The best scenerio as you said is with the Big12. But with the SEC and ACC, since they have to play 1 permanent oppoent from the other division, you are left with play ALL other divisional opponents once EVERY THREE years, not two years as in the Big12. The three year ´schedule´ can also be achieved with a 15 team alignment IF NECESSARY (like the ACC and SEC).
The best comparable to this is simply the old WAC-16 foible. The created quadrants. When you fragment long-term alignments in more ways than two separate divisions, you fragment too many traditional rivalries and series than too many of the teams separated wouldn't be happy. Its one serious catastrophy to fragement Oklahoma-Nebraska. But if you fragment Nebraska-Missouri or Nebraska-Colorado, depending on the alignment, you will get too many complaints. It would take too much traditional meaning away from the game. Example 2, breaking up LSU vs. Alabama to once every three years is too fragmented, just so LSU could be in a division with Ole Miss, MSU and Arkansas. Some of the major rivalries would be too fragmented in frequency that you wouldn't make anyone happy -- which is beyond the fragmentation problems that already happens beyond a two divisional line-up. Under such a scenario, these 1-opposite-divisional member you play every year wouldn't happen. Same with 5 members, but the problem would be even more complex difficulties with splitting two teams located in one state in two separate division. There's more chances with that with more than 2 divisions.
This happens right now. Consider a situation in the SEC when UT, UGA, and UF could have better records than someone in the SEC west (when the west teams are down). Is it fair that UT, UGA or UF would have say 7-1 or 6-2 SEC records when the SEC west Champion is 5-3?
What about the situation where say LSU is 5-0 in its division but has games against the SEC east and goes 1-2 (their oppoents were UGA, UT, and Vandy, for example). Then, Auburn loses to LSU head to head, at Auburn, but Auburn goes 3-0 against the SEC east playing the 3 ´bottom´ opponents Kentucky, South Carolina, and Vandy. Is that really fair that LSU wins its division head to head, but loses more out of division games because it´s against tougher competition? In this scenerio, auburn goes to the championship, is that Fair?
Once you get beyond 9 team conferences you no longer can declare a true champion (see OSU and Iowa a few years ago). Conferences seem to be ok with these situations because money is there to overcome this aspect of college FB.
Yes, but there are greater chances of more inequities when you go beyond two divisions. There could be two teams with 1 or 2 losses in 2 of the divisions, while a third or fourth division winner has 3 losses. Too many chances for inequities. The two divisions provide for this, but they reduce the number of inequities when compared to 3 or 4 divisions.
Not necessary. With 15 teams, you would only have to have 1 wildcard, like baseball. take the best 2nd place team. For 16 teams, you just take all four division champs. Someone has the possibility to get screwed no matter what. IT happens right now in the conferences with more than 9 teams since they don´t play a round-robin schedule.
^Again, see above. More chances for inequities causes a need for as many wild-cards as possible. In a 15-team arrangement you could theoretically go with no wild cards. The highest seed of the 3 divisional winners could get a bye into the championship game. Here is a serious problem if there are ineguities.
To give the 3 divisional winners byes is something that should be done in a conference championship playoff, so it rewards them for winning the division. Two wildcards allow for 3 teams to have byes, as the two wildcards would play-in to play a divisional winner.
Pro football has to have more wildcards because there are more chances for inequities when you play fewer games. If you play several several games in a season like the MLB, there's a greater separation of the teams -- less chances teams will be tied, the long season with many games reduces inequities. So they could go with only 1 wild card.
You are looking at it from a pratical point of view. I´m saying it ´might´ be pratical, but conferences will only look at changing if the money is there.
Not only is it impractical, it fragments the conferences, its too many interruptions in long traditional rivalries and series (foible of the WAC-16 quadrants). It also requires more games to settle a conference champion in already a tight season. The year would need to be extended, even if they stuck with 11 or 12 game seasons.
The point of this is that if the SEC or other conferences were to expand to 15, the 3 teams would need to bring in $30 million to maintain a payout of $10 per team. That might be hard to do just with bringing in new markets since the SEC already has a championship game. However, if you add (AND the NCAA ALLOWS!) semifinal games for conferences having more than 14 teams, would they now make enough money to expand?
I dont know how much money the conference championship brings, but I´ll guess around $12 mill or $1 mill per team (IIRC from the ACC). If the semifinals were worth $5-8 mill, that means that 3 teams would only need to to bring in $22-$25 million. In addition, would the championship game go up or down in rights fees?
I´m not sure whether it would be economically feasible for conferences to expand even if you add semifinal games.
The problem is that there could be a point where the economies-of-scale would be maxed-out and the law of dimnishing returns would kick in with so much conference championship playoff games. If 3 or 4 or 6 conferences did this, or 10 conferences, so many conference playoff games that less and less of a TV share would be watching as it would overcrowd the cable networks, that you might not pick up much by playing conference championship playoffs. A lot of the character of the game would diminish and too many inequities unless you had enough wild cards and enough room to play them -- in addition to overcrowding the season.
If the season is to extend, its more likely to extend for a college football national championship or a playoff. If University Presidents have a problem with a national championship playoff, they will have even more of a problem with this.
College football is not pro football where one creates the World Championship by having a complex playoff in a conference structure, especially when there is 4 or 5 ot 6 conferences or more.
Its also not NCAA college basketball, as to schedule and play games with more frequency (multiple times in a week) make conference and national championships possible. Football is bigger, longer playing, more people in the stands, more players, more equipment, and more physical (more injuries) for a longer season that cummulatively make multiple layers and lengths of postseason and conference championships to not be possible or feasible.