How to Fix College Football: A Proclamation by AEW Champion

AEW Champion

Well-known member
I think we all like college football, but we all know there are a lot of issues plaguing the sport over the past decade. These issues include:

1. Same teams in the playoffs all the time.

2. Consolidation of power into one conference, or arguably two.

3. Continued realignment upheaval.

4. Decay of sectionalism of the sport.

5. Lack of interesting games for season-ticket holders, and declining attendance.

6. Loss of certain big rivalry games.

7. Games take too long to play.

8. Use of instant review and, in particular, how the targeting penalty is handled.

With these issues in mind, I, AEW Champion, have constructed the road map to solve all of these issues and make it a more enjoyable landscape for everyone involved. Here are my solutions to save college football.

1. There needs to be a college football czar who calls the shots. Similar to all the pro sports, the commissioner’s office controls the scheduling, TV rights, distribution of revenue, disciplinary measures, etc. The game needs an omniscient, benevolent ruler who is objective and has the best interests of the game at heart. There is no one better suited for this role than AEW Champion. Once all power has been yielded to Czar AEW Champion, progress can be made.

2. Football needs to entirely split off from the conference structure of all other college sports. There is no more ACC, SEC, Big Ten, etc. Instead, there will be five divisions, entirely based on geography, yet steeped in tradition for the most part. This allows fans to travel as easily as possible to games. There will be 14 teams in each of the five divisions. All teams who aren’t part of the 70-team CFB Division 1 are free to reorganize however they’d like and have their own championship.

There were some tough cuts, the most notable of which are the three service academies, App State, SMU and Memphis.

The divisions will be:

Eastern Division

Pitt
West Virginia
Syracuse
Boston College
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Duke
UNC
NC State
Wake Forest
Miami
Clemson
Maryland
Rutgers

Southeast Division

Vanderbilt
Kentucky
Tennessee
Georgia
South Carolina
Florida
LSU
Alabama
Auburn
Ole Miss
Miss State
Georgia Tech
Florida State
UCF

Midwest Division

Iowa
Minnesota
Wisconsin
Northwestern
Purdue
Illinois
Ohio State
Indiana
Michigan
Michigan State
Penn State
Notre Dame
Cincinnati
Louisville

Great Plains Division

Texas
Oklahoma
Ok State
Texas Tech
TCU
Baylor
Iowa State
K-State
Kansas
Houston
Nebraska
Missouri
Arkansas
Texas A&M

Pacific Division

Boise State
BYU
Colorado
Utah
Washington
Washington State
Oregon
Oregon State
USC
UCLA
Cal
Stanford
Arizona
Arizona State

3. There will be a 12-game schedule. Nine divisional games and three games vs other divisions. The non-divisional games will be spread out so each team plays one non-divisional game in September, one in October, one in November. Teams will be granted one rival to ensure that opponent is scheduled every year. There are no sub-divisions within the above five divisions. There will be no games scheduled against FCS teams or teams who aren’t part of the above 70. This is a closed league!

4. The top two teams in each division will play a divisional title game, just like the conference title weekend now. There will then be an 11-team playoff. All 5 divisional champions receive a bye. There will be 6 wildcard teams. These teams will continue to be ranked and chosen by a committee, same as now. First weekend is three wildcard games pitting the six wildcard teams — games played at the better-ranked school. The quarters will be played at the higher-ranked school. Semifinals will be New Year’s Day at neutral sites. The title game will be on a Thursday night in early January unless a deal can be struck with the NFL to cede a Saturday night for the national title game. It’s a neutral site, obviously.

More to come in an additional post.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
 
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AEW Champion

Well-known member
Continuing …

5. There will be no bowl games. Bowls are an antiquated relic from the past that no one cares about.

6. Similar to pro sports, each team will have an annual salary cap based on a percentage of TV revenue. No more advantage for the big boys giving massive NIL deals or having to pay players under the table. Failure to comply will result in withholding of TV revenue.

7. Incoming players from high school must sign a two-year contract to prevent immediately washing out and transferring. If someone ends the two-year contract and goes to another school, they are not permitted to play during the two-season period for which the initial contract had been signed.

8. One transfer without penalty will be permitted. Again, cannot actually play for the new school during the two-year window for which the player signed at his first school. Transferring multiple times will not be permitted. Any such player’s Division 1 eligibility to play will be terminated after attending two D1 schools.

9. The czar (AEW Champion) will negotiate TV deals and TV revenue will be split evenly among all D1 schools as a way of evening the playing field. Between NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, FS1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, CBS SN, ACC Network, SEC Network and BTN, and with use of Thursday and Friday nights, it should be possible to get every league game on traditional TV so that the hassle of streaming can be avoided for our fans who like to flip between games.

