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westwolf Offline
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Post: #1
Divisons?
How long do you think BIG, SEC, ACC and Pac12 will retain divisions?
07-05-2021 11:20 AM
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Crayton Online
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RE: Divisons?
I think the SEC will keep them a little longer than the others. The “East vs. West” is part of the fabric of the conference’s identity.

Divisionless is the type of melting-pot the ACC (and Big 12) wanted/needed from the beginning. Divisions in the Big Ten and Pac-12 are 20 years younger than in the SEC and I think there is a good chance they move to divisionless Year 1.

CUSA may keep divisions just because inertia is pretty strong there. MW would welcome their removal. Sun Belt may remove them to better mirror the American. Not sure about the MAC, they’ve had divisions a long while but the fixed cross-division games are mildly quirky.
07-05-2021 11:29 AM
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goofus Offline
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RE: Divisons?
Short answer is 2022.

In fact before the pandemic I had a strong feeling that the Big Ten would scrap their divisions in 2022.

The main reason 2021 is the last year of a 6-year rotation in the Big Ten where everybody was supposed to play everybody at least twice in 6 years and at at least once at home. Then in 2022 a whole new 6-year rotation was set to start and not everybody seemed happy with the new rotation. So if they were going to scrap divisions, 2022 seemed to be the year to do it.

The pandemic may have screwed up that plan but I am not sure. The 2020 schedule messed up that 6-year rotation in the sense that not everybody played each other that was originally was supposed to.

But if the Big Ten sets up a schedule starting in 2022 with 5 permanent rivals and you still play the other 8 teams 50% of the time, that may be the best fix in the long term to make up for any teams that got skipped in 2020. But maybe an alternative plan is to re-run the original 2020 Big Ten conference schedule in 2022 and then go divisionless in 2023.
(This post was last modified: 07-05-2021 12:15 PM by goofus.)
07-05-2021 12:10 PM
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schmolik Online
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RE: Divisons?
(07-05-2021 11:29 AM)Crayton Wrote:  I think the SEC will keep them a little longer than the others. The “East vs. West” is part of the fabric of the conference’s identity.

Don't Florida and Georgia want to play Alabama more often?
07-05-2021 12:36 PM
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templefootballfan Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Divisons?
I don't think TV lets them go division less.
2 division races instead 1
07-05-2021 12:40 PM
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schmolik Online
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RE: Divisons?
(07-05-2021 12:40 PM)templefootballfan Wrote:  I don't think TV lets them go division less.
2 division races instead 1

I think TV would in certain cases rather the two most attractive teams play in the conference championship game. In the Big Ten, Northwestern, a private school with probably the smallest alumni base, played in it two of the last three years. You don't think the Big Ten/FOX wouldn't rather have Penn State play Ohio State or a Michigan/Ohio State rematch? The only people that care about the Big Ten West are the schools that are in the Big Ten West. The Big Ten West has literally NEVER won the Big Ten Championship Game. When Wisconsin won the Big Ten Championship Game they were in the Leaders Division. ACC? If you're not an ACC fan, you barely know who's in what division. Last year the ACC Championship Game was way better when they didn't have divisions and Clemson played a team that had a chance of beating them (and did in the regular season) as opposed to a 7-5/8-4 team that had no chance of doing so.
07-05-2021 01:11 PM
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Stugray2 Offline
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RE: Divisons?
Every conference is under pressure to do away with them. They will be gone by the start of 2023 when the expanded playoffs begin. For sure the Pac-12 and ACC will ditch them, likely also the Mountain West as they all see them as detrimental to their best schools playoff chances. The American thinks that way as well, and they are working off a waiver. Divisions are artificial in the Sun Belt (exist only for football so they don't have to play 9 games), so they would be ditched at the first chance. The Big 12 doesn't have them, and of course doesn't support them.

