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How to Make the Next 150 Years of College Football Even Better

The first collegiate football game was played between Princeton and Rutgers in 1869. Ever since then Saturdays in the Fall have excited sports everywhere. College Football’s traditions, rivalry, and fandom are unmatched by other American sports.  The sport itself has gone through many changes over the years. Many rules were to make the game safer. Especially after many deaths related to game in the early 1900s which let to Teddy Roosevelt almost banning football from being played. This then led to the creation of the NCAA. The game has changed from a low scoring running game, to a passing high scoring game  While no one reading this will likely be alive for the 300th anniversary, here are some changes to make the next 150 years even better.

Let Players profit from likeness and licensing

Courtesy of Barstool Sports

The term “student-athlete” was originally created by the NCAA to protect athletes from being abused by coaches. Recently the NCAA had over $1 Billion in Revenue! While the NCAA claims they give lots of benefits to the student-athletes, they don’t receive direct compensation. One way they can compensate their athletes without giving them salaries, is paying them for using their likeness and licensing merchandise. By paying them for their licensing, it would be able to bring back the very popular NCAA Football Video Game. This time fully licensed and featuring the players’ likeness. This will make the game look and feel even better when playing. Also by doing licensing, student-athletes can profit from their jersey sells at the team store. With that colleges will be able to sell fully licensed jerseys where the student-athletes can make money like the pros do on jersey sales. NCAA is already considering this, so a new NCAA Football game could become a reality soon. 

Expanded the playoffs and meaningful bowl games

There is no doubt that the College Football Playoff (CFP) has brought new energy to the sport. CFP creates a buzz during the season about which teams are in and out. CFP has also created new Rivalries such as the Clemson-Alabama rivalry we have now. Expanding the CFP will only increase the buzz and revenue for the NCAA. During the CFP era there have been clear differences in the no. 2 and no. 3 rated teams but, less of difference between no. 4 and no. 5.

By expanding the CFP to either six or eight at least one Power 5 school from each conference will be represented. More games would be intriguing late as more teams will have a shot to make the playoffs. A way to make more meaningful is by creating a CFP for the group of 5 conference. It looks pretty obvious under the current format that no group of 5 team will make the CFP. By making their own playoff fans will be able to see schools like UCF, Fresno St and Houston duke it out for their own version of a National Championship. This would be a similar idea to the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues. Two great trophies at two different competitive levels. 

Introduce Promotion and regulation into CFB

Pro/Rel table courtesy of Nic Freiri

While promotion and relegation may be a foreign concept to some American sports fans, it has been a staple in European soccer for years. The basic idea is the bottom teams of the top league get sent down and the top teams from the bottom league get sent up. It may seem like a far-out concept but, could greatly improve the number of meaningful games towards the end of season. How might promotion and relegation work in CFB? Easy! Using the standings from  Pac 12, Mountain West and Big Sky conferences. Each conference plays at a different competitive level of Division I so it makes a natural promotion and relegation pyramid. Since Oregon St. and Colorado were the two worst teams in the PAC-12 they would be in danger of being relegated to the MWC. Utah St. and Fresno St. the top teams in the MWC would play the PAC-12 teams with the winner going to the PAC-12 next season. Same with bottom MWC (SJSU and New Mexico) and top Big Sky Schools (EWU and Webber St.).  The game could either played during the Conference Championship week or as a bowl game. This way the best teams are always in the top conferences. This could also make for interesting regulation battles at the end of the season. This would give schools like Boise St and UCF a chance to prove they can hang with power 5 conferences. 

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