by Matt Fischer
It’s time for college football to stop pussyfooting around. They’re the big dogs in the NCAA and are gaining power annually. They now dictate everything that happens in college sports. Realignment is done strictly for college football. It’s time for college football to consolidate power and make the move to the Power 64.
The Power 64 will consist of four, 16 team leagues as the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC take over college sports. This move will become de facto expansion of the College Football Playoff.
The Big 12 has bungled its way around the college football landscape for years now and it’s time to relegate it with the other non-Power 64 schools. Honestly my Power 64 plan does away with the Big 12 altogether. This is my plan to overhaul college football and realign for four mega conferences designed around college football.
Power 64 College Football Expansion and Realignment
With these four major conference currently, we only have 56 of the Power 64 so we need eight schools to join. These will be the four conferences that crown champions to send to the College Football Playoff. The conference championships by extension become quarterfinal games for the College Football Playoff.
ACC Expansion and Realignment
The ACC needs two more teams to get to 16 so welcome Cincinnati Bearcats and West Virginia Mountaineers. With this move we realign to a more North and South format for the divisions. Here are the new divisions for the ACC:
|ACC Atlantic||ACC Coastal|
|Virginia Tech||North Carolina|
|West Virginia||Wake Forest|
Big Ten Expansion and Realignment
The Big Ten lands the big recruit in this realignment, Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish join a conference so they can be playoff eligible and will keep the Big Ten coffers full as this should secure they remain the highest paid conference from their tv deal. The Big Ten also welcomes the Kansas Jayhawks. The Jayhawks bring the audience from the Kansas City market and stellar basketball.
With these new divisions we create this new divisional line for the Big Ten:
|Big Ten West||Big Ten East|
Pac-12 Expansion and Realignment (now Pac-16)
Meet the New Pac-12 as they had four new members. Now in the Pac-16 are BYU Cougars, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Baylor Bears and TCU Horned Frogs.
Here are new East and West Divisions of the Pac-12 (East and West makes more sense than North and South moving forward):
SEC Expansion Realignment
We already know the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns are headed to the Southeastern Conference but we need to realign the league so here’s the new SEC divisions:
|SEC West||SEC East|
|Ole Miss||South Carolina|
College Football Scheduling
The regular season schedule remains at 12 games. Schools will play every team in their conference and then have five non-conference games. They would be required to play one school from each of the other Power 64 conferences leaving them with one “wildcard” game on the schedule. They can schedule a “non-conference” game against a rival from their conferences other division, a FBS opponent or a non-Power 64 team. That’s theirs to choose for college football’s “Wildcard Weekend”.
College Basketball has set up these conference versus conference battles so we’re going to do the same with college football. We can set up great early season match-ups at neutral sites like we have now but they’ll be even better because we can truly compare conferences.
The first five games of the season will be non-conference and then they close the season with the conference slate.
Sample 2022 Schedule for Arizona State Sun Devils
|September 3, 2022||Missouri (Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City) SEC|
|September 10, 2022||North Carolina ACC|
|September 17, 2022||UNLV Wildcard|
|September 24, 2022||BYE|
|October 1, 2022||at Iowa Big Ten|
|October 8, 2022||Texas Tech (Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX) Wildcard|
|October 15, 2022||BYE|
|October 22, 2022||at Utah|
|October 29, 2022||TCU|
|November 5, 2022||Oklahoma St|
|November 12, 2022||at Colorado|
|November 19, 2022||BYU|
|November 26, 2022||at Baylor|
|December 3, 2022||at Arizona|
|December 10, 2022||Pac-12 Championship|
New College Football Playoff
The college football final four will start to resemble that of basketball where the semi-finals rotate the regional champions for match-ups.
We’ll set the 2022-23 College Football Playoff like this:
Fiesta Bowl (December 31, 2022) – Pac-16 vs. Big Ten
Peach Bowl (December 31, 2022) – ACC vs. SEC
Then the winners of those will play January 9, 2023 in Los Angeles.
It’s time to change college football better and take the teams chosen for the College Football Playoff out of the hands of human beings. Let champions be crowned on the field. The regular season can get better non-conference match-ups as they won’t impact your chances of making the college football playoff. You’re testing yourself to be ready to win those games in December and January.