Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Daily Directive

Yesterday we narrowed our new Super D1A to 101 possible teams. Well today we will put those pieces all together. The next step would be to require that a conf have 12 teams and a championship game in order to make a BCS Bowl. But before we get to how that shakes down, I think we should add a BCS Bowl with the Cotton Bowl. Now since there are currently five games, maybe we just add the venue and not a 6th game. Either way I always liked the Cotton Bowl and now that it will be played at Jerry Jones Field, shouldnt it be part of the main BCS games?

Ok now to how the conf realignment would break down. The 12 team requirement would be announced at the same time as the 5 year 20k rule. So this would give the confs time to adjust. Here is how it would likely play out:

1. The B11 would be pushing for ND to be #12, but since ND is no better off they hesitate. The P10 would be courting Colorado. The ACC knowing that NYC is likely plan B for the B11 acts first by taking RU and SU to go to 14 teams. This completes the ACC expansion and doesnt leave BC all alone. The BE now needs to replace RU and SU, AND get to 12. For now they just add 3 teams ECU, Memphis, and UCF (by now the BE split will be a foregone conclusion but more on that later). CUSA is now down to 9 teams but holds steady for the time being. The MWC realizes that they need 3 more teams and adds Boise St, Fresno St, and Hawaii. What happens to the other 6 WAC teams? Well we dont care as none will make the new D1A.

2. The P10 gives up on Colorado and takes BYU and Utah. Which leaves the MWC needing two more teams. They bring in Tulsa and UTEP. That knocks CUSA to 7 teams. For now they add Troy to get to the current 8 minimum.

3. After ND still says no, and Missou says the same, the B11 settles on Pitt. The BE now needs four to get to 12. They take Delaware, UAB, Toledo, and USM. That knocks the MAC to 12 so no harm. But CUSA goes back to 6. They add App St and Ark St (who may not make the 20k requirement). On top of that Rice wont make the 20k requirement and SMU is not likely to either. Although with June Jones there now it is not totally impossible to get more butts in the seats. So with only five teams likely making the 20k requirement (Marshall, Tulane, Houston, Tory, App St) and only a few other teams possible of joining CUSA with 20k fans (NIU-yes, and CMU, WMU, La Laffayette- all possible), it isnt very likely that CUSA could get to 12 teams. Since Marshall is the only school that can safely say they can get over 20k, the CUSA teams are likely to go 1AA.

So the new Super 1A would now be:

B11- Mich, PSU, OSU, Wisc, Mich St, Iowa, Illinois, Purdue, Minn, Indiana, NW, Pitt
SEC- Tenn, UGA, LSU, Bama, Fla, Aub, SC, UK, Ark, Miss, Miss St, Vandy
B12- Texas, OU, Neb, A&M, Missou, TT, KU, Colorado, Okie St, ISU, K St, Baylor
P10- USC, UCLA, ASU, Wash, Cal, Ore, Zona, Ore St, Stan, WSU, BYU, Utah
BE- WV, USF, UL, UConn, Cincy, UCF, Memphis, ECU, Delaware, UAB, Toledo, USM
ACC- Clemson, FSU, VT, UNC, NC St, UVA, MD, GT, Miami, BC, Wake, Duke, RU, SU
MWC- Air Force, TCU, NM, SD St, CSU, UNLV, Wyoming, Hawaii, Fresno St, Boise St, UTEP, Tulsa
Indies- ND

And with all the fat trimmed from D1A (MAC, WAC, CUSA, Sun Belt) teams would be forced to play each other OOC, which is good for us all.

You may ask what happened to Navy, Army, Montana, or those teams mentioned above about a possible new CUSA? Well that is part of the next requirement. But first we will go back to the BCS Bowls. While we now have 7 confs which would make for an easy 12 team playoff, the big confs dont want the NCAA in control of the money. So the Bowl system remains. However the MWC would now have an auto bid. Even though currently the best non BCS conf will 90% of the time take a BCS bid, it isnt 100%. So to keep everyone happy we add the Cotton Bowl to the mix, meaning 12 BCS slots. Each conf still has the two team max though. So based on last year we would have:

Champ: OU vs Fla
Rose: USC vs PSU
Fiesta: Texas vs Bosie St
Sugar: Bama vs Utah
Orange: VT vs Cincy
Cotton: OSU vs GT

So the only difference is OSU moves from the Fiesta to the Cotton and Bosie St and GT are now BCS teams. The B11, B12, SEC, ACC, and MWC all get 2 bids. While the P10 and BE get one each. If you allow a 3rd team from a conf because of the added game, Texas Tech replaces GT. Also with the Sun belt, MAC, WAC, and CUSA gone it adds a few more minor Bowl slots for everyone. The biggest draw back is that with five at large bids, ND has no incentive to join a conf in FB. Which means their affiliation with BE FB will remain in tact. But what about BBall? The BE was forced to split so what does ND do? Well that is answered with the new requirement I mentioned earlier.

The BE doesnt make sense because some teams play FB and others BBall only. And the conf is just too damn big. Well the same can be said about D1 BBall. There are currently 344 D1 teams which is absurd. Which is why there should be a 1A and 1AA in BBall as well. Which means the 1A FB schools are your only 1A BBall schools. Are we really losing much as CBBall fans cutting none FB schools, who are already falling well behind? Sure we would miss the A10, MVC, BE BBall onlies, Gonzaga, and the Cinderellas. But you also lose 200 schools of crap. On top of that you force teams to play each other in BBall OOC. Having only 87 teams will do that making for a better regular season.

