Can an 80-team 'Super League' save CFB and end conference realignment?

Texas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy (1) sits in the endzone after the 31-37 loss to the
Texas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy (1) sits in the endzone after the 31-37 loss to the / Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman /

Over the past couple of years, college football has undergone seismic changes that has seen players allowed to be paid for their NIL, transfer portal madness that emulates free agency, and the death of a power conference.

Surprisingly, conference realignment has seemingly done the most damage to the sport as we trend to the SEC and Big Ten being the only two conferences standing, while programs around the country are forced to worry if they will be a part of one of the two super conferences. The changes are obviously straying us away from the sport we all grew up loving, and while it has always been about money, it has only exposed the underlying motives more than ever.

With the future of the sport in flux, a recent report by The Athletic revealed that has been asuggestions to change the landscape of college football again, this time in a way to save the sport.

Texas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy (1) sits in the endzone after the 31-37 loss to the
Texas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy (1) sits in the endzone after the 31-37 loss to the / Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman /

The report by Stewart Mandel and Andrew Marchand revealed that there is a push being made for an 80-team Super Leauge that would change everything, again.

There would just be a single league in charge of college football’s highest level, zero conferences, playoff berths based on results, promotion and relegation for smaller schools, and most importantly the players will be paid directly, and NIL and the transfer portal will have regulations. What a concept.

“The current model for governing and managing college athletics is dead,” Syracuse chancellor Kent Syverud toldThe Athletic.

Syverud along with West Virginia President Gordon Gee is a part of "College Sports Tomorrow" which is a 20-person search firm that selects top conference commissioners. Their suggestion is to take the top 70 programs, which would consist of all members of the five former Power conferences, plus Notre Dame and and new Power 5 team SMU, and form seven 10-team divisions. The remaining 10 teams will be made up of schools that would be promoted from the lower tier, which is made up over 50 teams. Those 50 teams, similar to European football would be in constant fight for promotion and against relegation in the top league.

This method also eliminates the playoff committee, as each of the eight division winners will be joined by eight wild card teams, which will be selected by tiebreaking rules like the NFL. The schools would own the league as well similar to the format that the MLS uses.

The only obstacle, which it's a big one, is to get everyone to agree on this. Something that will prove to be difficult considering the SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 haven't met with the group. Whether this happens or not, clearly college football is due for some more changes.


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Kevin Borba

KEVIN BORBA

Managing Editor and Publisher of CardinalCountry.com, formerly a Pac-12 Network Production Assistant and a contributing writer for USA Today's Longhorns Wire. I am a proud graduate of Quinnipiac University's sports journalism master's program. Follow me on Twitter @Kevin__Borba