Five Reasons No More Conference Divisions Will Be Good For College Football

Divisions within conferences have proven to be bad for college football. Fortunately, the big boys have decided to abandon them. Expansion to larger conferences as part of realignment and consolidation of power within the biggest conferences has made it necessary. It doesn’t really matter why this is happening we’re just glad that it is. Let’s explore why.

Eliminating Divisions is Good for College Football

Bad Conference Championship Games

In 2021 and in 2023, Iowa won the Big Ten West. Both times, they squared off against Michigan in the Big Ten Championship Game. The combined scores of those two games? Michael: 69, Iowa: 3. The Hawkeyes rode a strong defense and boring offense both seasons en route to winning a very weak division. The defense eventually caved in both games because they were worn out as the offense couldn’t score or sustain drives long enough to give the defense some rest.

In the SEC, anything other than a Georgia versus Alabama championship game has been a blowout in recent years. This has been especially true when it’s been Georgia v Anyone But Alabama.

Better Scheduling

Conference divisions have required that teams play normally five games within their divisions and two or three games against teams from the other division. Speaking of Georgia and Alabama, how often do they play each other during the regular season? Not very often at all. Getting rid of the divisions will give the conferences more flexibility in scheduling better games because they will no longer be constrained. The top teams in each conference will be motivated to play each other because one or two losses won’t keep them out of the expanded College Football Playoff.

The networks will also be happy to have more marquee matchups during the regular season. That means more exposure for the players and more NIL money. Everybody wins.

The Best Teams Will Identify Themselves

Having better games will show the fans, the media, and the coaches who the best teams are. Before winning the national championship last season, Michigan was criticized for playing what many called a soft schedule with the exception of Ohio State and possibly Penn State. Having the best teams show us who they are will also make the college football committee’s job easier when it comes to seeding the teams for the inaugural 12-team playoff.

The committee will also be able to justify their seeding decisions based on more games between the top teams in the four major conferences. Sorry, AAC.


Yes, it’s nice to be able to get in the car and drive a few short hours to a conference game against a geographically close divisional opponent. What’s even better is having a chance to go to places like LA or Eugene if your team is one of the teams already in the Big Ten. Flip it around and if you live in LA you now have a chance to go to The Big House or The Horseshoe. Can you imagine the atmosphere at a game between Georgia and Texas regardless of the venue.

Competition For Players

If you think the transfer portal is wild now, just wait. With better games in conference, the competition for players will become even more intense. If you’re a recruiter for a cold weather team like Wisconsin you can sell the cross-country trip as part of your “package” to prospective recruits. The NIL prospects for players will improve because they will have more marquee games and those games will be televised nationally. Another win-win scenario for everyone.

Having the biggest conferences in college football and eliminating the divisions will make college football more of a national pastime than a regional pastime. Teams won’t have to schedule big games out of conference in order to have a necessary strong strength of schedule. The concept of conference divisions is a concept whose time has passed. Getting rid of them can’t happen soon enough.

Main Image: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

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