Like the SBAC, we also have what we’re calling the “Relegation Leagues” as another way of creating fairer games, and a fairer national tournament, for college football. You can select teams more evenly in this set-up, depending on how you set up your draft process.
The drawback in the Relegation Leagues is the fact that only the top 36 teams each year can vie for the National Championship…. but then, that’s about all that have a shot at it under the current set-up too, isn’t it? The difference here is that instead of waiting for the Pac-12 or ACC to expand to sixteen teams, a team can EARN their way into the top league by finishing atop the next conference down (Conference Two).
It’s simple, and very familiar to anyone who follows the English Premier League! In the EPL, the bottom three teams (15%) are relegated to the next level down (the ELC), while the top three teams in the ELC move up to the top tier contest the following year. And the same thing happens between Leagues 2 and 3; 3 and 4; 4 and 5., and so forth. (Four out of 24 teams – 16.7%.) To match that approximate percentage, either one or two teams will be moving from level to level each season. The top team below switches places with the bottom team above; the second place team below MIGHT switch with the second-worst team above – they’ll play for the right to take the upper level team’s spot during the first playoff week. (That comes out to be approximately a 1.5 out of 9 chance, or 16.7%, just like the Premier League!)
The four champs of the nine-team leagues at each level meet as the CFP bracket does to determine the national champ (in level one) and a level champ (like the current FCS winner, in levels 2-6).
So, depending on how many are in your fantasy league (we suggest nine is perfect), each person should draft an equal number at each level (36 per level is a nice divisible number for 2, 3, 4, 6, and 9; 5 and 7 just leave one team as an NPC, and 8 and 10 can be balanced over two levels). Let’s show you!
If you have 3 or 9 players, each of you draft or draw the same number from each regional conference (nine teams in each).
If you have 2, 4, or 6 players, each of you draft or draw the same number from across the four regions at each level (36 teams across the level for levels 1-4).
If you have 5 or 7 players, leave one team out OR assign it as a prize bonus to one player (if you have a reason to give a bonus!) and draft or draw from across the 36 teams at each level.
With 8 players, you’ll have to go across levels 1 and 2, and then across levels 3 and 4.
With ten or more… well, you get the idea. When you get to level 5, there are ten teams in the Northeast region (37 in Level 5 overall). Add one (more) NPC to your list (or to a player as a bonus), or extend it into Level 6, which has 39 teams (10-10-10-9), plus four other leagues if you want to include them (which we don’t: the two scholastic leagues – the Ivy and Patriot – and the two HBC leagues – the SWAC and the MEAC).
YOU DON’T HAVE TO USE ALL SIX LEAGUES! If you choose to play at just the top level (or for THAT matter, only levels 2, 3, and 5!), that’s up to you! Determine what fits your group of players best. We’ll provide information for all six levels for whomever is using it!)
SCORING: Your team’s record is YOUR record. A win for your team is a point for you. (Ties are half-points.) Post-season wins count just the same as regular season wins.
HERE’S HOW EACH INDIVIDUAL MATCH-UP IS PLAYED. In the nine-team conferences, one team each week has a bye. The other eight pair up according to a schedule we’ll share as we go along. The match-ups are based on their ELO-Following Football ratings at that moment.
- First, switch the numbers associated with the two teams. (If Team A has a rating of 19 and Team B a rating of 18, then switch numbers so the score looks like A 18, B 19.)
- Next, add three points to the designated “home” team. (In this case, it’ll be team B, so the STARTING SCORE is Team A 18, Team B 22.) We’ll provide these starting scores for Week 1 later this week, and every week before Saturday.
- When the games occur, we compare a team’s actual performance in their game (assuming they have a game, and they don’t have a bye or a hurricane) to the expected margin of victory or defeat in that game (as determined by their ELO-FF rating). Then we adjust their starting score by that amount, and that determine’s the FINAL SCORE.
