College Football Realignment: A 12 Conference Model for the Future

By Andrew Sheridan, @SidelinesKState

new conf

Not too long ago, Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde released his version of how he would like to see College Football be realigned. Naturally, as every CFB nerd has done, this inspired me to create an overhaul realignment of College Football. So without further ado, here it is – College Football Realignment: A 12 Conference Model for the Future.

Realignment is more relevant than ever right now as schools deal with the issues thrown at them by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Some conferences have cancelled the Fall football season while others have moved to Conference-Only schedules. Of course, this leads to questions such as, “Why can Iowa travel to Rutgers but not play Iowa State?” In reality, that answer has nothing to do with travel and everything to do with conference regulation, but that’s a story for another time. Even though the reason for moving to Conference-Only schedules isn’t 100% about distance traveled, regional conferences would be the perfect fit for College Football right now.

As conferences move to Conference-Only schedules, there will almost certainly not be as many games on the schedule. A very harsh reality is that we will likely see a shortened season this academic year, if at all. To keep things fair and equal, every team should have to play every team. This way, there can’t be one Big 10 team who has to play Ohio State, Penn State, and Minnesota while another gets to play Rutgers, Northwestern, and Purdue. In this instance, 10-team conferences would be ideal, as it would provide at minimum a 9-game schedule while still seeing every conference foe.

So, let’s get into it!

What’s wrong with the system we have right now?

To be blunt, there are several issues with the system in place as of now. Include the long-standing issues with new things such as COVID-19 financial issues, and we have even more problems. Let’s take a look.

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee

Through the past several seasons, everybody has had their gripes with the CFP Committee. Since the CFP started, the Committee has been far too inconsistent with how they base their rankings of teams. Here are some examples:

  • 2014: 1-loss teams Baylor and TCU both missed out on the inaugural playoff due to weak non-conference schedules and not being named an outright Conference Champion.

New Precedent: Conference Champion with better than average Non-Conference Schedule.

  • 2016: Big Ten Champion Penn State (2 losses) would miss out on the Playoff in place of 1-loss Ohio State. In this case, Ohio State was given the argument of a strong non-conference schedule after defeating Oklahoma, who finished #5 in the AP Poll that season.

Precedent Broken: Conference Champions

New Precedent: Have a strong Non-Conference Schedule and 1 loss or less.

  • 2017: The University of Central Florida finished the season with a record of 13-0, AAC Champions, and as Peach Bowl Champions. Despite their unblemished record, UCF still missed out on the College Football Playoff. Meanwhile, Alabama would finish (before postseason) with a record of 11-1 and no conference, or even division, championship title. On top of this, Alabama’s non-conference schedule was also very weak. Alabama was selected as the 4th team in that year’s Playoff.

Precedent Broken: Conference Champions; Better than Average Non-Conference Schedule; Undefeated Record

New Precedent: Group of 5 teams stand NO chance at making the CFP.

  • 2018: Once again, UCF would finish the regular season with an undefeated record. Again, they were left out of the Playoff. At least a previously set precedent was finally followed.

Dominant Divisions

Oftentimes, we see individual divisions within a conference that are simply dominant. This can be found when multiple teams from one division would win the other division in the conference. Here are some examples:

  • Big Ten East: Time and time again, the Big Ten East has proved its dominance over the B1G West. There have only been a handful of years when the West was even relatively close to the level of play the Big Ten East played at. Looking back all the way back to 2014 when the CFP was introduced, the East has won the B1G Championship every time.
  • SEC West: Along with the Big Ten East, the SEC West has also been dominant over the SEC East. With the likes of Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and the Mississippi schools (sorry, A&M), this division was always bound to be light years ahead of the SEC East. Since 2014, the SEC East has only won the SEC Championship one time. However, that very same year, the SEC Champion, Georgia, lost in the National Championship to SEC West team Alabama. In fact, the SEC East has only won the SEC Championship ONE time since 2009!
  • ACC Atlantic: While not as commonly thought of, the ACC Atlantic has largely dominated the ACC for the past several years. Largely in part due to Clemson and Florida State, the ACC Atlantic has won every ACC Championship since 2011. Only once out of those 11 games was the ACC Coastal team ranked higher.
  • PAC-12 North: Though you may not think this one too likely given the teams in the South, the PAC-12 North has won eight of the nine PAC-12 Championship games played. The lone loss was when #11 USC bested #14 Stanford in 2017.


Due to the difference in prestige between the Power 5 and Group of 5, recruiting faces major discrepancies. The majority of the time, P5 schools bring in the better recruits for a number of reasons:

  • Better Coaches
  • Chance for National Championship
  • Better Chance at NFL
  • Better Facilities
  • Get Paid More (yes, it happens; don’t deny it)

Realignment would not immediately solve all of these problems, but it would help to begin progress toward solving these issues in the long-run.

Travel Costs

Travel can be very costly to athletic departments, conferences, and the NCAA as a whole. Conferences aligned geographically would help to cut thousands of dollars spent on travel every season.

So, What is the Proposal?

This version of realignment organizes schools based on their geographic regions while still attempting to maintain Primary Rivalries.

The Layout

Instead of the 10 conferences made up of various numbers of teams that we see today, College Football would be made up of 12 different conferences made up of 10 teams each. This would help to balance out the conferences across the board. The FBS currently consists of 130 different schools across the country. The new layout would only see 120 teams in the FBS. This new alignment would see 13 teams relegated to the FCS while 3 teams will be promoted to the FBS.

So, to summarize:

  • 120 Total Teams
  • 12 Conferences
  • 10 Teams per Conference
  • 13 Teams Relegated to FCS
  • 3 Teams Promoted to FBS

Every team would play a Round-Robin style set of conference games resulting in 9 conference games. Each team would then play 3 non-conference games with the option to play 1 FCS team available (I know this is not liked, but the payouts for the FCS schools are needed to help keep their athletic departments alive).

The Top 2 finishers in each conference would advance to the First Round of the College Football Playoff where the winner would advance to the Round of 12. Yes, that’s right; the Playoff will be expanded to a 24-team Playoff.

All other teams with at least 6 wins would play in normal bowl games, as is done currently.

