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Introducing The SBNation NCAA Conference Re-Draft

There has been a NCAA Conference Armageddon that was so sudden and unexpected not even Craig Thompson’s hair could have predicted it. No teams were spared in this apocalypse. One second there were 11 conferences, with their TV deals, divisions, and revenue sharing; the next, nothing. Each team left to fend for itself.

Because of this absolute conference nothingness, the powers-at-be have given the SBNation bloggers the responsibility to re-draft the D-1 conferences. They’ve even given us incredible and highly sought after technology; a teleportation device. (Just wait.)

With these great new powers the SBN bloggers have decided to take upon this great responsibility. In the coming weeks we will re-draft all the conferences. The hub for this re-draft project will be over at Cowboys Ride For Free. (You see, it was his idea.)

After the jump I’ll give you all the rules, non-rules, and guidelines to the game.


Here are the basic rules. (Which I copy/pasted with some changes.)

The purposes of the fantasy draft are: 1) to explore the values of individual schools by drafting them sequentially, and 2) to have fun strategically building a conference of schools.

There will be six conferences, and such conferences are NOT meant to be new versions of current conferences. That is, the objective of the game is not to create tweaked versions of what we already have. The goal is to draft schools based on their overall value, and to compile a conference of teams strategically and coherently.  

What makes a school valuable?  We leave that largely up to you, with a few important guidelines.  Keep in mind that we are drafting athletics conferences, athletics should be weighted heaviest, if not exclusively.  

While we obviously must consider athletics, the following are factors we may also consider: academics, co-eds, weather/desirability of destination, historic success, traditions, TV revenue potential, ethics, and rivalries (two teams).

On the flipside, for purposes of this game there are two factors that are not to be considered. First, do not take travel/geographical concerns into consideration. As I stated before we now have teleportation technologies that can transport a team directly into the locker room before the game. Let’s say you want to make a conference with Florida and Oregon. Because of our new tech this is now possible without the travel time. Jet lag will no longer be a problem.

Second, while individual rivalries may be taken into consideration (e.g. pairing BYU and Utah), preservation of current conference history/rivalry/alliance is not to be considered.  Hopefully for obvious reasons. Again, the goal is not to improve the status quo. The goal is not to create a conference that will actually play games. The goal is to use a draft to value schools and have fun strategically, or even completely randomly, grouping them together.

Basically we can put together a conference of any teams we want, as long as they’re on the draft board. (More on that later.) If you want to make a conference of Hot Babes And Warm Weather, go for it. If you want a Gordon Gee Hates Us, Little Sister Of The Poor Athletic Conference, that’s your decision. (This is the only way I see New Mexico being picked first.) You can do a conference with schools that all start with the letter D (or any other letter) if you want. There are 120 schools and unlimited possibilities.


There will be six new conferences which are NOT meant to be new versions of current conferences. First of all, the conferences will have their own names, to be determined by the commissioner and first two members of each conference, as selected by the draft explained below.

The six conference commissioners are  House of Sparky (Arizona State), Big East Coast Bias (Big East), Black Heart Gold Pants (Iowa), Team Speed Kills (SEC), Red Cup Rebellion (Ole Miss), and BC Interruption (Boston College).

An important note: The commissioners start with a blank slate; House of Sparky, Black Heart Gold Pants and Red Cup Rebellion will not be starting with Arizona State, Iowa or Ole Miss in their conference already. If they want their own schools, they'll have to draft them.

The draft order, as determined by a random number generator, will go as follows.

1.         BC Interruption
2.         Black Heart Gold Pants
3.         Team Speed Kills
4.         Big East Coast Bias
5.         House of Sparky
6.         Red Cup Rebellion

The draft will be a snake draft, with Red Cup Rebellion receiving the 6th and 7th picks, BC Interruption the 12th and 13th, and so forth.

As I said the official draft home of the re-draft project will be Cowboys Ride For Free. His word is the law.


Monday, June 6 – Sunday, June 12:  Bloggers are to introduce the project to their communities.  Some questions to consider are:

"Who would you, reader, want to draft?"
"What kind of alliance would you seek?"
"What values are you looking for in a program?"  

Monday, June 13 – Sunday, June 19:  The first two rounds of the draft will be completed during this week. Upon making their first round selections, the conference commissioners should then consult with their draft choice (if we have a blogger for that school) and the two of them should collectively decide on their draft strategy and make their second round choice. By Friday, each conference will have a commissioner, two schools, and up to two more bloggers to collaborate with on picks.  By Sunday, each conference should select the name of its conference.

Monday, June 20:  The first official posts go live. Cowboys Ride For Free will announce the conference names and recap the first two rounds of the draft. At the site of each conference commissioner, the first two members of the conference will be announced and discussed, telling readers who they have selected and why. Here at VTF we will recap what happened for you and if we were selected (not likely although I’m hoping to go in the 3rd or 4th rounds) we’ll go though all our processes with you.

After the conference names and founding members are revealed the draft will continue in much the same manner.

There will be two draft picks a week for the next several weeks. Once a conference drafts 12 members, a conference can be capped. If we want, the draft will continue for conferences who wish to add more members. If in any subsequent round only one conference remains, it may select the remaining members of its conference up to a maximum of 16 schools.


On Monday July 25, the full and complete conference rosters will be announced.

Other points of note: When selecting a school a conference bring on all its NCAA sanctioned varsity sports. You can’t draft a school as basketball or football only. A conference gets all the athletic programs.

So if you’ve gotten through all that, awesome! Now we want to make sure everyone clearly understands the rules and objectives. This only works if we’re all operating in the same universe. Basically the objective is NOT to re-draft the Big 12, SEC, etc without Baylor, Vandy, or New Mexico.

And now it’s your turn. What would you put the most emphasis on? Athletics? Academics? Something else? Who would you draft? Who would you like to see in a conference with BYU?