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Poll: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
This poll is closed.
Less than 8 0% 0 0%
8 6.12% 3 6.12%
9 8.16% 4 8.16%
10 32.65% 16 32.65%
11 12.24% 6 12.24%
12 26.53% 13 26.53%
13 0% 0 0%
14 6.12% 3 6.12%
15 2.04% 1 2.04%
16 4.08% 2 4.08%
More than 16 2.04% 1 2.04%
Total 49 vote(s) 100%
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What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
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Once a Knight... Offline
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Post: #1
What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
(This post was last modified: 07-30-2020 01:42 PM by Once a Knight....)
07-30-2020 01:41 PM
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EigenEagle Offline
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Post: #2
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
Too small and non-conference scheduling becomes hard.
Too big and your money from CFP and TV is diluted.

9 is probably just right.
07-30-2020 01:46 PM
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pki1998 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
10-Allows round robin in football and double round robin in basketball. Plus is an even number of teams.
07-30-2020 01:47 PM
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CoastalJuan Offline
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Post: #4
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
I always liked 12

8 conference games
5 in your division
3 from other division on a 2-year home-away rotation

You mix it up a little, you get to argue about who has the cupcake cross-divisional slate, and you get 4 OOC games.
07-30-2020 02:01 PM
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TDenverFan Offline
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Post: #5
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
For small conferences the answer might honestly be 8, revenue gets cut up less and you're not really getting a TV deal regardless. Plus, since FCS schools generally only play 11 games, you still only need to fill 4 OOC slots. Downside of 8 is if someone leaves you could be in a real bad spot

Otherwise 10 is also pretty good, makes scheduling easier.
(This post was last modified: 07-30-2020 02:41 PM by TDenverFan.)
07-30-2020 02:04 PM
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IWokeUpLikeThis Online
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Post: #6
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
Any size that allows a (double) round robin -- how every league title should be decided.
07-30-2020 02:15 PM
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Once a Knight... Offline
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Post: #7
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
(07-30-2020 01:47 PM)pki1998 Wrote:  10-Allows round robin in football and double round robin in basketball. Plus is an even number of teams.

Interesting to me how the Big 12 plays a 9-game round robin with 10 teams, and the Sun Belt has two 5 team divisions totaling 10 teams.
07-30-2020 02:18 PM
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Once a Knight... Offline
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Post: #8
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
(07-30-2020 02:01 PM)CoastalJuan Wrote:  I always liked 12

8 conference games
5 in your division
3 from other division on a 2-year home-away rotation

You mix it up a little, you get to argue about who has the cupcake cross-divisional slate, and you get 4 OOC games.

I've liked this setup as well. I guess after 8 years in C-USA with this setup, and most of the years in the American with the same setup, I've certainly liked the way the scheduling in football works out. Though having to wait 4 yrs for a game to return (ex. UCF at Tulsa last yr you had to go back to the 2015 season to find the same). I guess there enlies the advantage to a 10 team (9 game round robin) is that you get to play everywhere, every-other-year. The downside however is no variety in your schedule (you literally play the same 9 teams year-in-and-year-out versus just 5 teams every year while rotating through the other 6).
(This post was last modified: 07-30-2020 02:27 PM by Once a Knight....)
07-30-2020 02:22 PM
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TDenverFan Offline
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Post: #9
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
(07-30-2020 02:18 PM)Once a Knight... Wrote:  
(07-30-2020 01:47 PM)pki1998 Wrote:  10-Allows round robin in football and double round robin in basketball. Plus is an even number of teams.

Interesting to me how the Big 12 plays a 9-game round robin with 10 teams, and the Sun Belt has two 5 team divisions totaling 10 teams.

This is just speculation, but could it be that way to allow Sun Belt schools to schedule an extra buy game if they want?
07-30-2020 02:29 PM
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Michael in Raleigh Offline
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Post: #10
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
If your name isn't "Ivy League" and you're not a P5, 9 is not enough and 13 is too many.

So, 10, 11, or 12.
07-30-2020 02:40 PM
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HiddenDragon Offline
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Post: #11
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
I think you should be able play every team in your conference every year. It makes no sense to me that you can go six years without playing someone in your conference. That said, I think for the P-5 an 11-team conference is perfect. 10 conference games and two OOC games. For the G-5, I think a 10-team conference is good with 3 OOC games to allow for an additional home(s) games and a buy game.
07-30-2020 02:54 PM
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bigblueblindness Offline
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Post: #12
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
11 Schools:

1. Round-robin football with two OOC games
2. Home-home against all schools in basketball
3. No need for conference championship games; tied records go to head-to-head results, thus making every week truly matter
4. 5 home and 5 away conference games maintains balance and gives the 7-home game club as well as the neutral site/payday schools enough flexibility to do what is best for their schools
5. Geography: Take our nation's top corner schools of the University of Washington, University of Florida, and Penn State and build out an 11-team conference of peers into the heart of the country. You will find that 11 teams is pretty darn close to perfect cultural and geographical boundaries from all directions.
07-30-2020 03:06 PM
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Nerdlinger Offline
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Post: #13
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
The ideal size is "the same as all conferences" and an even number. Practically speaking, 10, 12, or 16. 14 is not terrible but can complicate things if there are only 8 conference games.
07-30-2020 03:39 PM
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bullet Offline
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Post: #14
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
12. I like CCGs, especially when they aren't repeats.
You get everybody fairly frequently but still have variety in your conference schedule.
You have sufficient schools to have conference competition in minor sports where not everyone sponsors it. You can with 10, but its more likely with 12.

