I just have to laugh at Andy Staples’ cheerleading ($$) for the likelihood that the P5 over the next few years will ditch divisional play all in the name of coming up with a better delivery system for expanded playoffs — not because of his pitch, but because of where he winds up with it:
Eventually, realignment got the rule changed. The Big 12, reduced to 10 teams, wanted to reinstate its championship game midway through the last decade. The ACC had been playing in two divisions since 2005, but only the most hardcore fans could correctly identify which teams were in which division. So those leagues teamed up to ask for a change that loosened the requirements.
That’s how you get a No. 1 vs. No. 2 Big 12 championship game.
At the time, the Big 12 was playing the ideal conference format, a nine-game, round robin schedule. Every conference team played every other conference team! Why did they need a championship game?
Don’t answer that. It’s a rhetorical question.
By the way, David Hale made a point about scrapping divisional play I hadn’t considered.
I could imagine some pushback from coaches if some conferences go divisionless, while others don’t, but I would also imagine that will fade away as the P5 takes a uniform approach. Probably by the time the next CFP TV contract is being negotiated. Because, money… oh, shit. I just answered my rhetorical question.