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Let's pretend a bunch of other teams follow Idaho to FCS. Here are some new conferences

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The Sun Belt is booting Idaho and New Mexico State after 2017. The Vandals seem likely to end up in FCS, and nobody has any idea what NMSU might do. It's probably not the start of any sort of trend. But what if it was?

For the sake of argument, let's say several other struggling programs left FBS. Let's say FBS lost enough teams to shelve Conference USA, the mid-major conference with no real identity. Let's also say we rearranged the remaining non-powers into four even conferences that made geographic sense.

If we used 10-year S&P+ averages, for instance, and escorted the bottom dozen teams to FCS, we might have something like this as the entire mid-major level, plus the independents:

American 10-year S&P+ MAC 10-year S&P+ MWC 10-year S&P+ Sun Belt 10-year S&P+
GA Southern 46 Cincinnati 40 Boise State 8 Houston 54
USF 52 Toledo 64 Utah State 66 Tulsa 62
ECU 56 UConn 77 Nevada 67 Southern Miss 76
Navy 63 NIU 78 Fresno State 74 LA Tech 82
UCF 65 BGSU 83 Air Force 75 Troy 90
Marshall 73 WMU 91 SDSU 84 Arkansas State 92
App State 79 Ohio 94 Hawaii 95 SMU 93
Temple 89 Ball State 97 CSU 96 Rice 101
WKU 99 CMU 98 SJSU 100 South Alabama 105
MTSU 103 Kent State 108 Wyoming 102 UL-Lafayette 106
Memphis 104 Akron 113 UNLV 107 UTSA 111
FAU 109 Buffalo 114 New Mexico 110 UTEP 112
Avg 78.2 Avg 88.1 Avg 82 Avg 90.3

The MAC would be mostly unchanged, the Mountain West wouldn't change at all (good job, MWC!), and the best of the others would group up pretty easily.

Would this be better? Apologies to fans of Charlotte, EMU, Georgia State, Miami (Ohio), North Texas, Old Dominion, Texas State, Tulane, UMass and ULM ... and Coastal Carolina and UAB, I guess. Teams could still fight their way back up. This is why college football needs promotion and relegation anyway.

This is now the third Read Option in a row about rearranging conference stuff. This is March.


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