FanPost

Conference Realignment Idea, 9 teams each



I'm not a fan of conference realignment. I like tradition. I want schedules to be simple. I want to watch more football. I don't like it when BCS teams schedule 4 cupcakes out of conference. I want everyone to play 10 BCS games. I don't like how in 14-team conferences your team plays your rival once every 6 years. I want to play my team to play the school 80 miles down the road. I don't care if they're in another conference. 9 conference games & super conferences are ruining rivalries. I want Oklahoma-Nebraska. The Backyard Brawl. Pitt-Penn State. Texas-A&M. I might not watch Kansas-Missouri but I'd like to know it's being played.

I propose radical conference realignment in a fantasy world (I understand nothing like this would ever happen in real life).

  • 8 BCS conferences. Pacific 9, Midwest, Southwest, Big Nine, Southeastern, Atlantic Coast, Big East, American Athletic
  • 9 teams in each conference. 72 teams total. every team plays every team in their conference. 8 games.
  • 10 BCS games total. Play you're out of conference in-state rival & someone else. If your team doesn't have a rival or 2 rivals, make them. Also host 1 FBS team & 1 FCS team for 7 home games, 5 road games. Beat those 2 cupcakes.
  • Put like schools together. Geography. Private or public? Huge land grand or smaller enrollment? AAU research university or highly ranked undergrad school or glorified community college?
  • Copy the NFL's playoffs. 12 teams. 4 byes. Every conference champion hosts a playoff game. Next 4 best teams get seeds 9-12. Play Final Four & Championship Game at neutral sites.
  • Put teams 13-20 in the BCS bowls. 1 from each conference. Make smart regional bowl match ups between conferences.
  • Broadcast all 360 BCS vs BCS regular season games on national TV.
  • Separate the 72 BCS schools from the other FBS schools. Let schools with $20 million football budgets & 20,000 fans compete for their own national championship.
  • Group them in 4 conferences of 16 teams. Have them play 9 conference games, 1 out of conference game, @ 1 BCS school & host 1 FCS school.
  • Top 2 teams in each FBS conference play in conference championship game. 4 conference champions play in Final Four Playoff. Winners play for Championship Game. 15 games total.
  • 3rd & 4th ranked teams in each conference can play in regional low tiered bowl games vs BCS schools - Liberty, Houston, Queen, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Detroit, Military, Sun.

I used Athlon's average of last 5 recruiting classes according to 247's composite for my recruiting rankings & I used winning percentage over the last 20 season 1994-2013 for win ranking. Both rank teams from 1-72. If a team is below 72, a FBS team is winning more or recruiting better than that team.

http://athlonsports.com/college-football/ranking-college-footballs-rosters-2014

http://football.stassen.com/records/

http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/Attendance/2013.pdf

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges

http://www.aau.edu/about/article.aspx?id=5476

I counted Cuse & Nebraska as AAU since it's such an exclusive list.

Alright, let's get started!

SEC. Southeastern. HQ Birmingham, AL.

  • #6. US News rank #103
  • #6. Undergrads 23,200 students
  • #7. AAU. 1 school (Florida)
  • #1. 2013 attendance. 83,500 per home game
  • #1. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #14
  • #2. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #26. 7.8 wins per team per year
  • #2. Oldest conference. Average join year 1940 (1933 for everyone except USC in 1992)
  • #3. Most compact. 1790 miles to drive to all schools (199 miles between schools)

School - #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ..... (out of conference game 9, & 10)

  • Florida - #2 wins / #2 recruiting ..... (Florida State, Miami)
  • Georgia - #11 wins / #8 recruiting ..... (Georgia Tech, Clemson)
  • South Carolina - #40 wins / #18 recruiting ..... (Clemson, Virginia)
  • Tennessee - #20 wins / #13 recruiting ..... (Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech)
  • Alabama - #23 wins / #1 recruiting ..... (Texas A&M, Virginia Tech)
  • Auburn - #15 wins / #8 recruiting ..... (Arkansas, Virginia)
  • Mississippi - #51 wins / #22 recruiting ..... (Memphis, Central Florida)
  • Mississippi State - #58 wins / #29 recruiting ..... (Memphis, South Florida)
  • Louisiana State - #10 wins / #4 recruiting ..... (Texas A&M, Arkansas)

Ridiculously good football conference. Mississippi schools are top 30 in recruiting & only top 60 in wins because of their schedule. I could see them not making bowl games despite a top 25 roster if they go 1-7 in conference play. This would be a lot of fun to watch without the real life, non southeastern schools watering down the product. Would love to watch SEC East teams have to play Auburn, Bama & LSU every year.

