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College Football: Richie’s Realignment

Richie Whitt, CBSDFW.COM
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – SMU traveling to Connecticut? Boise heading East? West Virginia going waaay West? And the latest college realignment rumor: Florida State to the Big 12.

What’s next: Alaska to the Sun Belt and Hawaii to the Atlantic Coast Conference?

Since the good ol’ Southwest Conference disbanded in 1996 our college football map has looked like my eyes after a long night drinking at Duke’s. Blood-shot. Strained. Confused. Glazed. These days the Big 12 doesn’t have 12, the Big 10 has way more than 10 and the Pac 8 is now the Pac 10 is now the Pac 12.

And you know what, it’s as discombobulated as ever trying to figure out our nation’s best team each season.

Let’s inject two words into the discussion: Common. Sense. Sprinkle in some geography and, voila, a blueprint that we can all follow. I’ll call it Richie’s Realignment, and it works like this …

As commissioner of Richie’s Realignment, I took the liberty of dividing our great land into four (sorta) equal quadrants. The top 80 programs (determined by a vote of one) survived to live in their new homes: 20-team conferences simply called the NorthEast, SouthEast, SouthWest and NorthWest. We’ve already cut down on travel costs and kept alive the regional rivalries that drive the sport.

Follow so far?

Each conference is then divided into two, 10-team divisions. And, get this, every team plays every team in its division. Teams can keep alive traditional rivalries – USC vs. Notre Dame, for example – but the regular-season schedule is now limited to 10 games. One non-conference game. Enjoy. And look, with a shorter regular season, I’ve got the college administrators on my side.

The top team in each division (or top two in each conference) will meet at designated bowls at which they will determine their conference’s champ and representative at the new season-ending College Cup, held each Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

Quarterfinals/Conference Championships

NorthEast: Yankee Bowl played in New Jersey

SouthEast: Orange Bowl played in Miami

SouthWest: Cotton Bowl in Arlington

NorthWest: Pacific Bowl played in Seattle

From there the remaining four teams will play in two national semifinal games pitting conference champs.

Semifinals

NorthEast vs. SouthEast: Sugar Bowl in New Orleans

SouthWest vs. NorthWest: Fiesta Bowl in Tempe

College Cup

Winners in Rose Bowl in Pasadena

My conference realignment. Sometimes the best things are so simple.

NORTHEAST

*NORTH

Michigan State

Michigan

Ohio State

Cincinnati

Boston College

Pittsburgh

Connecticut

Syracuse

Northwestern

*SOUTH

Notre Dame

Purdue

Penn State

Virginia

Virginia Tech

Louisville

Kentucky

West Virginia

Maryland

Illinois

Indiana

SOUTHEAST

* NORTH

Florida

Florida State

Clemson

North Carolina

North Carolina State

South Carolina

Vanderbilt

Tennessee

Memphis

Wake Forest

*SOUTH

Miami

LSU

Alabama

Arkansas

Auburn

South Florida

Georgia Tech

Georgia

Mississippi State

Ole Miss

SOUTHWEST

*NORTH

Oklahoma

Oklahoma State

USC

UCLA

Texas Tech

New Mexico

Kansas State

Kansas

Missouri

Tulsa

*SOUTH

Texas

Arizona

Arizona State

Baylor

Texas A&M

Houston

SMU

Rice

TCU

UTEP

NORTHWEST

*NORTH

Boise State

Oregon State

Oregon

Washington State

Washington

Wyoming

Minnesota

Wisconsin

Stanford

Cal

*SOUTH

Nebraska

Utah

Colorado

Iowa

Iowa State

BYU

Air Force

Colorado State

UNLV

Nevada

(Copyright 2012 CBSDFW.COM and CBS Local, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved)

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