Why FBS Needs to Pass “Proposition 15”

When Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League had work stoppages in 1994-95 and 2004-05, respectively — a strike in the former case, a lockout in the latter — they made some changes after the stoppages ended, with the intention of bringing disillusioned fans back. Fans are one of the key aspects of each sport. Just like it is in hockey, the same applies for basketball and even horse racing on bet-grand-national.co.uk.

In baseball's case, the change was clandestine: the owners looked the other way while juiced-up hitters, from Barry Bonds to Sammy Sosa to Mark McGwire, sent missiles over the outfield fences of every stadium in the game.

In hockey, it was done more straightforwardly, with the implementation of the shootout if a game was still tied even after five minutes of overtime.

This was — and is — somewhat controversial, because it meant that the loser of a shootout actually received one point in the standings, just like both teams did when prior games ended in a tie.

A "participation point," anyone?

While the NFL emerged from the pandemic virtually unscathed (all of its 256 regular-season and 13 postseason games were played, even though numerous games had to be rescheduled and bye weeks for some teams juggled), the FBS, formerly known as Division I-A college football, did not: in the Big Ten, for example, only three teams — Ohio State and Northwestern (who met in the conference title game) along with Indiana — played any out-of-conference games, and different teams played a different number of conference games, ranging from five for Ohio State and Maryland to nine for Penn State.

An amazin' mess indeed.

So the time is perfect for a new order in major college football — the expansion of four of the five "AQ" conferences, increasing all five to 15 teams (the ACC has already gotten to that number by beating the Big Ten to the proverbial punch by admitting Notre Dame last year, although there is speculation as to whether the Irish will remain in the conference on a permanent basis), which will allow them to realign into three five-team divisions, resulting in the three division winners plus one wild card team qualifying for a new semifinal playoff, with the two division winners with the best conference records earning home field advantage, the winners therein then moving on to meet in the conference championship game, to be held at a predetermined site, as is done currently.

And what "expansion teams" might be going into the four remaining conferences?

Big Ten — Obviously Temple. The Owls saw a streak of five consecutive bowl appearances snapped by their 1-6 finish in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. They have a long-standing rivalry with Penn State (45 lifetime meetings starting in 1931), who it goes without saying would go into the Eastern Division along with, besides Temple itself, Rutgers, Maryland, and Indiana (which is in the Eastern Division in the current two-division alignment).

Big 12 — In spite of its name, it needs five new teams to get to 15 — and the five most logical candidates are Cincinnati (West Virginia, which is even further from the conference's geographical core than Cincinnati, is already in this conference) and Memphis (the Tigers have earned their ticket to bigger and better things with their 72-43 record since 2012 — and Memphis is even closer to the conference's geographical core) along with SMU, Houston, and Rice, original members of the Southwest Conference, as are four existing members of this conference (Baylor, TCU, Texas, and Texas Tech).

Pac-12 — Needs three new teams — but here, too, the choices are obvious: BYU and Utah State (common rival Utah is already here) and Boise State (the Broncos have earned the opportunity to move up from the "mid-major" ranks after going 224-45 in this millennium).

SEC — If anything, Central Florida is even more obvious here than Temple is for the Big Ten. Within the last eight years the Knights have beaten Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl and Auburn in the Peach Bowl.

With the NFL poised to dance on COVID's grave — all U.S. adults are now expected to be vaccinated against it by the end of May — by going to the 17-game schedule, thus adding 16 games to its regular season, their de-facto farm system, the FBS, can join in the dance by adding 10 games that truly count to its postseason.

There is no reason why they shouldn't do it.

Leave a Comment

Featured Site