ACC. Atlantic Coast. HQ Greensboro, NC.

  • #2. US News rank #57
  • #5. Undergrads 23,600 students
  • #4. AAU. 5 schools (Ga Tech, UNC, UVA, Maryland, Penn St)
  • #3. 2013 attendance. 62,200 per home game
  • #3. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #32
  • #2. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #31. 7.4 wins per team per year
  • #6. Oldest conference. Average join year 1973
  • #1. Most compact. 1390 miles to drive to all schools (155 miles between schools)

School - #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ..... (out of conference game 9, & 10)

  • Florida State - #7 wins / #2 recruiting ..... (Florida, Miami)
  • Georgia Tech - #30 wins / #52 recruiting ..... (Georgia, Vanderbilt)
  • Clemson - #27 wins / #17 recruiting ..... (South Carolina, Georgia)
  • North Carolina - #57 wins / #26 recruiting ..... (Duke, Wake Forest)
  • NC State - #45 wins / #50 recruiting ..... (Duke, Wake Forest)
  • Virginia Tech - #4 wins / #24 recruiting ..... (Tennessee, Alabama)
  • Virginia - #41 wins / #35 recruiting ..... (South Carolina, Auburn)
  • Maryland - #55 wins / #44 recruiting ..... (West Virginia, Michigan State)
  • Penn State - #17 wins / #27 recruiting ..... (Pittsburgh, Ohio State)

Dumping the deadweight private schools is a boon to the ACC (Duke, Wake, Cuse, BC). By adding Penn State & cutting the fat, ACC jumps up to 3rd best football conference (although I like PAC maybe more). ACC is also elite academicallly - top 4 in every category except conference age & undergrad size. Does Penn State identify more with ACC, BIG or BE? Tough choice. Maryland & Virginia are close & they can play Pitt, Ohio State & Temple out of conference. ACC would replace Penn State w/ Rutgers & Kentucky would go to AAC if Penn State wants to be a midwest school.

SWC. Southwest. HQ Dallas, TX.

  • #7. US News rank #110
  • #2. Undergrads 30,300 students
  • #6. AAU. 3 schools (Texas, A&M, Arizona)
  • #3. 2013 attendance. 67,300 per home game
  • #2. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #27
  • #3. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #33. 7.2 wins per team per year
  • #4. Oldest conference. Average join year 1956 (original SWC would be 100 years old in 2014)
  • #6. Most compact. 1855 miles to drive to all schools (206 miles between schools)

School - #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ..... (out of conference game 9, & 10)

  • Arkansas - #37 wins / #25 recruiting ..... (LSU, Auburn)
  • Oklahoma - #8 wins / #10 recruiting ..... (Nebraska, Kansas)
  • Oklahoma State - #33 wins / #27 recruiting ..... (Nebraska, Kansas State)
  • Texas - #6 wins / #7 recruiting ..... (USC, Stanford)
  • Texas A&M - #28 wins / #15 recruiting ..... (LSU, Alabama)
  • Baylor - #65 wins / #32 recruiting ..... (Texas Christian, Kansas)
  • Texas Tech - #25 wins / #33 recruiting ..... (Texas Christian, Colorado)
  • Arizona - #54 wins / #42 recruiting ..... (UCLA, California)
  • Arizona State - #38 wins / #38 recruiting ..... (UCLA, California)

2nd best football conference in the country. Texas & Oklahoma are Kings with 4 more teams around the top 25. The Arizona schools are a drive from east Texas but probably have a similar culture & Arizona schools get to play both public California schools out of conference.

MWC. Midwest. HQ Kansas City, MO.