10. As for the games themselves, the clock will NOT stop for first downs until the last two minutes of each half. Commercial breaks will be shortened through use of a couple of on-field advertisements and strategic in-game advertising. This will shorten game times.

11. We will use the NFL’s replay system of reviewing scoring plays and turnovers, and two coaches’ challenges will be permitted, same as the NFL.

12. Targeting will remain a reviewable penalty. However, the penalty will drastically change. It is patently unfair that a team can knock out a key opponent and only lose one of their guys, who might not be an important player. Instead, the penalty will be: 15 yards. The perpetrator is placed in a penalty box for 5 game minutes. The penalized team plays 10 vs. 11 during the 5-minute penalty period. This has the effect of mostly penalizing the team for the penalty instead of the individual player. It also evens the playing field for any attempts to knock out out a team’s QB or key skill player since they often are the ones targeted. 10 vs. 11 adds a fun strategic wrinkle to the game.

Let’s ascend AEW to power and get working on making this a reality!

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
 

14Red

Well-known member
I would vote for this 100% and AEW was the czar, except one area needs work. The regions are essentially the same issue as we currently have. The midwest/ east/ pacific divisions are very weak. Ohio State would essentially have the same easy walk to the playoffs. Meanwhile the southeast would be a dogfight between powers Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, and others.
Now one thing that I really love is #6 and #7. A salary cap and NIL deals would be somewhat fair for all schools, although I think you'd see the old school cheating like before. But it's a start. Imagine a school like Indiana having the same cap as Ohio State?

When do we start?
 

bob99

Well-known member
Switch Miami and South Carolina. Put Miami with the other Florida schools. South Carolina belongs with Clemson and the North Carolina schools.
 

adselder09

Well-known member
I would vote for this 100% and AEW was the czar, except one area needs work. The regions are essentially the same issue as we currently have. The midwest/ east/ pacific divisions are very weak. Ohio State would essentially have the same easy walk to the playoffs. Meanwhile the southeast would be a dogfight between powers Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, and others.
Now one thing that I really love is #6 and #7. A salary cap and NIL deals would be somewhat fair for all schools, although I think you'd see the old school cheating like before. But it's a start. Imagine a school like Indiana having the same cap as Ohio State?

When do we start?
It's a better format overall than what is there now, even with some oddball quirks to it. I have to laugh that Tennessee, who really hasn't been relevant since the late 90s is now considered a Power in the South. LSU at least has some history, but they're also not necessarily a "Power" in the same breath that Alabama and Georgia are currently.
 

14Red

Well-known member
It's a better format overall than what is there now, even with some oddball quirks to it. I have to laugh that Tennessee, who really hasn't been relevant since the late 90s is now considered a Power in the South. LSU at least has some history, but they're also not necessarily a "Power" in the same breath that Alabama and Georgia are currently.
My point is those programs have had some recent success sure, but also have had a past and put guys in the NFL. Meanwhile, you look at the midwest and it's Ohio State and the typical big ten bums. Yes, you add Notre Dame in but theya re typically going to be a 3rd/ 4th place big ten team anyway.
 

Orin Swift

Well-known member
My point is those programs have had some recent success sure, but also have had a past and put guys in the NFL. Meanwhile, you look at the midwest and it's Ohio State and the typical big ten bums. Yes, you add Notre Dame in but theya re typically going to be a 3rd/ 4th place big ten team anyway.
It never ceases to amaze how you’re always so wrong.

Tennessee has had 25 players drafted the last 10 years and of the 25 drafted just 12 were in the first three rounds.

Michigan, on the other hand, has had 52 players drafted in that same time frame. They’ve had the same number of players drafted in the first 3 rounds (25) as Tennessee has had drafted in any round in the last 10 years.

Notre Dame has had 49 players drafted and 26 of those 49 were drafted in the first three rounds.

But yeah, Tennessee is a power because they put half the people in the league as Michigan and ND and won a title 25 years ago 😂🤣

Tennessee in the SEC East (not even the entire SEC) has finished 1st 0 times, 2nd twice, in the bottom half of the division 3 times and dead last twice in the last 10 years.
 
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adselder09

Well-known member
My point is those programs have had some recent success sure, but also have had a past and put guys in the NFL. Meanwhile, you look at the midwest and it's Ohio State and the typical big ten bums. Yes, you add Notre Dame in but theya re typically going to be a 3rd/ 4th place big ten team anyway.
Define recent success. And also are you saying teams like Michigan, Penn St, Michigan St, Notre Dame and Wisconsin don't have a football past and they also don't put guys in the NFL?
 

Max Grumbleman

Active member
AHEM!

Hath we forgotten the COLLEGE FOOTBALL SERIES?!

3 glorious FBS divisions!

Promotion!

Relegation!

Victory!

Defeat!

Cheers!

Cries!

And much fewer teams from Michigan!



