What I am about to propose is based on my being a longtime soccer fan. (I grew up playing the sport in a soccer hotbed in CT in the 1960s; my only regret is that I didn’t seriously try field goal kicking soccer style a la the Gogolak brothers before it became the norm. I had dreams of being a kicker for Woody.)
So...I have always thought that the best and fairest way in sports to determine a champion is the model used in European soccer leagues such as what is now England’s Premier League (and what was simply known as the First Division for many years prior to the early 1990s).
For those who don’t know: the teams in the league play each of their opponents both home and away—so everyone has identical schedules (and thus their is no home field advantage whatsoever in a rivalry game each year because you have two such games played in each team’s stadium).
If two teams are somehow tied at the end of the season, there are tiebreakers based on things such as goals differential, etc.
What I love about it is that there is truly a level playing field in terms of who your opponents are and where the games are played; no team has an advantage in this regard.
What I also love: the stuff that can have such an impact in a single game—injuries, crummy weather, unlucky plays, and yes, bad calls by refs or replay booths—gets reduced as a factor because it is all spread out over a number of games.
Finally, what is great too is that the bottom three teams in the Premier League get relegated each season with three teams from the league below taking their place.
So my idea is to create a new football conference—sort of an equivalent of soccer’s Champions League (but not quite).
The conference would consist of choosing the top seven teams during the CFP era based on a statistical/computer analysis of their records and performance.
These 7 teams would play each other home and away—which would create a 12-game schedule. (If a team wanted to add a traditional rivalry game to their schedule, that’s their choice. If they want to play in a Bowl game and be considered by one of the Bowl committees, that again would be the team’s choice.) But the team with the best record in conference play gets crowned conference champion.
At the end of this regular season, the bottom two teams get relegated to their former conferences and two teams in the tier below get promoted based on a statistical/computer analysis.
I fully realize that there’s far greater turnover in college sports than in the pros but my position would be that the top 5 schools in the super conference have earned the right to remain there for the next season regardless of who graduates.
As far as scheduling, I know colleges do that years in advance in the current system. But if the pros can figure out their schedules each year, I can’t see why the college football powers can’t do that as well.
Would Dabo and Nick embrace this? Well, with the kind of TV money that would be paid for this, my guess is that they would. As a fan, I would absolutely love this setup and I think a number of other Ohio State fans would as well.