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Divisionless Football Conferences?
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Nerdlinger Offline
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Divisionless Football Conferences?
While I'm not really a fan of abandoning divisions, doing so would allow for a schedule in which even a school in a conference of 14 could play all the other schools in the conference within 2 years (and with only an 8-game conference schedule). I was inspired by this article. Basically, for a 14-team conference, each team gets 3 protected annual matchups and alternates between half of the other 10 opponents each year. The author proposes a different scheme for the ACC, adding ND as a full member and having 4 protected matchups. Here I'm working with the ACC as is and giving them 3 protected matchups like the Big Ten and SEC. I also changed some of the matchups around in each conference. In most cases, I tried to retain traditional rivalries while still remaining somewhat competitively balanced (i.e., strong teams play more strong teams, weak teams play more weak teams).

The last 2 columns for the ACC, Big Ten, and SEC are the matchups I'd add if the conferences wanted to expand to 5 protected matchups and a 9-game schedule.

ACC
Code:
BOSTON COLLEGE     Syracuse           Wake Forest        Miami-FL          | Virginia           Pittsburgh
CLEMSON            Georgia Tech       Florida State      NC State          | Louisville         Miami-FL
DUKE               North Carolina     Virginia           Wake Forest       | Florida State      NC State
FLORIDA STATE      Miami-FL           Clemson            Georgia Tech      | Duke               Louisville
GEORGIA TECH       Clemson            Miami-FL           Florida State     | Pittsburgh         Wake Forest
LOUISVILLE         Pittsburgh         Virginia Tech      Syracuse          | Clemson            Florida State
MIAMI-FL           Florida State      Georgia Tech       Boston College    | Virginia Tech      Clemson
NC STATE           Wake Forest        North Carolina     Clemson           | Syracuse           Duke
NORTH CAROLINA     Duke               NC State           Virginia          | Wake Forest        Virginia Tech
PITTSBURGH         Louisville         Syracuse           Virginia Tech     | Georgia Tech       Boston College
SYRACUSE           Boston College     Pittsburgh         Louisville        | NC State           Virginia
VIRGINIA           Virginia Tech      Duke               North Carolina    | Boston College     Syracuse
VIRGINIA TECH      Virginia           Louisville         Pittsburgh        | Miami-FL           North Carolina
WAKE FOREST        NC State           Boston College     Duke              | North Carolina     Georgia Tech

Big Ten
Code:
ILLINOIS           Northwestern       Purdue             Ohio State        | Indiana            Iowa
INDIANA            Purdue             Northwestern       Michigan State    | Illinois           Maryland
IOWA               Nebraska           Wisconsin          Minnesota         | Northwestern       Illinois
MARYLAND           Rutgers            Penn State         Michigan          | Nebraska           Indiana
MICHIGAN           Michigan State     Ohio State         Maryland          | Wisconsin          Purdue
MICHIGAN STATE     Michigan           Rutgers            Indiana           | Penn State         Ohio State
MINNESOTA          Wisconsin          Nebraska           Iowa              | Purdue             Rutgers
NEBRASKA           Iowa               Minnesota          Wisconsin         | Maryland           Penn State
NORTHWESTERN       Illinois           Indiana            Purdue            | Iowa               Wisconsin
OHIO STATE         Penn State         Michigan           Illinois          | Rutgers            Michigan State
PENN STATE         Ohio State         Maryland           Rutgers           | Michigan State     Nebraska
PURDUE             Indiana            Illinois           Northwestern      | Minnesota          Michigan
RUTGERS            Maryland           Michigan State     Penn State        | Ohio State         Minnesota
WISCONSIN          Minnesota          Iowa               Nebraska          | Michigan           Northwestern