Here is how the new College Football Playoff will look:

  • 24 Teams
    • All Auto-Bids
  • Top 2 per Conference Advance
  • Round 1 (Round of 24):
    • “Conference Championships”
    • Neutral Site or Higher Seed is Host; Dependent on Conference
  • Round 2 (Top 12):
    • 4 Highest Remaining Seeds on BYE
    • Seeds 5-12 in Traditional 8-Team Format Tournament
    • Higher Seed is Host
  • Round 3 (National Quarterfinals):
    • Seeds 1-8 in Traditional 8-Team Format Tournament
    • Neutral Site
  • Round 4 (National Semifinals):
    • 4 Remaining Teams in Traditional 4-Team Tournament Format
    • Neutral Site
  • Round 5 (National Championship):
    • 2 Remaining Teams in Traditional 2-Team Tournament Format
    • Neutral Site


The Rankings

The current system in place to determine how a team is ranked in College Football is via the College Football Playoff Committee, a group of 13 people. While the idea of having humans selecting the rankings may seem appealing at first, the appeal quickly dies away. Of course, this is simply because we as humans have opinions, and that’s okay, but opinions shouldn’t be choosing how the teams are ranked, or at least choosing alone. The new ranking system will be made up of 7 different ranking systems averaged together. We bring old and new together as we have 4 computer rankings and 3 human rankings combine. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • 7 Polls Averaged
  • 4 Computer Polls
    • MaxDiff
    • BCS
    • ESPN FPI
    • Heck-Miles
  • 3 Human Polls
    • CFP Committee
    • AP
    • Coaches

The Conferences

  • AAC – American Athletic Conference
      • Headquarters in Louisville, KY or Indianapolis, IN or Richmond, VA
      • Possible Conference Championship Location:
        • Lucas Oil Stadium; Indianapolis, IN
        • M&T Bank Stadium; Baltimore, MD
        • FedEx Field; Washington D.C.
  • ACC – Atlantic Coastal Conference
      • Headquarters in Charlotte, NC or Columbia, SC
      • Possible Conference Championship Location:
        • Bank of America Stadium; Charlotte, NC
        • Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, PA
  • B1G – Big Ten Conference
      • Headquarters in Columbus, OH or Detroit, MI or Indianapolis, IN
      • Possible Conference Championship Location:
        • Ford Field; Detroit, MI
        • Lucas Oil Stadium; Indianapolis, IN
        • Paul Brown Stadium; Cincinnati, OH
  • CPC – Central Plains Conference
      • Headquarters in Minneapolis, MN or Chicago, IL
      • Possible Conference Championship Location:
        • Soldier Field; Chicago, IL
        • U.S. Bank Stadium; Minneapolis, MN
  • GCC – Gulf Coast Conference
      • Headquarters in Houston, TX or New Orleans, LA
      • Possible Conference Championship Location:
        • Mercedes-Benz Superdome; New Orleans, LA
        • NRG Stadium; Houston, TX
  • GPC – Great Plains Conference
      • Headquarters in Kansas City, KS/MO or Denver, CO
      • Possible Conference Championship Location:
        • Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, MO
        • Empower Field at Mile High; Denver, CO
  • MWC – Mountain West Conference
      • Headquarters in Seattle, WA or Salt Lake City, UT
      • Possible Conference Championship Location:
        • Century-Link Field; Seattle, WA
        • Allegiant Field; Las Vegas, NV
  • NEC – Northeastern Conference
      • Headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA or New York City, NY or Trenton, NJ
      • Possible Conference Championship Location:
        • Metlife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ
        • Heinz Field; Pittsburg, PA
        • Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, MA
  • PAC – Pacific Athletic Conference
      • Headquarters in Los Angeles, CA or San Francisco, CA
      • Possible Conference Championship Location:
        • Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, CA
        • SoFi Stadium; Inglewood, CA
        • State Farm Stadium; Phoenix, AZ
  • SAC – Southern America Conference
      • Headquarters in Dallas, TX or Oklahoma City, OK
      • Possible Conference Championship Location:
        • AT&T Stadium; Arlington, TX
        • Alamodome; San Antonio, TX
  • SBC – Sun Belt Conference
      • Headquarters in Memphis, TN or Nashville, TN or Mobile, AL
        • Nissan Stadium; Nashville, TN
        • Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium; Memphis, TN
  • SEC – Southeastern Conference
    • Headquarters in Atlanta, GA or Orlando, FL or Tampa, FL
    • Possible Conference Championship Location:
      • Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Atlanta, GA
      • Camping World Stadium; Orlando, FL
      • Hard Rock Stadium; Miami, FL
      • Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, FL
      • TIAA Bank Field; Jacksonville, FL


Finally, the moment you all clicked this article for! Where does your team end up?

The following 13 teams said goodbye to the FBS:

  • Akron
  • Bowling Green State
  • Central Michigan
  • East Carolina
  • Kent State
  • Liberty
  • Middle Tennessee State
  • New Mexico State
  • Rice
  • Texas State
  • UConn
  • UMass
  • UTEP

Meanwhile, we had 3 teams say hello to the FBS:

  • James Madison
  • North Dakota State
  • Northern Iowa

And alas, here they are: the Realignment!

  • AAC – American Athletic Conference


  • ACC – Atlantic Coastal Conference


  • B1G – Big Ten Conference


  • CPC – Central Plains Conference


  • GCC – Gulf Coast Conference


  • GPC – Great Plains Conference


  • MWC – Mountain West Conference


  • NEC – Northeastern Conference


  • PAC – Pacific Athletic Conference


  • SAC – Southern America Conference


  • SBC – Sun Belt Conference


  • SEC – Southeastern Conference


new conf

Do you like where your team landed at? Could you see the FBS moving to a model similar to this in the future or do you think conferences will grow into Super Conferences in the future?

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Worth the Risk? A Penn State Fan’s Perspective on COVID Football

Following a crushing loss, James Franklin explains the difference ...

Let us start by saying that I am not an epidemiologist, although my fiancée does have that specific degree and she has been helping me with this whole situation daily. COVID-19 has affected every single one of us, some more than others, and it is not going away anytime soon. Instead of harping on the actual virus itself, of which I know very little, I want to talk about the effect it has and will have on the college football season.

To get this out of the way early, I want college football back, I think a countless amount of people want it back both personally and economically. But, my one question is, should we have it back? College football is not just a sport, it is a culture, it is a feeling, it is a way of life. It is what we look back on fondly in yesteryear, it is what makes us who we are, and it is what makes us passionate to this very day.

Penn State Bowl Scenarios: An Updated Nittany Lion Fan Rooting ...

