If FBS Conferences Were Realigned, Where Would Virginia Tech Fit?

Mike McDaniel

With COVID-19 impacting all aspects of American and worldwide culture, there could be some changes to the upcoming college football season.

Let's be realistic for a second.

There's a real chance that college football is not played this fall.

But let's be optimistic and hope for the best for the sake of everybody's sanity. We can be realistic and acknowledge that even if there is college football, things will be different, and the fall will likely be far from normal.

There may not be fans, and even if there are, they will almost certainly be limited in most stadiums across the country. 

There may also be changes to the schedule, with teams not playing a full 12 game schedule as expected. 

Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde took it a step further this week in a really fun piece on SI.com, as he took a stab at completely realigning the college football landscape.

Below are some highlights of the piece and key considerations from his realignment proposal:

  • A 120-school ecosystem, with 11 current FBS members relegated to FCS and one elevated from that level. Congratulations to North Dakota State; condolences to UTEP, Texas State, UTSA, South Alabama, Louisiana-Monroe, Bowling Green, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Coastal Carolina, Troy and Liberty. (Relegation/elevation can be revisited every three seasons.)
  • Ten leagues, each with 12 members, each designed to maximize proximity and reduce travel demands and costs. All current conference structures are broken and reassembled. There are no more than eight Power 5 programs in a single new conference, and no fewer than four. And there are no independents—yes, Notre Dame is in a conference.
  • In football, each school will play a full round-robin schedule plus one non-conference game (no FCS opponents). The non-conference opponent will be locked in for a minimum of four seasons before there is an opt-out to schedule someone different. There will be no conference championship games.
  • All 10 conference champions, plus two at-large teams chosen by a selection committee, advance to the expanded College Football Playoff. The teams are seeded by the committee. The top four receive a first-round bye, while seeds 5–8 host seeds 9–12 at their home stadiums the first weekend of December. Quarterfinals are played the next week at the home stadiums of seeds 1–4. The semifinals and championship game are conducted under the current CFP format.
  • There still will be bowl games for the teams that don’t make the CFP. Just fewer of them, which nobody should mind.
  • The conferences will work for basketball and other sports as well—in fact, it will be better for non-revenue sports in terms of travel cost savings. The 230-odd non-FBS programs that are part of NCAA Division I will remain aligned pretty much where they already are, with a few exceptions.

So where does Virginia Tech fit in all of this?

Well, the Hokies were placed in Forde's Mid-Atlantic Conference, joining North Carolina, Wake Forest, Duke, Virginia, NC State, Clemson, South Carolina, Appalachian State, East Carolina, Old Dominion, and Charlotte.

It's safe to say that Tech would be near the top of this conference with Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina, and App. State, but I'm interested to hear the thoughts of the readers. 

Let us know what you think of Forde's proposal in the comments below!