Introducing The SB Nation Conference Re-Draft Project

Ever wanted to completely break away from college football's 11 established conferences -- and Army, Navy and that other football independent whose name escapes me at the moment -- and start over? Now we can with the SB Nation Conference Re-Draft project.

Being the BCS conference mercenaries that we are, BC Interruption was selected as one of the six conference commissioners participating in this Re-Draft project over the next few weeks.

Intrigued? Read on for the re-draft rules, objectives and schedule.

 

Game Objectives. 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? Well as one of the six conference commissioners, we leave that largely up to you, with a few important guidelines. First, bearing in mind that we are drafting athletics conferences, athletics should be weighted heaviest, if not exclusively.

While obviously we must consider athletics, the following are factors you may, but are not required to consider:

Academics
Co-eds
Weather/Desirability of Destination
Historic Success
Traditions
TV Revenue Potential
Ethics
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/geographic concerns into consideration. (For Boston College fans, this shouldn't be a problem as this has become old hat). In real life, Washington and Florida are unrealistic conference partners; in our world, that doesn't matter -- neither from a travel or time zone standpoint. Second, and related, while we may take individual rivalries into consideration (e.g. pairing Michigan and Ohio State), preservation of current conference history/rivalry/alliance is not to be considered. Hopefully for obvious reasons.

Finally, 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 grouping them together.

In sum, there is no single way that schools must be valued and/or grouped together. Some may wish to create the best conference of all-around athletics-academics combination. Others may want to create a revenue superpower. There are any number of valid ways to do this. The only limitation is not creating a group that is based on regional and historical ties. Time to wipe the slate clean and start over. 

Conference Commissioners. As mentioned above, there will be six conference commissioners, with BC Interruption creating one of the six new conferences. The other five conference commissioners / adversaries include House of Sparky (Arizona State), Big East Coast Bias (Big East), Black Heart Gold Pants (Iowa), Team Speed Kills (SEC) and Red Cup Rebellion (Ole Miss).

An (incredibly) important note: The six conference commissioners will start with a blank slate. We don't get to start off by having Boston College in our conference. Similarly, 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 we want our own schools, we'll have to draft them. 

By luck of a random number generator, BC Interruption gets first pick in the draft (so the pressure is on, I suppose). The complete draft order is 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. So unfortunately, while BC Interruption receives the first overall pick, we won't pick again until picks 12 and 13, and so on.

The draft is officially being run by the Oklahoma State Cowboys blog Cowboys Ride For Free, so Samuel will be playing the role of NCAA president Mark Emmert ... BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock ... wait, you're telling me no one actually runs the BCS? Anyhow, Cowboys RFF has the final say in the matter in any and all disputes.

Schedule. This week, we are introducing the Re-Draft project and want to get the conversation going. We need to start thinking about the following questions:

Who would you, our dear readers, want to draft?
What kind of alliances do we seek?
What sort of values are we looking for in a particular program?
Most importantly, since we have the first pick, is who do we start with? Which college football program should we start building a conference around?

On Monday, June 13, BC Interruption is on the clock. We'll need to submit our first overall pick of the draft next Monday. Upon making our first round selection, the conference commissioner (again, that's us) will then consult with their draft choice (if SBN has a blogger for that school) and the two of us will collectively decide on our draft strategy and make our second round choice. 

By Friday of next week, each conference will have a commissioner, two schools and up to two more bloggers and SBN communities to collaborate with on picks. By Sunday, June 19, with a conference commissioner and two schools solidifying the conference's identity, we'll select the name of the conference.

On Monday, June 20, Cowboys Ride For Free will announce the conference names and recap the first two rounds of the draft. Over here at BC Interruption, the first two members of the conference will be announced, discussed and dissected.

After the big reveal of conference names and founding members, the draft will continue in much the same manner, with 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 (i.e. Big East Coast Bias will likely keep going until they hit 20 programs).

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 (Oh, nevermind then. Sorry, Big East).

Finally, on Monday July 25, the full and complete conference rosters will be announced and discussed across the SB Nation community of NCAA site. Hooray. 

Other points of note: When selecting a school, you are bringing on all of its NCAA-sanctioned varsity programs. So if you select Notre Dame for its football program (god forgive us if we do), all of the Irish's other sports come along with it. Same for Duke football ... ick. 

 

So if you've gotten this far, cool. We want to make sure that everyone clearly understands the objectives and rules as this sort of thing only works if we're all operating in the same universe. Basically, understand that the goal here is not to re-draft the Atlantic Coast Conference, except without Wake Forest and N.C. State.

Now it's your turn. What are you looking for in a college sports program? Who should we take first? Which programs should we be building this conference around? Hell, maybe we should even put together a Mel Kiper-like best available that will help shape not just our first pick but subsequent picks further down the line. Also, if you've gotten this far and still have questions, leave them in the comments section.

Your thoughts? Go.

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