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SMU coach: 'Have-not' CFB programs should play in spring


The NCAA released more details on Friday about upcoming legislative autonomy for the so-called "Group of Five" conferences. Essentially, the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC will be able to quickly pass NCAA bylaws and other rules quickly and efficiently, but those bylaws and rules will be optional for schools outside of the "Group of Five."

SMU head coach June Jones seems to think that if that comes to be, the remaining FBS conferences should just pack up their bags -- not for another NCAA division, but for the spring.

"I think the have-nots should go ahead and move to the spring just like the USFL did. I think that there's an opportunity to do a complete other side of that division, and I think that if we don't think that way as a group of have-nots, we're going to get left behind," Jones told Tampa, Fla., radio station WDAE. "I can see in five-to-seven years, possibly, the public would demand to have the two leagues play, just like I think the USFL had in mind, originally, of the winner of the USFL playing the winner of the National Football League."

Jones is no stranger to the USFL way of doing things, having coached for the Houston Gamblers and Denver Gold back in the day.

Still, his proposal is an interesting one with massive ramifications if anybody actually gives it a second thought. Just think about the issues players from schools outside of the "Group of Five" would have when it comes to the NFL draft. If you thought people complained about the draft being moved back a few weeks, just think about the issues caused by the NFL having to push it to the summer so teams can see players outside the power leagues.

The move would also cut a number of schools out of some lucrative television contracts and the bowl season. Currently the schools outside the "Group of Five" also get a hefty payout from the upcoming College Football Playoff, a formula that would surely be tweaked. Still, Jones thinks the route of going to the spring would prove lucrative from an attention and money standpoint for most programs.

"Football is the No. 1 sport on television right now, and the advertisers want live programming," he said. "They don't want Hollywood shows because you can TiVo out the commercials. Live programming is a hot topic right now and I think there's a market for bigger numbers for the non-BCS teams."

Will moving to the spring actually happen? It seems doubtful, but there's no question that plenty of folks wouldn't mind college football every month of the year.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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