Poll: Starter Leagues (MEMBERS MUST VOTE.) Hey Folks. A couple of you have brought up concern about the balance of power with the current league setup. Check out the well-thought-out "Ratings and Stars" post for more info. If I'm reading it correctly, the pro-change of leagues believe that: The MAC and the CUSA aren't on par as leagues as the preliminary team ratings show As such, this gives an upper hand to coaches who are placed in the CUSA, which makes sense, as our CUSA teams went considerably quicker than the MAC teams. Very valid points. However, I have a couple of counter-arguments: The MAC's worst teams are considerably worse than the CUSA's worst, which brings the "star" ranking down a bit, making the MAC look worse than it is If you take out Houston, the difference isn't as drastic as it seems The fact that the MAC's worst teams are so radically bad isn't that huge of an issue, because other than myself and Eastern Michigan's coach, Prewitt, most of the MAC teams picked were in the top half of the league. Since inter-league play has no impact on conference standings and each coach will likely only have one or two "MAC vs CUSA showdown" matchups per season, it's not going to have a huge impact on each individual coach's BP totals at the end of the season. I would argue that the fact that the CUSA's top teams are so good is more of an issue for in-conference play than being an issue where CUSA owners have a natural advantage over MAC owners. As until coaches start upgrading (which is about three or four seasons in), none of us are going to be in the race for the National Title, the primary goal up front is to win the conference. Inter-league games will have an effect on NCAA rankings, but being in the CUSA and MAC, it's not like any of us will be in the top 10 anyway, so interleague matchups really only matter in terms of getting to bowls. As I said previously though, it is obvious that the CUSA teams are clearly better than the MAC teams, so I can absolutely see the "pro-change" points. It seems that we're left with a few options, accepting that the MAC is going to be one of our starter leagues. 1) MAC and CUSA +It won't have an impact on Conference play, and there's no natural disadvantage of a CUSA school over a MAC school as Conference play is key when taking into account the BP system. +Some of our league's coaches have natural tie-ins to MAC schools, and they'd rather keep the MAC in play. -CUSA teams and MAC teams aren't equal in quality, meaning that in inter-conference play, the top CUSA teams have the upper hand. This can have an impact on bowl games, but doesn't affect Conference races other than the fact that Houston is far and away the best team in the Conference. 2) MAC and WAC (with Boise State blacklisted) -The WAC doesn't have a championship game (while the MAC does). This means that not all coaches are guaranteed to play the same amount of in-conference User matchups, which could lend a disadvantage to certain coaches. Also, the Conference Championship is a really exciting time. -We'd have to blacklist Boise State, so I don't know how attractive that conference is without them. +However, as others have stated, the middle of the pack in the WAC is somewhat similar to the middle of the pack of the MAC (again, as long as you take out Boise State, maybe swapping them with a middle of the pack MWC team). +This allows us to switch from the Big 10 and the ACC as destination jobs to Big 10 and Pac 10. Neither of these leagues have CCG or divisions, but the champions of both leagues would go on to the Rose Bowl, which would be pretty cool with some in-league clashes in Pasadena. 3) MAC and Sun Belt - The Sun Belt sucks as a league, and the difference between Sun Belt teams and MAC teams may be more significant than CUSA teams and MAC teams (withdrawing Houston from the discussion, who is tremendously overrated). However, other users see these two conferences as relatively equal, so I may be completely biased in this. - The Sun Belt has very few Bowl tie-ins, meaning that, potentially, very few coaches could get to bowl games. I may be misunderstanding this though. + Our Destination jobs would be in the SEC and the Big 10, which might be exciting to some users. 4) Completely ditch the MAC and go with a different set of conferences entirely. Notes: I do not want to shift to more than two leagues, as part of the point of this league is to have exciting in-conference races. Having been in a few leagues that do it, having two or three users per conference really makes it not fun at all, as conference games become way too easy when there's only one or two in-conference user games a year. Having only two conferences also allows in-conference rivalries to build up as coaches try to out-compete eachother. This setup allows for coaches to learn eachother's tendencies, and also makes it to where not everyone is picking the best team in their respective league, meaning that more program-building has to happen. Turning around lower programs, building rivalries, and building your legacy as a coach is why this league exists, and from conversations with a commish who's been there before, I think, personally, that two conferences (with divisions) is the best setup for our starter leagues. I absolutely won't shift to more than four leagues, as it only exemplifies the issues that people have with the current choice. I'd also be very hesitant to have three leagues, but if someone could present a solid argument as to why that'd fix the problems people are having with it, I'd be more than happy to listen to it. We're not going to BCS conferences, as this would defeat the purpose of this league, and will destroy the utility of the Buzz system, which I'm really excited to put in to place. If you're wanting to start with BCS schools, I don't want to come off as a jerk, but you might want to find a different league. I also must admit to a particular bias to the Big 10 as a destination job league (and by extension, the MAC as a starter league). You guys can tell by now that I'm a huge IU Football fan, and I'd love the opportunity to go from Miami to having a chance to rebuild my Hoosiers to compete for Big 10 titles. This doesn't mean though that I'm not open to listening to arguments to changing from the MAC to something else; even though I'm commish, I'm not power tripping, and as long as you all stay involved on the forums, you guys more than have your say in the direction of the league. If we do decide to switch to different leagues, we're going to do a random drawing to determine draft order and then will hold a draft to choose teams. Please (only league members listed on the roster) vote what you think would be best, and post other comments in the thread. I appreciate you guys bringing up these questions as it shows that you're committed to the league in general, which is going to be important in making this thing last.