If there is resistance it will be in the SEC and B1G. But both are divided over it, with several schools wanting to ditch divisions, not for Playoff chances, but rather to return some rivalries to the schedule that have been cut off by Division play. Auburn wants to play more eastern schools, even asking to switch divisions with Missouri -- Alabama is a sticking point as they use their cross rival to keep Tennessee on the schedule. But there are many such cut off rivalries in the SEC and B1G. The Playoff would be the excuse to get rid of them. (Note, the same cut off rivalries apply in the "zipper-ish" ACC, and also the MWC with SDSU placed with "WAC" schools and Boise State with old guard MWC schools)

The only conference who really wants Divisions is C-USA due to it's ill thought out expansion to 14 schools strewn across a wide stretch of the country and of widely different resource levels, with a really poor media contract. As long as they are stuck together, without a single Alpha school to lead the better Beta schools into a stronger and more compact conference, they will need Divisions to reduce some travel costs and give some geographic sense to the conference.

So 2023 season most Divisions will be gone.
07-05-2021 01:20 PM
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schmolik Online
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RE: Divisons?
But no one is ever going to say you "can't" have divisions, the only debate is whether you "have" to have divisions (and you don't have to have divisions if you have full round robin play like the Big 12). In my mind, the only reason any conference has to vote against getting rid of the division rule is because they think it will cause a realignment/expansion that will hurt their conference.
07-05-2021 01:36 PM
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Wahoowa84 Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Divisons?
The ACC should be trying to schedule divisionless football ASAP. The conference needs better content. All schools could benefit with more frequent games between all members…Miami v Clemson, FSU v GT, VT v Louisville, UNC v Wake, Duke v NC State, etc. The divisions were originally designed to balance football strength and help assimilate new schools…divisions have now outlived their usefulness in the ACC.

Pragmatically, leaders will wait for approval of the football playoffs to make the change.
07-05-2021 01:47 PM
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bullet Online
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Post: #10
RE: Divisons?
If you get rid of divisions, you get rid of the justification for that 13th game, which was that you had too many teams to play a round robin.

Of course with the 10 team rule they partly gutted it.

Divisionless creates a horrible mess for determining who is involved when you have 14 team conferences and there will be a lot of problems with the 12 team.
07-05-2021 04:30 PM
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Crayton Online
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Post: #11
RE: Divisons?
(07-05-2021 12:36 PM)schmolik Wrote:  
(07-05-2021 11:29 AM)Crayton Wrote:  I think the SEC will keep them a little longer than the others. The “East vs. West” is part of the fabric of the conference’s identity.

Don't Florida and Georgia want to play Alabama more often?

Gators play ‘Bama every other year already though I’m sure local interests would prefer more visits by the Tide.

SEC can afford to be conservative when allowed to dissolve divisions. If the first few years produce favorable results for the SEC, they’ll stick with it at least another 6-year cycle.
07-05-2021 04:45 PM
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schmolik Online
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RE: Divisons?
(07-05-2021 04:45 PM)Crayton Wrote:  
(07-05-2021 12:36 PM)schmolik Wrote:  
(07-05-2021 11:29 AM)Crayton Wrote:  I think the SEC will keep them a little longer than the others. The “East vs. West” is part of the fabric of the conference’s identity.

Don't Florida and Georgia want to play Alabama more often?

Gators play ‘Bama every other year already though I’m sure local interests would prefer more visits by the Tide.

SEC can afford to be conservative when allowed to dissolve divisions. If the first few years produce favorable results for the SEC, they’ll stick with it at least another 6-year cycle.

I'm talking about regular season games, not SEC Championship Games.
07-05-2021 04:53 PM
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foulball33 Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Divisons?
(07-05-2021 04:45 PM)Crayton Wrote:  
(07-05-2021 12:36 PM)schmolik Wrote:  
(07-05-2021 11:29 AM)Crayton Wrote:  I think the SEC will keep them a little longer than the others. The “East vs. West” is part of the fabric of the conference’s identity.

Don't Florida and Georgia want to play Alabama more often?