CFS.png
 

D4fan

Well-known member
Sounds like you put this together without consideration for Appilation State. There will be no agreement if or until such a school is included.

Another way to solve college football would be to starve it for money. Make all the money be divided evenly between every member of D1. See how fast universities stop building football teams and get back to academics.

NIL money is going to create just a very few powers in college football. Universities that can pay a few million to their Qb and skill players will have the elete talent lining up at their door.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
NIL will give us top heavy teams and will shift some of the power toward schools with lots of $ but weak recruiting grounds
 

AEW Champion

Well-known member
I would vote for this 100% and AEW was the czar, except one area needs work. The regions are essentially the same issue as we currently have. The midwest/ east/ pacific divisions are very weak. Ohio State would essentially have the same easy walk to the playoffs. Meanwhile the southeast would be a dogfight between powers Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, and others.
Now one thing that I really love is #6 and #7. A salary cap and NIL deals would be somewhat fair for all schools, although I think you'd see the old school cheating like before. But it's a start. Imagine a school like Indiana having the same cap as Ohio State?

When do we start?
The goal of having players directly paid by the school with a salary cap instituted, over time, hopefully would start to even out the playing field.

I agree that right now, the Southeast would be the strongest division. But hopefully the gap would narrow as time goes on.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
 

14Red

Well-known member
The goal of having players directly paid by the school with a salary cap instituted, over time, hopefully would start to even out the playing field.

I agree that right now, the Southeast would be the strongest division. But hopefully the gap would narrow as time goes on.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
Do you feel that there would be no indiscretions going on, I mean let's face it. Ohio State boosters are going to be able to pay more than say Iowa boosters. I think you'd be right back to the old days of cheating.
 

AEW Champion

Well-known member
Switch Miami and South Carolina. Put Miami with the other Florida schools. South Carolina belongs with Clemson and the North Carolina schools.
I thought about several different options in putting these divisions together. The Pacific and Great Plains were simple, based on geography and history.

The Midwest, East and Southwest were where it got a little trickier.

For example, did I want to honor Penn State’s past three decades worth of opposition and rivalries, or put them in the geographically more appropriate Eastern Division and also use them as a way to strengthen the Eastern Division? Ultimately I decided on keeping current conference affiliation the same in almost all instances.

The balancing act in the East vs Southeast is that the SEC is much stronger than the ACC. When I moved A&M, Arkansas and Missouri to the Great Plains, that essentially let me keep the other 11 SEC members in the Southeast and figure out three teams to add. I could’ve added all 3 Florida schools (FSU, Miami, UCF), but having all three of them just felt like too stacked of a deck to me.

I ultimately went with FSU because it’s much more geographically contiguous with Alabama, Auburn and Georgia (and Georgia Tech). Then I put Georgia Tech in there due to geography and rivalry with Georgia, and UCF was kind of a throw-in to keep from adding another big-time program like Clemson or Miami.

Doing that allows South Carolina to stay with the schools it’s battled the past 30 years. Clemson and Miami put a couple big guns in the East and allows them to stay with the bulk of the ACC schools that they already face. South Carolina could still face Clemson annually since the czar would consider traditional non-division rivalry games as part of the scheduling process.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
 

AEW Champion

Well-known member
Do you feel that there would be no indiscretions going on, I mean let's face it. Ohio State boosters are going to be able to pay more than say Iowa boosters. I think you'd be right back to the old days of cheating.
They can try, but since the school would have to sign off on loss of TV revenue — which would be needed to properly pay the players — in the event of misdeeds found, there would be an extremely heavy price to be footed by the school if its boosters are found cheating.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
 

AEW Champion

Well-known member
My point is those programs have had some recent success sure, but also have had a past and put guys in the NFL. Meanwhile, you look at the midwest and it's Ohio State and the typical big ten bums. Yes, you add Notre Dame in but theya re typically going to be a 3rd/ 4th place big ten team anyway.
I think it’s fair to say that on average over the past decade, Notre Dame would be considered the second-best team in the Midwest Division, ahead of Michigan and others. This year probably not, but most years yes.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
 

AEW Champion

Well-known member
Sounds like you put this together without consideration for Appilation State. There will be no agreement if or until such a school is included.

Another way to solve college football would be to starve it for money. Make all the money be divided evenly between every member of D1. See how fast universities stop building football teams and get back to academics.

NIL money is going to create just a very few powers in college football. Universities that can pay a few million to their Qb and skill players will have the elete talent lining up at their door.
In point #2 in my first post, I mentioned that App State was one of the toughest cuts. Realistically, App State — much like The Dude — doesn’t draw sh@t, as the Malibu chief of police would say. They’re not in a power conference; they’re not close to joining a power conference. Sure, they beat Michigan 15 years ago and Texas A&M this year, but there’s a reason we remember those wins: They weren’t supposed to happen. I’m comfortable leaving them out and I can’t imagine App State being the dealbreaker to something like this getting done.

