Semi-OT: Should rules for non-con scheduling be more strict?

Submitted by Eye of the Tiger on September 15th, 2017 at 7:14 PM

Looking at the disparity in non-con SoS across the top Big 10 teams. OSU has OU and Army, we have UF and Air Force. Meanwhile PSU has Pitt and...Akron? Georgia Southern? 

PSU's undaunting non-con schedule isn't even *that* bad...some teams schedule ludicrous cupcake parades, with not even a G5 opponent on the list.

So my question is: would the P5 and G5 schools benefit from standardizing non-con scheduling, to a degree? For example, like:

  • You must schedule one P5 opponent.
  • You must schedule on G5 opponent.
  • The final opponent can be < G5 (i.e. a cupcake).  

Obviously this creates some scheduling headaches, but it would make the non-con period more interesting and more even. (Granted, not all P5s are even remotely the same...Rutgers and Alabama, for example. But still.) 

EDIT: Doesn't have to be these rules *exactly.* They are just a starting point for discussion. All alternative ideas welcome. 




September 15th, 2017 at 9:02 PM ^

That question is a little hard to answer without a little more context, but probably no, they wouldn't benefit that much for relative for a 12-0 team. However, it seems very unlikely that it's ever at the point where there are 4 12-0 teams pushing for the playoffs...this isn't D3 Football.


September 15th, 2017 at 7:22 PM ^

First of all, PSU fits your requirements. Pitt is P5 in the ACC, Akron is G5.

Most schools are using a similar scheduling format. The problem is they schedule them so damn far in advance that it is impossible to know who is going to be a decent opponent or not.


September 15th, 2017 at 8:40 PM ^

when they schedule an OOC game should be taken into account by the playoff committee.

A lot of folk got on Washington's case last year about the Rutgers game.  Yeah, Rutgers was absolutely terrible in 2016.  But the series was scheduled in April 2014.  Rutgers was coming off a 6-7 season in 2013, but had won the Big East the year before and had 7 winning seasons in 8 years in the 2005-2012 time frame.  4 of those seasons had 9+ wins.

That's not like scheduling Alabama, but it's a reasonable game to schedule.  Especially given UW hadn't had a 3-loss-or-less season in 13 years (at the time).  I don't get on Washington's case for the Rutgers games.

Back in '97 --- some people argue that UNL's OOC schedule was more challenging vs. Michigan's.  In one sense they're right.  It included, by a rather significant margin, the single-most difficult OOC foe.  Washington was a very good team while all of Colorado, Baylor and Notre Dame were significantly worse vs. how they had been for most of the 1990s.  

But UNL also scheduled UCF (very recent D-1 move-up) and perennial MAC cellar-dweller Akron.  No threats there, while all of Colorado, Baylor and ND had had good to elite sesasons in the earlier 1990s.  The intent of both teams there was fairly clear.

Mr Miggle

September 15th, 2017 at 9:19 PM ^

you're trying to look at what might have happened. That could go in various directions. Most of them bad.

One clear problem is that by offering two different ways to evaluate strength of schedule, you'll inevitably introduce more politics into the selection committee. You would have ADs rewarding other ADs  for their perceived intentions. Or not.




Mr Miggle

September 15th, 2017 at 7:34 PM ^

of non-conference games. There are some conference rules. For example, the SEC and Big 12 mandate that every school, especially Baylor, plays at least one P5 opponent. There's still a wide disparity between scheduling OU and ISU. Between Boise St or EMU. I don't see how rules take care of that. Using SOS where it matters is the best solution.

Mike Damone

September 15th, 2017 at 7:39 PM ^

shouldn't schedule teams that play funky offenses that use a lot of cut blocks and have the potential to injure your defense before conference play starts.

Other than that - no other forced moves on scheduling.  Do we have to put guidelines on everything?


September 15th, 2017 at 7:45 PM ^

I do wish there was more parity in OOC scheduling, but I think it would be incredibly hard to institute. For example, if the NCAA "encouraged" teams to schedule more P5 games, the majority of schools would be calling Vanderbilt, Kansas, Washington State, Purdue, etc.

