I hate the NCAA. Loathe them. Just in case you are wondering, I hated them before tOSU found themselves in the cross-hairs.
So, I started thinking. I am became ruler of the football world, how would I change it.
Buckle up, because I am ripping this thing down to the frame and rebuilding.
Your job is to add in ideas and tell me what doesn't jive.
Step One: Leave the NCAA, and create new College Football League
F'em. This is for a couple reasons. First of all, this allows us to start new with the rule book. No longer do I have to care about the mundane, asinine, rules that bog down college football. Second of all, it allows us to pay the players, something I will touch on in a bit.
I am talking about all the teams in Division 1A. The teams in the lower divisions will be addressed later on.
No longer will college football, and the schools, be forced to follow Title 9. This will lie outside that scope. (If this is incorrect, please one of the lawyers here on DBN correct me). I'm not clamoring for the Basketball teams to leave NCAA, just the College Football programs.
Seriously, someone get Mark Cuban on the horn. Donald Trump. All I need is someone that knows how to run a business, because this business is going to make more money than the NFL. Damn straight I said it, but the first step is
I don't care what the new College Football group is called. For the sake of this idea, we will call it College Football League 1 & 2. Trust me, I will explain this later as well.
Step Two: Disband all Conferences
Pretty self explanatory here. No longer is your schedule 75% of the same teams. No longer will we be subjected to SEC! SEC! SEC! chants. Here in the College Football League, you stand on your own merits.
Step Three: Separate the 120 Division 1A teams, into two separate divisions and devise a schedule for the regular season and playoff
This may not make sense after step two, but hang with me. It's pretty simple, the best 60 teams, the Big Boys if you will, will go into Division A. The lower teams, will go into Division B. This is how I have it broken down:
College Football League Division A:
- Florida State
- Virginia Tech
- Oklahoma State
- Texas A&M
- West Virginia
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
- Penn State
- Notre Dame
- Northern Illinois
- Air Force
- San Diego State
- Oregon State
- South Carolina
- Boise State
- Fresno State
- Arizona State
- Boston College
- Georgia Tech
- NC State
- Texas Tech
- Mississippi State
Realize this is not in order, these are just the teams that I believe are the 60 best from the former Division 1A. The teams not mentioned make up Division B of the CFL.
But in order to save the BS argument of "The little guy doesn't have a chance against the Big Boys" here is my twist. There is promotion and relegation between Divisions A and B. Just like the English Premier League. At the end of the season, the ten lowest teams of Division A play the ten highest teams of Division B. Winner either stays, or is promoted to Division A.
Teams like a Boise State or TCU would have been able to play themselves into the big leagues long before they were invited to the BCS. No longer do teams have to run up scores like 73-3 on San Jose State, instead they could have beaten a Clemson or Texas Tech ON the field. How novel of an idea is that?
The other quirk I would make is that teams would all play 12 game schedules. 6 home and 6 away. No more, no less. At least ten of a teams games must be played against their Division (Only 1 home and 1 away game against the other divisions). If a team wants to play down a division, they can only do that twice, and even then, is it a good idea?
Imagine if you are Ohio State. Do you want to "waste" a home game against Ohio, if it means that you have to go on the road 6 times against quality opponents? Actually I think many schools would use their road games as a chance to go on the road. How much money would it mean to Ohio if the Buckeyes came to play in their house? The smaller schools would actually benefit from playing these games in their house. More money and more exposure, and we are talking about the teams in the LOWER division.
How about the Big Boys? Again, let's look at Ohio State. Yes, they lose about 2 home games a year. That is a big blow. But how about this schedule?
Sept 3rd: UGA
Sept 10th: @ Ohio
Sept 17th: @ Clemson
Sept 24th: Texas
Oct 1st: Arizona
Oct 8th: @ Colorado
Oct 15th: @ Utah
Oct 22nd: Oregon
Oct 29th: Oklahoma State
Nov 5th: @ Boston College
Nov 12th: Illinois
Nov 19th: @ That School Up North
Seriously, how pumped would you be for that schedule? The worst games are Ohio and Illinois? After that, every weekend is stacked! And it wouldn't just be Ohio State, it would be everyone. Alabama vs. Stanford and LSU vs. Texas in one weekend?! How bad ass is this?
CFL would have games on Tuesday's, Thursday's and Saturday's. Anyone else like the idea of Auburn v. Oklahoma on Thursday night?
Now that we have the regular season figured out, we need to discuss the post season. I am still keeping the bowls but in a playoff situation. With my regular season, we are finished up by November 19th. That allows 7 WEEKS for a playoff that wouldn't keep these "student-athletes" out of school any longer than the NCAA's season. How do we use those 7 weeks is pretty easy.
First of all, we rank the top 24 teams, 1-24. We weigh schedule difficulty, performance and who you would think would win on a neutral field. Yes, I hate polls, but I can't think of a more fair way to do it.
