NCAA

There is a well-precedented system used all around the world that could easily fix the NCAA’s college football playoff quandary: promotion and relegation.

In division I, last time I checked, there are something like 125 teams.  Break these teams down into true regional divisions except at the very top. Put the top 24 teams in four conferences that play each team in the conference twice in the season. The top four teams playoff for the championship, the bottom three get relegated to the top regional division and the top regional champions playoff for those three spots the next year.

This is the best feature of soccer that just doesn’t exist in American sports at all. The worst feature of soccer—no drafts—exists in the NCAA already.

Owners of major league teams would never allow this because they think they would lose too much money if their team got relegated. But in reality, at least in soccer, it’s actually easier to be profitable outside the top division, but that has to do with the cost of player transfers, something else that doesn’t exist that way in the US.

The threat of relegation, combined with a draft system (which exists nowhere that I’m aware of) would surely address some of these ills. Whether it would also create the monster that is the international soccer transfer system or something else I cannot say.

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