make the BCS conferences all have twelve teams. I mean lets blow this fucker up and start over operating under the Common Sense Rules of Organized Sports Leagues.


Rule #1 - The teams shall be divided by conferences and those conferences will to the best of their ability be even in numbers and champion-determination.
Rule #2
- The conference champions will be the team eligible for the post-seasons tournament to decide the National Champion.
Rule #3
- Wild Card teams will be chosen from the conferences as well, determined by statistics incurred on the field, not via a vote or governing body decision.
Rule #4
- The qualifying teams will play in a win-or-go-home playoff to decide the champion.
Sidenote - There are no such things as bowls or the BCS

Now the tricky part. Separating all of the teams into evenly-numbered conferences. 120 teams to choose from. So we can create ten conferences of twelve. Perfect.
The first thing I found out when trying to come up with this monstrosity? Perfect ain't that easy. Taking into account geographic locations, rivalries and trying to keep numbers even made it extremely difficult to field my perfect conferences. So, I finagled and allowed for differences in those numbers. With that, I give you, NCAA Football 2.0

The Northeastern Conference (11)

East Division

Boston College

Maryland
Navy
Rutgers
UConn

West Division

Army

Buffalo

Penn State
Pittsburgh

Syracuse

Temple


The Coastal Conference (14)

North Division

Kentucky

Louisville
Marshall

Virginia

Virginia Tech

West Virginia
Western Kentucky

South Division

Arkansas

Arkansas State

Memphis
Middle Tennessee

Missouri

Tennessee

Vanderbilt


The Southeastern Conference (16)

North Division

Clemson

Duke
East Carolina
Georgia Tech

North Carolina

North Carolina State

South Carolina

Wake Forest

South Division

Central Florida

Florida
Florida Atlantic
Florida International

Florida State

Georgia

Miami (FL)

South Florida


The Gulf Coast Conference (12)

Iron Division
Alabama

Alabama-Birmingham

Auburn

Mississippi

Mississippi State

Troy
Pelican Division

Louisiana State

Louisiana Tech

Louisiana-Lafayette

Louisiana-Monroe
Southern Mississippi

Tulane

The Midwest Conference (11)

Midway Division

Illinois
Iowa
Iowa State
Northern Illinois
Northwestern
Great Lakes Division

Ball State
Indiana
Notre Dame

Minnesota
Purdue
Wisconsin


The Pacific Conference (13)

North Division
Cal

Fresno State
Oregon
Oregon State

San Jose State

Stanford
South Division

Arizona

Arizona State

New Mexico
New Mexico State

San Diego State
UCLA

USC


The Rocky Mountain Conference (14)

North Division

Boise State
Idaho

Nevada

UNLV
Washington

Washington State

Wyoming
South Division

Air Force

BYU

Colorado

Colorado State
Utah

Utah State

Hawaii


The Lake Erie Conference (12)

North Division
Central Michigan

Eastern Michigan
Michigan

Michigan State

Toledo

Western Michigan

South Division

Akron

Bowling Green

Cincinnati

Kent State

Miami (OH)

Ohio

Ohio State


The Dust Bowl Conference (16)
North Division

Kansas

Kansas State

Nebraska
Oklahoma

Oklahoma State

North Texas
Texas Tech

Tulsa
South Division

Baylor
Houston

Rice

Southern Methodist

Texas

Texas A&M
Texas Christian

UTEP


Based on last season's results, your conference champions (and their conference championship opponents) would have looked a little like this:


Northeastern - Rutgers (#9) over Penn State
Coastal
- Louisville (#5) over Arkansas
Southeastern - Florida (#2) over Wake Forest
Gulf Coast
- Louisiana State (#6) over Auburn
Midway
- Wisconsin (#3) over Northern Illinois
Pacific
- USC (#7) over Cal
Rocky Mountain
- Boise State (#4) over Hawaii
Lake Erie
- Ohio State (#1) over Michigan
Dust Bowl
- Oklahoma (#8) over Texas

With 9 conferences, we'll need to field some wild cards in order to fill in the playoffs. I'm a big proponent of byes so we'd give the top four seeds a bye (Florida, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Boise State) leaving us with five conference champs and room for three wild cards. For the sake of argument, lets call those teams #10 Michigan, #11 Wake Forest and #12 Auburn.
So the playoffs would go a little something like this:

First Round

#12 Auburn def. #5 seed Louisville
#6 LSU def. #11 Wake Forest

#7 USC def. #10 Michigan

#8 Oklahoma def. #9 Rutgers

Second Round

#1 Ohio State def. #12 Auburn

#2 Florida def. #8 Oklahoma

#7 USC def. #3 Wisconsin
#6 LSU def. #4 Boise State

Third Round
#7 USC def. #1 Ohio State
#2 Florida def. #6 LSU

National Championship

#2 Florida def. #7 USC


Of course, I know I just spent too much time doing this for naught. I know the chances of something this drastic happening are about as likely as a non-BCS team beating a BCS team in a BCS bowl. No wait...
We can all dream, right? And when the powers-that-be announce the latest imperfect tweak to their drastically imperfect system to appease imperfect athletic directors and conference barons, you may want to.