College Football Super League
The playoffs are broken, the NCAA is losing all “amateur” nonsense rules, OU and Texas are joining (or at least trying to join) the SEC, and there are rumors the SEC is talking to every team worth talking to.
So I’ll imagine a new super league with the SEC as the center of the CFB universe.
First off, this is ridiculous. There may be nuggets of good ideas in here, but a lot is just my bias and imagination. There’s a solid chance you will hate this and yes, there are >1,000 ways this is totally stupid. Deal with it.
With that disclaimer, here are my assumptions:
- The SEC is the greatest conference.
- About 115 out of 130 FBS teams have 0 chance of making the playoffs and that’s dumb.
- There should be some aspect of regionality and history taken into account, but #1 supersedes all.
- There do still need to be some patsies.
- Non-patsies should sell bunches of gear and have big stadiums. It’s really just evidence for #4.
I’ll establish both the structure of the league as well as what I think the season should look like. If you hate the former, you may not the latter and vice versa.
The rough idea is 3 conferences of 12, with 2 6 team divisions each.
Yeah, nuts. I know. I’ll explain each. You’ll hate it.
First, we’ll restore the SEC to it’s glory, shedding the baggage of 1991 onward, and re-embracing our roots up to 1964. Unfortunately, Sewanee cannot be included because it threw it all away.
We’re roughly maintaining the East/West Divisions here. Georgia Tech is back in the East and Tulane in the West. The latter is probably most important to give them a Vandy and generally balance out the power.
The SEC gets preserved largely intact because it is the greatest of all conferences. Everyone wants to join us, if they don’t want to or get to, they hate us. We’re the most stable. We invented Conference Championship games. We make bank in places without metro areas. And since Florida won a Natty in 2006, we’ve pretty much dominated the CFB landscape.
Everywhere else has the NFL, baseball, hockey and stuff that pulls for their primary sports loyalty. We’re agrarian and didn’t get that stuff until much later. In the SEC, your team is a core part of your identity. You maybe went there. Maybe your family did. Maybe you just live nearby and like the colors. Whatever. CFB is king here, thus we reign.
I’m calling this conference “Big”. The Big 8, the Big 12, the Big East, whatever. They like the word Big, and have the most, so they get to keep it. Sorry B1G.
The Southwest division is primarily made up of former SWC. They also get to have Memphis as their patsy, because I went there. We’re kicking Arkansas and Texas A&M out of the SEC because that never made sense. And I reject the idea that OU and Texas should ever be in the SEC. They’re not Southeast and that’s dumb.
The “Out East” division are those ACC and former Big East teams worth keeping. Rutgers and Penn St. in the B1G never made sense. And Rutgers gets to stay here as the patsy. Sure, some of these teams are in the Southeast, but they always feel more Atlantic to me anyway. Miami is out because I’m tired of them.
I’m calling this conference “Rosey” because they love the Rose Bowl and say “Granddaddy” all the time, even though they’re not Southern and probably never use the word “Ganddaddy” to actually refer to a grandfather.
“Up North” is mostly those old B1G teams that are proud of themselves and actually have a chance to win something. Iowa State gets to replace Iowa, because I like them more. Notre Dame gets to suck it up and be in a conference, and sticking them in one in the Atlantic is dumb. Michigan is the patsy here, but that could shift to Iowa State, I guess if one starts to suck. They can play against West Coast teams, because they love that shit.
“Out West” is complicated. The PAC 12 sucks and is so inconsistent it’s really hard to pick actual powers out there. Arizona and Washington as states are left out of this because, really? Stanford and USC (west) get to represent California, because I say so. These teams will probably take turns being the patsy, because they can’t keep their shit together to save their lives. Oregon gets to stay because that Nike money will keep them going forever.
All real games should matter. But some cupcake games are good to allow teams to tune up before they get into real play. So we’ll get a pre-season, regular season, and post-season.
All games are on Saturday. Period. The end. This lets lesser leagues do midweek games to satisfy hardcore football fans and get primetime exposure.
But no games should be on Friday or Sunday in any college level ever. Those days should be for high school and the NFL.
I propose 2 preseason games. The current “Spring Games” are structurally dumb, but serve a useful purpose of letting teams evaluate talent and stuff before they get into fall practice.
So, lets have 1 Spring cupcake game against a team left out here, and 1 fall cupcake game. This also allows those lesser teams to get paid $1 million dollars to get their ass beat in an away game and fund their athletic departments. Good for them.
There should be a 1 week break after this before the regular season. Probably just start this the Saturday closest to August 1st.
Preseason games don’t count for anything except hype. Teams should be able to test out 3rd stringers and keep the stars from getting injured, just like the NFL. It’s just about evaluating, giving the fans a taste, and passing some cash to cupcakes so they can fund more sports.
