I was trying to see how the FBS could be split into 20 team conferences. I figured they would have 6 conferences which would "relegate" a few teams down to FCS if independence was destroyed (if it wasn't, then there would be a few independents obviously). However, no matter how I split the conferences up, some less-deserving schools found their way into premier conferences and some better programs were left with nowhere to go but a sub-par conference. This shows me that many 20-team conferences just isn't a possibility that, if it even does happen, wouldn't last very long before implosion. Does anyone have any suggestions of a workable 20-team conference system? If so, I'd like to see it.
the reason it "doesn't work" is because you don't take teams just to reach a certain number. Teams would have to add value and not every conference can support that. The SEC and Big Ten, yeah. The ACC, Big 12 and/or Pac 12 are going to hit diminishing returns.
And conferences reload immediately after losing membership. Simply dividing up schools is easy, but not a "real world scenario."
If you started with the Pac-20
expanding their 16-plan:
West: UCLA, USC, Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Oregon St, Washington, Wash St, Arizona, Arizona St,
East: Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Okla St, Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor, Boise, BYUSEC
making a play for the East Coast:
West: Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Miss St, Texas A&M, Missouri, Tennessee, Vandy
East: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Louisville, North Carolina, Miami, UConn, PittBig Ten
moving into SEC territory:
West: Minn, Wisc, Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue, Kansas, Virginia
East: Michigan, Mich St, Ohio St, Penn St, Maryland, Rutgers, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Clemson, Georgia Tech
You have a decent start… but it breaks down from there.
the "fourth" conference is ACC, AAC/CUSA remnants:
West: Iowa State, Kansas St, Tulsa, Memphis, UAB, SMU, Houston, Tulane, UTSA, UTEP
East: Boston College, Temple, West Virginia, Cincinnati, North Carolina St, Wake Forest, Duke, Florida St, USF, UCF
That's a lot of dissimilar institutions.
After that, you've got massive problems. There's 11 teams in the Mountain West
and no one remotely close to them, so their "east division" would also need 11:
West: Air Force, Colorado St, New Mexico, UNLV, Wyoming, Fresno St, Nevada, San Diego St, San Jose St, Utah St, Hawai'i
East: Rice, North Texas, Texas St, Arkansas St, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Middle Tenn St, Fla Intl, Fla Atlantic, Georgia St, Georgia So
The suddenly "powerful" MAC
East: Buffalo, Akron, Kent St, UMass Army, Navy, Appalachian St, Old Dominion, East Carolina, Charlotte[b]
West: Ball State, Bowling Green, Cent Michigan, East Michigan, West Michigan, Miami (OH), No Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, [b]Western Kentucky
Leaving the Sun Belt
with So Alabama, Troy, UL Lafayette, UL Monroe, Idaho, New Mexico St Marshall, Jacksonville St
Lamar, and Liberty