While Barking Carnival still flies an independent banner -- Bill Little at the helm of the Dreamwagon chasing unicorns into a burnt orange sunset -- we are technically a member of the SB Nation tribe and that union will become official once we all exchange spiritual vows on the banks of the Blanco.
Sailor Ripley will also enter the Octagon with Peter Bean at the first home opener tailgate. I predict both will simultaneously fall down without being touched and claim they can't continue fighting due to injury.
Anyway, SB Nation has tapped its prodigious braintrust to find a way to re-invent college football in the sweatervest-neck tat-briefcase of booster cash-era. It's time to wipe the slate clean, put the shart-stained BCS underoos in the washer, and start over.
Heretofore, we are drafting six new conferences, each hailing from respected lands controlled by valiant lords that sit upon high thrones overlooking their scrolls, golds, flocks, and indentured servants. That was how Jim Delany described it anyway. And that's sort of what we have already.
Here's how the new one works:
Game Objectives. The purposes of the fantasy draft are: (1) to explore the values of individual schools by drafting them sequentially, and (2) to have fun strategically building a conference of schools.
There will be six conferences, and such conferences are NOT meant to be new versions of current conferences. That is, the objective of the game is not to create tweaked versions of what we already have. Do you really want another Big 12 featuring Texas, OU, and 8 life-challenged cousins? The goal is to draft schools based on their overall value, and to compile a conference of teams strategically and coherently.
What makes a school valuable? We leave that largely up to you, with a few important guidelines. First, bearing in mind that we are drafting athletics conferences, that factor should be weighted heaviest, if not exclusively.
The following are factors you may, but are not required to consider:
Weather/Desirability of Destination
TV Revenue Potential
Rivalries (two teams)
On the flipside, for purposes of this game there are two factors that are NOT to be considered. First, do not take travel/geographic concerns into consideration. (Boston College fans should be used to this). In real life, Washington and Florida are unrealistic conference partners; in our world, that doesn't matter -- either from a travel/time zone standpoint or should they care to attempt intra-conference breeding. Second, while we may take individual rivalries into consideration (e.g. pairing Texas and OU), preservation of current conference history/rivalry/alliance is not to be considered or you will be dunked in a vat of fried beer at the Texas State Fair.
The goal is not to improve the status quo, even if many would endorse this fantasy adventure as reality knowing that the only thing holding Texas back from achieving universal domination is its shitty conference. The goal is not to create a conference that will actually play games. The goal is to use a draft to value schools and have fun strategically grouping them together.
It's like a game of Stratego with college mascots being played by future Hall of Fame bloggers. (Q: If there was a blogging hall of fame, where would it be? A: Rural Iowa basement)
In sum, there is no single way that schools must be valued and/or grouped together. Some may wish to create the best conference of all-around athletic/academic virtues. Others may want to create a revenue superpower (hi!). There are any number of valid ways to do this. The only limitation is not creating a group that is based on regional and historical ties.
Conference Commissioners. As mentioned above, there will be six conference commissioners chaired by six representative SB Nation blogs:
These sites probably aren't in your bookmarks but they should be.
I challenge you to find a blogger that has embarrassed his immediate family more than Adam Jacobi of Black Heart Gold Pants. When he walks into a room, you kneel. Then rip a wet fart. Team Speed Kills sits around playing beer pong with BCS crystal while others try to keep up. And with the Sun Devils heading to Austin this weekend for Super Regional Action (think of it as Omaha foreplay), you might want to head over to House of Sparky and meet some local natives, make plans to meet up at the game and then attempt to steal their hot ass women. There aren't many places in the country with finer tail than you'll see roaming the 40 acres but the ASU campus is one of them. I'm presuming the name SunPoonDevilKings was already taken when they settled on House of Sparky. And you can blame Big East Coast Bias for UConn's last minute capture of prized forward DeAndre Daniels after recruiting him for all of three days. Red Cup Rebellion is an Ole Miss blog and I'm sure there's a captivating story there involving Houston Nutt, two girls, and one red cup. They are the Choose Your Own Adventure novel of SB Nation's 300+ member strong blogging community.
So those are your six commissioners and they only need to surpass the exemplary standard set by the Big 12's The Dan Beebeh.
"I sunk your battleship. Go ahead, punch me. You'll feel better."
One very important note: The six conference commissioners will start with a blank slate. If you want your own school, you have to draft them.
By luck of a
paypal wire random number generator, BC Interruption gets first pick in the draft (hint: Boston College is available!). The complete draft order is as follows:
1. BC Interruption
2. Black Heart Gold Pants
3. Team Speed Kills
4. Big East Coast Bias
5. House of Sparky
6. Red Cup Rebellion
The draft will be a snake draft, meaning RCR will receive the 6th and 7th picks (last pick in the first, first pick in the second). The draft is officially being run by the Oklahoma State Cowboys blog Cowboys Ride For Free, so Samuel Bryant of CRFF will be playing the role of supervising overlord. CRFF has the final say in the matter in any and all disputes.
Schedule: This week, we are introducing the Re-Draft project and want to get the conversation going.
Monday, June 13, BC Interruption is on the clock. They'll need to submit our first overall pick of the draft then. Upon making their first round selection, their conference commissioner (so, them) will then consult with their draft choice (assuming SBN has a participating blogger for that school) and the two of them will collectively decide on our draft strategy and make our second round choice. It builds from there, with every subsequent school's blog having a say in the next program drafted. How can this not go perfectly well with all parties in gleeful accord?
Friday, June 17: Each conference will have a commissioner, two schools and up to two more bloggers and SBN sites to collaborate with on picks.
By Sunday, June 19, with a conference commissioner and two schools solidifying the conference's identity, we'll select the name of the conference. This could be the high water mark of the whole exercise. The early leader in the clubhouse is T. Boone Wipes His Ass With 100's While You Settle For Charmin.
Monday, June 20: Cowboys Ride For Free will announce the conference names and recap the first two rounds of the draft.
After the big reveal of conference names and founding members, the draft will continue in much the same manner, with two draft picks a week for the next several weeks. Once a conference drafts 12 members, a conference can be capped. If we want, the draft will continue for conferences who wish to add more members (i.e. Big East Coast Bias will likely keep going until they hit 20 programs, but most of them will be basketball programs only).
If in any subsequent round only one conference remains, it may select the remaining members of its conference up to a maximum of 16 schools. Bigger is not necessarily better.
Monday, July 25: The full conference rosters will be announced and discussed across the SB Nation community of NCAA sites.
Tuesday, July 26: The BCS steering committee calls SB Nation to officially endorse it's new leagues, signing us to a 20 year, $960 billion deal.
We all retire. Yes, you too. ALL OF US.
Here is your pre-draft kit, courtesty of a pretty decent Oklahoma State Cowboys blog.
Barking Carnival is a mere spectator to this fantasy conference drafting experiment, but it will be interesting to see which teams go first and what thought processes go into determining the overall best draft. If they can pull this off, can healthcare reform be far away?
Who's your top five? Let us help you get started.