  • #5. US News rank #97
  • #4. Undergrads 23,800 students
  • #2. AAU. 6 schools (everyone but K-State, Utah, BYU)
  • #5. 2013 attendance. 57,000 per home game
  • #7. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #50
  • #4. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #35. 7.1 wins per team per year
  • #3. Oldest conference. Average join year 1948 (there are 6 of the old Big 8))
  • #5. Most compact. 1840 miles to drive to all schools (205 miles between schools)

School - #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ..... (out of conference game 9, & 10)

  • Iowa - #31 wins / #44 recruiting ..... (Wisconsin, Minnesota)
  • Iowa State - #68 wins / #63 recruiting ..... (Wisconsin, Minnesota)
  • Missouri - #38 wins / #37 recruiting ..... (Illinois, Purdue)
  • Kansas - #63 wins / #57 recruiting ..... (Oklahoma, Baylor)
  • Kansas State - #15 wins / #61 recruiting ..... (Oklahoma State, Oregon State)
  • Nebraska - #3 wins / #23 recruiting ..... (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State)
  • Colorado - #53 wins / #65 recruiting ..... (Texas Tech, Oregon)
  • Utah - #22 wins / #48 recruiting ..... (Boise State, Washington)
  • BYU - #18 wins / #60 recruiting ..... (Boise State, Washington State)

A hybrid conference. 6 old Big 8 teams plus Iowa was in it a really long time ago for a couple years plus the 2 Utah schools. The northern half of the SWC. Nebraska is only king. 3 other teams are top 25 in wins but struggle big time with recruiting.

BIG. Big Nine. HQ Chicago, IL.

  • #3. US News rank #63
  • #1. Undergrads 32,200 students
  • #1. AAU. 8 schools (everyone but Kentucky)
  • #2. 2013 attendance. 68,000 per home game
  • #5. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #39
  • #7. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #42. 6.5 wins per team per year
  • #1. Oldest conference. Average join year 1920 (all original members except for Kentucky)
  • #2. Most compact. 1490 miles to drive to all schools (166 miles between schools)

School - #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ..... (out of conference game 9, & 10)

  • Ohio State - #5 wins / #4 recruiting ..... (Penn State, Oregon)
  • Michigan - #14 wins / #12 recruiting ..... (Northwestern, Washington)
  • Michigan State - #35 wins / #30 recruiting ..... (Maryland, Oregon State)
  • Purdue - #51 wins / #64 recruiting ..... (Missouri, Washington State)
  • Indiana - #71 wins / #53 recruiting ..... (Louisville, Cincinnati)
  • Kentucky - #66 wins / #36 recruiting ..... (Louisville, Cincinnati)
  • Illinois - #67 wins / #56 recruiting ..... (Northwestern, Missouri)
  • Wisconsin - #12 wins / #46 recruiting ..... (Iowa, Iowa State)
  • Minnesota - #60 wins / #58 recruiting ..... (Iowa, Iowa State)

Huge land grand universities across the midwest. Mostly over 30k undergrads. Huge AAU research universities. Kentucky is an outlier with 21k students, only non-AAU school & 119 is US News. I felt they fit in well geographically but Penn State is a better fit as a university with 40k undergrads, AAU & #37 US News. Also 97k fans but Kentucky is actually 4th in recruiting among Big Nine teams at 36 so wins could follow. If Penn State is in BIG, I think ACC replaces them with Rutgers & Kentucky goes to AAC with Lville & Cincy. Ohio State & Michigan are the 2 kings.

PAC. Pacific 9. HQ Bay Area, CA.

  • #4. US News rank #84 (Boise St @ Regional 65 drops conference 21 points)
  • #7. Undergrads 21,500 students
  • #2. AAU. 6 schools (everyone but Boise St, Oregon St, Wash St)
  • #6. 2013 attendance. 53,000 per home game
  • #4. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #33
  • #5. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #36. 7.1 wins per team per year
  • #5. Oldest conference. Average join year 1966
  • #4. Most compact. 1490 miles to drive to all schools (202 miles between schools)

School - #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ..... (out of conference game 9, & 10)

