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College Football Relegation In Action: 2006

Let's take a look at how relegation would actually work in college football, with years of simulations ready to go. Monday: Why CFB needs relegation. Tuesday: How does relegation work? Wednesday: The CFB relegation system. Thursday: CFB after seven years of relegation.

So now we get to find out the repercussions of promotions and relegations in college football. Again, only one team from each conference moves up each year, and one moves down. So in Year Two, the impact is minimal.

Intro | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012

Teams in green font below are no longer in their original conference.

Tier I


  • Membership: Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, N.C. State, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia
  • Champion: West Virginia
  • Demoted to Big East: N.C. State

It doesn't take long for Pat White, Rich Rodriguez and West Virginia to establish dominance after their "promotion" from Tier II. Year One, Title One.

Big 12

  • Membership: Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa
  • Champion: Oklahoma
  • Demoted to Conference USA: Iowa State

In a down year for the conference, Oklahoma still takes the title, and Tulsa survives a tough first schedule (home games versus Texas A&M, Nebraska, Baylor and Oklahoma; road games versus Kansas State, Kansas, Texas and Texas Tech) to see another year in the conference, with help from the simple fact that Iowa State was awful in 2006.

Big Ten

  • Membership: Akron, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Notre Dame*, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
  • Champion: Ohio State
  • Demoted to MAC: Akron

In real life, Akron fell from 2005 MAC champions to 3-5 in conference in 2006. Needless to say, this young squad does not fare well in the Big Ten. But hey, in Illinois' place they do get to host Iowa and Ohio State. So that's something.


  • Membership: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, TCU, UCLA, USC, Washington State
  • Champion: USC
  • Demoted to Mountain West: Stanford

TCU easily survives its first season in Tier 1, while Stanford, 1-11 in real 2006, joins Washington (the only team the Cardinal actually beat in real 2006) in Tier 2.


  • Membership: Alabama, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
  • Champion: Florida
  • Demoted to Sun Belt: Arkansas State

In Ole Miss' place, Arkansas State faces road games against Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas and LSU in their first season in Tier 1. Oh, and they went 4-8 in real 2006, so ... easy demotion.

So of the five teams new to Tier 1, one wins its new conference (West Virginia), and two immediately get relegated (Akron, Arkansas State).

Tier II

We will quickly come to find that, while there are certainly changes at the Tier 1 level, the real shifts take place in the middle tiers, both because membership changes twice in each season (one up, one down) and because, once you get past the elitest of the elite programs, the middle is mush.

Big East

  • Membership: Army*, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Duke, Louisville, Navy, New Hampshire, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse
  • Promoted to ACC: Louisville
  • Demoted to Atlantic 10: Duke

If you are keeping score at home, Duke ranked 153rd in Sagarin's 2006 rankings, right between No. 151 Penn and No. 155 Lehigh. New Hampshire, meanwhile, ranked 89th. Duke's predictable plummet is rapid.

Conference USA

  • Membership: Central Florida, East Carolina, Houston, Marshall, Memphis, Oklahoma State, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, Tulane, UAB, UTEP
  • Promoted to Big 12: Oklahoma State
  • Demoted to Southland: Texas State

At 190th in Sagarin, Texas State is not ready for the jump to Conference USA. Meanwhile, Mike Gundy's building process picks up steam, and OSU is quickly back in Tier 1.


  • Membership: Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan
  • Promoted to Big Ten: Central Michigan
  • Demoted to Missouri Valley: Eastern Michigan

It has long been a pretty easy theory that the top half of the Missouri Valley is quite a bit better than the bottom half of the MAC. Sagarin's rankings allow that theory to hold up pretty well, and Northern Iowa pretty easily survives its promotion. Meanwhile, this is not Eastern Michigan's final downward move.

Mountain West

  • Membership: Air Force, Boise State, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
  • Promoted to Pac-10: Boise State
  • Demoted to WAC: Colorado State

In Alternate 2006, Boise State perhaps doesn't get a BCS bowl bid (depending on the new playoff and bowl rules), but they do win a better prize: Pac-10 membership.

Sun Belt

  • Membership: Appalachian State, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Middle Tennessee, Ole Miss, Troy, UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe
  • Promoted to SEC: Appalachian State
  • Demoted to Southern: Florida International

As with Boise State, Appalachian State does not waste time. Welcome to Tier 1, Mountaineers.

Tier III

Atlantic 10

  • Membership: Colgate, Delaware, Hofstra, James Madison, Maine, Massachusetts, Northeastern, Rhode Island, Richmond, Temple, Towson, William & Mary
  • Promoted to Big East: Massachusetts
  • Demoted to Patriot: Colgate


  • Membership: McNeese State, Nicholls State, Northwestern State, Rice, Sam Houston State, SE Louisiana, UC Davis
  • Promoted to Conference USA: Rice
  • Demoted to Pioneer / Great West: SE Louisiana

Missouri Valley

  • Membership: Illinois State, Kent State, Missouri State, Southern Illinois, Stony Brook, Western Illinois, Western Kentucky, Youngstown State
  • Promoted to MAC: Youngstown State
  • Demoted to Ohio Valley / Northeast: Stony Brook


  • Membership: Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State
  • Promoted to Mountain West: Hawaii
  • Demoted to Big Sky: Utah State


  • Membership: Chattanooga, Charleston Southern, Furman, Georgia Southern, North Texas, The Citadel, Western Carolina, Wofford
  • Promoted to Sun Belt: Furman
  • Demoted to Big South: Western Carolina

Tier IV


  • Membership: Bucknell, Fordham, Georgetown, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Villanova
  • Promoted to Atlantic 10: Villanova

Pioneer / Great West

  • Membership (Pioneer): Austin Peay, Butler, Davidson, Dayton, Drake, Jacksonville, Morehead State, San Diego, Valparaiso
  • Membership (Great West): Cal Poly, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, South Dakota State, Southern Utah, Stephen F. Austin
  • Promoted to Southland: North Dakota State

Ohio Valley / Northeast

  • Membership (Ohio Valley): Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Murray State, Samford, SE Missouri State, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, UT-Martin
  • Membership (Northeast): Albany, Central Connecticut State, Indiana State, Monmouth, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis (PA), Wagner
  • Promoted to Missouri Valley: Eastern Illinois

Big Sky

  • Membership: Idaho State, Montana, Montana State, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Sacramento State, Weber State
  • Promoted to WAC: Montana

Another predictable promotion.

Big South

  • Membership: Coastal Carolina, Elon, Gardner-Webb, Liberty, VMI
  • Promoted to Southern: Coastal Carolina

Your Potential Five-Team Tier 1 Playoff: No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 10 Oklahoma / No. 13 West Virginia, No. 2 Florida vs. No. 5 USC

Intro | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012