Sport Court: Are Super Conferences a good idea?

Justin Franiak/Joe Pugliese, Asst. Sports Editor/Correspondent

Justin Franiak’s take:

The new trend in College Football is the idea of “Super Conferences,” so essentially having the Pac-10 become the Pac-57. Being a college football traditionalist, I am completely against this idea.

For one, the best thing in college football is rivalries. Being a Penn State fan, I loathe the existence of Ohio State, but I love playing them every year. If, for example, the Big Ten were to jump to around 20 teams, this rivalry would diminish because teams would only play each other once every few years, instead of beating each other up annually. I love to watch Notre Dame get beat by different teams every year, but by instilling “Super Conferences” Notre Dame, being independent, would be forced to play lesser competition. This would be caused by teams only playing other schools in their conference. Out-of-conference play would totally be dimished as every game played would need to have some playoff implications.

Another negative is the the travel time and schedule instilled on the athletes. Some people forget that these college football athletes are still in college, they do need an education because they are not all going professional. By having these huge conferences, travel time would only be extended. Instead of the Pac-10 only being a West Coast league, it would begin to jump into the middle of the country because of mthe absortion of new teams. This would cause teams to have to leave earlier from school and stay longer at their desired locations. In the end this would only hinder getting their diploma.

Some say it would help develop a college football playoff system. I believe with the current ranking system, a decent playoff system could be developed. Currently there are 11 football conferences. You keep the the BCS rankings and at the end of the season every conference winner is pulled out of the top 25. The teams that then fall within the top 5 after the pulling of the other teams are considered wild cards. This would set-up a 16 team playoff, which would only take four weeks to complete, around the same time the college championship is played.

Joe Pugliese’s take:

Super Conferences in collegiate sports would be a great change.   In the college football landscape there are 21 conferences for 120 schools in division IA also known as the FBS or the Football Bowl Subdivision.  The FBS is the only collegiate athletics league that does not have a playoff system in place.  Super Conferences could possibly change this.

The news lately has been filled with rumors of schools possibly leaving one conference to join another. The rumor mill has not stopped spinning in the last few months and it has become a Hollywood gossip session more than business ordeal.  The NCAA has dropped the ball in letting this free-for-all style to be allowed in their system.  While we are well on our way to super conferences and few can deny that, the road to get there has no street signs to direct the schools where to go, and the NCAA must step in.  The NCAA needs to sit every school down in one congregation to discuss and map out conferences that would ultimately provide for the prosperity of college sports.

The ideal number many would look for is eight super conferences in the FBS to help establish either a 32, 16 or eight team playoff system that would work.  This would ensure top competition in each conference, so no more untested Boise St. controversy. The SEC would not be the sole power conference and no longer be first in line to every bowl game.  The new playoff structure would not necessarily eliminate bowl games, it would simply make bowl games more significant. You can still have The Rose Bowl as a semi-final game, it just puts meaning behind each game. No longer would we have to wait three weeks in-between the bowl games and the last regular season games, thus allowing the college football season to still finish in the same time frame, while still putting important games in between the national championship and the last regular season game. Essentially the college landscape is moving towards these major super conferences.  However, they need support and guidance from the NCAA.