It's the offseason and we bloggers have too much time on our hands. As a perfect example, I go away for vacation and come home to find out that some of my favortie blogs will be redesigning the college football landscape as we know it, and I didn't even get an email until today. There will be blood spilt over this. Mark my words.
Anyway, let's get down to the important stuff. The whole premise of this Conference Re-Draft Project is to completely overhaul the college football landscape from top to bottom. Six Conferences and a set number of teams. Ain't selected? Too bad. You're done. Got that Iowa State?
/squak/ WHAT!? /static/ YOU SAID WE'D ALWAYS BE FRIENDS! /chirp/
Yeah, I also said I liked Dave Matthews in college so that I could get a chick to make out with me. In sum, Dave Matthews sucks, and I'm selling you down the river for a brighter tomorrow. Specifically, a future that doesn't include you.
So what are we talking about? We're talking about an EA Sports style custom conference here. History, geography, or reason have nothing to do with this project. In fact, throw them into a blender and make yourself a smoothie because you're not going to need them for much else. The SB Nation Conference Realignment Project is designed to be entertaining and to thin the heard of the unwanted college programs. The Project doesn't care if you like playing Wisconsin or Baylor or Mississippi State every year. The Project is cold blooded and calculating. It's also going to be really effing funny. So let's get down to the details.
The purposes of the fantasy draft are: (1) to explore the values of individual schools by drafting them sequentially, and (2) to have fun strategically building a conference of schools.
Because we feel like it there will be six conferences. Period. And these conferences are NOT meant to be new versions of current conferences. We don't want to create tweaked versions of what we already have. We all know how well that's worked out. The goal is to draft schools based on their overall value, and to compile a conference of teams strategically and coherently.
What makes a school valuable? Who the hell knows? We've decided to leave this up to the six conference commissioners to determine, with a few important guidelines. The commissioners have to keep in mind that we're drafting athletics conferences. Therefore athletics should be weighted heaviest, if not exclusively.
Another thing to think about is that, when selecting a school, the Commissioners are bringing on all of its NCAA-sanctioned varsity programs. So if you select Notre Dame for its football program (god forgive them when they do), all of the Irish's other sports come along with it. Same for Duke football ... ick.
So with that in mind, let's be clear. We're human. Other things factor in, like my irrational hatred of sand and love of scenic area outside of Temple's campus. So they decided to give the commissioners a little leeway. So we're allowing them to look at the following are factors that they can, but are not required, to consider:
Weather/Desirability of Destination
TV Revenue Potential
Rivalries (two teams)
On the flipside, there are two factors that are NOT to be considered. First, the commissioners can't take travel/geographic concerns into consideration. Think of it as if we invented teleporting (NERDZ). In real life, Washington and Florida are unrealistic conference partners; in our world, that doesn't matter -- neither from a travel or time zone standpoint. Second, and related, while we may take individual rivalries into consideration (e.g. pairing Michigan and Ohio State), preservation of current conference history/rivalry/alliance is not to be considered. Hopefully for obvious reasons.
Again, the goal is not to improve the status quo. The goal is not to create a conference that will actually play games. The goal is to use a draft to value schools and have fun strategically grouping them together.
In sum, there is no single way that schools must be valued and/or grouped together. Some of the commissioners may wish to create the best conference of all-around athletics-academics combination. Others may want to create a revenue superpower. There are any number of valid ways to do this. The only limitation is not creating a group that is based on regional and historical ties. Time to wipe the slate clean and start over.
Here's the critical thing: once a conference drafts 12 members, a conference can be capped by its commissioner if they want. If you're smart, you've got twelve, you stop. However, if commissioners want, the draft will continue for the conferences who wish to add more members (i.e. Big East Coast Bias will likely keep going until they hit 20 programs, but most of them will be basketball programs only).
If in any subsequent round only one conference remains, it may select the remaining members of its conference up to a maximum of 16 schools. So we're not going to end up with six diluted Big Easts. No. These will be great. Ish.
As mentioned above, there will be six conference commissioners. The D-Bags in Charge six conference commissioners are Team Speed Kills (SEC), BC Interruption (Boston College), House of Sparky (Arizona State), Big East Coast Bias (Big East), Black Heart Gold Pants (Iowa), and Red Cup Rebellion (Ole Miss).
By luck of a random number generator, BC Interruption gets first pick in the draft. The complete draft order is as follows:
1. BC Interruption
2. Black Heart Gold Pants
3. Team Speed Kills
4. Big East Coast Bias
5. House of Sparky
6. Red Cup Rebellion
The draft will be a snake draft, meaning RCR will receive the 6th and 7th picks (last pick in the first, first pick in the second). The draft is officially being run by the Oklahoma State Cowboys blog Cowboys Ride For Free, so CRFF will be playing the role of supervising overlord. CRFF has the final say in the matter in any and all disputes.
Schedule: This week, we are introducing the Re-Draft project and want to get the conversation going.
The Schedule and Other Details
On Monday, June 13, BC Interruption is on the clock. They'll need to submit our first overall pick of the draft then. Upon making their first round selection, their conference commissioner (so, them) will then consult with their draft choice (assuming SBN has a participating blogger for that school) and the two of them will collectively decide on our draft strategy and make our second round choice. It sorta builds from there, with every subsequent school's blog having a say in the next program drafted.
By Friday of next week, each conference will have a commissioner, two schools and up to two more bloggers and SBN communities to collaborate with on picks. By Sunday, June 19, with a conference commissioner and two schools solidifying the conference's identity, we'll select the name of the conference.
On Monday, June 20, Cowboys Ride For Free will announce the conference names and recap the first two rounds of the draft. Over here at RCR, the first two members of the conference will be announced, discussed and dissected.
After the big reveal of conference names and founding members, the draft will continue in much the same manner, with two draft picks a week for the next several weeks.
Finally, on Monday July 25, the full and complete conference rosters will be announced and discussed across the SB Nation community of NCAA sites.
So if you've gotten this far, great. We want to make sure that everyone clearly understands the objectives and rules as this sort of thing only works if we're all operating in the same universe. So sit back and follow along. We'll see where Michigan goes, and then we'll start lobbying hard for the important stuff.