The question I pose is, SHOULD we have this season? Currently COVID is running rough shot throughout different corners of the USA, it has affected countless lives and families, it will change the way we look at the world, and it is here until we find a vaccine. Again, I am not an expert, but I do not believe the vaccine will be here for first kick, or even in 2020.

I have had countless thoughts on what this season will look like, but as my dad has always said “if you want to make god laugh, tell him your plans.” COVID-19 will change the landscape of what our reality is and will be for the immediate and possibly lasting future. We do not have a handle on it, we don’t know what caused it, we don’t know if we can re-infected, we don’t know the lasting impacts on the human body, BUT we are totally okay with bringing countless members from every walk of life and corner of the country and beyond into these locations.

Each player has a story, each coach has a story, and there will be countless records of these individuals making sacrifices that are necessary to wade this storm out. To make this about Penn State I will point to Noah Cain, having 4 members of his family test positive for COVID, and those tough conversations he must have had to get him back to Happy Valley to play football. In addition, Penn State’s coach James Franklin will be alone for the entirety of this football season. James’s youngest child has Sickle Cell Disease, and it was a family decision that he should not expose her to COVID, and potentially endangering her life.

This is probably just one of countless instances of sacrifice, potential loss, and so much more that not only our Penn State family is enduring, but countless others. We are asking 85 players to come to the middle of Pennsylvania, get tested constantly, make sure they social distance, and they don’t leave this bubble in Nittany Apartments so that the team will be safe(r) from this disease.

There are countless questions to be answered throughout this process, and I do not think there are any concrete answers. What if too many members of the team test positive and cannot play? What do we do with a potential player hospitalization? What if on game day the coach tests positive, or what if multiple coaches do? What is the risk of long-term damage to a player’s or coach’s immune system?

I do not write this article trying to be negative, more realistic. We are dealing with people’s lives and health, and I hope we put that in front of the economy. And I know how much these remote towns rely on these home games, spring games, and graduation, but these are crazy times, and I do not have that answer.

I think as a College Football collective we have mainly thought of “how many yards Chuba Hubbard will rack up”, “if Trevor Lawrence will win another ring”, or “if your team will make that run for championship?”. Not, “will this season even happen?” And if so, what will that look like for these towns that survive on this amazing sport we all love?

Micah Parsons - Football - Penn State University Athletics

My last thought goes out to the elite of the elite, do you even play? Is the juice worth the squeeze? I personally want Micah Parsons to attack each opponent with his patented ruthlessness as much as the next guy, but I worry about the overall safety of these student athletes. Millions of dollars await the best of the best, and I do not know if there is such a thing as COVID insurance, but I would probably get it.

I want college football to be played, I want to see Penn State make an historic run into the playoffs, and I want to hear Herby & Fowler call those amazing Saturday Night games. But I also want these student athletes, coaching staff, media, etc. to be safe and to do it in a way that we all agree upon (wishful thinking I know). We are in unprecedented times, and I wanted to voice my opinion here, regardless of your opinion. I know we all eagerly await what Labor Day brings. I will be here and continue to cover the sport I love with my whole heart; I hope you read this and continue to support myself and my amazing Sidelines Staff.


What’s Wrong With UTEP Football?

UTEP football is the butt of many jokes. If you asked a CFB fan to name the worst FBS program, a substantial amount would probably say UTEP. Many might say Rutgers, but that’s just because Rutgers happens to be a dumpster fire that was let into one of the two most prestigious conferences, for some reason.

Three Quick Takeaways from the 2020 UTEP Football Schedule

So, how did UTEP get to this point? For starters, UTEP was never incredible. Their most wins came in 1956 when a Mike Brumbelow coached team went 9-2 with a loss in the Sun Bowl. They had a solid two year stretch where they went 8-4 in 2004 and 2005 under head coach Mike Price. These were Mike Price’s first two seasons. He would coach for seven more, with only one bowl appearance and never going over .500.

The late 1940’s to early 1950’s were the best time to be a UTEP fan, or actually a Texas Western University fan, as the school wasn’t given its current name until 1967. But one could argue they’ve never truly been relevant. This sounds extremely harsh, but when your highest highs are Sun Bowl appearances before the modern era, and you haven’t won a bowl game since the school was renamed, it’s tough to argue otherwise. But what’s so uniquely bad about UTEP?

Sun Bowl celebrates 50th birthday – The Prospector

For starters, there’s recruitment. One might think being in Texas would provide an advantage with all the talent at high school’s there, but it’s hard to build a pipeline when you’re competing with 11 other FBS teams in the state (all of which, quite frankly, are more appealing). Than there’s El Paso itself; it’s hard to convince a recruit to come down to that corner of the desert. UTEP’s 2020 recruiting class is ranked 131 overall, three spots behind FCS Eastern Washington. That doesn’t bode well for on field performance.

Well, what about coaching? Dana Dimel will be returning for his third year as head coach in 2020. The last two seasons he has gone 1-11. Many football fans might be wondering why he hasn’t been fired at this point, but there’s a couple complicated factors involved. First of all, UTEP is in a tough situation budget wise. They’re not one of those schools that can just throw money at a promising coach, and they can’t really afford a buy out. In fact, UTEP’s financial ability to actually run an FBS football program has come into question the last few years, but hopefully they’ll make it through. A second factor is that 1-11, sadly, is an improvement. In 2017 Sean Kugler, then Mike Price after Kugler resigned, led the Miners to a winless season.

Coach Dana Dimel brings UTEP to UNLV | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Dana Dimel didn’t have a bad resume coming into UTEP. He wasn’t a coveted hire, but he was a running backs coach under Bill Snyder’s illustrious system at K-State. He had an impressive stint as Wyoming’s head coach, going 22-13, but also led Houston to their worst record in school history. Will Dimel’s record improve in another year at UTEP? Hopefully. But things don’t look great. Again, the recruiting classes coming in leave a lot to be desired. No institutional changes have been made, mostly because UTEP can’t afford to.

So, what does UTEP’s future look like? Many suggest a drop to FCS, but this ignores the vast financial benefits that come from being an FBS program (although there are some steep costs to keep FBS eligibility). The best possible path to winning is to sit on Dimel’s salary, save up, and then get an energizing new head coach who will bring in-state recruits to El Paso and organize them into a system that can win. CUSA is not a tough conference – only a few stars need to align for UTEP to return to a bowl game for the first time since 2014, and maybe even have a shot at contending for the division. But due to UTEP’s difficult situation, Miners fans will probably have to grind their teeth for another few seasons at the bottom of the barrel.

