Permit me to begin with an apology; in the aftermath of a fairly busy weekend, it has been a light posting day here at Dawg Sports. This, I assure you, was due not to sloth, but to the fact that I have been working on a series of postings, of which this is the first. I hope you will conclude that it was worth the wait.
This notion arose from my recent proposal to establish The S.E.C. Junior, which generated several comments from readers who were ready to beat the Christmas rush and kick Kentucky out of the conference now.
That got me thinking . . . as long as we're considering reordering the college football landscape, why not think big?
By "think big," I mean 11 postings big, not 14 points big.
Every conference has its oddities, whether numerical (11 teams call the Big Ten home), geographical (Arkansas, formerly a Southwest Conference school, began playing in the Southeastern Conference in 1992), or structural (the Big 12 South is substantially stronger than the Big 12 North). Why not re-evaluate current arrangements and reshuffle the deck to produce a more sensible structure to conference composition?
This, therefore, will be the first in a series of postings outlining my proposal for reorganizing the various college football leagues. While I freely admit that this idea is utterly unrealistic, it makes for some fun conjecture and, besides, it's a long offseason, so what else do we have to do between now and two-a-days?
Various factors influenced my decisionmaking, from traditional rivalries to geographic boundaries to internal balance, but, ultimately, it just came down to an arrangement that "felt" right. (Sorry, L.D.) In the end, I reorganized all 119 Division I-A teams into nine 12-member conferences and one 10-member conference, with one independent . . . and, no, it's not the one you think.
Special treatment for Notre Dame? No way. Special treatment for this dame? You bet.
In some instances, I preserved the existing conference nomenclature; in others, I revived historic league names that seemed more fitting under the circumstances. No longer are any conferences referred to as the "big" this or that, but my league monikers typically served as regional descriptions.
Each league has been divided into two divisions, the champions of which will meet in a conference title game at the end of the regular season, even the one with only 10 teams. Yes, I know this violates an existing N.C.A.A. rule, but, hey, it's my game, so I'm taking a few liberties here.
The nine 12-team conferences will use an S.E.C.-style eight-game league schedule consisting of the five other teams from the same division, one permanent opponent from the other division, and two rotating opponents from the other division.
Those are the rules. Stay tuned for the newly redesigned conferences, which will be unveiled shortly.
To be continued. . . .