Let’s get hypothetical.

The Wall Street Journal recently published a piece titled, “A Radical Realignment Plan for College Football”. And it was certainly radical.

The long-standing publication took a stab at what a “Division IV” would look like, which isn’t likely to take place knowing the NCAA should grant autonomy to the Big Five power conferences (SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten). The journal’s Division IV was sorted strictly based on football program strength.

Here’s a snippet from the publication on how the teams were specifically divided up:

To do that, Jonathan Jensen and Brian Turner chose to ignore geography and tradition, the typical forces in conference realignment. Instead, they focused solely on football and its financial implications, coming up with a formula that factored in every team’s football revenue, winning percentage, computer ranking and attendance between 2003 and 2013. Then they sorted teams into clusters to figure out which schools were most alike—and should be playing each other.

Here are the four “clusters” (conferences) the publication came up with:


You can read more about the study here.