Opportunity knocks for Joad teams
If you've been stewing for days because your school wasn't selected for our fantasy Gordon Gekko Subdivision, there's still hope.
The Tom Joad Subdivision would feature plenty of intrigue and lots of opportunity for the 80 teams not making the cut into the Gekko. An eight-team playoff between the champions of the eight 10-team leagues would deliver both a Joad national championship to the winner and deliverance from the Joad for five deserving teams.
But advancing to the playoffs out of the Wallace Wade, Red Blaik, Robert Zuppke, Ara Parseghian, Bill Walsh, Fred Folsom, Bill Yeoman and Dan McGugin conferences won't be easy. Take a look at the makeup of our new Joad Subdivision:
TOM JOAD SUBDIVISION
|Wallace Wade Conf.||Red Blaik Conf.||Robert Zuppke Conf.||Ara Parseghian Conf.|
|Central Florida||Connecticut||Central Michigan||Bowling Green|
|Florida Atlantic||East Carolina||Illinois||Buffalo|
|North Carolina||Maryland||Iowa State||Eastern Michigan|
|NC State||Navy||Minnesota||Kent State|
|South Florida||Pittsburgh||Northern Illinois||Miami (Ohio)|
|Wake Forest||Virginia||Western Michigan||Toledo|
|Bill Walsh Conf.||Fred Folsom Conf.||Bill Yeoman Conf.||Dan McGugin Conf.|
|Fresno State||Air Force||Baylor||Arkansas State|
|San Diego State||Kansas State||Louisiana Tech||Middle Tennessee|
|San Jose State||New Mexico||North Texas||Mississippi State|
|Stanford||New Mexico State||Rice||Southern Miss|
|Washington State||Wyoming||Tulane||Western Kentucky|
In our newly relegated leagues, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, TCU, Fresno State, Southern Miss and Cincinnati would emerge as conference champions in 2009.
Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina and Pitt would reach the national semifinal games, guaranteeing them a spot in the Gekko Subdivision in 2010. TCU would get a Gekko invitation, too, after the Horned Frogs beat Southern Miss in a play-in game in Dayton, Ohio.
Mark Schlabach covers college football and men's college basketball for ESPN.com. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New World Order
Like in corporate America, 2009 is the time to get lean in college football. We've got the downsizing plan to remake big-time football -- and our ruthless redistricting will cut both ways.
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