Gators play ‘Bama every other year already though I’m sure local interests would prefer more visits by the Tide.

SEC can afford to be conservative when allowed to dissolve divisions. If the first few years produce favorable results for the SEC, they’ll stick with it at least another 6-year cycle.

Alabama and Florida play each other twice every 12 years under the current format.
07-05-2021 04:55 PM
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johnintx Online
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RE: Divisons?
(07-05-2021 04:55 PM)foulball33 Wrote:  
(07-05-2021 04:45 PM)Crayton Wrote:  
(07-05-2021 12:36 PM)schmolik Wrote:  
(07-05-2021 11:29 AM)Crayton Wrote:  I think the SEC will keep them a little longer than the others. The “East vs. West” is part of the fabric of the conference’s identity.

Don't Florida and Georgia want to play Alabama more often?

Gators play ‘Bama every other year already though I’m sure local interests would prefer more visits by the Tide.

SEC can afford to be conservative when allowed to dissolve divisions. If the first few years produce favorable results for the SEC, they’ll stick with it at least another 6-year cycle.

Alabama and Florida play each other twice every 12 years under the current format.

Based on what I remember and what I've seen JR mention on this board, Florida-Auburn was a rivalry lost to SEC expansion/divisions. Florida has more of a history with Auburn than with Alabama. Florida and Alabama have played each other frequently in the SEC championship game, though.
07-05-2021 05:10 PM
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DawgNBama Offline
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RE: Divisons?
(07-05-2021 12:36 PM)schmolik Wrote:  
(07-05-2021 11:29 AM)Crayton Wrote:  I think the SEC will keep them a little longer than the others. The “East vs. West” is part of the fabric of the conference’s identity.

Don't Florida and Georgia want to play Alabama more often?

I'll defer to Crayton on Florida, but as for Georgia, the Dawgs really only want to play them in the championship game. I think vice versa is true for Alabama as well, but I could be wrong.

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07-05-2021 07:36 PM
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Crayton Online
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RE: Divisons?
Yes. I’m fine with Alabama primarily in the Championship. Would enjoy Auburn more often, at least as often as LSU, if not more. I’d be fine with an Auburn-Tennessee trade even. Make Bama-Auburn and Arkansas-Missouri the only crossovers and the other 10 teams see each other every third year.
07-05-2021 08:25 PM
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Post: #17
RE: Divisons?
(07-05-2021 08:25 PM)Crayton Wrote:  Yes. I’m fine with Alabama primarily in the Championship. Would enjoy Auburn more often, at least as often as LSU, if not more. I’d be fine with an Auburn-Tennessee trade even. Make Bama-Auburn and Arkansas-Missouri the only crossovers and the other 10 teams see each other every third year.

3 permanent and 5 of the other 10 each year would work well in the SEC, though this could be tweaked to make Auburn-UF, Vols-UK, and a few other matchups as annual meetings.
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07-05-2021 08:40 PM
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schmolik Online
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RE: Divisons?
The SEC has gone the longest with divisions (first started in 1992!) I'm sure there are SEC fans that don't remember annually playing non divisional games. The really old SEC fans might remember pre 1992 when SEC teams played each other more often. The younger SEC fans know about the SEC but SEC East teams only think of SEC East teams as annual rivals and SEC West teams as annual rivals. If you're an Alabama fan in your 20's or 30's, the Mississippi schools are annual rivals, Georgia and Florida aren't. If you're a Georgia fan, Vanderbilt and Kentucky are annual rivals, Alabama and LSU aren't. So maybe Alabama and Georgia are used to not playing each other in the regular season anymore.

