The Power 5 should separate from the Group of 5 schools and lower division schools. The Group of 5 and lower division schools can’t compete with the big money Power 5 schools. You’ve heard it over and over. 2016 has been the season of revenge for the lower division schools, where they proved not only could they compete with Power 5 schools they could beat them.
In the College World Series Coastal Carolina from the Big South conference has made it to the College World Series championship series where they will face the Arizona Wildcats. To get there Coastal Carolina beat higher seeded NC State in the opening round. Then they took out the mighty SEC’s best winning a super regional at LSU, and then in Omaha beating #1 seed Florida. The Chanticleers then wiped out the best the Big 12 had to offer eliminating Texas Tech and TCU.
It’s not just Coastal Carolina though. Villanova from the Big East won the Men’s Basketball National Championship over the ACC’s North Carolina. The Connecticut women’s basketball team from the American Athletic Conference won their 4th national championship in a row.
Football… now Football must be where the Power 5 has such decided edge, that lower division schools just can’t compete. Tell that to American Athletic Conference’s Houston Cougars that thumped Florida State from the ACC in the Chick Fil A Bowl to finish #8 in country. Memphis out of the AAC, beat the SEC’s Ole Miss team that finished in the top 10. Don’t even get me started on Boise State’s multiple wins over highly ranked Power 5 teams in recent years. Before they joined the Power 5′s Big 12 and Pac 12 TCU finished ranked #2 in the 2010 and beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, or Utah beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in 2009.
The Power 5 schools have more money, better resources, better facilities yet they can’t always lay claim to the best athletic teams in the land.
We keep talking about revenue gaps, the ability to compete and yet lower division schools are finding a way to get it done. They deserve a ton of credit for their ability to field elite teams while being far less financially funded.
It would be a sad sad day for college athletics if the Power 5 schools or even if the 30-40 richest schools felt they that had exclusive rights to compete for championships. Say what you will about the NCAA, but they still provide the platform for open-ended tournaments where lower division schools have their shot to play the Big Boys.
The college football playoff has essentially eliminated any chance a lower division schools to play for a championship. That is my biggest argument for an 8 teams playoff where one of the 8 teams is the highest rated group of 5 team.
The biggest athletic budgets don’t always win and we just keeping seeing examples of it time and time again.