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Baylor AD defends scheduling of Incarnate Word

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Baylor has scheduled a game against University of Incarnate Word for the 2019 season. At a time when college football is moving toward a stronger emphasis on strength of schedule, Baylor’s latest scheduling announcement seems to go against the grain for those in favor of stronger non-conference match-ups. Baylor Athletics Director Ian McCaw took to the radio to defend the decision to add UIW, a FCS program coming off its first year after moving up from the Division 2 ranks, to the future schedule.

During an interview on ESPN Radio Central Texas McCaw said Baylor has often scheduled one game against a program from the FCS within the region. With UIW moving up to the FCS and joining the Southland Conference, they fall within those parameters. McCaw defended that decision by referencing SEC schedules against FCS opponents and said there is no plan to change that scheduling structure in the future at Baylor. Baylor has scheduled an FCS team every season dating back to 2001. The defending Big 12 champions are scheduled to host Northwestern State in 2014, Lamar in 2015 and Northwestern State again in 2016. As noted by FBSchedules.com, a future game against Liberty is also on the agenda but does not have a specific date or year in place just yet.

The self-proclaimed thick-skinned AD noted fans have voiced opinions and demand for more interesting, or perhaps challenging games, but games against the likes of Alabama or Ohio State are probably going to be pipe dreams according to McCaw. McCaw did say Baylor has been in discussions with UTEP about potential games in the future, but nothing has been put together just yet. A former Baylor rival from the old Southwest Conference, Houston, is not expected to show up on the future schedule any time soon.

Baylor will rack up the points on a weak opponent, but they will not b the only ones to do so in the coming years. As long as a win against a FCS school counts the same in the win column as one against a conference opponent, this scheduling trend is not going anywhere. The hope for the good of the sport is that more schools will move away from this scheduling philosophy as strength of schedule is given more emphasis in the College Football Playoff, but until a team is punished for playing inferior opponents solely to pad the stats and grab an automatic win, Baylor is far from the only team to take advantage of schools like UIW.

You can listen to the radio interview here.

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12 Responses to “Baylor AD defends scheduling of Incarnate Word”
  1. mauldawg says: Mar 19, 2014 9:11 PM

    Baylor,you must be kidding,what a joke. How low can you go. There is no way you can defend this action. Baylor players must be so proud. Next you can schedule a local HS team. Good job coach make Baylor proud. Everyone is laughing at you.

  2. thegonz13 says: Mar 19, 2014 9:50 PM

    “We just want to see if we can score 150 points in a game.”
    -Ian McCaw

  3. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 19, 2014 10:16 PM

    Translation – Baylor doesn’t want to ever play anyone with a pulse in their out of conference games.

    Iowa State and Kansas are tough enough conference games.

  4. jdbaker01 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:28 PM

    Don’t tell FSU about this school or they will schedule them too along with a game against DeVry.

  5. musketmaniac says: Mar 19, 2014 11:57 PM

    Wow, how much money is in Christian education where they can generate that kind of kick back to grease the dozens of dirty fingers in this caper

  6. Professor Fate says: Mar 20, 2014 12:52 AM

    “We’re doing it because other schools do it.” That kind of excuse never worked for me as a kid, but apparently it’s seen as a legitimate reason by a university AD.

    College football fans can only hope that the playoff selection committee puts a large emphasis on the strength-of-schedule component. If they do then McCaw and other ADs, who do indeed pad their teams schedules with exhibition games, will change their song in a heartbeat.

  7. longborer69 says: Mar 20, 2014 4:15 AM

    I’m probably the odd man out on this, but I don’t really have a big problem with this kind of game — in isolation, that is. It helps the smaller school make ends meet, and gives their players a chance to test themselves against higher competition.

    It gives the larger school a chance to work out some kinks early and let their 2nd & 3rd units get some playing time, without risking messing up their season goals with an early loss.

    My objection comes when a team schedules 3 or 4 OOC cupcakes a year. If you scheduled one game like this, and decent competition the rest of the year, I don’t think there would be any debate.

    Baylor’s schedule is full of cupcakes. There will be 1-2 bad teams in conference, and they won’t have any major conference or major independent opponents that year.

    They aren’t likely to even have a relatively tough mid-major opponent (Boise State, Fresno State). They will play at least 5 games against teams that could not finish in the top 2/3s of any major conference — maybe not even top half of a mid-major. And most will be at home. They’ll run up big victories and claim they are good.

    Sort of like Alabama last year (Colorado State-home, Georgia State-home, Kentucky, Arkansas-home, Chattanooga-home). I didn’t include Tennessee because Steve Spurrier’s team made the Vols look good. :)

    Everyone gets one or two weaklings in conference, no matter which conference. And you can’t always tell whether the strong OOC opponent you schedule for the future will still be strong when you play them. That bit Oregon this year, when Tennessee turned pathetic, and Washington when Boise State turned out to not be as good as expected. It happens, and nobody can blame you for that.

    But if you schedule teams that are weak and have always been weak, you expect them to still be weak when you play them. And some teams load up on those games.

    It’s bad for the sport. It’s worse for the sport than hurry-up offense. Someone should tell Nick Saban. Maybe he’ll lobby for a rule change. “If you schedule Incarnate Word OOC you must also schedule a home and home with a team that has been in the end-of-season top 20 at least 3 times in the last 7 years.” I’m sure we can spin that into a player safety issue if we try hard enough.

  8. 8to80texansblog says: Mar 20, 2014 11:00 AM

    Baylor of left unchecked…. could easily score 100 points in this game….. easily.

  9. dmcgrann says: Mar 20, 2014 11:54 AM

    I think what turns some heads is that with all of the talk regarding how important SOS is going to become, Baylor is going ahead and scheduling an FCS opponent in 2019. Now, they might not have gone out that far in SEC territory, but some FCS teams have FBS games scheduled out to 2021 (Virginia Tech-Richmond comes to mind).

    Personally, I don’t mind if there one FCS game on a FBS team’s schedule, if it makes sense from a geographic standpoint and can get local alums buzzing. What’s interesting to see is how some teams may avoid a FCS game, but have loaded up their OOC games against the perennial bottom-dwellers of say, the MAC, and added two teams just transitioning to FBS from FCS.

  10. rpmcanes says: Mar 20, 2014 1:27 PM

    Sounds like a team UF would schedule at home.

  11. jbones77 says: Mar 20, 2014 3:36 PM

    It takes two to tango. And I doubt the Ohio States & Michigans of the world are lining up to schedule Baylor. There’s no upside for them.

  12. mogogo1 says: Mar 20, 2014 5:21 PM

    In their defense, they were planning on this as a warmup for the University of Phoenix game the next week, until they discovered that’s not a school that has a football program.

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