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Would non-AQs survive if FBS was cut to 40 teams?

8/3/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson
If you think the members of the nonautomatic qualifying schools get no respect under the current BCS system, my colleagues at ESPN have a solution -- do away with them altogether.

That's right, in a live draft at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Pat Forde, Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach will turn the FBS into a 40-team affair and eliminate the haves from the have-nots.

That means goodbye Sun Belt, Mid-American Conference and probably most of the WAC, Conference USA and Mountain West. And independents, you're probably out the door, too. My guess is that three, maybe four schools from the five conferences and independents survive this purge.

According to Forde:

We'll be drafting the most successful programs in the nation, based on whatever criteria each of us chooses to bring to the situation room. There is no set formula for this. Wins and losses matter most -- and what you've done in the 21st century is more important than what happened in the 1930s -- but fan following and overall prestige count, too.

It won't be pretty for the non-AQs. Heck, it will be downright ugly, but it will give us all something to talk about during the next week. And, of course, we're not going to deny you your say. SportsNation wants to hear your 40 teams, and I want to know which members of the five-conference coalition you'd keep in the mix?

We'll see who makes the cut tomorrow.