Meanwhile the Big 10 didn't have divisions until Nebraska joined and had 11 teams as late as 2010. Even after Penn State joined the Big Ten, Illinois only didn't play Ohio State in 2003 and 2004 until they went to East/West divisions (and they played three times in four years 2014-2017). I doubt we're where the SEC is and I wouldn't consider the Western Division teams more rivals than Eastern Division teams of Illinois like SEC teams might now (their divisions are now approaching 30 years).
07-05-2021 09:00 PM
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DawgNBama Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Divisons?
(07-05-2021 09:00 PM)schmolik Wrote:  The SEC has gone the longest with divisions (first started in 1992!) I'm sure there are SEC fans that don't remember annually playing non divisional games. The really old SEC fans might remember pre 1992 when SEC teams played each other more often. The younger SEC fans know about the SEC but SEC East teams only think of SEC East teams as annual rivals and the SEC West teams only think of and SEC West teams as annual rivals. If you're an Alabama fan in your 20's or 30's, the Mississippi schools are annual rivals, Georgia and Florida aren't. If you're a Georgia fan, Vanderbilt and Kentucky are annual rivals, Alabama and LSU aren't. So maybe Alabama and Georgia are used to not playing each other in the regular season anymore.

Actually, I am a Georgia fan (Dawg) and I don't view Vandy and Kentucky as rivals.

And most Alabama fans I know don't really view the Mississippi schools as rivals either, or at least not Mississippi State yet anyway. Ole Miss might be a different story with Lane Kiffin.

As a Dawg (Georgia) fan, I consider Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech, and Tennessee to be our rivals in football. Clemson I consider to be a minor rival due to the fact that we play them infrequently, but they are close by (roughly 60 miles from Georgia to Clemson) and there is a history between the two schools.

South Carolina considers us to be one of their big football rivals, but most Dawg fans view them much like you would a pesky mosquito.

I do consider Georgia Tech and South Carolina to be our rivals in basketball. I might add Auburn there as well, given how good Auburn has been lately.

Most Alabama fans I know consider Auburn, Tennessee, and LSU to be their rivals in football.

Quote:Meanwhile the Big 10 didn't have divisions until Nebraska joined and had 11 teams as late as 2010. Even after Penn State joined the Big Ten, Illinois only didn't play Ohio State in 2003 and 2004 until they went to East/West divisions (and they played three times in four years 2014-2017). I doubt we're where the SEC is and I wouldn't consider the Western Division teams more rivals than Eastern Division teams of Illinois like SEC teams might now (their divisions are now approaching 30 years).


That makes sense, considering that the SEC went to divisional play long before anyone else in FBS did. Divisionless would probably be the way to go for the Big Ten and the ACC too!! Probably Big 12 also, but who knows?? The PAC 12 is an exception, IMO, because I feel like that they have truly embraced divisional play and it really makes sense for them like it does the SEC, although I'm sure both could go divisionless with a few tweaks.

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(This post was last modified: 07-05-2021 10:05 PM by DawgNBama.)
07-05-2021 09:55 PM
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RE: Divisons?
I'm not exactly sure how all Big Ten teams feel about divisional play. From me as an Illinois fan and being pro East I want to see Illinois play more of the big boys more often, especially if they come to Champaign and sell more tickets. W/L record doesn't mean as much to Illinois these days. On the other hand, Penn State in the East Division gets annual games with Ohio State and Michigan every year. If the Big Ten did away with divisions, that could go away (I assume OSU-PSU would be protected but Mich-PSU might not). It might also force Penn State to have to travel to Nebraska and Iowa more often than they do now. The Big Ten of course is geographically stretched out. Having divisions keeps the Eastern schools and Western schools away from each other so they might want to keep divisions for that reason. On the other hand, the middle schools don't benefit as much from divisions. Since Ohio State is the "valuable" brand (and Michigan and Penn State aren't far behind), the border schools in the West Division are the ones that like divisions the least. Iowa and Nebraska don't get to play Ohio State and Michigan that often but also don't have to travel to Maryland and Rutgers that often either. Illinois is 519 miles from Nebraska and 620 miles from Penn State, PSU isn't that much further away. Ohio State (296 miles) and Michigan (342) are closer to Champaign than Lincoln is.
07-06-2021 05:39 AM
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