There’s always an element of ‘what if’ in sports, and D2 football is no different.
A recent thread on the D2Football.com message board challenged posters to ‘re-imagine’ D2 football into conferences of no more than 10 teams based on geography, regardless of existing rivalries. While that topic made for some interesting responses, I decided to take it a step further.
There are 172 teams in D2 football (including Davenport, which is in Provisional Year One of their transition from the NAIA). Rather than group the programs into 10-team conferences, my spin on this concept was to divide the teams into four regions – each with 42 to 44 teams (dividing four into 172 gives you 43; think of this as your math lesson for the day) – leaving us with 16 conferences of between 10 and 12 teams each.
On the surface, this seems easy, doesn’t it? Well, hours of looking at maps and lots of paper later, I realized that it wasn’t as simple as one might think. But, I made it happen and here are the results. Also, keep in mind that everything about this article is hypothetical; there are no major conference realignments planned in the immediate future.
(Note: For the purposes of this exercise, I’m including three teams which will be transitioning out of D2 over the next year or two – Brevard (D3), Oklahoma Panhandle (NAIA) and St. Anselm (D3). We’re looking at the teams in D2 right now, not necessarily in the long-term.)