Having TV revenue distributed evenly between all schools, as I promoted, and having players legitimately paid as professionals in a salary-cap system is the best way to get the playing field as even as possible.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
 

14Red

Well-known member
First of all AEW, this is a great plan and should be implemented immediately. But lets be clear, the networks run college sports and they do not want parity. It's much easier for them to get their ratings numbers when whey have a smaller pool of teams to pick from. Look at the college football playoffs the last decade. You could be in a coma the next several years, wake up and still guess that Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson and a few other select teams are in the playoffs. As much as ESPN / ABC packages and markets the weekly rankings shows, we've got the same handful of teams in the playoffs.

Also, you mention paying the players an equal amount, do you mean football players only, or all college athletes at the school?
 

AEW Champion

Well-known member
First of all AEW, this is a great plan and should be implemented immediately. But lets be clear, the networks run college sports and they do not want parity. It's much easier for them to get their ratings numbers when whey have a smaller pool of teams to pick from. Look at the college football playoffs the last decade. You could be in a coma the next several years, wake up and still guess that Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson and a few other select teams are in the playoffs. As much as ESPN / ABC packages and markets the weekly rankings shows, we've got the same handful of teams in the playoffs.

Also, you mention paying the players an equal amount, do you mean football players only, or all college athletes at the school?
The sport that is the golden goose for TV networks, the NFL, thrives on parity and that’s part of the allure of it. Even games between the worst NFL teams draw millions and millions of viewers.

I’m under no illusion that my system will make all 70 programs equal, but it should do well enough that it creates legitimate competition year in and year out for the current big boys where it’s not a foregone conclusion who will be in the playoffs.

The CFP TV ratings have fallen over the years. Know why? It’s because the same teams are involved every year. It’s no surprise that Georgia’s first appearance in 2017 led to a big ratings increase. But by last year, the ratings for the most recent Bama vs UGA were way down because people are sick of seeing the same matchups over and over again.

As for paying players, I’m only talking about football players in this league. This league is intended to be fully independent of any other collegiate athletics system — hence why the official conference affiliations were dropped. Whether athletic departments decide to pay players in other sports is not my concern, although you can bet that’s the path basketball will eventually go down, too.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
 

Orin Swift

Well-known member
First of all AEW, this is a great plan and should be implemented immediately. But lets be clear, the networks run college sports and they do not want parity. It's much easier for them to get their ratings numbers when whey have a smaller pool of teams to pick from. Look at the college football playoffs the last decade. You could be in a coma the next several years, wake up and still guess that Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson and a few other select teams are in the playoffs. As much as ESPN / ABC packages and markets the weekly rankings shows, we've got the same handful of teams in the playoffs.

Also, you mention paying the players an equal amount, do you mean football players only, or all college athletes at the school?
you’re actually suggesting the TV networks don’t want more engagement, more viewers?
 

14Red

Well-known member
The sport that is the golden goose for TV networks, the NFL, thrives on parity and that’s part of the allure of it. Even games between the worst NFL teams draw millions and millions of viewers.

I’m under no illusion that my system will make all 70 programs equal, but it should do well enough that it creates legitimate competition year in and year out for the current big boys where it’s not a foregone conclusion who will be in the playoffs.

The CFP TV ratings have fallen over the years. Know why? It’s because the same teams are involved every year. It’s no surprise that Georgia’s first appearance in 2017 led to a big ratings increase. But by last year, the ratings for the most recent Bama vs UGA were way down because people are sick of seeing the same matchups over and over again.

As for paying players, I’m only talking about football players in this league. This league is intended to be fully independent of any other collegiate athletics system — hence why the official conference affiliations were dropped. Whether athletic departments decide to pay players in other sports is not my concern, although you can bet that’s the path basketball will eventually go down, too.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
But even the NFL has their "cash cows". You see the thing that I always come back to, be it football, basketball, baseball, college, pro, is that fans for the most part are bandwagon fans. I've often said it's easy being an Ohio State football fans. Nearly guaranteed a 10-11 win season and a place at the table for the playoff. Can you imagine a system where Ohio State would be 9-3, 8-4 in a few years? Now as much angst that would cause, it would be GREAT for college football and specifically, the big ten.
So alot of the TV money allotted to these schools, basically holds up the rest of the athletic department, especially in the women's programs. I think you'd have quite a fight on your hands with these schools to fully separate the money to the football program only. Now maybe you're saying even with all that, there's still plenty of money to go around?
 

Pope Francis 1

Well-known member
Add the following rule changes….

Each team allowed up to 2 punts and 2 FG attempts per half. No more!
Choose, but choose wisely!
 
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