College Football’s 10 Best Traditions

The pageantry and tradition of college football is why so many people prefer it to the NFL. While the quality of play may be less, the long standing rivalries and unique school cultures that evolve from college play are absolutely unbeatable. While everyone’s favorite college football tradition is going to be the one from their school, we’ve tried to make a neutral list of the best traditions the sport has to offer. Agree with our picks? Disagree? Let us know on our Twitter @Sidelines_SN.

10. Dotting the i – Ohio State

Happy Birthday to 'Script Ohio,' first performed by the OSU ...

Script Ohio was first put on the field in 1936. But, it wasn’t until the game against Michigan that year that the band director asked a sousaphone player to take the spot of glory. Since then, it’s always been a senior or fifth year sousaphone player (with the exception of some special guests, like Woody Hayes and John Glenn) tasked with the big moment. After they dot the i, they high five the drum major and bow to both ends of the stadium. The Ohio State Band is arguably the best college marching band in the country (or The Best Damn Band In The Land, as they’re referred to) and this tradition is undeniably one of the best.

9. Jump Around – Wisconsin

File:Jump Around Wisconsin Badgers Sept 6 2014.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Jump Around is so ingrained in Wisconsin Badger culture, it’s surprising that it’s one of the younger traditions on this list. Jump Around actually started in a game against a Drew Brees led Purdue. October 10, 1998, as Purdue was trying to drive the ball into the end zone in an extremely close game, the entire Wisconsin student section erupted when House of Pain’s hit blared on the speakers. This energetic tradition has shaken the stadium at the start of the 4th quarter ever since.

8. Enter Sandman – Virginia Tech

The Hokie Experience - Game Day at Virginia Tech - College ...

When Virginia Tech installed their new scoreboard in 2000, they wanted a new, hype entrance song to go along with the reveal. “Enter Sandman” was chosen over “Welcome to the Jungle” and Sirius, and the electric entrance theme never went away. Many label it the best entrance in college sports – but other strong contenders make this list.

7. Ralphie’s Run – Colorado

Ralphie Running | Alumni Association | University of Colorado Boulder

Hype entrance? Check. Involving a cool animal? Check. Life threatening? Check.

Ralphie’s Run is chaotic and beautiful, just like college football. Watching Ralphie pound down the field as his handlers hold on for dear life is absolutely incredible. There’s really nothing like the uncontainable force of a buffalo, and that’s what puts this tradition so high on our list.

6. Yell Practice – Texas A&M

Aggie Yell Leaders- First Midnight Yell Practice. 50,000+ attend ...

Texas A&M was obviously going to make this list in some way, with the longstanding traditions they have. But Yell Practice is truly unique, with Kyle Field filling up at midnight the night before games. If you’ve been there, you know there’s nothing like it. It’s simultaneously reverend yet bursting with energy. And practice truly makes perfect – the 12th man is one of the loudest game day crowds.

5. Howard’s Rock – Clemson

Howard's Rock – Clemson Tigers Official Athletics Site

Nothing quite like an entire football team sprinting down a steep hill to get the crowd going. But, rubbing the rock before the run is definitely the coolest part of this tradition. The rock was sourced from Death Valley, California (the name-sake for the stadium, or at least what it’s affectionately referred to as). Coach Howard used it as a doorstop then told booster Gene Willimon to “get rid of it”. He got rid of it by putting it on a pedestal in the east end zone, where it stands today and is rubbed by every player as they run onto the field.

4. Toomer’s Corner – Auburn

Auburn Tradition: The History of Toomer's Corner – Garden & Gun

Toomer’s Corner is the gateway to Auburn University, but it’s known for its large oaks that get draped in toilet paper after any big Tigers win. It’s debated when this tradition truly began, but most believe it was in 1972 after a win over rival Alabama. The trees were actually poisoned by an Alabama fan in 2010 in one of the most notorious sports-related crimes ever, but have since been replaced. The corner still gets “rolled” after big wins – especially against the Crimson Tide.

3. Country Roads – West Virginia

WVU Football: Country Roads - YouTube

Arguably the most beautiful of college football traditions, Mountaineer fans sing John Denver’s hit after every home victory. The sound of a stadium full of fans singing the sweet country ballad fills the heart, and has made it one of the most beloved traditions in the sport. Fun Fact: John Denver himself performed the song on field in 1980 to commemorate the new stadium’s opening.

2. Chief Osceola – Florida State

Florida State Mascot Chief Osceola

While many schools have shifted away from Native American mascots due to our nation’s difficult past and how they were treated, Florida State instead worked with the Seminole nation to ensure they could use the branding as a way to promote the tribe’s incredible history and preserve their way of life. Chief Osceola is perhaps the best symbol for this; him and his horse Renegade run onto the field before every game and plant the spear in the ground. The mascot pair debuted in 1978 and has been claiming ground for the Seminoles – both Florida State fans and the Native American nation – ever since.

1. Marching In – Army / Navy

Army-Navy “Prisoner Exchange” is the Best Tradition You Don't Know ...

At its core, college football is American. It’s something born in this country that hasn’t been replicated anywhere else. With that, Marching In at the Army-Navy game is the epitome of college football traditions and the sport itself. The entire student bodies of both West Point and the Naval Academy march in strict order onto the field. This not only demonstrates the discipline of these cadets, but the longstanding history behind the most American rivalry in sports.

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How Will Your School’s Athletic Department Be Affected By COVID-19?

These are pretty scary times, and emotionally devastating times if you are a sports fan. The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced many to quarantine within their homes, and most businesses have shut down in some capacity. Sports businesses haven’t been excluded – the NBA and NHL have postponed, March Madness has been cancelled and the NCAA has cancelled all spring athletics.

While having no sports is an absolute tragedy, one of the lingering effects of these cancellations is the economic impact. In this article we’ll detail how the COVID-19 cancellations might affect your athletic department’s budget.

NCAA Disbursements

Image result for ncaa money

The NCAA provides financial disbursements from March Madness that help schools cover their costs of operation. These payments are typically in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but are often millions of dollars for larger programs. The NCAA has said they will attempt to provide some form of compensatory payment to programs, but obviously this won’t be the full payment since all of the income from the tournament itself has been lost. So, will schools be left hanging out to dry?

