Sliding Scale wrote:
I have looked at it a little more. Cool idea, but...
It is odd when the 4th place team from the SEC wins the National meet, but I don't think most coaches feel that the process should change to a team format. Here are two points of contention that are hard to address:
1) Despite your solution I still think mid major coaches will feel such a system will limit their access to the initial championship rounds.
2) Many programs don't want to fill to three per event. Currently, with scholarship limits, many teams do not even field athletes in every event at conference. Your model will spread scholarships thin and emphasis depth. Big conferences have led the best teams to pursue the opposite model--full scholarships in the best athletes. This would be a drastic change for a program like Florida.
I think the idea has some merit, but getting the logistics to work out is another ball game.
I'm still not sold on the idea that Mid-Majors would be limited in such a system. If a team could only have say 40 roster spots per gender, the current additional athletes on the team above 40 would need to go somewhere. Perhaps a "trickle-down" would occur where Mid-Majors would close the gap by having an increased talent pool from which to draw.
Also, a roster of 40, if evenly distributed throughout all event areas, would almost certainly require coaches to COACH by (1) at minimum keeping athletes healthy in training (no more through everything against the wall and see what sticks if you want to consistently compete) and (2) developing athletes.
On the other hand I could see a scenario where a roster limit of 40 per gender MIGHT cause separation between haves vs. have lesses. The Big Name programs could run the recruiting tables where the top 100 or so in each event area each year are skimmed from the top by those programs. HOWEVER, they would still need to keep those athletes healthy and help them develop.
This is why I believe this system would more accurately reflect good coaching because if you can't keep athletes healthy and developing you likely aren't going to have much success. And with a roster of 40 evenly distributed in all event areas you won't have enough depth to absorb poor coaching in terms of health and development.
You are correct, many programs don't even go 3 deep in every event. Much of this has to do with programs that are only partially funded. For those programs it will pretty much be the same - pick the event area(s) you want to emphasize and go for it as best you can - the same as it is now.
I wouldn't say this idea emphasizes depth (it does), so much as it emphasizes breadth. If a men's team has 12.6 scholarships they could get roughly 30% scholarship for 40 athletes if equally distributed. For a women's team with 18 scholarships it would 45% if evenly distributed. The P5 programs could not offer fulls to everyone and some of those kids would take fulls at a non P5 programs and potentially even out the talent levels more so than the current system.
In the end, the idea is focused on creating a better way of "measuring" a true team championship structure vs. the current system where it is individual-driven at the National level (not as much at the Conference level where depth across a number of events still works well).