Right now, it's better to schedule cupcakes and win than schedule good teams and lose, unless you are one of the ~10 established blue-blood schools that simply carry a lot of equity.


September 15th, 2017 at 8:04 PM ^

It's like the conferences are states and NCAA is the feds. The conferences would have to each take action because the NCAA couldn't get this done by themselves.

Who's got the balls to say no more OOC outside P5? Could have signed the SEC up 4 years ago.


September 15th, 2017 at 8:08 PM ^

Just what we need.  Jim Delaney telling teams who that can and can't play. 

Would you like rules for satellite camps and where teams can hold spring practice? 



September 15th, 2017 at 8:53 PM ^

As nice at it would be to even out non-conference SOS, I'd like them to spend that time on other things first. Like making sure refs know what targeting is since they get it wrong so much. Or making sure refs from ohio aren't officiating in games where they have certain ties and fandom to a team from that state that makes them incapable of measuring properly. Or training refs so instant 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalties don't have to be called on coaches because refs can't do their job right. Did I mention the refs?


September 15th, 2017 at 8:55 PM ^

No, and why should they? Look at Washington's joke of a non-conference schedule last year and they still got in the playoff. They've already proven that the playoff committee is lying when they say they value non-conference scheduling. They also lie when they say they value head-to-head and conference championships by letting o$u in instead of psu who had both criteria over o$u. I know I turned this into a committee topic but that's how much I hate the concept. They should have kept the BCS computer system but integrated it with the playoff system. Top 4 teams according to the computer get in. The idea of a committee talking privately in a room where nobody knows what they're talking about doesn't sit right with me.


September 15th, 2017 at 9:22 PM ^

it on the field...just do a straight round robin.  There are what, 117 D1 teams?  Each team plays 116 games, one per day (give them Sunday off, they are student athletes after all).  So, figure, 6 games per week, 116 games, that's about 19 weeks.  Sounds like a nice September-December to me.  


September 16th, 2017 at 7:42 AM ^

is to prepare your team for the con schedule. Most teams outside the top 25 will never have a shot at a national championship. Preparing for a conference championship is what they hang their hat on.

Steve in PA

September 16th, 2017 at 10:18 AM ^

With all the conferences having a championship game and a legit champion I don't think ranking or schedule matters as much except for bowl selection outside the playoff.  In short, just win and as the B10 Champion the team will be in the playoff.





September 16th, 2017 at 10:35 AM ^

The committee gives you a lot of credit if you win that nonconference game, but a loss is absolutely crushing. Case in point is FSU. Had they have scheduled Georgia Southern in that opening game they would likely still be ranked in the top two or three. So yes, if you win these big nonconference games 30 huge resume booster but to me the reward for the risk just isn't there.


September 17th, 2017 at 8:55 PM ^

I'd like some sort of standardization of non-conference schedules, but it's not going to happen IMO. There is too much money on the line and in some cases, compensation and job retention for programs that limp to 6 wins every year. There is also a very legitimate argument to be made to support lower tier FBS and FCS programs with the payouts these programs receive. If anything should happen, it should be to align scheduling across power 5 conferences to at least balance out each league which would allow for more accurate conference evaluations. 

If you look at the link below, the Big Ten has only played 2 FCS opponents whereas every other power 5 conference has played at least 7. One could argue the MAC is like an FCS conference, but I'd say those teams are higher quality for the most part. The Big 10 also has played the most power 5 teams.

More than anything, I'd rather prioritize these rules: 

1) Implement  at least 1 preseason game with an FCS school (or similar) that would also have a payout associated with it. 

2) Shorten the season and implement a 16 team playoff

Of course with the 16 team playoff, scheduling would become even more political so I think it would open the door for some of your proposed reforms. 


September 17th, 2017 at 9:37 PM ^

The logistics would be hard, but I've often thought that every team should leave an opening in their schedule each year. Then try to schedule an opponent with a like pre-season ranking a few months before each season starts. It would be a big help in settling ranking arguments later in the season.