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The College Football Report: The Kettle Fried Conference, Safety School Division And Neglected Touchpads

Other 25 Update: Going into Week Three, the College Football Report Preseason Other 25 has posted a respectable record overall (34-13) and has posted a .500 winning percentage (10-10) against schools from BCS conferences (including Notre Dame) highlighted by South Florida's win against the Irish in Week One. In view of ND's last-second loss to Michigan on Saturday, the Bulls upset over Notre Dame might not look as impressive as the season rolls on.

The Other 25 has not fared nearly so well (2-5) against ranked teams, although we would be hard-pressed to consider that failing. After all, the ranked teams are supposed to be better, right? Against "the number," the Other 25 has struggled as well, posting only 19 wins against the spread versus 28 losses. Later this season, we will do a bit more analysis to see how well The Other 25 fares in various situations: at home, on the road, as underdogs, etc.

Rearranging the Deli Counter or How the College Football Report Free Range Chicken Would Handle Conference Realignment: We think the experts should stop trying so hard and turn the realignment over to The College Football Report Free Range Chicken. After making short work of the BCS bowl predictions, the CFR FRC has been sharpening his beak for the next challenge. After reviewing his options, he pecked out the four new super conferences and divisions within each.

The Big League East Coast
Composed largely of teams from the (now defunct) ACC and Big East, the BLEC extends from Boston and Syracuse down the eastern seaboard all the way to Miami. The 16 teams of the BLEC excel at basketball (Connecticut, Duke, UNC), football (Florida State, Miami) and nose-picking (West Virginia). Bonus: the BLEC boasts the greatest number of schools in the path of a hurricane.
Clam Chowder Division: Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Rutgers

Five Point O Division: Clemson, Florida State, Miami, South Florida

Protractor Division: Duke, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Virginia

Skoal Division: North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, West Virginia

The Confucius Conference
Composed of Midwestern teams with Midwestern values, the CC-16 would likely represent the last group of BCS teams to assemble into a 16-team conference, citing a little-known quote by the Zen master: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Bonus: the league would boast the most unlikely group of mascots ever assembled, including outlandish (at least by mascot standards) wildlife (Badgers, Hawkeyes, Gophers, Wolverines) two birds (both Cardinals), various humanoids (Spartans, Boilermakers, Cornhuskers, Hoosiers), imaginary animals (Bearcats, Nittany Lions) and one tree-human hybrid thing (Buckeyes).

Yin Division: Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, Purdue

Yang Division: Indiana, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin

The Kettle Fried Conference
In this scenario, the SEC makes a brazen power grab and starts the dominoes to fall by absorbing not only Texas A&M (despite the quibbling objections by the likes of Baylor) but also Kansas, Missouri and Virginia Tech. The departure by the Aggies and Jayhawks from the former Big-12 would render the former powerhouse conference obsolete, triggering a flight to the newly formed KFC and elsewhere. The addition of Mizzou and KU maintains another traditional rivalry (along with Florida-Georgia, Auburn-Alabama, etc.) and the Jayhawks figure to bolster the KFC's otherwise football-heavy slant. Finally, Va Tech enters as the last of 16 teams because... well, the KFC might as well dominate everyone on the gridiron.

Chitlins Division: Alabama, Auburn, Kansas, Missiouri

Hog Maws Division: Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas A&M

Hushpuppy Division: Florida, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina

Sweet Tea Division: Georgia, LSU, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech

The Waaaay Out West 16
The Pac-12, prior to the days of the superconference, seemed most stable. The Pac-10 painlessly (more or less) absorbed Colorado and Utah, which suggests that adding a few more - particularly homeless titans like Texas and Oklahoma - shouldn't be too much trouble. The WOW-16 thus maintains all the original (if something formed in 2010 can be called that) Pac-12 members and adds the Longhorns (more for the TV market than anything else), Oklahoma (as a package deal with UT), Oklahoma State (a consistent contender) and Texas Tech (as a thorn in the side of all the new members).

The Blotter Division: California, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA

The Okie Dokie Division: Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Washington (yes, we realize the Huskies have nothing to do with the other teams, but we didn't know where else to put them)

The Safety School Division: Arizona State, Oregon State, Texas Tech, Washington State
The SPF Division: Arizona, Texas, USC, Utah

Finally, the remnants and castoffs need somewhere to go. Notre Dame and BYU can remain independent, as can Army and Navy. The Chicken placed BYU, Boise and TCU into the independent ranks as well. At press time, we don't know if the bird has some sort of issue with Mormons and Catholics or if it's just the prospect of six wildcards that got his little feathered breast heaving.

You might (or might not) notice that two teams have been omitted from the FRC's grand scheme: The Baylor Bears and the Kansas State Wildcats. With all due respect to Baylor, we imagine their exclusion could have something to do with the fact that the school can only claim two outright conference championships (of another defunct league, the Southwest Conference) since 1924. As for KSU, the Wildcats have spent time in six (!) different conferences over their history (all of which have ceased to exist, including the Big Eight, Border, Mountain States, Southern and Southwest Conferences) so moving to a to-be-determined (the Dust Bowl Conference?) catch-all league shouldn't be too tough.

Just What Do You Think You're Doing, Dave? This just in the from the Beachwood Artificial Intelligence Desk: all sportswriters have been replaced by algorithms! No longer limited to populating your "You May Also Like" list on Amazon or displaying ads on the likes of Google and Facebook, computer programs will now generate content for sports networks. The technology takes automatic writing to new heights by writing material used for, among other things, updates and recaps on sporting events.

The industry leader, Narrative Science, claims to "turn data into stories" by translating "facts and figures into compelling stories in real time" and, if that doesn't sell you on the concept, the content does not require "human authoring or editing." Nor will the computer code ever take a coffee break, spend an hour in the bathroom or step out for a cigarette. The program also won't post nasty columns directed at itself, violate Twitter policy or go on a sexual harassment rampage. Although, who knows . . . maybe if the machinery behind Narrative Science starts to feel neglected, readers would begin to notice odd references to neglected touchpads, a decrease in battery power and why no one plugs into its USB port anymore.


Mike Luce brings you the world's greatest college football report (almost) every Tuesday and Friday. He welcomes your comments.

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Posted on Nov 26, 2021