Conference Chaos -- Part 2

Yesterday we outlines how major college football could undergo a massive restructuring that results in four 16-team mega conferences dominating and controlling major college football. As a result, and considering all the factors that come into play we ended up with the following expended SEC alignment.

2012-13 SEC Divisional Assignments and parallel opponent

Eastern DivisionWestern Division
Florida LSU
Georgia Auburn
Tennessee Alabama
Kentucky Miss. State
Vanderbilt Ole Miss
South Carolina Arkansas
Virginia Tech TCU
UCF Houston

Now is not the time to argue for or against the team I chose or the ones that got left out. Instead it's to figure out how to make scheduling work in a mega conference of this size. There's really one key to making this work rather easily and that is to minimize interdivisional play.

For football that means you play all your divisional opponents and one permanent opponent from the other division. I matched up the newcomers to keep current permanent opponents as they are. This way the eight game conference schedule does not change. Florida, for example would trade its rotating Western Division games for annual games against Virginia Tech and UCF.

Right now there's a 50/50 chance that the SEC Championship Game would be a rematch, but under this alignment that likelihood drops to 12.5 percent. The SEC is fortunate there haven't been more rematches in Atlanta, but this makes it that much less likely.

For basketball I would propose doing the same thing, except with home and home games. That keeps the league schedule at 16 games and adds a lot of excitement to the SEC Tournament because of the 87.5 percent chance that there will be no rematches. Invite only the top four teams from each division, too so that getting into the tournament would be an accomplishment.

Baseball is trickier, but I'd like to see them go with only divisional play and have four game series, Thursday through Saturday (28 games). Teams travel on Thursday now anyway so just have them play on travel day instead. Then, rather than have a tournament, have an SEC World Series, best two of three for the SEC Title and the NCAA automatic bid.

If you don't like that format then play eight weekends (24 games) of three game series against your division rivals and permanent interdivisional school. But still limit the tournament to the top four in each division.

The other sports will be relatively easy to schedule too, but the real key is to limit play between the divisions because it will make all the conference championship events more special. It also makes determining an SEC Champ fairer since the schedules will be more equal than they are under the current formats.

We finish up our three part series with a look at how the creation of mega conferences leads to the birth of a major college football playoff.

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