The SEC could use Mike Leach coaching somewhere. As a devotee of the Air Raid, it provides the generic fan with something interesting compared to running the ball between the tackles 30 times a game.
The Pac-12 should go to two Friday night games and 4 Saturday games. The Saturday games could be played at 11 AM, 2:30 PM, and 6:00 PM Pacific Time. The last game would end by 12:30 AM Eastern. Two games would be played at 2:30 PT, and would be over by 9 PM Eastern. What would help the Pac-12 the most would be a couple of dominant teams like USC and Washington used to be.
Conference contraction? Official believes major conferences more likely to eliminate schools than add others
I don't necessarily believe that this has wings, but I can see a point in time where the top 32 programs break away from the rest of college football and start something akin to their own professional college football league. They could even re-assign the players as employees rather than students. Players could be eligible to play 5 years with the chance to go to the NFL after 3 years, and each would get paid as an employee of the school. Then, the schools like Vanderbilt and Duke could play in a Southern Ivy League.
Call me crazy, but I think Vanderbilt's passing offense will be as good or a tad better in 2019, and the running game will take a tiny move backwards. The offensive line may have better pass blockers than run blockers this year, and with their best overall receiving corps in many years if not ever, I expect the rushing yards to drop some and the passing yards to rise. As for Neal, it's all about giving him time. He's got the Ben Roethlisberger mentality, which could be trouble if the OL doesn't protect him. Backup Deuce Wallace may be a better overall athlete, but his release is a tad slower, and his arm speed is a tad weaker. When Neal was protected, he performed as competently against Notre Dame's pass defense as Shurmur did. However, Neal was chased most of the day. The other big factor will be how much Coach Gerry Gdowski alters the philosophy as the new OC. He's been a receivers and QB coach. Former OC Andy Ludwig was the RB coach. He used a system similar to Wisconsin. Maybe, the Commodores will pass a tad more this year, and maybe they will find ways to pass to Keyshawn Vaughn a bit more.
It isn't as important on the national stage, but the Purdue-Vanderbilt game will be quite an interesting contest, where the winner has a decent path to bowl eligibility, and the loser is in trouble of going 5-7. There used to be so many great games outside of league play. Alabama played Nebraska, Penn State, Notre Dame, and USC. Tennessee played UCLA and Penn State. LSU played Notre Dame and Texas A&M before the Aggies made the move to the SEC. Ole Miss and Arkansas were big time rivals before the Razorbacks moved into the SEC. Georgia and Clemson were great rivals. The remedy to stopping the big time programs from playing guarantee money games for 30-point wins is to go to a 24-team playoff with the 24 teams selected only by standings and with schedules made out by the NCAA like the NFL. FCS currently has a 24-team playoff, so it is doable. I would divide the FBS into a super league of 64 and a lower division of 66 (or more if some FCS teams moved up). For the 64 big-time schools, make 8 leagues of 8 teams and then make all teams play 7 conference games and 4 interconference games. For the 4 interconference games, teams would play the teams from 4 other super conferences that finished in the same position in their conferences the year before (like the NFL does with its two extra games). For example, if Auburn finished 3rd in their conference (or district or region, whatever you want to call it), they would play 4 other teams that finished 3rd the year before). Because these 64 teams would then have slightly handicapped schedules, like the NFL, the standings would be the sole determining factor with set tiebreaker procedures so that every football fan and administrator would know the status of their school every week.
I remember back in the 1970's in the Southwest Conference when Texas Tech had Tony Franklin, Texas had Russell Erxleben, and Arkansas had Steve Little. All three hit field goals of more than 60 yards in real games, and they routinely kicked the ball into the stands on kickoffs. The SWC let kickers use different balls that were not as fresh and easier to get a foot into it on impact. The rumor was that these players put a little helium into the ball. As a former kicker in the old original kicking style with a square toed shoe, I went out one day and put a little helium in an old football. It was a total failure, as the ball did not go as far as the regular one I kicked.
I just discovered you for some reason very late to your party. You appear to be just what I am looking for, somebody that can actually still write like the greats from the past. I will be adding you to my list of chosen football sites. It is also a bonus that most of the people commenting here are civil and have well-thought responses. I think of college football rivalries like playing a round of golf with your buddies, where you would step in front of a moving bus to protect your opponent. I am an old SEC fan old enough to remember Georgia Tech and Tulane in the league. I wish there were sister sites to yours that were Saturdays up north, out west, and up east, as well as Sundays for pay. For the younger SEC fans, the rivalries today are incredible, but I'll take the 1960's Raiders and Chiefs as the greatest football rivalry ever. The American Football League made football fanatics out of my generation. The NFL was for old fuddy-duddies, while the AFL was exciting and wide-open. Today's SEC is similar to the AFL with wide-open offense and big play defense. Tua is Len Dawson. Jake is Daryle Lamonica. Kellen is John Hadl. Feleipe is Joe Namath. I can't wait!