- In our example, let’s say Team B has a bye this week. Their score of 22 won’t change. However, Team A did nine points better than their rating would have suggested in their game (so they were probably playing Florida State or Nebraska!), so we’ll add nine points to their starting score of 18, and determine that their final score is 18+9=27. FINAL SCORE: Team A 27, Team B 22.
Each week’s pairings are the same for each conference and each region, even across nine or ten team leagues. For example, this week’s match-ups are team #3 at #5; team #4 at #9, #6 at #2, #8 at #7, and #1 has a bye (unless they’re in a ten-team league, in which case they play at home against team #10). We will post all Relegation (and SBAC) league scores after the weekend’s games conclude each week.
Finally, we’d discussed playing two versions of the Relegation League: one with all 255 D1 teams, and one with just the 130 FBS teams. We’re not going to, because you can pick and choose how many levels you’d like to participate in. Level one is all Power 5, Levels 2 and 3 slide into the rest of the FBS, and the overlap into the FCS (what used to be called “1-AA”, among other things) starts at Level 4. You can choose the cancelled option by just using levels 1, 2, and 3, approximately. Maybe 4…
READY? Here are the levels, conferences, and the teams in each. CHOOSE YOUR TEAMS BEFORE YOU LOOK AT THE STARTING SCORES, which we’ll post in a couple of days.
Northeast Region: Boston College, Louisville, Michigan, Mich State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia.
Southeast Region: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, Georgia, LSU, Miami-FL, Mississippi State, South Carolina.
Midwest Region: Iowa, Missouri, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Okla State, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Wisconsin.
West Region: Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State.
Northeast Region: Indiana, Maryland, Marshall, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Toledo, Virginia.
Southeast Region: Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, North Carolina St, Ole MIss, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest.
Midwest Region: Baylor, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Memphis, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas Tech.
West Region: Air Force, Arizona, Boise State, BYU, Fresno State. Oregon State, San Diego St, UCLA, Utah State.
Northeast Region: Army-West Point, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Miami-Ohio, Navy, Ohio U, Temple, Western Michigan.
Southeast Region: Appalachian State, Central Florida, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee, North Carolina, South Florida, Southern Mississippi, Tennessee, Troy.
Midwest Region: Arkansas State, Houston, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Northern Illinois, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, UL-Monroe.
West Region: Colorado State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico State, San Jose State, UNLV, UTEP, Wyoming.
Northeast Region: Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Connecticut, James Madison, Kent State, Massachusetts, Western Kentucky.
Southeast Region: Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Florida International, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Old Dominion, South Alabama, UAB.
Midwest Region: Central Arkansas, Illinois State, Northern Iowa, Rice, Sam Houston State, Texas State, UL-Lafayette, UT-San Antonio, Western Illinois.
West Region: Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota State, Sacramento State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, UC Davis, Weber State.
Northeast Region: Delaware, Indiana State, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Stony Brook, Towson, Villanova, Youngstown State.
Southeast Region: Elon, Furman, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Mercer, Samford, The Citadel, Wofford.
MIdwest Region: Eastern Illinois, McNeese, Missouri State, Nicholls, Northwest State, Southeast Louisiana, Southeastern Missouri, Southern Illinois, Stephen F Austin.
West Region: Cal Poly SLO, Idaho State, Montana State, North Dakota, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Portland State, San Diego, Southern Utah.
These aren’t as strictly aligned as levels one through five. There are eight conferences at this level, four of which are precisely as originally designed: Ivy, Patriot, SWAC, and MEAC. We’ll just use the actual conference records for those four. Here are the remaining composite conferences.
Northeast Region: Albany, Bryant, Central Connecticut State, Duquesne, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis (PA), UT-Martin, Wagner, William & Mary.
SoCon 6: Campbell, Charleston Southern, Chattanooga, East Tennessee State, Gardner Webb, Hampton, Monmouth, Presbyterian, VMI, Western Carolina.
Southland 6: Abilene Christian, Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word, Lamar, Murray State, North Alabama, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech.
Pioneer 6: Butler, Davidson, Dayton, Drake, Jacksonville, Marist, Morehead State, Stetson, Valparaiso.