  • UCLA - #35 wins / #19 recruiting ..... (Arizona, Arizona State)
  • USC - #19 wins / #6 recruiting ..... (Notre Dame, Texas)
  • Stanford - #44 wins / #20 recruiting ..... (Notre Dame, Texas)
  • California - #59 wins / #31 recruiting ..... (Arizona, Arizona State)
  • Oregon - #9 wins / #14 recruiting ..... (Ohio State, Colorado)
  • Oregon State - #45 wins / #49 recruiting ..... (Michigan State, Kansas State)
  • Boise State - #1 wins / #70 recruiting ..... (Utah, BYU)
  • Washington - #47 wins / #21 recruiting ..... (Utah, Michigan)
  • Washington State - #61 wins / #62 recruiting ..... (BYU, Purdue)

The old PAC 8 with Boise State instead of the Arizona schools. Boise is #1 in win rating past 20 years so they played their way in & are in the PAC NW with 4 other teams. But they're only a regional college (& still ranked 65th among West regional colleges!) so they kill the PAC's academic prestige. I'd make them play on a green field or at least not go blue on blue! Recruiting out west is getting a ton better. 5 schools in top 21. USC is a King & Oregon maybe too?

AAC. American Athletic. HQ Orlando, FL.

  • #8. US News rank #140
  • #3. Undergrads 24,100 students
  • #7. AAU. 1 school (Rutgers)
  • #8. 2013 attendance. 40,400 per home game
  • #8. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #55
  • #6. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #42. 6.6 wins per team per year
  • #7. Oldest conference. Average join year 2005 (Big East didn't play full schedule until 1993)
  • #2. Most compact. 1490 miles to drive to all schools (334 miles between schools)

School - #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ..... (out of conference game 9, & 10)

  • Connecticut - #56 wins / #75 recruiting ..... (Boston College, Syracuse)
  • Rutgers - #62 wins / #41 recruiting ..... (Boston College, Syracuse)
  • West Virginia - #24 wins / #34 recruiting ..... (Pittsburgh, Maryland)
  • Cincinnati - #33 wins / #55 recruiting ..... (Kentucky, Indiana)
  • Louisville - #26 wins / #40 recruiting ..... (Kentucky, Indiana)
  • Memphis - #69 wins / #77 recruiting ..... (Mississippi, Mississippi State)
  • Texas Christian - #21 wins / #39 recruiting ..... (Baylor, Texas Tech)
  • Central Florida - #42 wins / #71 recruiting ..... (Mississippi)
  • South Florida - #43 wins / #51 recruiting ..... (Mississippi State)

Last in attendance, recruiting & US News ranking. I would have named this the Metro Conference until AAC was invited last year. Only West Va is not in a big market. Only TCU is private. Everyone else is a huge commuter school in an urban setting. Definitely new money. No elite teams. West Va, TCU & Lville can say they're hovering around the top 25.

BE. Big East. HQ New York, NY.

  • #1. US News rank #31
  • #8. Undergrads 9,800 students
  • #4. AAU. 5 schools (Cuse, Pitt, NWern, Vandy, Duke)
  • #7. 2013 attendance. 42,800 per home game
  • #6. Past 5 years 247 composite recruiting. Average class #47
  • #8. Rank wins past 20 years. Average team #47. 6.0 wins per team per year
  • #8. Oldest conference. Average join year 1999 (used year joined ACC since 7/9 are in ACC)
  • #7 Most compact. 2975 miles to drive to all schools (331 miles between schools)

School - #rank wins past 20 years / #247 composite rank past 5 years ..... (out of conference game 9, & 10)

  • Boston College - #32 wins / #59 recruiting ..... (Connecticut, Rutgers)
  • Syracuse - #47 wins / #67 recruiting ..... (Connecticut, Rutgers)
  • Pittsburgh - #47 wins / #42 recruiting ..... (Penn State, West Virginia)
  • Notre Dame - #29 wins / #10 recruiting ..... (USC, Stanford, Navy)
  • Northwestern - #47 wins / #54 recruiting ..... (Illinois, Michigan)
  • Vanderbilt - #70 wins / #47 recruiting ..... (Tennessee, Georgia Tech)
  • Wake Forest - #63 wins / #69 recruiting ..... (North Carolina, NC State)
  • Duke - #72 wins / #68 recruiting ..... (North Carolina, NC State)
  • Miami - #13 wins / #16 recruiting ..... (Florida, Florida State)

All private schools. Pitt is semi-private. Historically private but now accepts some money from the state. This conference is much better at academics than football but Miami & Notre Dame can be elite. I could have put TCU here instead of Pitt but think Pitt is more at home in this eastern conference.