The good news is, probably not. For a majority of schools, their main breadwinner is football. There haven’t been any announcements about postponing college football, so for these programs, they don’t have much to worry about. Budgets will certainly have to be adjusted to make up for the loss, but schools should end up fine. Even for schools that make most of their money from basketball, most of that money has already come in through ticket sales and merchandising throughout the regular season. If college football is postponed, then the majority of programs will have reason to seriously worry.

What About Spring Sports?

Image result for clemson softball

Spring brings some of the most fun sports for schools. Baseball, softball and lacrosse are some of the most watched non-revenue events in the NCAA. But therein lies the point; these sports are generally non-revenue, and at best do a little more than break even. The NCAA model is to make the bulk of money off of football and basketball (and believe it or not, wrestling has become a revenue generating sport) and use that money to support the others. So, while we’ll be devastated to not watch baseball teams duke it out in Omaha this summer, the actual bottom line of athletic departments won’t be hurt. In fact, it might even be helped since the schools won’t be on the hook for athlete’s travel.

Going Forward

Image result for athletic director scott

While the novel coronavirus pandemic has had widespread effects and will certainly change how we view the sporting world forever, I don’t expect any major changes to happen to how athletic departments structure their budgets. The only thing I could see happening is schools doing more to prepare for the event in which they can’t run a football season, but surely a widespread bailout would be needed for all football schools. Thus, that would be a larger institutional change rather than on individual athletic departments.

Show some love to an athlete that lost their season, continue to support your school, but your athletic department should ultimately be fine. Thankfully, we have much more sports to look forward to – the important thing to do right now is to be safe.

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The 7 Most Electric Running Backs of the Last Decade

The QB is the playmaker of the team, and almost always the highest drafted by the NFL – but Running Backs are almost definitely the most entertaining to watch. The jukes, stiff arms and hurdles make them some of the most dynamic, powerful and entertaining athletes in any sport. With that, here’s our 7 most exciting RB’s of the last decade that we love to binge watch highlights of.

7. Derrick Henry

Henry couldn’t go unnoticed. The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner (the only non-QB to win it in the last decade) was Alabama’s workhorse in their national championship run. While he doesn’t boast the insane production of some of the others on this list, Derrick Henry could explode whenever you needed him, and that brought the Crimson Tide the title. Plus, you’d be hard pressed to find someone with a nastier stiff arm.

6. Montee Ball

The above video is one of the best highlights ever. Montee Ball was a monster, and any defender trying to stop him was simply at his whim. Just look how he spins players off and then pushes them away to charge into the end zone. Wisconsin is known to produce beastly running backs (with a few others on this list), but Ball was truly something special. He could always manage a touchdown, as shown above; in fact, he had 33 rushing TD’s his senior year, the single season record for the decade.

5. Christian McCaffrey

Anyone that watched McCaffrey in his 2016 season should know why he’s on this list. The man was an absolute tractor, pushing aside anyone in his way. McCaffrey is another person on this list that doesn’t boast insane total yardage, but he was the very definition of electric. Anytime the ball ended up in McCaffrey’s hands, there’s a chance it was going for a touchdown. And anyway – 3,922 career yards ain’t shabby.

4. Melvin Gordon

Melvin Gordon was the human highlight reel. He could hurdle anybody, and leapt over plenty of desperate defenders on his way to the end zone. He had a whopping 4,915 yards in his college career, with over 2,500 of those in his record breaking junior year. He also boasted a whopping 45 rushing touchdowns. In the above game vs. Nebraska, Melvin Gordon broke LaDainian Tomlinson’s single-game rushing record with 408 yards. He had 16.3 yards per carry – scary!

3. Saquon Barkley

“HE IS SO ELECTRIC!” – you got that right. If Gordon is the human highlight reel, Saquon is the human cheat code. No matter what situation you put him in he could break out for a big gain. The man was monstrous, with some of the biggest quads the game has ever seen. He’s continuing to dominate in the NFL with the New York Giants, proving he’s a generational talent at his position. Saquon’s college career brought 3,843 rushing yards, 1,195 receiving yards, and 51 total TD’s.

2. Donnel Pumphrey

6,405 rushing yards. Need we say more? Donnel Pumphrey was the king of speed, repeatedly torching opponents defenses and making them look like kids. Game after game Pumphrey embarrassed anyone that tried to tackle him and broke record after record while doing so. While our #1 came close to knocking him off, Pumphrey retains the FBS record for career rushing yards. Simply electric.

1. Johnathan Taylor

Johnathan Taylor was something else. You can claim recency bias, but the numbers and film don’t lie. Taylor had two seasons with over 2,000 rushing yards and was only 25 yards away from having a third his freshmen year. Opposing teams always put everyone they could on him, and yet he still managed a career 6.7 yards per carry. He wasn’t facing easy opponents either; these were stacked Big 10 defenses built to stop the run, and Johnathan Taylor just shredded them. He was a generational talent, a Badger legend, and any NFL fan is eagerly waiting to see what he’ll do there.

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Tennessee is Poised for a Leap to the Top

Everyone has an opinion on the Volunteers. Many hate them, in fact, most probably hate them. They have arguably the largest online presence of any fan base, and that doesn’t help. But they have consistently had some of the best teams in CFB history and when they’re down, they’re not down for long. And while last season had one of the worst starts in Vol history, it appears a massive rebound is exactly what’s coming next. Here’s why we’re making that prediction:


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For starters, the Volunteers return their entire Defensive Line. The team will miss Darrell Taylor, but have signees Tyler Baron and Morven Joseph coming in. Pruitt’s defense has been consistently getting more cohesive and effective, and 2020 may be their greatest improvement yet with the amount of returning talent. Cornerbacks Bryce Thompson, Alontae Taylor and Shawn Shamburger will surely be feasting downfield. It became clear how vital Thompson was when the defense got significantly better following his return from suspension. Shamburger should also provide leadership to the ‘backs group in his senior year. Tennessee is adding promising recruits to an extremely experienced defense; they should have one of the Top 25 defenses in the country barring any major injuries.

QB Potential

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Jarrett Guarantano didn’t have the best 2019 season. There were some shining moments of potential, but the terrible start to the season as well as glaring inconsistency made him out to be one of the worst QBs in the SEC. However, with the 2020 season comes a new opportunity, and Guarantano is up for it. He announced he had “unfinished business,” and a second year under experienced OC Jim Chaney should help Guarantano iron out the wrinkles. As an added bonus, touted recruit Harrison Bailey is waiting in the wings. He can watch and learn from Guarantano, and if things don’t pan out well, be ready to replace him. Either way, the QB will be protected because…

O Line Improvement

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Pruitt and Chaney have worked year round to improve the Vol O Line over the last two years, and it’s paid off. Furthermore, *all five* starting O Linemen are returning. This should do wonders for chemistry and consistency, especially since last year’s squad already saw great improvement by the end of the season. Trey Smith, who made the All-SEC first team last season, will lead this group. Guarantano will have a comfortable pocket.


