College football’s biggest league expands – and leaves us behind

This was inevitable.

The move to a 12-team football playoff makes economic sense in a crucial way that few previously envisioned tournaments have ever matched. Game officials at the highest level can scoff whatever they like about “fairness to student-athletes” and “competition at the highest level”, but everyone can see it – and it’s really surprising that it didn’t come true soon.

Billions of dollars in additional television revenue is expected to be generated through the expanded gaming suite. The supposed first round of teams is planned to play on college campuses, before quarter-final and semi-final matches take place at six locations for the New Year’s Six Ball Games.

The inclusion of six top-ranked conference champions and six top teams is an initial bone-thumping thrown at the current Group of Five conferences, though which conferences will be in selection order after the current reorganization period remains to be seen.

One thing seems certain, though, that the American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, and the Sunbelt Conference have either maintained their position or made gains during the reorganization so far, the CUSA Conference and the Mid-America Conference (MAC), the latter of which have been the home of The Miami RedHawks, clearly seated behind the pack.

CUSA was the victim of raids by American and Sunbelt, in which it lost 11 of its 14 members before adding four; Two junior schools in the vicinity of the Football Sub-Division (FBS) and two schools from the sub-division below, the FCS Football Championship Division (FCS).

In the meantime, the Mid-America Convention is happening almost alone, as one already at the bottom of the FBS bundle and refusing to push for new members to be added, despite the apparent (relatively) interest in nearby schools in Western Kentucky and Central Tennessee. condition.

College Football Playoff’s current revenue division allocates $6 million to a conference for each team that enters a semi-final match, and $4 million for each of their teams participating in the other four non-playoff tournaments that make up the new year. Six bowls.

The numbers are likely to change with the move to a 12-team playoff system, but the principle will likely remain in place – conferences receive payments, along with the number of their teams making it to the playoff game. In 2019-20, the Mid-America Conference earned the least amount of college football money of any conference, as did 2018-19.

With power shifting between conferences after the reorganization thus far, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a distinct Power Five and Group Five split as we’ve seen since the introduction of the College Football game.

The Big Ten and Southeastern Conference (SEC) will likely sit alone at the top, followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and an odd gathering of the Big 12, Pac-12 and Sun Belt, depending on further reorganization that looks all but imminent. . Then sits Mountain West, well-positioned to challenge the sixth automatic playoffs with a good season from a major program like Boise State, and at the bottom, the USA Conference and Mid-America Conference.

As I mentioned in detail in a last column On that subject, college football is more about money than anything else. Increasing the amount of money going to more teams and conferences is good for the sport – parity should bring a competitiveness that hasn’t been seen much lately at the top of the game – but the simple fact is, Central America is unlikely to have a conference in its current state One of the top six champions of the conference, and thus a place in the College Football Playoff.

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Millions of dollars lost each year, and watching the once-cash conventions as their episodic star program made the race a sought-after claim to sixth place means that Mid-America – and Miami – will fall further behind.

This means a greater focus on conference football – which is fun, especially during the nightly MACtion towards the end of the season – but there is more and more contrast between it and the rest of FBS where it ostensibly belongs.

That means more losses in games outside of conferences, more losses for FCS teams (both Buffalo and Bowling Green suffered from MAC East on Saturday), and less national attention – which itself becomes a vicious cycle of its own, as conference officials find themselves With persistently little leverage in broadcast deal negotiations with major networks.

This means another hit to the game that rivals Victory Bell (which I also wrote about in a previous column), as Cincinnati’s move to the Big 12 gives them what is almost certain to be an even bigger slice of pie that the RedHawks can only dream of tasting.

Miami football isn’t in trouble – far from it now, with the conference’s best midfielder, stable head coach and expert who has worked excellently to rebuild that program and is now entering its ninth year in the role – but when the RedHawks broke ground on Saturday at Paul Brown Stadium Attend the 126th meeting between Miami and Cincinnati, and be under no illusions that the Bearcat’s seemingly almost certain victory will be the last of its kind.

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