Explaining my voters and how I picked them
My voters wouldn't be writers or coaches. Instead it would be a select group of former coaches, writers and people that pay attention to CFB. I am talking about a small group of voters that watch all the games in a central location. Think of a massive sports bar. It would be paid for by the league. This way, all the voters see the same thing, and vote on the same criteria. No longer do we have a writer following one team and voting them much higher because he has seen them more often. I chose former coaches and writers because the only boss I want them to have is the CFL.
Teams 1-8 have bye's the first week of the playoffs. teams 9-16 host teams 17-24 in a snake ranking (9 vs. 24, 10 vs. 23, etc.). These teams have won the right to host a playoff game which means $$$ for those schools.
Taking place during the third week, is the Promotion and Relegation games. The top ranked teams in Division B, plays the ten teams with the worst record in Division A (snake ranking fashion again). I went with worst record instead of rankings because I doubt many voters pay enough attention to bottom feeder teams. Winners are either promoted or get to stay in Division A the following season. While this may be glossed over, imagine the financial windfall for example Rice, if they were able to play a top schedule for a season. Could make a program.
After the second week of the CFL Playoffs, we would be left with 8 teams.
This is where the bowls come into play. All of the lower tier bowls would be able to invite any teams to play that were not involved with previous playoff or promotion games. This would allow other teams to get the "pay-off" of a bowl game and the practice time that comes with it.
This "bye week" of lower tier bowls not only reward the other teams, but it gives the remaining 8 teams two weeks to plan their trip to the bowl locations. I understand that arranging a trip like this would be a pressure situation, but this is the CFL. If a NFL can make arrangements for the Super Bowl in two weeks, we can do it here as well.
Step Four: The final Eight Bowl games and locations.
This is where another major change comes in. If the former BCS Bowls want to get in on the CFL, they need to make some room.
You know how many bowl games are played north of the Tennessee-Kentucky border? Three. The Bronx bowl in NY, The Humanitarian Bowl in Boise and the Military Bowl in Washington DC.
How is that fair? Sorry, but Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Oregon and other northern schools have to survive in the North, why decide the biggest games of the season all in the South? I'm fixing that.
Assuming the Rose, Sugar and the Fiesta want to join, they are welcome. The Orange Bowl will not be welcomed. Last year they did not sell out a game with Virginia Tech and Stanford. Miami sucks as a sports town. Why should they be awarded with a crown jewel of CFL?
No, the Orange Bowl is out. Instead, they will be replaced by the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta. Atlanta is a top notch city that is used to hosting big time College Football Events (SEC Championship) and is a hub that will be easy to reach by fans and schools alike.
New Bowl Locations:
Indianapolis, in Lucas Oil Stadium. (Yes, I know this is an indoor field, but it has a retractable roof) Seattle, in Qwest Field New York, New Meadowlands Stadium
Step Five: Selection of Bowl Games
Now, these games will rotate who hosts the National Championship game, just like the BCS does now. I think it is time for another twist.
The Bowl games would go on a rotation. Think of it like A, B, C, D, E, F and G. If A is hosting the National Championship Game, then B & C would be hosting the semi-finals the week prior. D, E, F and G would all host "Elite Eight" games.
After 3 weeks, we are left with 8 playoff teams, these teams are matched up again by seeds. Highest v. lowest and on and on. Now for the twist.
The highest seeded team gets first pick from locations D, E, F and G of where they want to play. Say Ohio State is the number one overall seed. They would choose Indianapolis to play in. Short trip for them and you would think an advantage in crowd. If the team was USC, they would choose the Rose Bowl (duh.). On and on.
The top 3 seeds get to choose where they will play.
After that, we are left with 4 teams, highest seed alive picks from the remaining locations in which to play. Pretty much, the number one overall seed gets to pick and chose where they go up until the National Championship game.
This is 5 weeks after the end of the season. This would bring us to the Holiday Season. The bowl season calendar would break down like this:
Nov 26th: 9-16 vs. 17-24 (Teams 1-8 get Bye)
Dec 3rd: 1-8 vs. remaining 9-24
Dec 10th: Promotion and Relegation games and Lower Tier Bowl games
Dec 17th: "Elite Eight" match-ups
Dec 31st: Final Four
January 10th: National Championship
So here we have a full playoff, with the National Championship Game taking place on the exact same date as last years National Championship Game. Not some mythical BS where we argue forever of who beat who, but an actual Championship that crowns a deserved winner.
Step Six: Establish a partnership with the NFL
Let's quit pretending that the NFL wouldn't be interested. They would be drooling. You want to see if Kellen Moore is legit? Have him face Nick Saban and Bo Pelini defenses on the field. They would have much, much more to go off of. Andrew Luck sets record against a top flight schedule? Saweeet.
So instead of running away from the NFL, embrace them.
