UCLA’s Chip Kelly Wants To Do Away With Conferences In College Football, Points To Notre Dame Model

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UCLA head coach Chip Kelly offered his solution for how to deal with all the recent spate of conference realignment shenanigans. He argued in favor of getting rid of conferences completely.

Well, at least as far as football programs are concerned.

Kelly floated the idea during an interview with The Los Angeles Times.

“I’m fired up for the Big Eighteen,” Kelly joked.

As some conferences get more bloated and others wither away entirely, Kelly thinks the future lies in schools competing as independents.

He also had a case study for how this sort of thing can work and pointed to Notre Dame.

“Notre Dame is an independent in football, but they’re in a conference for everything else,” Kelly said.

“Why aren’t we all independent for football? Take the 64 teams in Power Five and make that one division, take the 64 teams in Group of Five, make that another division. We play for a championship, they play for a championship and no one else gets affected.”

I think the biggest reason not everyone is independent in college football is that not everyone is Notre Dame. There aren’t too many schools with the brand recognition and cache to ink their own national television deal with a broadcast network. Notre Dame is one of the few.

However, he had a case for why this idea a bit more reasonable. Kelly noted some key differences between football and other sports.

“Our sport’s different than everybody else — we only play once a week, travel’s not a big deal for football, but it is a big deal for other sports. So that’s my theory.” Kelly explained.

It’s interesting to hear Kelly railing against conferences. UCLA was one of the schools that managed to get the better end of the realignment deal.

You’d think that folks from the Pac-12 schools that got left in the lerch — Stanford, Cal, Oregon State, and Washington State — would be more inclined to argue against conferences.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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