Playoffs

12 teams. 8 conference champions are automatically in the playoff & host their first playoff game. Seeds 1-8. I think every conference hosting 1 playoff game will foster a sense of conference pride to route for your conference team to win that game they host on their campus.

The top 4 teams get Byes for the first round - like how the NFL playoffs work for the top teams from each conference. The NFL actually has 12 playoff teams with 4 teams getting Byes for 1st round so this is copying their model.

The next best 4 teams from the Power 8 Conferences or BCS or Division 1 are added as at-large teams. Seeds 9-12. Teams from WAC, CUSA, SUN & MAC are not eligible. They will play for their own national championship at the FBS or Division 2 level.

I made a playoff projection for the 12 best teams based on their 2014 roster rank based on recruiting & their 10 game schedule vs other BCS teams:

http://athlonsports.com/college-football/ranking-college-footballs-rosters-2014

First Round. Week 15. Saturday, December 7. Game 13

#9 (6) USC 11-1 (7-1 PAC2) @ #8 AAC champ (34) West Virginia 10-2 (7-1) @ Morgantown, WV

#10 (10) Oklahoma (11-1 (7-1 SWC2) @ #7 BE champ (10) Notre Dame 10-2 (8-0) @ South Bend, IN

#11 (2) Florida 10-2 (7-1 SEC2) @ #6 MWC champ (23) Nebraska 11-1 (8-0) @ Lincoln, NE

#12 (4) LSU 10-2 (6-2 SEC3) @ #5 SWC champ (7) Texas 11-1 (8-0) @ Austin, TX

Second Round. Week 16. Saturday, December 14. Game 13-14

  • #5 (7) Texas 12-1 (SWC1) @ #4 PAC champ (14) Oregon 11-1 (7-1) @ Eugene, OR
  • #11(2) Florida 11-2 (SEC2) @ #3 BIG champ (4) Ohio State 12-0 (8-0) @ Columbus, OH
  • #7 (10) Notre Dame 11-2 (BE1) @ #2 ACC champ (2) Florida State 12-0 (8-0) @ Tallahassee, FL
  • #9 (6) USC 12-1 (PAC2) @ #1 SEC champ (1) Alabama 12-0 (8-0) @ Tuscaloosa, AL

Third Round. Final Four. Week 18. Saturday, December 28. Game 14-15. Neutral Site.

  • #3 (4) Ohio State 13-0 (BIG1) vs #2 (2) Florida State 13-0 (ACC1). Orange Bowl, Miami?
  • #5 (7) Texas 13-1 (SWC1 vs #1 (1) Alabama 13-0 (SEC1). Sugar Bowl, New Orleans?

Fourth Round. Championship Game. Week 19. Monday, January 6. Game 15-16.

  • #2 Florida State 14-0 (ACC) vs #1 Alabama 14-0 (SEC). highest bidder like Superbowl

BCS Bowl Games. Tier 1. Teams 13-20.

  • Sugar (New Orleans). 8 Auburn (SEC4) vs 17 Clemson (ACC2)
  • Rose (Los Angeles). 12 Michigan (BIG2) vs 19 UCLA (PAC3)
  • Fiesta (Phoenix). 15 Texas A&M (SWC3) vs 37 Missouri (MWC2)
  • Orange (Miami). 16 Miami (BE2) vs 40 Louisville (AAC2)

Tier 2 Bowl Games. Teams 21-28.

  • Citrus (Orlando). 8 Georgia (SEC5) vs 30 Michigan State (BIG3)
  • Cotton (Dallas). 20 Stanford (PAC 4) vs 25 Arkansas (SWC4)
  • Peach (Atlanta). 24 Virginia Tech (ACC3) vs 42 Pittsburgh (BE3)
  • Hall of Fame (Tampa). 39 Texas Christian (AAC3) vs 44 Iowa (MWC3)

Tier 3 Bowl Games. Teams 29-36. Rounds out top 50% of the 72 BCS teams.

