The reason this might make sense is that any permanent split into divisions is going to, in effect, create 2 separate conferences, or ‘bifurcated’, as someone quoted in the BANG article said.

]]>Nonetheless, if you have to have 2 divisions for football, I sure as heck hope that they determine the division winner based upon the W-L record of “like opponents” only.

That is, in a Division A of:

Cal

UCLA

OSU

WU

ASU

Utah, for instance

In determining who goes to the Championship game, start by only considering the W-L record of these 6 teams head to head (5 games only).

If UCLA and CAL, for instance, both finish 4-1, then go to their W-L record of common opponents from the other Division. Presumably, they would both play USC and Stanford. If one team went 1-1 and the other 2-0 or 0-2, then that determines who wins the Division and advances to the championship game. If they are both 2-0, then look at head to head result.

I would hate it if the randomness of the schedule (who you played in the other division in any given year – whether they be the weak teams or the strong teams for that season) determined who advanced.

Doing it my way would keep it “fair”, and should allow for rivalries to be maintained without a creating W-L scheduling disadvantage. For instance, I assume that Cal-Furd-USC-UCLA will always all play each other – but that can be a tough gauntlet to run, when other teams might have, say, ASU, OSU, WSU as their opponent. It makes it harder for the Calif teams to advance, so why would they opt for that?

Here’s my proposal of matchups. Play everyone in your zipper division, plus, from the other division:

Cal: Furd and USC, plus 2 of remaining 4 by random.

UCLA: Furd and USC, plus 2 of remaining 4 by random.

OSU: OU and WSU, plus 2 of remaining 4 by random.

WU: OU and WSU, plus 2 of remaining 4 by random.

ASU: AU and CO, plus 2 of remaining 4 by random.

UT: AU and CO, plus 2 of remaining 4 by random.

One of the cool things about this zipper plan with core opponents on the other side, is that the zipper alliances could potentially switch after every 2 years.

For instance, if Cal and UCLA are constantly killing each other for the Division champion, they may like to mix it up and be in opposite divisions after the normal rotation occurs after 2 years. So, then the grouping could be:

Cal

USC

OSU

WSU

ASU

CO

and then 2 years later it could be:

Cal

UCLA

OU

WSU

ASU

UT

and then 2 more years later it could be:

Cal

USC

OSU

UW

AU

CO

and all the while having the same Core opponents on the other side of the bracket which maintains:

4 CALIF schools all play each other.

4 Northwest schools all play each other.

4 East schools all play each other (ASU, AU, UT, CO).

Always 5 division games (that rotate and count for going to championship game) and always 2 CORE games from other division + 2 random games from other division = 4 games from other division that maintains conference semblance, rivalries, and decides tie breakers for division winners.

Yes, you could have a Division winner that was 4-1 in Division, but 0-4 outside of division, but at least it would be FAIR because the other teams (who were no better than 3-2 in division, but potentially 4-0 outside of the division) had the same schedule. This would mean a team that was 4-5 could go to the champ game ahead of a team that was 7-2. Oh well… I can live with that better than advancing a cupcake schedule team ahead of someone who beat them, but lost to more difficult opponents.

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