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The Wall Street Journal has a ridiculous realignment plan

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Oklahoma v Alabama

Some people just love to talk realignment when it comes to college football. I will admit, I can be guilty of that at times (I’m telling you that updated Big Ten logo is just itching for 16 teams). It seems there is always some way to reimagine the college football landscape, and in the dream world inside our minds there is no end in sight to the options to play with. While most of us will have to settle for configuring our make-believe conferences in the virtual world of NCAA Football 14, others will map it out for us using (virtual) pen and paper. The Wall Street Journal is the latest to get in the fun.

In a story titled “A Radical Realignment Plan for College Football,” The Wall Street Journal suggests placing college football powers in conferences based not on geography, but on overall strength as a program. For example, the first “cluster” conference would feature Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas. No Florida State, the defending national champions? Did The Wall Street Journal even watch Florida last season? Or Michigan? Or Texas? As it is explained, two representatives from Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports used a formula based on financial implications as well.

Per The Wall Street Journal;

What a “Division IV” in college sports would look like is still anyone’s guess. But two Ohio State sports researchers have an idea: What if schools were sorted into conferences based on their football strength?

To do that, Jonathan Jensen and Brian Turner chose to ignore geography and tradition, the typical forces in conference realignment. Instead, they focused solely on football and its financial implications, coming up with a formula that factored in every team’s football revenue, winning percentage, computer ranking and attendance between 2003 and 2013. Then they sorted teams into clusters to figure out which schools were most alike—and should be playing each other.

Using this formula, the defending Big Ten champion (Michigan State) and Pac-12 champion (Stanford) would be in Cluster 2 and Cluster 3, respectively. Last year’s Big 12 champion, Baylor, is nowhere to be seen in the four clusters assembled, but West Virginia, Utah and Boise State are. So is Arkansas.

Maybe The Wall Street Journal should stick to finances.

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12 Responses to “The Wall Street Journal has a ridiculous realignment plan”
  1. bostonfrogs says: Jul 23, 2014 9:44 AM

    Notre Dame and Michigan among those “far stronger than anyone else”? Welcome to 1988, Wall Street Journal.

  2. 8to80texansblog says: Jul 23, 2014 10:20 AM

    It seems to me that the WSJ is ranking these programs not on the strength of their recent accomplishments but on their historical accomplishments and their financial power.

    This is a stupid idea that will never see the light of day. It’s an investment banker’s take on college football power dynamics, but this isn’t Wall Street and I doubt any one wants it run that way.

  3. lgbfl says: Jul 23, 2014 10:39 AM

    Sounds like a “cluster” to me. ;-)

  4. patbocam says: Jul 23, 2014 10:57 AM

    Well, this is def outside the box thinking. Unfortunately its also outside of the brain comprehending as well.

  5. rolltide510 says: Jul 23, 2014 11:08 AM

    Doesn’t seem any more or less ridiculous then most of the ideas I see about the future of the sport in the comments or editorial section of CFT.

  6. drummerhoff says: Jul 23, 2014 11:21 AM

    The newspaper of the 1%ers defining the old guard of college football as the ‘first’ cluster … Shocking!

  7. rabbi187 says: Jul 23, 2014 11:52 AM

    I’ve always thought it would be good for the likes of the SEC, Michagan, Ohio State, USC, Texas, and 10 to 12 others to tell the NCAA to go to hell and start their own 32 team league. The NCAA is so incompetent . That league could govern themselves and make even more money and have a better product than the ncaa could dream

  8. handsofsweed says: Jul 23, 2014 12:08 PM

    I don’t know if you did it on purpose or not, rabbi, but that one spelling mistake you made was just beautiful, man!! Beautiful.

  9. cubano76 says: Jul 23, 2014 12:12 PM

    “Hmm? Gentlemen, which brings me to my next point: Don’t smoke crack.”

  10. cubano76 says: Jul 23, 2014 12:20 PM

    I just hope I live long enough to see the day major teams break away from the NCAA, and start their own conference / league led by one Mr. Barry Switzer!!!!

  11. thefiesty1 says: Jul 23, 2014 1:24 PM

    This is what happens when you allow financial people into sports. It’s not who has the most money that has the best team. Just ask DeLoss Dodds.

  12. dugst88 says: Jul 23, 2014 8:11 PM

    you just gave Irvin Meyers the big one, he’s filling out his resignation tonight. imagine that joke, OSU having to play REAL ranked teams (no not the ones from the B1G CUPCAKE ). it would be like being back in the SEC. this is why he left for the CUPCAKE.

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