  • Alamo (San Antonio). 13 Tennessee (SEC6) vs 27 Oklahoma State (SWC5)
  • Tangerine (Orlando). 27 Penn State (ACC4) vs 41 Rutgers (AAC4)
  • Copper (Phoenix). 21 Washington (PAC5) vs 48 Utah (MWC4)
  • Gator (Jacksonville). 36 Kentucky (BIG4) vs 47 Vanderbilt (BE4)

Tier 4 Bowl Games. Teams 37-45.

  • Music (Nashville). 18 South Carolina (SEC7) vs 26 North Carolina (ACC5)
  • Holiday (San Diego). 31 California (PAC6) vs 33 Texas Tech (SWC6)
  • Grand Prix (Indianapolis). 46 Wisconsin (BIG5) vs 61 Kansas State (MWC5)
  • Pinstripe (New York City). 54 Northwestern (BE5) vs 55 Cincinnati (AAC5)

Tier 5 Bowl Games. Teams 46-54 vs FBS conferences teams that finished 3rd & 4th in their conference. I'd like for teams to have 7 wins to be bowl eligible but might not be possible to have a 12 team playoff & 24 bowl games (60 teams total). There are 72 BCS teams in 9 conferences of 8 teams & 64 FBS teams in 4 conferences of 16. 136 total.

  • Liberty (Memphis). 22 Mississippi (SEC 8) vs Mid-American 3 (Toledo?)
  • Texas (Houston). 32 Baylor (SWC7) vs Sun Belt 3 (SMU?)
  • Queen (Charlotte). 35 Virginia (ACC6) vs Conference USA 3 (Navy?)
  • Silver (Las Vegas). 49 Oregon State (PAC7) vs Western Athletic 3 (Nevada?)
  • Hawaii (Honolulu). 51 South Florida (AAC6) vs Sun Belt 4 (Tulane?)
  • Motor (Detroit). 53 Indiana (BIG6) vs Mid-American 4 (Central Michigan?)
  • Military (Annapolis). 59 Boston College (BE6) vs Conference USA 4 (Middle Tennessee?)
  • Sun (El Paso). 60 Brigham Young (MWC6) vs Western Athletic 4 (Utah State?)

FBS is divided into 4 conferences of 16 teams. There are 9 conference games. 3 annual games vs rivals (like the 4 private schools in the Sun Belt - Tulane, Rice, SMU, Tulsa all play each other or the 4 public Texas schools in the Sun Belt all play each other). Then 6 games vs the other 12 teams in conference. So schools play every other school home & away every 4 year period. Game 10 is out of conference against a team from another FBS conference (Missouri State vs Arkansas State or Temple vs Delaware). Game 11 is against a FCS school (Temple vs Villanova or Western Kentucky vs Eastern Kentucky). Game 12 is on the road against a BCS school. So each FBS school has 6 home games (5 FBS + FCS) & 6 road games (5 FBS + BCS).

Above I mentioned the 3rd & 4th best teams would play BCS teams in low tiered bowl games. That's because #1 & #2 will play each other in a conference championship game. This will serve as the 1st round of a 8 team playoff for a FBS National Champion. Each conference champion will play in the Final Four. Here's an example using 2013's record:

Conference Championships. First Round. Week 15. Saturday, December 7. Game 13 (may need to adjust date for TV so as not to compete with FBS playoffs, play next Wednesday & Thursday?).

WAC. 11-1 Fresno State vs 10-2 Montana

MAC. 12-0 Northern Illinois vs 10-2 Ball State.

CUSA. 9-3 Marshall vs 9-3 East Carolina.

SUN. 9-3 Rice vs 8-4 Houston.

Final Four. Second Round. Week 17. Saturday, December 21. Game 14

12-1 Fresno State (WAC) vs 10-3 Rice (SUN)

13-0 Northern Illinois (MAC) vs 10-3 East Carolina (CUSA)

Championship Game. New Year's Day @ noon? Game 15

14-0 Northern Illinois (MAC) vs 13-1 Fresno State (WAC)

Here are the 4 FBS conferences & an example of a BCS opponent in parenthesis. I won't list out each team's 3 rivals here.