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Any Vol that’s been paying close attention should be thrilled with what Pruitt’s built so far. Sure, a 13-12 record doesn’t look stellar on paper, but the improvement over the last two years has been notable. Last season certainly had a rocky start, but the Vols comeback, six game winning streak and Gator Bowl win over a strong Indiana team perhaps show Pruitt’s coaching strength more than anything. The Volunteers really figured things out in the second half of the season, and you have to give Coach Pruitt credit. He’s clearly built a culture down there, and something tells me we’re just starting to see the benefits of this. We’ll see if Pruitt can be the first of Saban’s former assistants to take him down.

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Top 10 Non Conference Games of the 2020 Season

Here we go again. It’s the end of February and the off-season seems to go by slower and slower. It’s around this time that the speculations of the college football world start kicking into high gear. Conversations about what teams will have a down year, which players will shine the best, and who will make the playoff are already in full swing, and although those conversations are fun to talk about, it’s still too early to tell. Spring games are still a month and a half away and the summer workouts and practices are even farther than that.

However, one of the many things that can be talked about for this upcoming season are what games can impact the college football landscape the most, specifically the non-conference games, as they can either give a team a massive boost to their morale and resume to carry on into conference play, or leave a bitter taste in their mouths that could impact their season.

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Let’s look at one example; LSU-Texas was undoubtedly the most important non-conference matchup in 2019. It kickstarted LSU’s historic championship season with a quality win on the road versus a (at the time) Top 10 Power 5 team, while Texas couldn’t seem to recover, going 7-5 in the regular season.

There are many games this year that could have the same impact. In this list we’ll look at the top 10 non-conference matchups of the 2020 college football season, and how they could impact the CFB world.

Honorable Mentions

Miami @ Michigan State (Sep. 26th)

Although this game doesn’t seem to have major implications, it will be interesting to see how Michigan State fares under a new head coach, and if Manny Diaz can get the train rolling for the U.

Oklahoma vs. Army (Sep 26th)

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Trap game, Trap game, Trap game. Both OU in 2018 and Michigan in 2019 learned the dangers of underestimating this Army team, and the triple option is just so difficult to game plan for.

Iowa State @ Iowa (Sep 12th)

The annual battle for the CyHawk trophy is always a must watch. Although both teams are dark horse candidates to win their division/conference, it will be interesting to see how each team plays with their increasing expectations. Can Iowa state pick up their first win in the rivalry since 2014?

Florida State @ Boise State (Sep. 5th)

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Everyone thought this game was over by halftime last year Florida State was up 31-19. However, Boise State came charging back and won the game 36-31, shutting out the Seminoles in the second half. With FSU looking to bounce back after a 6-7 season and Boise State looking to reclaim the title as the best G5 team in the nation, this is a must watch game.

Notre Dame @ USC (Nov. 28th)

By this time of year, these two teams will either have their fates decided or this game will determine who makes the College Football Playoff, There is no in-between. How will Clay Helton respond after constant calls for his firing last season, if he is still the head coach at this point? And can ND continue their winning streak? They have taken 4 out of the last 5 against the Trojans. Do they have the skills to make it 5 out of the last 6?

Top 10 Non-Conference Games

  1. North Carolina vs. Auburn (Sep. 12th, Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia)

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I see a fair amount of people overlooking this game, and I don’t understand why. Mack Brown has put in a winning mindset at UNC; don’t let last year’s record fool you. Although they finished 7-6, they never lost a game by more than 8 points, with two of those losses coming in OT, and an almost upset victory over Clemson. This game for UNC comes after a trip on the road vs UCF and starting the season 2-0 against these opponents could help boost UNC up the ACC ladder. Auburn is an interesting case, as this will be the first true test under the Chad Morris/Bo Nix offense, along with how well Auburn replaced 4 former starters on the offensive line. Will Nix and a deep running back core for the Tigers be enough to top the Tar Heels? As for the grand scheme of things, Auburn has a tough schedule towards the end of the season, with their last two games against LSU and Alabama, as well as playing at Georgia early on. If they want to make the CFP, they cannot afford an early season loss. However, this is UNC’s, as well as the ACC’s, chance to show the world that their conference isn’t “Clemson and Friends” and that the depth of the ACC should not be overlooked.

  1. Penn State @ Virginia Tech (Sep. 12th)

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This matchup gives vibes of a game that will originally fly under the radar but could become an instant classic. VT had a bad end to the season, losing to their rival Virginia for the first time since 2003 and losing their bowl game to a Kentucky team playing a Wide Receiver at QB. However, saying that this Virginia Tech team will be experienced is an understatement, as all 5 O-linemen, their 4 best pass catchers, and their punter and kicker are coming back. The defensive side is a similar story, as they are only losing 1 safety to the draft. Penn State on the other hand is only returning 5 starters on defense. However, Sean Clifford is back again for the Nittany Lions and looks to improve on a good season from last year. This game could provide each team with a strong non-conference victory when it comes time to decide bowl games and potential CFP spots, and it can give an insight on the state of the ACC Coastal and the Big Ten East.

  1. Georgia vs. Virginia (Sep. 5th, Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia)

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Opening Weekend has been providing us with eye-opening matchups. Although neutral site, this will essentially be a home game for the Bulldogs. Georgia will look like a very different team from last year though, only returning 10 out of the 22 starters on offense and defense. Still, a top 5 recruiting class and high expectations set in place by Kirby Smart should help lead the Bulldogs to another successful year. Virginia is coming off a 9-5 season which is a far cry from where there were just a few short years ago. Although they will have to replace Bryce Perkins at QB, which is by far their greatest loss, their defense returns several veterans to have a solid core to work around. The overall college football world will view this game to evaluate Georgia’s performance, and how they fare against this Virginia team without Jake Fromm. Although Virginia is far from the same team that was playing in the Orange Bowl a few months ago, it will be noteworthy to see how this ACC-SEC matchup plays out.

