Conference Realignment, Naming Rights, Financing

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#277      
A bit of a slower day for me, so here is a hypothetical. People have floated the (perhaps overly optimistic) idea that maybe once we have two super conferences and there is less of a game of musical chairs to be one of the "haves," it might be in everyone's best interest to set up divisions similar to the MLB or NFL that allow us to play some of our old regional rivals more often.

On that note ... what would be your "most realistic" scenario like this for the Big Ten and Illinois, specifically, that would still be at least somewhat acceptable to you personally as a fan? I had the following assumptions for mine:
1. We still have a 12-16 CFP Playoff, but it is pretty much independent of the NCAA at this point. About half of the teams come from the Big Ten, about half come from the SEC and maybe there are a handful of spot reserved for the other conferences. Effectively, the Big Ten is the NL, and the SEC is the AL.
2. The Big Ten expands to 25 teams and has five divisions of five teams. They do this by adding the following, at least in my little scenario ... I am assuming we are not QUITE as picky as we are now due to there only being two major leagues, and the OSUs of the world need teams to beat!

- Colorado ... more or less lucky to get in but a growing market in the West, untapped fan base potential (as shown last year) and lots of Big Ten grads out there
- Florida State ... gets us into Florida via a team with a large fan base and pretty good academics
- Miami (FL) ... a bit of a circumstantial package deal with FSU
- North Carolina ... gets us into North Carolina (underrated for recruiting, IMO) via a pretty good athletic program and very good school
- Notre Dame ... finally!
- TCU ... this is my REALLY big wild card, as I don't think we would normally take them ... but as far as getting into Texas and allowing Big Ten schools to play regular games in the DFW Area in front of top recruits, there weren't that many better available options
- Virginia ... for reasons that are a hybrid of CU and UNC

3. I am not sure what the system would be, but the Big Ten's divisions are not ENTIRELY equal. Think something like FIFA, where Europe gets more teams in the World Cup than Africa even with a smaller population. So, if one division is a lot tougher than another, it might get more teams in or something like that ... in other words, I didn't kill myself trying to make the divisions equal as far as strength of the programs.

HEARTLAND DIVISION
Illinois
Iowa
Minnesota
Nebraska
Wisconsin

GREAT LAKES DIVISION
Michigan
Michigan State
Northwestern
Ohio State
Purdue

EAST DIVISION
Indiana
Maryland
Notre Dame
Penn State
Rutgers

SOUTH DIVISION
Florida State
Miami (FL)
North Carolina
TCU
Virginia

WEST DIVISION
Colorado
Oregon
Washington
UCLA
USC

I imagine there would be some cross-division protected rivalries, as well, such as Indiana/Purdue. Not perfect by any means, but if 4 of our 9 conference games were guaranteed to be vs. Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin, I would certainly take it as a win and be a happy man!
 
#278      
This is what I said on 8/18/21. Cut this to just 24 schools and this is how I would like to see it:


6/27/24:

West Division:
USC
UCLA
Oregon
Washington
Colorado
Nebraska

Central Division:
Illinois
Wisconsin
Minnesota
Iowa
Northwestern
Kansas

East Division:
Ohio St.
Michigan
Michigan St.
Indiana
Purdue
Notre Dame

Atlantic Division:
Maryland
Rutgers
North Carolina
FSU
Penn St.
Virginia

West Division (all AAU schools): (From 8/18/21)

USC
UCLA
Stanford
California
Oregon
Washington
Utah
Arizona

The Central Division is:

Illinois
Northwestern
Iowa
Minnesota
Wisconsin
Nebraska
Kansas
Notre Dame

The East Division

Michigan
Michigan St.
Ohio St.
Penn St.
Maryland
Indiana
Purdue
Pittsburgh

Atlantic Division

Duke
North Carolina
Clemson
Virginia
Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech
FSU
Rutgers

Have each division winner play a qualify for a conference playoff.

Play each team in your division and then play the corresponding same place team in the other divisions from the following year. Two non-conference games.

The Great BIG Conference
 
#279      

ChiefGritty

Chicago, IL
I find the "wishcasting Illinois into an unrealistically easy College Super League pod" genre of post really bizarre.

If the voodoo economics of the new college sports had any room for the Big Ten West, we'd still have the Big Ten West.
 
#280      
I find the "wishcasting Illinois into an unrealistically easy College Super League pod" genre of post really bizarre.

If the voodoo economics of the new college sports had any room for the Big Ten West, we'd still have the Big Ten West.
I guess I am operating under the assumption that our current economic climate of musical chairs will not endure once conferences get big enough. I admit I am not knowledgeable enough about this subject to articulate this too well, but it seems to me that the MLB doesn't particularly care that the AL Central is a fairly weak division that doesn't have any of the big-money franchises. Couldn't we see a similar situation in 10+ years where as long as the OSUs, Michigans, PSUs, etc. are IN the Big Ten and have a realistic path to the CFP, the conference is not too picky about this? I admit I am spit-balling here just for fun, haha.

If I am the Big Ten and I am an NFL-sized league, I actually kind of view Illinois as a perfect complimentary asset. You get a large state flagship school located in a huge state, an absolutely massive alumni base compared to the national average, a program that has proven to produce good TV ratings when we have a semi-decent team, fertile recruiting grounds for the actual Big Ten powers and - most importantly - a fairly regularly expected win for the top dogs, haha.
 
#281      

ChiefGritty

Chicago, IL
it seems to me that the MLB doesn't particularly care that the AL Central is a fairly weak division that doesn't have any of the big-money franchises.
The existence of Central Divisions in baseball was an intentional subsidy to the small market owners for whom Bud Selig was their champion.

Anyway, all due respect to everyone's intellectual craft, but all of this sucks, is openly hostile to fans, and I think we should be clear that what we want is for humpty-dumpty to be put back together again.
 
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