SEC
Code:
ALABAMA            Auburn             Tennessee          LSU               | Georgia            Vanderbilt
ARKANSAS           Missouri           Mississippi State  Texas A&M         | LSU                Ole Miss
AUBURN             Alabama            Georgia            Florida           | Mississippi State  Texas A&M
FLORIDA            Georgia            South Carolina     Auburn            | Tennessee          LSU
GEORGIA            Florida            Auburn             South Carolina    | Alabama            Tennessee
KENTUCKY           South Carolina     Vanderbilt         Tennessee         | Missouri           Mississippi State
LSU                Texas A&M          Ole Miss           Alabama           | Arkansas           Florida
MISSISSIPPI STATE  Ole Miss           Arkansas           Missouri          | Auburn             Kentucky
MISSOURI           Arkansas           Texas A&M          Mississippi State | Kentucky           South Carolina
OLE MISS           Mississippi State  LSU                Vanderbilt        | Texas A&M          Arkansas
SOUTH CAROLINA     Kentucky           Florida            Georgia           | Vanderbilt         Missouri
TENNESSEE          Vanderbilt         Alabama            Kentucky          | Florida            Georgia
TEXAS A&M          LSU                Missouri           Arkansas          | Ole Miss           Auburn
VANDERBILT         Tennessee          Kentucky           Ole Miss          | South Carolina     Alabama

I also have one for the Pac-12. The protected matchups were obvious. I suppose they could go with an 8-game schedule, but that means each year a team would play its 3 rivals and 5 out of the other 8 teams. If they stick with 9 games, that works better from a scheduling perspective. It also allows every team to play 3 California schools per season.

Pac-12
Code:
ARIZONA            Arizona State      Colorado           Utah
ARIZONA STATE      Arizona            Utah               Colorado
CALIFORNIA         Stanford           UCLA               USC
COLORADO           Utah               Arizona            Arizona State
OREGON             Oregon State       Washington         Washington State
OREGON STATE       Oregon             Washington State   Washington
STANFORD           California         USC                UCLA
UCLA               USC                California         Stanford
USC                UCLA               Stanford           California
UTAH               Colorado           Arizona State      Arizona
WASHINGTON         Washington State   Oregon             Oregon State
WASHINGTON STATE   Washington         Oregon State       Oregon

What do you think of the whole scheme? Any matchups I should change?
(This post was last modified: Today 06:43 PM by Nerdlinger.)
08-18-2017 09:38 AM
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Carolina_Low_Country Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Divisionless Football Conferences?
UNC and Virginia have to play every year it's the oldest rivalry in the south. UNC would scrap Wake Forest
08-18-2017 10:06 AM
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YNot Online
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Post: #3
RE: Divisionless Football Conferences?
Love the PAC 12 structure! Perfect!

Only draw back for the larger conferences is that a team could make the CCG because of an easy schedule, not because they are one of the best teams in the conference.

For instance, let's say Arkansas gets its permanent opponents Missouri, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M and then in a scheduling fluke gets Kentucky, Mississippi St., South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Auburn. That's about as easy as it gets with an SEC schedule. Conversely, let's say Georgia has Auburn, Florida, South Carolina and then Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, A&M, and Ole Miss.

Arkansas could earn the CCG berth by 2 or 3 games over Georgia, even if Georgia has the clearly better team.

For larger conferences, I would like to see the conference championship expanded to include a semi-final round - where there are three division champions and one wild card participant. That would keep all regions of the conference engaged in the championship hunt, and allow one quality, highly-ranked runner-up the chance to show how good the conference is.
(This post was last modified: 08-18-2017 10:16 AM by YNot.)
08-18-2017 10:15 AM
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Nerdlinger Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Divisionless Football Conferences?
(08-18-2017 10:06 AM)Carolina_Low_Country Wrote:  UNC and Virginia have to play every year it's the oldest rivalry in the south. UNC would scrap Wake Forest

OK, I dropped the UNC/WF and Syracuse/UVa matchups in favor of UNC/UVa and Syracuse/WF.

(08-18-2017 10:15 AM)YNot Wrote:  Love the PAC 12 structure! Perfect!

Only draw back for the larger conferences is that a team could make the CCG because of an easy schedule, not because they are one of the best teams in the conference.

For instance, let's say Arkansas gets its permanent opponents Missouri, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M and then in a scheduling fluke gets Kentucky, Mississippi St., South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Auburn. That's about as easy as it gets with an SEC schedule. Conversely, let's say Georgia has Auburn, Florida, South Carolina and then Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, A&M, and Ole Miss.

Arkansas could earn the CCG berth by 2 or 3 games over Georgia, even if Georgia has the clearly better team.