  1. USC vs. Alabama (Sep. 5th AT&T Stadium, Dallas, Texas)

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Welcome to the annual “Why is this game at a neutral site, it would be better to see each team play a home-and-home series” opening week game of 2020. Regardless, this game will show the strengths and weaknesses of both teams right from the start. USC finished 8-5 last season and Clay Helton was on and off the hot seat throughout the year, and a lackluster 2020 recruit class may spell some trouble for the upcoming future. Revenge is on the table for the Trojans though, after 2016’s 52-6 loss to the Tide. But, Alabama is out to prove something this season. It was the first year they missed the CFP and suffered losses to LSU and rival Auburn. Bama also lost Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III on offense, as well as some key players on defense. But Mack Jones and Najee Harris are ready to take run the bulk of the offense for the Crimson Tide this year, and Nick Saban will make sure the Bama defense is ready for anything. Overall, this game will show how ready Alabama is to bounce back, and if USC can stand up and put up a fight. Because, if they get blown out by Alabama, how will they fare against Oregon, Utah, and Notre Dame?

  1. Tennessee @ Oklahoma (Sep. 12th)

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It was the 2015 OU vs. Tennessee game where Baker Mayfield made his name known to the nation. Will this game be as intriguing? Tennessee looks to continue its strong 2019 finish into this year. Even with all the drama in Knoxville, Jeremy Pruitt took an at the time 2-5 Tennessee team on a 6-game win streak to finish 8-5 with a bowl win over Indiana. With a good recruiting class coming in as well as a good number of returning starters, this game will be a great test for this rising Tennessee team. As for Oklahoma, losing a QB, a star WR, and number of key assets on defense can look troubling for some teams.But as the last few years showed, that’s not the case for OU. However, this will be the first year where a Lincoln Riley recruited and trained QB will take the starting role. It will be Oklahoma’s chance to show that they don’t rebuild, they reload. If Tennessee keeps the game close or wins, the legitimacy of the Big 12 will be in question, while an OU win or blow out will show that the Vols still have a long way to go and the Big 12 still runs through Norman.

  1. Michigan @ Washington (Sep. 5th)

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If this game were played in 2016, it could have very well been the most watched game of the year. In the year 2020, things have changed a bit, but it is still a matchup worth taking a closer look at. Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan team has not been very good against good teams on the road, and after losing their starting QB, a few WRs, and several players on the defensive side, it will be interesting to see how they handle a trip to the hostile environment in Seattle. Washington had a down year last year finishing 8-5, and with the sudden resignation of Chris Peterson, former Defensive Coordinator Jimmy Lake is now the HC. With a fair number of starters returning on the defensive side, it should make for a good matchup coming September in the Evergreen State. For the rest of the college football world, more people will be looking for how Michigan does against Washington, rather than the other way around. Can this finally be Michigan’s year? Can Jim Harbaugh pick up another signature win on the road? Two top teams from the Pac 12 and Big 10 week one will set the tone for the rest of the season for each team, as well as early playoff predictions.

  1. Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin (Oct. 3rd, Lambeau Field, Green Bay Wisconsin)

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We have a showdown in the Frozen Tundra on this October Saturday. Wisconsin will play this game one week after returning from Michigan in what is expected to be back-to-back top 25 games. How will the offense do without Johnathon Taylor in the backfield? Or will it even matter? Wisconsin is returning a lot of starters on defense and is expected to be one of the best in the nation. Ian Book will be in his 3rd year as a starter, and this will be his first real test. If Wisconsin loses, how can they beat Ohio State, Iowa, or Minnesota? If Notre Dame loses, how can they beat Clemson? This is a game where each team has a lot more to lose than to gain, and whoever comes out on top has a chance to control their own destiny.

  1. Clemson @ Notre Dame (Nov. 7th)

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A November non-conference game with major implications? How could we leave this off the list? This is Notre Dame’s third time on this list (including honorable mentions), and this one is their most important. By this point of the season, Notre Dame will have played Pitt and Wisconsin, and could be in the mix for a bid in the CFP. They’re also looking to avenge last year’s loss to the Tigers. For Clemson, this game comes off a bye week, and could very well be their first ranked opponent of the season. Expectations are high for this team, and no one feels that more than Trevor Lawrence, with his sole loss coming to the LSU Tigers in the National Championship Game. A loss could put an end to either team’s CFP hopes, so don’t expect anything less than the best from this November matchup.

  1. Texas @ LSU (Sep. 12th)

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Part 2 of 2 in this home-and-home series, last year’s edition was the most anticipated non-conference matchup of 2019. For LSU, this game can show that last year wasn’t a one-year wonder and has a chance to prove that even with all the losses to the offense, defense, and coaching staff that they are still a force to be reckoned with. For Texas, this year is all business. The “We’re baaaaaack” statement has long passed the mind of Sam Ehlinger, who has returned for another year to lead the Texas offense. For the College Football World, a lot of eyes will be on this game to see what the playoff field will look like. It seems at this point, no less than 3 SEC teams will be in consideration for the CFP come mid-November, and if you’re not a fan of that, Texas is the team to root for. When it comes to teams on the outside looking in, the more losses each SEC team has, the better.


     1. Ohio State @ Oregon (Sep. 12th)

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This is the top game of the year in the non-conference, as two great teams who played in the first college football playoff championship game face off again. For Ohio State, going into Eugene to face a top Pac-12 opponent will be a great test to see how the Justin Fields/Ryan Day connection has grown over the off-season, and a win on the road versus this Ducks team early on in the season could pay off toward playoff selection time. For Oregon, this will show how a Justin Herbert-less offense steps up to the challenge against a team with a strong defense, and how can their defense fair against a top scoring team in the nation? This is a chance for the Pac-12 to enforce its claim that its top teams can go toe-to-toe with the top teams of the other Power 5 conferences. Fun Fact: Oregon has NEVER beaten Ohio State (tOSU leads 9-0 in the all-time series).

Written by Sidelines – Oklahoma (@Sidelines_OU)

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Data Dive – NFL Combine

The NFL Combine provides an opportunity for NFL GMs to wipe their mind of all scouting info from games and instead dwell on the hand size of an athlete.

In all seriousness, the NFL Combine is a fun chance for fans to see just what these incredible athletes can accomplish, and often be surprised by some ridiculous standouts. But for college athletic departments, it’s also a marketing opportunity to show how much NFL talent they’ve been able to develop (even if some players were already beasts out of high school). In this post we’re going to dive in to the data and see which conferences and teams have the largest representation.

