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What conference realignment options does machine learning offer Syracuse?

r/CFB provides some quality offseason content just over a week before the season starts.

Boston College v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

While we’re just over a week from kickoff, there’s still plenty of offseason content out there to mine.

One of those articles came across TNIAAM’s desk on Tuesday, courtesy of r/CFB: Using machine learning to realign college football conferences.

As the author, Max Kaplan, explains, he uses machine learning to determine “geographic rationality” for college football leagues. In this case, K-means clustering groups teams into similarly-sized nearby regions. The groups range from 16 conferences all the way down to four super leagues.

Via Max Kaplan

It’s definitely worth checking out the site for all of the breakdowns. But wanted to look at the Syracuse Orange’s conference groupings here — which end up revolving around a nearby cluster of schools every time.

16 conferences: Syracuse, Army, Boston College, Connecticut, Navy, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, UMass

15/14/13 conferences: Syracuse, Army, Boston College, Buffalo, Connecticut, Maryland, Navy, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, UMass

12 conferences: Syracuse, Army, Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Navy, Old Dominion, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, UMass

11 conferences: Syracuse, Army, Boston College, Buffalo, Connecticut, Maryland, Navy, Old Dominion, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, UMass

10 conferences: Syracuse, Army, Boston College, Buffalo, Connecticut, Maryland, Navy, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, UMass

9 conferences: Syracuse, Army, Boston College, Buffalo, Connecticut, Liberty, Maryland, Navy, Old Dominion, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Temple, UMass, Virginia, West Virginia

8/7 conferences: Syracuse, Army, Boston College, Buffalo, Connecticut, Duke, East Carolina, Liberty, Maryland, Navy, NC State, North Carolina, Old Dominion, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Temple, UMass, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia

6 conferences: Syracuse, Akron, Appalachian State, Army, Boston College, Buffalo, Connecticut, Duke, East Carolina, Ken State, Liberty, Marshall, Maryland, Navy, NC State, North Carolina, Ohio, Old Dominion, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Temple, UMass, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia

5 conferences: Syracuse, Akron, Appalachian State, Army, Boston College, Buffalo, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Connecticut, Duke, East Carolina, Ken State, Liberty, Marshall, Maryland, Navy, NC State, North Carolina, Ohio, Old Dominion, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Temple, UMass, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia

4 conferences: Not even listing them all, but everything above, plus the entire MAC, the Big Ten East, most of the B1G West, Notre Dame, Louisville, Kentucky and WKU.

Syracuse v Penn State Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Once you get past nine conferences, things do get a little too unwieldy, obviously. But before that, the alignment makes plenty of sense for Syracuse with the G5 regionals like UConn and UMass, plus the other teams we have plenty of history with like BC, Penn State, Pitt and Maryland.

Which of these “conferences” would you prefer? I’m partial to the 10-conference setup that has nothing to do with Liberty. But open to suggests otherwise.