What NCAA Conference Realignment Should Look Like

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Apr 6, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; NCAA president Mark Emmert speaks at a press conference before the national championship game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Connecticut Huskies at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Conference realignment has changed the college football landscape. It’s time for the NCAA to step in. Here is how the conferences can be perfectly aligned.

Before we get started, let me just say that I am fully aware I am writing from the perspective of a fantasy world. Money and self-interests for every school is going to kill tradition altogether no matter what, and I have already documented how the college football world will roughly look in the years to come with my piece last year on the future conference realignment.

But still, would it not be nice if all of the conferences were aligned perfectly and were regionally based? And how would that look?

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That is what we will try to explore here. Conference realignment has gotten out of hand, so it is time to call on the NCAA and President Mark Emmert to step in. With 128 teams, there should be 10 conferences made up of 12 teams each with eight independents left over.

We will get to how we determine the independents.

Each conference should have a conference championship game, and they should all be semi-regionally based.

Here is how you make sure they make sense regionally: all moves in a conference have to be approved by an NCAA committee, and the college going to said conference has to be in a state that borders at least one other state that hosts a college in that conference.

For instance, West Virginia would not be and should never have been qualified to join the Big 12. The same holds true for Idaho and the Sun Belt.

If a team meets the qualifications, the NCAA Committee would have to state a specific and valid reason (determined by another impartial committee if said team and conference challenge ruling) for denying the change.

Also, this set up is done to allow changes to happen. Not only can teams change conferences, teams can move into FBS and FCS. That decision lies with the NCAA. As we will explain later, the worst FBS teams would be Independents, and an FCS team could replace one of those FBS teams in a given year. They would automatically be Independents upon entering FBS until receiving an invitation to join a conference, at which point they would replace another team in that conference.

This keeps stability among the conference along with a fair set of rules for everybody. So with 10 conferences plus a group of Independents, let’s see how each conference would look.

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