The Junior rule is still a go in the CFL, but much like the NBA, a player can declare for the draft, work with the NFL coaches and get it straight from the horses mouth on what they should do. Have the NFL come and talk to these kids about a litany of things. Who to hang out with, what supplements are illegal, how to go about your life as a college football player trying to make it into the NFL.
Allow players to work in NFL run camps if they have a certain GPA. How cool would it be for Andrew Luck to be working with Peyton Manning and Drew Brees? I'm not saying that they are in mini camp, but maybe a two week passing camp. Something that the NFL and the CFL can work together on.
Step Seven: Set Rules and Payments
Damn straight I'm paying these kids. How much is based on some different factors.All money from video games and 50% from Bowl games are split among the players evenly. Division A players are paid more than Division B players. You want a light a fire under these kids in a Promotion and Relegation game? Tell them they will get more money in Division A.
When you take the roughly 137 million dollars Bowls paid out last season, take the 50%, divide it by the 120 teams 85 scholarship players (giving us 9,600 players), that is roughly a payout of $7,135.41 per player a season from just bowl money. No too much, but a starting point.
No we address the money that CFL would bring in from a Video Game. EA Sports has made over $868 million dollars off of the NCAA football game. If EA wants to make our game, they need to pony up the dollars. Let's go off of EA paying the NFLPA 35 million a season for the rights. Divide that by the 9,600 players, we have $3,645.83 a player. Add that into the bowl money, right now players would be making $10,781.24 a season.
Now we need to add in memorabilia sales. All numbered jersey profits would be split evenly between that teams members. Players would be allowed to have "Miller 5" jerseys sold at bookstores. I can't find any numbers of how much money this would be, but I assume it would be a decent number for major teams (OSU, Texas, Florida, etc.)
I'm not going to pretend that I am smart enough to give you a number, but my guess is that a decent team would end up paying out around 13-15k a player. Doesn't sound like much, but this is on top of the scholarship. I'm not saying it is the end all be all of payments, but it is a start.
Plus, I don't care if they sell their rings. You won them, you can sell them. You want to sell them? You go through the school and CFL to place them in a predetermined auction house. Player receives all money from the sale.
I would put restrictions on sales of equipment (that belongs to the school) and the sale of autographs. The School's will be allowed to host "Signing Days" once a month, in which there are set prices for players to sign customer goods. The money will go to the player, and they player alone. This doesn't mean that the player is not allowed to sign stuff if he is stopped in the mall, he just isn't allowed to accept the money at the mall. Only at signing days. Players could also charge for pictures and other services that day as well, for prices that are set by College Football League.
Let's say that a mall wants to have Braxton Miller out for autographs and pictures. They would have to go through the CFL and the School to make sure that someone is out there with them to set and enforce the limits. The player makes their money, and everyone is happy. There would have to be a limit for appearances by a player, maybe 7 a season? Don't have a good idea on a number.
This allows the player to capitalize on their popularity on the field, but keeps some sort of reasoning, doesn't allow players to just whore themselves out for any person and makes sure that the school is able to keep an eye on the people that are giving these players money.
Players also need to maintain a certain GPA and be working towards a major. Don't know enough in this area, but I assume that the NCAA's guidelines would be a good starting point.
Step Eight: Sell it to TV
No more BigTen network football. The CFL sells all its games as a package. Think NFL instead of MLB. No local sales. Directv wants to shell out the dollars? What about a Saturday ticket?
CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 can fight over the big games. Highest bidder gets first pick of games every week. Second highest, second pick and so on. Wall-to-wall football coverage on Saturdays. Show me the biggest games on Saturday, if I want to follow my team, I use the ticket. I do it for the Browns. If ABC wants to go regional with its coverage, go for it.
The Schools will split that money evenly among themselves.
Step Nine: Establish Harsh Penalties
You want to break the rules? You are going to get hammered. Not the kids who come years later, you. This is where a partnership of the NFL and the CFL will also pay dividends.
You get caught taking extra benefits? Suspended for the remainder of the season or six games, whichever is longer.
You get caught taking extra benefits twice? Suspended for good. Not only that, the NFL will not allow you to enter the draft until one season after you would have exhausted your college eligibility.
Same goes for Boosters. You get caught giving a kid extra benefits? Banned from all CFL games, events and functions five years. After five years, you are allowed to apply or reinstatement. If a school is caught allowing a banned booster into events? They will be banned.
Agents? Only allowed to contact players through the school. They can talk to kids of all ages, not just draft eligible players. Certain times, on campus, with proper supervision. Agents found to circumvent these rules? Banned for 5 years from CFL schools, allowed to reapply after 5 years.
Maybe it is too heavy handed, but I think you have to drop the hammer on this crap. You know why the NBA never has fights anymore? Because the NBA dropped the hammer on that. Same here people. No leeway.
So what do ya think? Am I on to something here? Where did I go wrong. Sorry for the length and any typos if I missed any.
God I miss football.