So the confs would be the same as the FB but ND would be the 13th team in the BE. The NCAAT would be reduced to 40 teams. Since you only want teams over .500 in the NCAAT, you wont have many more than 40 in a given season. That may seem small but with 7 confs that leaves 33 at large bids. Currently there are 34 at large bids and some of those go to mid majors. Also NCAAT money is being split with fewer confs and fewer teams. Meaning more money for all. Based on last year we would have seen something like:

Round 1

7 Okie St vs 10 Auburn (NIT team)
8 Tenn vs 10 Minn

7 OSU vs 10 Miss St
8 A&M vs 9 MD

7 LSU vs 10 SD St (NIT team)
8 USC vs 9 Wisc

7 BYU vs 10 Fla (NIT team)
8 Mich vs 9 Zona

Round 2

1 Pitt vs Tenn/Minn
2 Duke vs Okie St/Auburn
3 Wash vs 6 Texas
4 FSU vs 5 UCLA

1 UConn vs A&M/MD
2 Memphis vs OSU/Miss St
3 Missou vs 6 Cal
4 Purdue vs 5 ASU

1 UL vs USC/Wisc
2 Mich St vs LSU/SD St
3 KU vs 6 BC
4 Wake vs 5 Utah

1 UNC vs Mich/Zona
2 OU vs BYU/Fla
3 SU vs 6 Clemson
4 Illinois vs 5 WV

And so on

The biggest draw back is the lost of Cinderellas. While that stinks for the first round, it makes for a better NCAAT later on as the clock usually strikes midnight after the first two games (George Mason being an exception). Taking a look at last years NCAAT the only teams we would lose that were 10 seeds or higher were Nova(3), Xavier(4), Gonzaga(4), Marq(6), Butler(9), and Siena(9). That is it just six teams. So you arent losing a whole lot. And protecting the top seeds makes for a stronger tournament later on. Ensuring a true champion as a team will have to earn it. Another draw back is the loss of day games during Thursday and Friday. As fans that sucks. But for the schools it ensures all games are prime time and more $.

Back to what keeps the other teams possible of getting 20k from being Indy. The BBall requirement plays a huge role in that. Just like in FB an auto bid needs 12 teams. So CUSA would have no choice but to stay behind in 1AA. Otherwise their BBall teams would have to make the NCAAT as an at large, which isnt likely. That requirement would also make Navy and Army stay behind in 1AA as their BBall teams couldnt survive playing 25 road games a year as an Indy. The same can be said about any other team (like Marshall), who would want to go at it alone. It is possible both Army and Navy could join the BE as BBall only like ND, making the BE 15 teams. But even in a watered down BE they couldnt compete.

The only real possibility would be for CUSA to become Marsh, Tulane, Houston, Troy, App St, Ark St, NIU, CMU, WMU, La Lafayette, Navy, and Army (assuming SMU doesnt make it). Also assuming they wouldnt add Montana (22,785k avg), who is far away , or Southern (18,925 avg), who would take fans from Tulane (20,975). That would give them 12 teams and an auto bid to the BCS and NCAAT. But would Army and Navy really want to be a part of that? Also would those 12 teams be able to get 20k for 5 years to be eligible and then keep a 20k avg to prevent relegation to 1AA? Marshall, Navy , and Army all avg'd over 25k the last 5 years, so they seem safe. NIU, Tulane, Houston, Troy, and App St all barely avg'd 20K, with NIU the highest at 21,210 and Houston the lowest at 20,120. Ark St, CMU, WMU, and La Lafayette all avg'd less than 20k, with CMU the highest at 18,800 and Ark St the lowest at 18,185. Having a single team be relegated would make the conf lose its auto bid. Would that risk be worth it to be 1A?

So lets say some way, some how that CUSA gets to 12 and sustains the 20k going forward, what happens then? Well for the BCS Houston would replace GT in the Cotton vs OSU. And Houston would also make the NCAAT over SD St and play LSU. It also waters down the regular season as 12 more teams are available OOC. But CUSA would be OOC road warriors.

As to the other sports I would follow suit. Teams should be 1A, 1AA, DII, or DIII in all sports. Since the other sports really arent money makers, if teams get moved down so be it. For us here in Orangeland, we only care about Lax as another sport. Losing the Ivies would suck. But it would be funny to see the GTown and Hopkins programs die. So D1A would be SU, ND, OSU, Air Force, RU, PSU, Delaware, Duke, UNC, UVA, and MD (maybe Army and Navy as well). This would mean every team plays each other once for a 10 game season. The best 4 teams go to the Final Four. So this year it would be UVA vs UNC and SU vs Duke.

That is until more schools field teams. I can see Michigan, Mich St, Northwestern, UConn, GT, BC, Wake, and CSU all fielding teams in prep for the new D1A. That would at least bring it to 19 teams (maybe 21 with Army/Navy). Then maybe you have an 8 team tourney. Keeping the number of teams in 1A small would ensure top matchups. While today we have to fear that with the rapid expansion of Lax, the old way of taking on all comers may stop. Also it would be fun to debate who was better the 1A or 1AA champ.

There you have it folks. If the NCAA required a 20k minimum attendance in FB it would totally change the landscape of D1 sports.

Y'all come back now

King Otto III

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