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As college football moves toward mega-conferences, a new host of problems will start to appear. Alabama head coach Nick Saban has suggested that a relegation system—like the ones used in many European soccer leagues—could solve one emerging problem.
Saban called into The Dan Patrick Show on Friday. Their conversation touched on how not every current Division 1 school can come along for the ride if college football realignment keeps moving in its current direction.
“It’s probably going to be good for some people,” Saban said. “But it’s not going to be good for all people, because not everybody is going to be able to compete at that level.
“So we’ll create a separation, like at least probably 50 percent of the schools that are considered Division I schools now would not be able to compete that way.”
There are currently 131 FBS schools. and it’s hard to imagine that any of them would go quietly if told that they were no longer going to be playing at the top level.
However, Saban’s relegation solves this, and would also create some must-see-TV.
Nick Saban’s Relegation Pitch
Saban acknowledged that mega conferences look like they will soon be the reality, and that the playoff teams will likely be selected from those two or three conferences. However, his relegation suggestion would give teams outside of those mega conferences a glimmer of hope.
“Now maybe they come up with some kind of way like they do in soccer over in Europe I think. I don’t understand it completely,” Saban said.
Here’s how these systems generally work: at the end of each season, the worst team in the top league plays the best team at the league beneath it. The winner earns a spot in the top league for the following season.
For example, if baseball had a relegation system, the Washington Nationals would have to play the best Triple-A team to stay in Major League Baseball.
Imagine The Intensity Of Relegation
Can you imagine the intensity you’d see in these games? One team fighting off relegation while the other team is trying to claw their way to the big kids’ table.
Instead of one relegation, have anywhere from 3 to 5, with matchups determined by seeding. Hold them all on the same weekend and brand it as Relegation Week. Then sell the TV rights and watch the cash roll in.
And we all know the college football powers love cash.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle