Wednesday, November 18, 2015

King Me: Transforming College Conferences Into 10-Team Memberships

The ACC logo in 1995 when only nine teams made up the league.
Now 15 teams are in the basketball league making for an
oversized conference where teams don't play each other as often.

I've felt this way for a long time.  I have felt that the college conferences should be no more and no less than ten teams.  Ten members.  Each conference.  That's it.  That's simple.

Now, in all of the conference realignment over the last 25 years, I've sat back and absorbed all the chaos.  As an ACC guy, I've seen what this can do to a league.  The ACC added Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Louisville over the last 15 years ... but lost Maryland along the way.  While the conference is neat to navigate at times (my Tar Heels get to face some great programs) it has also killed a lot of what I held dear in this league.  Playing everyone and visiting all those great stadiums and arenas.  The kinship of being in a league.

Now, North Carolina and Wake Forest don't play every year in football (to that point, they actually scheduled "non-conference" games against each other).  Clemson and UNC don't face off twice in basketball anymore.  The round robin feel of football and basketball is gone and conferences just don't feel the same anymore.

That's why I'm taking it back!  If I was King Of Sports, I'd make this happen.  The 10-team conference is set up perfectly.  It causes a 9-game football schedule in which each team gets to play every other conference member and a basketball schedule where you get an 18-game schedule where you face everyone twice ... meaning you visit every other conference member's gym.  We get true champions and a fair shake in the standings.

If you still love conference championship games in football, we can make it where the top two teams in the standings will face off in a title game.  Hell, throwing out the divisional format would usually mean better matchups in those title games.  Last year, for example, we could have had Florida State-Clemson and TCU-Baylor in title games.  I actually prefer that idea and the ACC has even toyed with proposing that under the current setup.

So what would the conferences look like?  Glad you asked.  I've realigned them using some thought and compassion.  I'm basically resetting things back to 1990 and starting from there.  I'm not looking at the now and lopping off teams in the current memberships.  Then I'm moving from there.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Looking At The Three Remaining Undefeated Teams


How they got here:  Some dismissed the Panthers because of their relatively underwhelming early schedule.  However, Carolina has now beaten the Seahawks in Seattle and the Eagles, Colts and Packers in Charlotte.

Most impressive win:  27-23 at Seattle.  Anytime you can win in Seattle is impressive.  Marching down the field with time running out and scoring a game winning touchdown is all the more sweeter.

How long could this last?:  Carolina has three of the next four on the road (Titans, Cowboys, Saints), with a home date with the Redskins lodged in there.  Those roadies won't be easy, but they aren't against the elite teams they've been facing of late.  They still have both matchups with the Falcons to look forward to.


How they got here:  Cincinnati has been flexing its offensive muscle.  Their bend-but-don't-break defense has been pretty good and Andy Dalton is looking like a MVP candidate has been making this a scary team.  This team is getting comparisons to the 1988 team that went to the Super Bowl.

Most impressive win:  27-24 vs Seattle.  Not trying to pick on Seattle, but many fans felt that this was where this team could falter.  This was a big game on a big stage and the Bengals have struggled in those situations.  It looked like this would be the case again, falling behind 24-7 in the fourth quarter.  But Andy Dalton led a comeback for the ages in Cincinnati and pulled out the overtime victory.

How long could this last?:  In two weeks, the Bengals go to Arizona to face Carson Palmer and the Cardinals.  That's going to be tough.  Aside from that, their Week 16 game at Denver looks to be the most daunting task.  


How they got here:  These are the defending champions and Tom Brady didn't have to serve that four-game suspension.  New England has been winning impressively all season long.  But this hasn't been the toughest of slates.

Most impressive win:  34-27 at Indianapolis.  No, this isn't the Colts that we though we'd have this season or even the one that the Pats beat for the AFC title a year ago.  But this was the revenge of sorts for Deflategate.  Plus it was a tough game ... probably the toughest test they've had this season.

How long could this last?:  The schedule toughens up now.  In the next three weeks, the Patriots travel to New York to face the always dangerous Giants and to see old rival Peyton Manning and his Broncos.  .