Even number makes scheduling easier.

Any more and it makes championships logistically difficult, whether its scheduling basketball games in arenas or fitting all the athletes in a swimming venue. It also reduces the opportunity to play teams in the other division.
07-30-2020 03:47 PM
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Michael in Raleigh Offline
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Post: #15
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
I will explain my answer of 10, 11, or 12.

Nine is too small because it leaves a league too vulnerable to raids, where it could get down close to the minimum number of schools for NCAA bids. Besides the 8-team, ultra secure Ivy League, there are only three leagues with 9 or fewer schools: the WAC (9), the ASUN (9), and the MEAC (8 starting in July 2021). Those are the most vulnerable conferences to going out of business. Nine or eight teams allows for only 16 or 14 basketball games in a double round robin schedule, which is not enough in today's environment of 18-20 game schedules. Nine worked well 20 years ago. Not so much now.

More than 12 works fine for P5 leagues because they leverage conference networks for more money. They're not all that fan friendly because fans see rivals less often, but financially it makes sense. For non P5 leagues, they are just distributing revenue to more schools with likely just one NCAA bid. Plus with 13 or more, schools play each other less often. The Southland, the A-10, and C-USA are the only non P5 leagues with more than 12, and i find it hard to believe an argument that they don't have more schools than is worthwhile.

The rest of D1 is 10, 11, or 12, and there is good reason for that. It's ideal. 10 allows for full round robin in football (Big 12) or a breakup into divisions of five where all but one team is played in the conference (Sun Belt). 10 also allows for 18 games, double round robin in basketball. 11 isn't ideal for football unless you like the idea of 10 conference games (I don't; give me a taste of schools in other leagues). But in basketball, it allows for 20 games, double round robin. 12 is good for football with the two divisions where everybody sees everybody at least twice every five years, and for basketball, you still get close to a double round robin.

There is no one size fits all, but for the majority of D1, it is best to be between 10 and 12.
07-30-2020 04:27 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #16
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
10 for P5 conferences. Round robin in football, double round robin in basketball, split the revenue 10 ways instead of more. The Big "12" has the right number; the Big "Ten" has too many. Math can be so confusing. 07-coffee3

For non-P5 conferences, I'll say 12 because non-P5 programs are likely to have fewer sports on average, and having a couple more schools makes it more likely the conference will have at least 6 (that's the minimum for almost every sport) for every sport the conference sponsors. Any conference would still be fine with 10, it's just that 12 makes things easier for some of the "Olympic" sports.
07-30-2020 04:56 PM
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MidknightWhiskey Offline
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Post: #17
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
12 with 2 divisions of 6 and 6 with 4 pods of 4 both seem to have a really good balance.
07-30-2020 05:00 PM
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Michael in Raleigh Offline
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Post: #18
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
Just FYI, this list is all of D1 by their number of members as of July 2021:

ACC 15
A-10 14
B1G 14
C-USA 14
SEC 14
SLC 13
Big South 12
Horizon 12
MAC 12
OVC 12
Pac-12 12
SWAC 12
Sun Belt 12
AAC 11
Big East 11
Big Sky 11
Big West 11
MAAC 11
MWC 11
AEC 10
Big 12 10
CAA 10
MVC 10
NEC 10
Patriot 10
SoCon 10
Summit 10
WCC 10
ASUN 9
WAC 9
Ivy 8
MEAC 8
07-30-2020 05:26 PM
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Attackcoog Offline
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Post: #19
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
We talked about this a while back, but the best set up for a G5 conference is 10. For the G5, its the best because the G5 conferences each get 1 million a school up to a total of 10 million. So, over 10, you getting less per school than 12 or 14 school conferences (all else being equal). Ten is also really good because it currently allows for the most flexibility with respect to sponsoring a CCG (though I think the rules governing the CCG will eventually be modified to eliminate that advanatage).
07-30-2020 06:11 PM
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goofus Offline
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Post: #20
RE: What do you think is the ideal conference size, and why?
The ideal conference is 65 schools with 6 different 11-team divisions

But here is the twist. The 65 schools are not exactly the same 65 schools that are currently in the P5. Here are the divisions

West-11 Division
USC, UCLA, Stan, Cal, Hawaii,
Ore, Wash, Arizona, Arizona St, Utah, Col

Central-11 Division
Tex, TT, TCU, Ok, OK St,
BYU, Boise St, Kan, Kan St, Neb

North-11 Division
Iowa St, Iowa, Minn, Wisconsin, NW, ILL
Mich St, Mich, Ohio St, Pur, Indy

East-11 Division
PSU, Pitt, WV, Cuse, BC, UConn,
Rut, MD, ND, Lou, Ken

Atlantic-11 Division
VA, VT, UNC, NCSU, Duke,
GT, South Car, Clem, FSU, Miami

South-11 Division
FL, Ga, Aub, Bama, Tenn,
LSU, Texas A&M, Arky, Mizzou, Ole Miss, Miss St
07-30-2020 07:30 PM
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