That’s because every corner would be involved.
With the growth of leagues and the movement of teams, it isn’t much of a reach to consider that college sports will be controlled by four conferences soon, dividing the country into four geographic regions.
The United States pie could be quartered with the Big Ten controlling the Northeast, the Southeastern Conference owning the Southeast, the Big 12 ruling the Southwest and the Pac-whatever running a Northwest roundup.
These conferences already control the focus of college football and this might be the way to work it to an advantage.
First off, sectioning schools off by geographic boundaries promotes new rivalries. Maryland, for example, gets Penn State and West Virginia along with, say Pitt, Ohio State and Michigan to face every year.
But then, instead of relying on subjective polls and computer readouts that can be manipulated by one keystroke of data, a four-team playoff would be decided on the field. The champion of each of the four regions — a Final Four, per se — would play for two weekends to decide who wins the crystal football everyone is afraid to drop.
Granted, a series of tiebreakers would need to be in place to help break ties.
There would be a little more intrigue for the bowl system, too, because the matchups wouldn’t be controlled by all the different conferences sending an eighth-place team through a preconceived agreement.
Now, the bowl schedule would be filled and varied by the regions — a schedule that would rotate from year to year. For example, three of the five major bowls would host the playoffs.
The rest of the bowls could be filled by say third-place Northeast faces third-place Southwest, giving each game a diverse pool of possibilities.
Another alternative would be for the college game to steal a format that is used in high schools.
Every couple of years, schools would be reclassified — by size or success — and separated into divisions, say like Classes 1A-4A in Maryland.
What that could do is allow some of the smaller schools in the Land of the Giants to get a chance to play for a national title. The other major bowls would host those championship games.
How much exposure and interest — and possible revenue— if schools like Kent State, Northern Illinois, both on the low end, of the Top 25 and say local schools like Towson and James Madison would play for a second-, third- or fourth-tier Final Four to crown a champion.
OK, maybe that’s a little far-fetched, but no more than the Big East adding San Diego State. East of what … Hawaii?
Besides, like records, traditions are made to be broken.
It all came to mind while I was feasting on a slice of Turducken.
Bob Parasiliti is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7358 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parasiliti: Traditions are made to be broken
Bob Parasiliti (Joe Crocetta / April 15, 2012)