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|
|Navy||63||NIU||78||Fresno State||74||LA Tech||82|
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.
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