Each team will play 5 games against, 1 against each team in their division. Then like the current SEC structure, they should have 1 permanent cross-division opponent, because that lets them keep some rivalries. Alabama vs Tennessee, Notre Dame vs. USC (west), that kind of thing. A lot will just be dumb like Florida vs. LSU. Whatever.
Then they should play 2 more games against other random cross-divisional teams. But no cross-conference games in the regular season. It needs to keep an air of mystery for the playoffs.
1 rivalry game for each team should be neutral site, because that’s fun. Maybe that’s dumb. Whatever, I make the rules here.
Then each team gets 2 bye weeks.
So 1 fall preseason game + 8 mostly hard regular season games. There’s a post-season, and these guys shouldn’t get totally killed. That’s 10 weeks of football before we get to the post-season.
So each conference should have a championship that is a “Bowl Game”. It’s really a first playoff game.
SEC Championship is the Sugar Bowl. It should be. Atlanta is dumb for this.
The BIG Championship is the Cotton Bowl. There’s no real affinity for Out East, so the Southwest just gets thrown a bone here.
Obviously the Rosey Championship is the Rose Bowl. They get to “granddaddy” it up, and something about pageantry.
Rest of the Playoffs
From there we get an 8 team playoff. Obviously Conference Champions automatically get in.
The 4 highest ranked non-Conference champions get to duke it out paired in 2 play-in games. Maybe the Peach Bowl, or a renamed Fiesta Bowl (more later). They should have to play this game because they either:
a. didn’t have to play a conference championship b. lost and should be penalized
Then the 8 teams are seeded by rank and we get to have a normal 8 team playoff to determine the winner.
No required activities and junk for the players on these. It’s serious freaking business, and the teams can do something fun if they want or not. These aren’t Bowl Games or even pretend to be like the Conference Championships do.
The National Champion players should get something really awesome. Like a chunk of cash or a car or something.
But what about regular Bowl Games?
I dunno. I’ll be lazy about this. Maybe the top 50% of the leftovers get to play random bowl games.
Rules for all Bowl Games
No more Company X Bowl Game, or Abstract Concept Bowl Game. All Bowl Games must be renamed after regionally appropriate agricultural products or just plants in places without any. The Fiesta Bowl can be like the Cactus Bowl or something.
And they can only be “The X Bowl brought to you by Megacorp”. No prepending your company name to the Bowl game, jerks.
You still get the extra practices for not totally sucking. And all Bowl Games must come with actually sweet gift packages worth at least $2k per player. And no stuffing them with kuzees and cheap bluetooth speakers. Like actually cool stuff to kids: cell phones, tablets, custom Jordans, legit gear. And no off-brand Chinese stuff.
There should be 1 fun regionally appropriate activity, and no freaking bowling.
I should note the business end of this. The NCAA is out of it. They can manage Lacrosse and Tennis, but CFB is big business and pretending the “amateur student athlete” stuff is a joke.
Every conference gets a TV channel/streaming presence. They are negotiated independently to keep one provider (*cough* ESPN *cough*) from necessarily being able to buy the whole sport. Individual games may be negotiated separately to be on major networks, like conference “game of the week” and such.
Conference championships would be include in conference packages, but the remainder of the playoff would be another per-year contract.
Bowl games are individually done.
All TV revenues are combined and split across all members. Individual teams should get financial advantages of selling tickets and licensed gear, booster funds etc. But to keep some financial parity and avoid some of the rich/poor situation we have now, this evens the playing field a bit.
Player Compensation and Protections
Players should have a union and a CBA. They should get guaranteed scholarships. They should get paid. They should get healthcare beyond their 4-year career.
Most of these guys won’t make the NFL and are wasting the time that they are most valuable to some idealized idea of “love of the game.” A lot are going to have injuries that impact the rest of their lives. Even great players won’t be able to go on to the next level because of this. We see it time and time again.
There can be salary caps and whatever else normally goes into a CBA. Recruiting rules, “dead periods”, etc. are all up to the negotiation between the league and the union. So are transfer rules and such.
I’d like to see no recruiting during the season, just because I think coaches should be able to sleep sometimes. But that’s up to them.
All players have the right to an agent and still own NIL. Real business classes must be required curriculum. Agents must be registered or Bar members and must carry malpractice insurance covering beyond a reasonable limit. Something needs to protect these guys from all the scumbags trying to take advantage of them. Sure, there will be scumbag agents and lawyers, but ethical rules and malpractice insurance at least gives them recourse.
This is stupid
Yeah it is. CFB has been stupid for its entire existence. It’s part of the tradition.
This covers a lot, but doesn’t account for everything. Sports and the financial aspects are complicated, and I’m just some random dude on the internet.
You’re welcome to hate this. It’s completely biased and made up by me. I don’t claim otherwise.