With the coronavirus pandemic threatening the 2020 college football season, the game could look a bit different if games ultimately go on this fall.
In response to potential change, Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde reimagined the college football landscape with sweeping changes to conferences, regular-season schedules and the college football playoff. Here's an overview of his proposal:
- 120 teams (10 conferences with 12 teams each)
- Conferences are designed to minimize travel, with no more than eight Power 5 schools in each league
- Each league plays a round-robin schedule with one non-conference game
- No conference championship games
- 10 conference champs and two at-large teams go to the College Football Playoff (Top 4 get a bye)
- Bowl games for some who don't make the playoff
The major takeaway for the Terps? Their conference is kind of brutal.
Forde has Maryland in the "Yankee" conference along with Penn State, Boston College, Syracuse, Rutgers, Temple, Pitt, Army, Navy, UConn, UMass and Buffalo.
Now, it wouldn't be the most brutal schedule, as Maryland would find themselves as one of the top five teams in the conference. But the travel schedule is rough. The Terps would be one of the southern-most teams in their league and would have to travel to New England and New York on multiple occasions in the fall and early winter.
Coming from someone who went to UMass, football season in New England after the first four weeks of the years is just cruel. And no, it's not because of the snow. It's the soul-crushing wind gusts that won't go away no matter how much you plead to mother nature.
Ideally, the Terps would be in the Mid-Atlantic Conference with schools like Clemson, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Geography just seems like it's going to bite the Terps here if the NCAA ever decided to go this route.
If they do and Maryland ends up playing a good chunk of its schedule up at Winterfell, Mike Locksley and his players are going to need long-johns, knit hats and hand-warmers. Lots and lots of hand-warmers.
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Maryland finds itself in absurd new conference in reimagined CFB landscape originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington