Relegation In College Football

By Rixon Lane

Five years ago, the world of college football was rocked by news of conference realignment as Nebraska bolted for the Big Ten and Colorado headed west for the Pac-12. 

Since then, other teams have followed suit and abandoned their former leagues in search of greener pastures. 

It can all be very confusing at times, but what if it didn't have to be?

What if college football took a page out of professional soccer's playbook, did away with conferences all together, and utilized the concept of relegation?

For the sake of this exercise, here's how relegation would work: Eight 16-team leagues, labeled A-H, with A being the top tier and H being the bottom. Each league would be divided into two divisions. Teams play each of the seven opponents in their division and rotate five cross-division opponents to create their 12-game schedules. After four seasons, winning percentages for every team are tallied. The top two teams from each league move up, while the bottom two are sent down. 

Here's what the leagues would look like, based on every team's winning percentage from the past four seasons:

League A 

East Division:

Alabama, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Ohio State, South Carolina

West Division:

Baylor, Boise State, LSU, Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford

 

League B

East Division:

Arkansas State, Central Florida, Georgia Southern, Lousiana-Lafayette, Marshall, Notre Dame, Toledo, Wisconsin

West Division:

Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Southern Cal, Texas A&M, TCU, Utah State

 

League C

East Division:

Auburn, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, Ohio, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Western Kentucky

West Division:

Arizona State, Ball State, BYU, Houston, Mississippi State, San Diego State, Texas, UCLA

 

League D

East Division:

Bowling Green, Duke, Florida, Miami, Navy, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, West Virginia

West Division:

Arizona, Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, Michigan, Rice, UT-San Antonio, Utah, Washington

 

League E

East Division:

Appalachian State, Arkansas, Iowa, Middle Tennessee, NC State, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh

West Division:

Air Force, Colorado State, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon State, San Jose State, Texas Tech, Tulsa

 

League F

East Division:

Boston College, Buffalo, Kent State, Maryland, Old Dominion, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee

West Division:

Central Michigan, Louisiana-Monroe, Memphis, North Texas, SMU, Texas State, Western Michigan, Wyoming

 

League G

East Division:

Connecticut, Florida International, Indiana, Kentucky, Purdue, UAB, Virginia, Wake Forest

West Division:

California, Illinois, Iowa State, South Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Texas El Paso, Troy, Washington State

 

League H

East Division:

Akron, Army, Eastern Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Georgia State, Miami (OH), South Florida, UMass

West Division:

Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Tulane, UNLV