In “the King’s Decree,” I developed the plan for conference realignment with six objectives in mind in the following order of importance:
- Emphasize regional (geographic) cohesion – As I pointed out in “Conference Chaos,” Rutgers should not belong in the same conference as Nebraska, nor West Virginia in the same conference as Texas Tech. Furthermore, I have long thought the geographic overlap of the ACC and SEC to be problematic, or at least less than ideal. The King’s Decree corrects these issues. Also, regional cohesion allows more fans to attend more away games closer to home. As an added bonus, with the permanent non-division rival pairings, the plan creates some potentially awesome new rivalries like Florida State-Alabama, Nebraska-Texas A&M and Missouri-Arkansas.
- Maintain (and restore) traditional rivalries – Due to its regional emphasis (objective 1), the King’s Decree maintains almost all historic rivalries and restores many rivalries that have been lost (Nebraska-Oklahoma, Kansas-Missouri, Texas-Texas A&M, Arkansas-Texas, Pitt-Penn State, West Virginia-Maryland, and the list goes on). As an added bonus, many in-state rivalries that are currently out-of-conference games will become in-conference games, which will only add to the heat of each rivalry as these teams battle for division and conference supremacy. These include Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina, Louisville-Kentucky, Iowa-Iowa State, Pitt-Penn State, Utah-BYU and others. In order to maintain historic rivalries, Notre Dame is allowed to remain independent, with certain provisions.
- Standardize conference structure and schedule – I really like (and am proud of) this one. Each conference looks and operates the same way. Same number of teams and divisions. Same number of conference and out-of-conference games. Every conference has a championship game. None of this “one true champion” stuff. No more 8 conference games over here, 9 over there. It’s all the same. And simple. By the way, did you notice each conference has a roughly similar (by state count) geographic footprint? Two conferences have 7 states each, two have 8, and one has 9. Nice.
- Preserve bowl games tradition/system – The bowl games are woven into the fabric of college football tradition and lore. The King’s Decree affords eight deserving teams and their fan bases the opportunity to revel in the excitement and pageantry of the historic New Year’s Day bowls. And after that, you have the “Final Four” of college football. Sweet!
- Reward conference champions – In my view, winning your division, and with that, having the chance to win your conference, should be every team’s first goal. If a team manages to do both, it deserves an opportunity to compete for the national title. Especially considering how the King’s Decree evenly balances out the five super conferences. Yes, some divisions and some conferences will be stronger than others. However, in the King’ Decree, every team plays 10 of its 13 conference foes every year. There will be no easy path. A champ is a champ.
- Improve national championship format – I’m glad the BCS has been replaced. Four is definitely better than two. And 16 is clearly too many. However, eight is ideal, and the King’s Decree is the perfect plan for it. The champions of five super conferences and the next three highest ranked teams competing for the national title within the framework of the historic bowl system. There is no better plan. Period! By the way, the current 13-person college football playoff selection committee can and should be abolished. I find the committee’s rankings to be highly suspect, particularly regarding the ridiculous “eye test” so often spouted by sports analysts and pundits. My ranking system is perfectly (and better) suited to determine the next three best teams to compete with the five conference champions for the national title.
That’s a wrap. Love live the king! 🙂