For larger conferences, I would like to see the conference championship expanded to include a semi-final round - where there are three division champions and one wild card participant. That would keep all regions of the conference engaged in the championship hunt, and allow one quality, highly-ranked runner-up the chance to show how good the conference is.

A team can also make the CCG by means of winning an easy division.
08-18-2017 11:33 AM
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MplsBison Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Divisionless Football Conferences?
Selfishly for Minnesota, it's a big no thanks.

The West teams are more in our level. No desire to play Mich, OSU, or PSU.


But overall, sure it could work. If you don't mind the CCG being the #1 v #2.
08-18-2017 12:50 PM
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ohio1317 Offline
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RE: Divisionless Football Conferences?
Love it and wish they would do it (they won't). I would personally rather have Illinois than Michigan Statr as our 3rd (our only trophy game) and would rrarrange a few others for trophy type games in the Big Ten, but for thr most part great. Might post more later when on a real computer.
08-18-2017 01:06 PM
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Nerdlinger Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Divisionless Football Conferences?
(08-18-2017 01:06 PM)ohio1317 Wrote:  Love it and wish they would do it (they won't). I would personally rather have Illinois than Michigan Statr as our 3rd (our only trophy game) and would rrarrange a few others for trophy type games in the Big Ten, but for thr most part great. Might post more later when on a real computer.

I traded Illinois/Indiana and MSU/OSU for Illinois/OSU and MSU/Indiana.
08-18-2017 01:16 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Divisionless Football Conferences?
(08-18-2017 09:38 AM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  Pac-12
Arizona: Arizona State, Colorado, Utah
Arizona State: Arizona, Colorado, Utah
California: Stanford, UCLA, USC
Colorado: Arizona, Arizona State, Utah
Oregon: Oregon State, Washington, Washington State
Oregon State: Oregon, Washington, Washington State
Stanford: California, UCLA, USC
UCLA: California, Stanford, USC
USC: California, Stanford, UCLA
Utah: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado
Washington: Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State
Washington State: Oregon, Oregon State, Washington

Someone proposed this back when Utah and Colorado first joined, and also came up with a way to do it while still having two football divisions. Their Tumblr page explaining the idea is still up: http://pac12cooler.tumblr.com/post/77380...r-proposal
08-18-2017 01:41 PM
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Nerdlinger Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Divisionless Football Conferences?
(08-18-2017 01:41 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(08-18-2017 09:38 AM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  Pac-12
Arizona: Arizona State, Colorado, Utah
Arizona State: Arizona, Colorado, Utah
California: Stanford, UCLA, USC
Colorado: Arizona, Arizona State, Utah
Oregon: Oregon State, Washington, Washington State
Oregon State: Oregon, Washington, Washington State
Stanford: California, UCLA, USC
UCLA: California, Stanford, USC
USC: California, Stanford, UCLA
Utah: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado
Washington: Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State
Washington State: Oregon, Oregon State, Washington

Someone proposed this back when Utah and Colorado first joined, and also came up with a way to do it while still having two football divisions. Their Tumblr page explaining the idea is still up: http://pac12cooler.tumblr.com/post/77380...r-proposal

I'm not big on zipper alignments, but they came up with a very nice setup. There's a lot more you can do with 12 teams than, say, 10 or 14.
08-18-2017 02:01 PM
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CarlSmithCenter Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Divisionless Football Conferences?
Think this would probably work better. Florida and LSU do not want to play each other each year, and neither Arkansas nor A&M have any geographic or real historic reason to play South Carolina each year.

SEC
Alabama: Auburn, LSU, Tennessee
Arkansas: Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Missouri
Auburn: Alabama, Georgia, Florida
Florida: Georgia, South Carolina, Auburn
Georgia: Florida, Auburn, South Carolina
Kentucky: South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
LSU: Ole Miss, Alabama, Texas A&M
Mississippi State: Arkansas, Missouri, Ole Miss
Missouri: Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Arkansas
Ole Miss: LSU, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
South Carolina: Kentucky, Florida, Georgia
Tennessee: Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Alabama
Texas A&M: Missouri, Arkansas, LSU
Vanderbilt: Tennessee, Ole Miss, Kentucky
08-18-2017 02:03 PM
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