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"Super Leagues" NCAA Format

Posted 03-05-2013 at 08:56 AM by jasomm
Updated 02-26-2014 at 11:56 AM by jasomm

College Football Super Leagues
A three step process could create a functional and balanced League system.
1) THE ROSE LEAGUE: BigTen and Pac-12 merge to form a "League" (in 2012 an alliance was discussed, but failed). Along with the merger they also invite Pitt, Boston College, and Navy with the understanding from Notre Dame that if these arrangements go through, they will join as the 30th member since every major Notre Dame rivalry (except Army) will be scheduled yearly in this new League. [further "Divisions" within the league could be made to cater to the needs of other sports, but not in football.]

2) THE SUGAR LEAGUE: Following the Rose League example the SEC, Big12, and ACC merge. Syracuse requests to join the Rose League following BC, Pitt. The Rose League considers expand beyond 30 (with Syracuse and others) as the Sugar League has formed with 36 members.

3) The two leagues incorporate a new governing body for athletics in just those two leagues. A new system of bowl game affiliations is worked out, with a national championship game that pits the two league champions against each other (like the NL vs AL system in baseball).

The leagues agree to expand to 40 teams each. All former members of major conference find a spot, plus those who were regularly bowl-eligible teams while ensuring nearly all traditional rivalries are accounted for.

Further more; each League, a) schedules 10 league games, no exceptions. 6 of which are protected rivalry games. Exceptions can be made for more protected rivalries when deemed necessary for particular schools. 2 additional games are scheduled at will. b) league tournaments include the best 4 out of 40 teams based on W/L record and other tie brakers.

Since each team plays 10 league games (1/4 for the league), and 4 teams play in the League Championship Tournament, the playoff team records will be based on a representative sample of league games.
I found complete FBS rankings data (from teams 1-120+) a while back, and used this to compile BCS-Era-rankings, and Last-5-Yr-rankings (2008-2012) of every team. Then the top teams (that I actually thought the leagues would agree on) where added (i.e. N.Ill and Toledo were passed over for better football+academics+TVmarket+rivalries options) to get the leagues to 40 each.

The average BCS Era ranking for all the teams in the two leagues is .585. The colors show standard deviation groups. The Sugar League has a stronger collection of teams based on those 15 years of play, but the two leagues are still comparable in overall strength.

Here is the general geography of the two leagues:

^^^ Columns of teams show how they might group basketball divisions, or other sports. (OR this could be a system just for football, while all current conferences are maintained for other sports)


From a list of traditional college football rivalries I created a cross-schedule to see how each league would probably try to lock in the 6 rivalry-game minimum for each member school.... dark red/blue are major traditional rivals, while lighter red/blue are traditional conference match-ups (not necessarily a big rival), or resurrected rivalry, or an interesting matchup that the league would probably like promote (i.e. MD-Ciny or Mich-Cuse).

Here is what I came up with for the Rose League rivalry games:

Note that Standford, Notre Dame, and Penn State all have additional rivalry games each year, but the league schedule still stays balanced. Those teams will simply need fewer randomly-assigned league-games added to their league-schedule to get to the requisite 10 games.

...And here are the Sugar League rivalry games

After the 10 intra-league game schedules are figured out, each team then has 2 additional games to schedule inter-league or other FBS teams (Mountain West, Sun Belt, C-USA, MAC or independent teams.) These may also be yearly inter-league rivalries such as Pitt v WV, Iowa v. Iowa State, or FBC rivalries such as Notre Dame v Army, or LSU v. Tulane as the school see fit. However, Rose and Sugar League schools may not schedule any FCS games anymore. (The non-league conference may still do so, as they wish.)
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