Skip to content

When it comes to conference schedules, what is best variable for playoff equation?

College Football Playoff Announces The College Football Playoff Selection Committee - News Conference Getty Images

As college football moves into the College Football Playoff era there are many questions that may not be answered until working through year one. One of the questions that appears to be a sticking point for som is the debate on whether or not power conferences should be obligated to schedule eight or nine conference games? The impact an eight-game conference schedule has compared to the impact a nine-game conference schedule carries is impossible to measure, and one year under the new playoff format is not going to bring a definitive answer.

The SEC recently announced it will stick with an eight-game conference schedule but will require members to schedule at least one opponent from another power conference — the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12. The ACC appears to be leaning toward sticking with an eight-game schedule, which comes with guaranteed games against Notre Dame spread throughout the conference on a rotating schedule. The Big 12 and Pac-12 have adopted the nine-game schedule and the expanding Big Ten will move to a nine-game schedule starting in 2016.

What makes the schedule so important heading into 2014 is the idea that the selection committee for the College Football Playoff will be taking consideration on overall résumé and strength of schedule. For the power conferences it is assumed by some that scheduling more conference games will increase the overall strength of schedule, and thus give members of that conference a better shot at making the four-team playoff. But doing so takes one game away form the non-conference schedule and some schools need that extra non-conference game to help boost the odds of getting to bowl eligibility.

Simply put, some conferences benefit more by moving to nine game conference schedules than others might. Why should any conference expand a conference schedule if it puts any of its members at risk in any way?

Nobody knows what the actual playoff equation will be this coming season, especially when a single game has not even been played yet. For now the variable is undefined and the equation is impossible to solve at this time.

Permalink 12 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 Conference, Big Ten Conference, Pac-12 Conference, Rumor Mill, Southeastern Conference, Top Posts
12 Responses to “When it comes to conference schedules, what is best variable for playoff equation?”
  1. planecrashguy says: May 12, 2014 1:01 PM

    Let’s hope the selection committee penalizes schools that play 1AA opponents. At the very least a win over a 1AA school should count as a non-game as it did at one point in the BCS.

  2. thekatman says: May 12, 2014 1:31 PM

    All NCG conferences must play to same number of in conference games. Period. Of the OOC games, I agree with planecrashguy, in that programs should be penalized for playing non FBS programs, and they should be penalized for playing those sublevel schools outside of the first 4 games of the season.

    Schools that play OOC games against a top 25 program would not be penalized, such as Notre Dame playing USC and other Pac-12 teams throughout the year.

  3. mydixienormus says: May 12, 2014 1:50 PM

    Why should any conference expand a conference schedule if it puts any of its members at risk in any way?

    Because it is fair.

  4. auburntigers34 says: May 12, 2014 2:57 PM

    Why are people so fixated on the number of conference games? The Big 12 doesn’t have a conference championship game, but nobody’s crying about the fact that it’s one less loss for their 2nd best team and could easily help them sneak into a playoff…not to mention the fact that it’s one less potential stumbling block for their conference champion.

  5. thekatman says: May 12, 2014 4:11 PM

    Yes, that includes all conferences playing a conference championship game. How can the universities accept a non conference champ team into the Playoffs. And this includes Notre Dame. Get in a conference. It’s not the 1930s.

  6. mydixienormus says: May 12, 2014 4:38 PM

    If you play everyone in your conference (i.e. The Big 12), you shouldn’t need a conference championship game. Right?

  7. auburntigers34 says: May 12, 2014 5:04 PM

    if you play a conference championship game, you shouldn’t need nine conference games to determine your champion, right?

    it works both ways

  8. mydixienormus says: May 12, 2014 5:06 PM

    You convinced me.

    How about this:

    All conferences do the same thing regarding scheduling and title games. Problem solved.

  9. planecrashguy says: May 12, 2014 5:11 PM

    The play-off committee will pick the four best teams in the country to play for the national championship, conference championships have nothing to do with it. We already know one of the major conference champs won’t be in the play-offs every year, could be two or more.

    Btw, the whole “conference” concept is outdated, at least with respect to why they formed. In the days of train travel and dirt roads, geographic proximity was very important. Leagues don’t give a damn any more how far members are from one another. Not the 1930s anymore.

  10. thekatman says: May 12, 2014 7:03 PM

    In most conferences there are divisions that segrgatge teams, north vs South… East vs West, etc…. There are more than 12 teams in these conferences, so there’s not much of an oppty to play everyone in the conference.

  11. auburntigers34 says: May 12, 2014 7:09 PM

    mydixienormus says:
    May 12, 2014 5:06 PM
    You convinced me.

    How about this:

    All conferences do the same thing regarding scheduling and title games. Problem solved.
    ———————————————————-

    that’d be great. i love the idea of a playoff, but i hate that conferences are expanding to more than 12 teams. imo, it’s the latest conference expansions/reductions that have made a mess of everything.

  12. musketmaniac says: May 13, 2014 3:35 PM

    I agree with auburn, but wasn’t it a 12 team years ago that first got knocked out of the national title game with a big 12 championship loss.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!