For those that follow along with SB Nation’s excellent national college football coverage, they launched a great feature today about why Bill Connelly should be the commissioner of college football.
His platform is very well presented, and of interest to this site, it also includes multiple points on scheduling:
Scrapping Divisions and create more flexible non-conference scheduling.
The scrapping divisions bit is pretty important to the Syracuse Orange, specifically, since it vows to destroy one of the biggest impediments to annual success: facing Clemson, Florida State and Louisville each and every year (before even taking our other opponents into consideration).
We’ve discussed this at length before, and Bill’s plan is similar, calling for scheduling pods with rivals (hi, Boston College, Pittsburgh and maybe Louisville). He hits on how this sort of setup removes a lot of competitive imbalance, keeps rivalries intact and lets you play all the other programs in the conference over a short amount of time. This is a no-brainer, college football.
Flexible non-conference schedule also gets at a continuing pet peeve here at TNIAAM. While Syracuse attempts to rebuild the program, the Orange are also saddled with annual dates with non-conference opponents they can’t hope to compete with. The LSU series is the latest example, but Wisconsin’s also on the docket for 2020 and 2021.
By creating flexibility with non-conference scheduling, teams would play more interesting matchups based on their relative strength at the time (or lack thereof). So instead of tough matchups against teams like USC, Penn State, Washington, LSU and Notre Dame — among others -- in recent years, SU could have faced MAC or C-USA schools, which help pad win totals.
Bill proposes that 64 of the 128 college football teams in 2016 are designated for bracket buster games, pitting them against a similarly-”seeded” program based on a set of rankings (Playoff, F/+, whatever...). So if you’re among the top 64, you’ll get a flexible opponent in there to test your resume. If you’re below that line, get yourself a cupcake and chomp away at another win.
It’s worth checking out the full platform for Bill’s election — even if there is no actual vote or position to be held. Perhaps one day we get a commissioner-type person for college football. And after they fix some other key issues, we can get that video game back, too...