If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
At least that’s what new Colorado coach Mel Tucker is insinuating when it comes to Pac-12 scheduling, which he believes should adopt a few of the practices he has seen in the SEC after several years in the league at Alabama and Georgia.
“They changed the rule, and we’re allowed to do this, so I know, in a couple of years, we’ve got Northern Colorado (in 2021) and instead of it being Week 2, it can be Week 11,” Tucker told the Denver Post. “Before you play Auburn, at Alabama, you play Louisiana Monroe, right? Well before we play Utah in the last game of the year, you’re playing USC. So we can help ourselves in scheduling that way. But we’ve got to be aggressive in putting really good teams on our schedule.”
The question that prompted Tucker’s answer was primarily focused on getting a Pac-12 team into the College Football Playoff but could be taken more generally. The West Coast league has pridefully talked about its nine-game conference slate and robust out of league schedule for many years now but all those tough games have not resulted in as many playoff berths as their peers (including missing the past two years and three of the overall five seasons in the event).
Late November games against overmatched Sun Belt or FCS foes tend to be derided by even SEC fans each season but there’s little arguing that the arrangement works for the conference when it comes to the postseason. It does seem like changes are on the horizon out West though and Tucker no doubt will be looking to take advantage in Boulder.
First up, however, might be getting the Buffs back on track in league play before turning one’s sights on the schedule down the road.