The Conference Structure

In order to best facilitate the scheduling and playoff format mentioned in previous sections, it makes sense to organize conferences into specific configurations.  In this first season there are 1,034 schools in 90 conferences, arranged into 30 groups, which in turn are arrayed into ten divisions.  Here is the general framework:

Division 1:     Group I              Group II               Group III            (FBS/I-A)

Division 2:     Group IV            Group V              Group VI            (FCS/I-AA)

Division 3:     Group VII           Group VIII           Group IX            (FCS/I-AA)

Division 4:     Group X             Group XI             Group XII           (D2)

Division 5:     Group XIII          Group XIV           Group XV          (D2)

Division 6:     Group XVI          Group XVII          Group XVIII       (D3)

Division 7:     Group XIX          Group XX            Group XXI         (D3)

Division 8:     Group XXII         Group XXIII         Group XXIV       (D3)

Division 9:     Group XXV         Group XXVI        Group XXVII      (NAIA)

Division 10:   Group XXVIII      Group XXIX        Group XXX        (FCS, D2, D3, NAIA)


And here is the more specific outline:

Division 1:      Group I: Southeastern (SEC), Southwest (SWC), Atlantic Coast (ACC)

                        Group II: Big 10, Pac-10, Big East

                        Group III: Mountain West, American South, Mid-American (MAC)

Division 2:      Group IV: Southern, Sun Belt, Big Sky

                        Group V: Southland, Big West, North Atlantic

                        Group VI: Ohio Valley (OVC), Missouri Valley (MVC), Ivy

Division 3:      Group VII: East Coast, Mid-Eastern (MEAC), Southwestern (SWAC)

                        Group VIII: Big South, Atlantic-10, Midwestern Collegiate

                        Group IX: Western, Metro Atlantic (MAAC), Northeast (NEC)

Division 4:      Group X: Big North, Southern Plains, Mid-America Intercollegiate (MIAA)

                        Group XI: Gulf South, Mountain North, Great Lakes Intercollegiate (GLIAC)

                        Group XII: South Atlantic, Southern Sun, Rocky Mountain

Division 5:      Group XIII: Northeast-12, Northern Sun, Appalachian Mountain

                        Group XIV: Southern Intercollegiate (SIAC), Central Intercollegiate (CIAA), America West

                        Group XV: Eastern Mountain, Great Lakes Valley (GLVAC), Hudson Valley

Division 6:      Group XVI: North Bay, Northern, Northern Lakes

                        Group XVII: Northwest, Adirondack, Middle Atlantic States

                        Group XVIII: Upper Plains, Northern Athletic, American Southwest

Division 7:      Group XIX: Foothill, Heartland, Chesapeake Bay

                        Group XX: North Coast, Tidewater, Allegheny Mountain

                        Group XXI: New England Small College (NESCAC), Northern Woods, Midwest

Division 8:      Group XXII: Skyline, Mississippi Valley, Mountain South

                        Group XXIII: Northland, Little East, Commonwealth Coast

                        Group XXIV: New England Collegiate, Big River, Upper Midwest (UMAC)

Division 9:      Group XXV: Mid-States (MSFA), Pacific Sun, Northern Plains

                        Group XXVI: Eastern Plains, Prairie, Tennessee Valley

                        Group XXVII: Heart of America, Great Plains (GPAC), Central States (CSFL)

Division 10:    Group XXVIII: Trans America (TAAC), Deep South, Piedmont

                        Group XXIX: South Coast, Blue Ridge, American North

                        Group XXX: Atlantic Sun, Metro North, Eastern

Don’t be concerned if you don’t recognize all of these conferences.  Many have been renamed and reconfigured.  All will become clear in the next section as we get into individual school affiliations.  Conferences have been placed within divisions in descending order, i.e. from strongest to weakest within each division. Therefore, Group I is stronger than Group II; Group II is stronger than Group III; Group XI is stronger than Group XII, etc.  I have made it a requirement that all conferences contain at least 10 schools, and no more than 12.  Thus, the landscape that you may be familiar with has changed, though – I think – for the better.

Now let’s look at all of these conferences in detail:  
The color schematic indicates divisions that play one another