Combine Athletes By P5 Conference

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No surprise here, the SEC produces a heck of a lot of NFL talent. Perhaps the most surprising is that the Big 12 is in dead last, but a factor is also that the conference has less teams. So, here’s the same chart but with Avg. # of Combine Athletes per Team.

Combine Athletes per Team by P5 Conference

combine avg players per team

Notre Dame kind of gets an unfair advantage here, since they’re the only Independent we’ve considered P5 for this data. When your one representative has 9 athletes, you get a boost. Again, the SEC is still dominating here, but what’s interesting is that the gap between the Pac 12 and the Big 10 significantly closes. While combine representation is a mix of how well schools recruit and how well they develop their talent, this makes a good case for the Pac 12 not being as far behind in talent as some think. ACC truly gets left in the dust here, showing that while they have good total representation its really Miami and Clemson carrying the weight.

On that note, let’s look at the schools that are the top performers.

Combine Athletes by School: Top 10

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While this attests to how talented LSU’s roster was this year, it’s got to be a little concerning for Tigers fans how many great players they’re losing to the draft. I doubt they’re crying holding that trophy, though.

Miami is definitely the biggest example of a team that didn’t perform well on the field but sent many players to the combine. Granted it was his first year, but I think this makes Manny Diaz look pretty bad. Hopefully he learns how to develop talent in year two.

This is also a bit of a bummer for Utah. They had a wonderful season, but the Utes better hope they’re still able to perform even with losing 9 good guys to the draft. It would be sad to see them barely miss the playoffs and a Rose Bowl and fail to compete at that level again.

It’s also interesting to see rivals Michigan and Ohio State bumping shoulders at second place. Ohio State has clearly accomplished more with their talent, but is this Harbaugh’s fault? That’s for Michigan fans to debate in online forums while Buckeyes laugh.

Combine Athletes by G5 Conference:

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Don’t worry other guys, we didn’t forget about you. The American is the only G5 conference even close to hanging with the P5…P6? Both the American and the Mountain West have 12 football schools, so that isn’t really an excuse here. If the American is able to send more representatives to the combine than a P5 conference consistently, it could really shake up how they recruit and maybe give more G5 schools a fighting chance.

Combine Athletes by School: Non P5

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These are the only non P5 teams to send 3 or more representatives to the combine. Talent will always aggregate at P5 schools, but I hope more G5 schools are able to get media attention and maybe send some more deserving players to the combine in later years.

Either way, Rhode Island is probably the most impressive school in this article. For a CAA school to send three representatives to the combine is incredible, and a fantastic recruiting pitch for the Rams.

The biggest takeaways from all this? Well, it’s tough to extract that much information from combine representatives since, as mentioned, it’s a complicated mix of recruiting and talent development. Furthermore, a championship caliber team will always get more screen time and NFL interest than a G5 school. Schools that sent a ton of representatives will get a huge recruitment boost, especially those that over performed like Utah, Miami, Charlotte and Rhode Island. I think the biggest questions surround Miami; when will they start doing something with the talent they have, and if they don’t will it start to hurt their recruitment?

But at the end of the day, the most fun part is just obsessing over data that really might not matter at all. Like hand size.

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The Largest Apparel Deal in CFB – and Which One Will Be Next

The largest apparel deal in CFB is not with a playoff team. In fact, it’s not even with a Top 25 team. Perhaps even more surprising, the company writing the check isn’t Nike.

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Image Courtesy 247 Sports

In May 2016, Under Armour inked a 15 year, $280 million deal with UCLA to be their official shoe and apparel sponsor. This is the largest such deal in the history of college athletics.

For Under Armour, it was just another move in the imperialist game of athletic apparel brands. While Nike has claimed most of the lucrative brands like Ohio State and Texas, Under Armour planted a flag in the second largest TV market in the country.

The largest brand Under Armour has under its belt is arguably still Notre Dame, but the addition of UCLA expands their growing foothold to the West Coast – right in the heart of Nike Territory.

For UCLA, it’s more than just money – of course, it *is* an unimaginably large amount of money. But this contract identified them as one of the most valuable brands in athletics. By market value alone, they now stand shoulder to shoulder with the Alabama’s and Michigan’s of CFB. With a coach like Chip Kelly, who carries attention with him wherever he goes even if his teams haven’t performed as of late, eyes will be on UCLA every preseason.

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This is huge for recruiting as well. A recruit going to UCLA knows media attention will be on them, as well as millions of dollars for facility improvements and equipment.

The Under Armour – UCLA deal was done 4 years ago. A lot has changed in CFB, but a lot has stayed the same too – mainly, money is still king. So, which deal will beat UCLA’s?

The first thing to think about is obviously the team itself. Better performing teams will always bring more money, but as Texas has shown, fan following and brand power matter far more. This leaves a pretty short list of teams that could be expected to make a landmark deal, and it’s pretty similar to the list of teams that have a chance of making the CFB playoff every year: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, UGA, OU, LSU, Notre Dame, Penn State, Nebraska, Oregon, Florida, Florida State, Texas, Texas A&M, USC. We can immediately cross off a few – Oregon will never need a payout to stick with Nike, and Clemson and Florida State just don’t have the size of fan base or brand power to milk that large of a contract.

The second thing to look for is geography and market; this is arguably the main reason why UCLA has the largest apparel deal right now. There are no New York teams worth paying a super contract too. Chicago is tied to Notre Dame, a good candidate for the largest contract (they currently have the fifth largest, also with Under Armour). LA could be snatched up on the other end by paying out to USC.

Finally, you have to look at the companies themselves. What are Nike’s goals? They have the most money – which battles are they going to choose to fight? Nike already runs the west coast, and I don’t think they are interested in stealing Notre Dame from Under Armour. Adidas is also a major player we haven’t discussed much thus far – their cash cow is Texas A&M, who they gave the most lucrative deal in the SEC. They actually held the UCLA deal before Under Armour took it. SEC deals are huge for a brand, and a few contracts there are expiring soon.

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Taking all of this into account, it seems likely the next biggest contract will go to a team that is already a massive brand, probably to rip them away from another apparel company. It will likely be Nike, since them and Under Armour have been the biggest spenders but Under Armour has faced extreme financial difficulties recently as they stand on the line of bankruptcy. I would guess Nike might try to rip a big brand away from another company. Maybe Texas A&M away from Adidas, although they already have Texas in that region.

Who do you think will be the next shoe and apparel super deal in CFB? Let us know on Twitter @Sidelines_SN!