Crimson Corner: What if College Football's Conferences were Realigned?

Joey Blackwell

On Monday morning, Sports Illustrated columnist Pat Forde proposed a radical resolution that could solve a lot of problems in college football:

Conference realignment.

In his proposal, Forde explains that by transforming the teams of college football into a 120-school ecosystem composed of 10 conferences each containing 12 teams could dramatically shift the landscape of college football.

Forde also proposes a 12-team playoff consisting of all 10 conference champions and two at-large bids selected by a committee.

So what would this mean for the Alabama Crimson Tide?

In short, it would mean the abolishment of the SEC and moving over to the newly-restructured Sun Belt Conference.

Alabama's schedule would consist of a round-robin season against the other 11 teams of the conference, with its singular non-conference game being played against Tennessee, who would be moved to the Mid-American Conference.

Here is a full list of Forde's realigned college football conferences:

FBS Conference Realignment
Sports Illustrated

These changes are somewhat radical, but there could be some benefits to the greater college football.

First and foremost, there would be a larger playoff field, with each conference champion receiving an automatic bid. This would quell the arguments and disputes that inevitably arise every season surrounding the College Football Playoff and the great "Who's in?" debate.

A second benefit would be, according to Forde, greater "regional identity." While the old conferences are gone, most schools are great aligned with schools in their geographic region rather than scattered across the country as we see today in some conferences.

There would still be some drawbacks to the new system, though.

Chiefly among these issues is the abolishment of some great, historic conferences such as the SEC and BIG 10. Along with that, the networks associated with said conferences would have to change their names, and let's be honest here: The SEC Network sounds a lot better than the Sun Belt Network, doesn't it?

A more-pressing issues would be around something that is always an issue in college football: money. If the conferences were realigned, huge Power 5 schools would have to start splitting money with smaller, non-Power 5 schools. This could potentially result in a lot of problems.

In summary, Forde's proposal answers a lot of questions surrounding college football today but also brings up even more quandaries that would need to be resolved quickly if it were to be put in practice.

Will Forde's proposal be put into practice? Absolutely not. This is just pure speculation and a fun idea to ponder while we wait for further news regarding the 2020 season.

While there are some issues with the current system as well as Forde's proposal, it is definitely interesting to take a look at what could very well be an eventual future of the sport that so invokes so much passion from fans across the country.

America, Realigned: A Radical Reimagining of the NCAA Landscape
Andrew DeGraff / Sports Illustrated
Comments (3)
No. 1-3
Joey Blackwell
Joey Blackwell

Editor

What are your thoughts?

Bobcatwon
Bobcatwon

Silly. Interesting, but still silly. The west, as usual, is pretty much ignored in this scenario. The very actions of networks, big publishers, etc. has created the lack of balance in College football as it is today and this proposal would be another continuation of this imbalance. Now way.

Anthony Sisco
Anthony Sisco

Editor

Stranger things have happened but there are a lot of positives to it. I’ve always believed that college football should get rid of the cup cake games and start the playoffs earlier. It would make for an exciting December and give more teams a chance.