NCAA 14 Football: Conference Relegation System

Written by Cory Lestochi

The year is 2022, Texas Tech is the reigning National Champions, and Army just won a BCS Bowl over UCLA; it is nine years into a dynasty on the storied college football game NCAA 14 Football. For those that don’t know, the game franchise was discontinued in order to prevent future lawsuits for player likeness. Basically, EA Sports and the NCAA would rather not produce the annual video game than pay the players  in the game.

Therefore, NCAA 14 Football is and most likely will be the last of its kind, which makes it a prized possession. In the dynasty mode, you are a coach in the always changing college football landscape. You can be the offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, or the head coach of one of the 126 FBS football teams in the game. I have been the head coach of Texas Tech for the past six seasons, winning five national championships (yes on the hardest difficulty). As many others who have played the game religiously know, the game can become quite repetitive. There are numerous ways to spice up the game, one of which is to alter the members of the conferences and the BCS tie-ins for the conferences. There is a potential avenue to create a College Football Playoff, but I have heard it is quite tedious; for now I will not be exploring that option.

Instead, I have decided to construct a relegation system for college football. The relegation model is a way to institute competition for all members of the league by creating multiple tiers of competition. This system is the same one used in the Premier League and other football leagues across the world. Relegation promotes the bottom feeders of the conference to fight tooth and nail to remain in the conference to prevent relegation. In the lower tiers, the competition at the top is pivotal in order to be promoted to the next tier up.

For college football, playing in a weaker conference dramatically affects recruiting because the best players want to play in the best conference. Furthermore, the program’s fan base could take a hit if a team is relegated to a lower tier and now is unable to play against it’s rivals or ranked opponents. Finally, in the world of the BCS rankings, a weak strength of schedule buries a team’s chances of reaching the coveted national championship.


How it works:

There are 126 football teams and ten conferences + Independents. I separated the conferences into three tiers.

Tier 1            Tier 2            Tier 3

Big Ten                    American                  MAC

Pac-12               Mountain West         Independents

SEC                              ACC                       Sun Belt

Big 12                        C-USA                   Independents

Tier 3 will feed into Tier 2, and Tier 2 will feed into Tier 1. The two lowest teams from Tier 1 will drop to Tier 2 and the two lowest teams in Tier 2 will drop to Tier 3. The lowest teams will be determined by the conference record.

Tier 1 conferences have 14 teams (two divisions). Tier 2 Conferences have 12 teams (two divisions). Tier 3 conferences have 6 teams (Sun Belt and Mac) and the Independents are a melting pot of 10 teams.

The Independents will have the top four promoted to Tier 2 each year, and will be placed into the conference that makes the most sense geographically. All of the conferences were chosen based on geography, for example, SEC–ACC–Sun Belt. This was done in the thought of the importance of requiring based on your geography and competing with  your conference foes not only on the field, but for the recruits as well.

Furthermore, in order to prevent a Tier 2 or Tier 3 team playing a Tier 1 team in a BCS game, the BCS tie-ins match up the four conferences against one another in Tier 1, and Tier 2.

There are obviously some loopholes and fallacies in the game. For example, the conferences are not even at the moment based on talent. The ACC is actually stronger than the Big 12 even though it is in Tier 2, but I am hoping after a few years of relegation, this should change. Furthermore, the non-BCS Bowls will still have their normal tie-ins to various conferences.

Because I have already played nine seasons, the conferences were already altered beforehand, and some teams were already relegated. For example, Ball State is in the Big Ten and Indiana is an Independent.

I will be updating as I play through this and if you play the game and would like the details of each conference, let me know!

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