WAC - Western Athletic (west). averaged 23,800 attendance in 2013. 17,300 undergrads. Average US News Rank is 197.

  • UTEP (Texas Tech)
  • New Mexico State (Arizona)
  • New Mexico (Arizona State)
  • Air Force (Wake Forest)
  • Colorado State (Colorado)
  • Wyoming (Oregon State)
  • Montana (Washington)
  • Montana State (Washington State)
  • Idaho (Boise State)
  • Utah State (Utah)
  • Nevada (BYU)
  • UNLV (Oregon)
  • San Diego State (UCLA)
  • Fresno State (California)
  • San Jose State (Stanford)
  • Hawaii (USC)

I promoted Montana & Montana State from FCS Big Sky because they average 20-24k fans & are both ranked 201 in US News. Idaho & NMST are in Sun Belt in real life & UTEP is in CUSA.

MAC - Mid-American (north). averaged 17,500 attendance in 2013. 18,600 undergrads. Average US News Rank is 181.

  • Massachusetts (Boston College)
  • Buffalo (Syracuse)
  • Army (Duke)
  • Temple (Penn State)
  • Kent State (Minnesota)
  • Akron (Indiana)
  • Bowling Green (Iowa)
  • Toledo (Iowa State)
  • Ohio (Ohio State)
  • Eastern Michigan (Wisconsin)
  • Central Michigan (Michigan State)
  • Western Michigan (Michigan)
  • Miami (Cincinnati)
  • Ball State (Purdue)
  • Northern Illinois (Illinois)
  • Missouri State (Missouri)

I upgraded Missouri State from FCS because they're building a new football stadium. Temple returns to MAC after leaving for AAC. Army joins the conference for 1st time since they failed out of CUSA. EMU really needs to be demoted, they averaged 4.1k fans last season. North Dakota State averaged 18.6k as a FCS school but it's a lot harder to get to!

SUN. Sun Belt (south). averaged 20,300 attendance in 2013. 14,700 undergrads. Average US News Rank is 187.

  • Alabama Birmingham (Alabama)
  • Troy (Auburn)
  • South Alabama (Mississippi State)
  • Southern Mississippi (Mississippi)
  • Arkansas State (Arkansas)
  • Louisiana Lafayette (South Carolina)
  • Louisiana Monroe (Kansas)
  • Louisiana Tech (Kansas State)
  • Tulane (Louisiana State)
  • Rice (Baylor)
  • Southern Methodist (Texas Christian)
  • Tulsa (Oklahoma State)
  • Houston (Texas A&M)
  • North Texas (Oklahoma)
  • UTSA (Texas)
  • Texas State (Nebraska)

This is a combination of CUSA & Sun Belt. I split them both geographically. Giving SUN Alabama to Texas & CUSA Florida up the coast to Delaware. The schools are so similar I figured proximately was the most important factor.

CUSA - Conference USA (east). averaged 20,300 attendance in 2013. 20,500 undergrads. Average US News Rank is 232.

  • Florida International (Miami)
  • Florida Atlantic (Florida)
  • Georgia Southern (Georgia)
  • Georgia State (Georgia Tech)
  • Middle Tennessee (Tennessee)
  • Western Kentucky (Kentucky)
  • Marshall (West Virginia)
  • Appalachian State (Florida State)
  • Coastal Carolina (Clemson)
  • Charlotte (NC State)
  • East Carolina (North Carolina)
  • Old Dominion (Virginia Tech)
  • Liberty (Virginia)
  • James Madison (Maryland)
  • Navy (Notre Dame)
  • Delaware (Pittsburgh)

I promoted James Madison (21k) & Liberty (15k) from FCS. They're rumored to be joining FBS soon. I chose Coastal Carolina (8k) over Chattanooga (10k). UTC is probably more ready but Coastal would only be the 3rd FBS team in SC. Undeserved market in Myrtle Beach. Delaware should be in FBS as an elite academic school (#75) & averages 18.6k fans.

So that's everything. Thanks for reading. I attached a poll. How did your team make out compared to real life? Do you like it more or less for your team? College football overall?

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