Mailbag: College Superteams, Tournament Tiering System

How many small college programs would need to band together to challenge for a championship?

Middlebury celebrates during the final of the 2019 D-III College Championships.
Middlebury celebrates during the final of the 2019 D-III College Championships. Photo: William ‘Brody’ Brotman — UltiPhotos.com

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Q: The year is 2022. In a cockamamie effort to bolster small college programs after the pandemic, USAU approves a consortium college play model where multiple schools can combine to form a single competing team within normal roster limits (cut as many players from the existing teams as necessary, but can’t bring 50 people to Regionals). Assuming all programs are eligible to form superteams, how many schools are allowed to combine into a team before small-program consortium teams are genuinely competitive with major programs? (Two? Three? Never?) Do major programs become too powerful after being allowed to combine once? Alternatively, is there a number of schools-per-team where your ability to pull ringers from other schools starts showing diminishing returns?

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  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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