The Pac-10 knows how to schedule

The ACC and Pac-10 have the least despicable non-conference schedules in college football. And when you consider that the Pac-10 plays a nine-game, true round-robin in conference, their schedules are the most respectable by a mile.

Which conference has the cupcake-iest schedules? The Big Ten, of course. Though the SEC and Big 12 are nipping at its heels.

10 Responses to “The Pac-10 knows how to schedule”

  1. Not everyone in the Big Ten is a cupcake. Ohio State has series coming up over the next 5 years with USC, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

    Of course, they’re also playing in-state teams like Akron, Youngstown State, and O.U. My understanding is that there are bureaucrats in the state government in Columbus who are requiring them to play in-state schools to spread the wealth around.

  2. Jim Hu says:

    I think this is probably about right, but it’s not consistent to complain about this while at the same time complaining about the BCS schools avoiding the Hawaii’s and Boise States. App State was supposed to be a cupcake, remember?

    But then, when have sports fans ever been asked to be consistent!

  3. Brendan says:

    Jim, I don’t think it’s inconsistent at all to “complain about this” while also complaining about that, but I’ll agree the metric is flawed. The two underyling complaints — that BCS schools frequently schedule cupcakes, and that they’re generally unwilling to schedule quality non-BCS teams — are actually quite compatible, since they are in fact choosing to scheduling cupcakes instead of those quality teams. However, this metric fails to distinguish between non-BCS “cupcakes” and non-BCS “quality teams” (and, for that matter, fails to distinguish between BCS “cupcakes” and BCS “quality teams” — so, e.g., you get more credit for playing Northwestern than for playing Boise State), so in that sense it’s a flawed metric.

    However, I think it still gives a rough idea of the general scheduling philosophies of the conferences, even though it’s not precise. It would be interesting to come up with a different metric — maybe putting the bottom two teams from each BCS conference in the “bad teams” category and the top two teams from each non-BCS conference in the “good teams” category, or something — and see how they stack up, but I bet it would be pretty similar.

  4. Marty West says:

    I think the in-conference play of the Big 10 is hard enough.

  5. JD says:

    Making it even worse for the Big Ten are some of the “BCS” opponents they’ve lined up: Notre Dame (3), Syracuse (2), Iowa State, and Duke comprise more than half of their BCS opponent games. Those teams were 9-39 last year.

    I see we’re back to “Iowa shouldn’t schedule its in-state rival and should play a real opponent instead.”

    Maine and Florida International (Iowa’s other non-conference games) comparatively must be powerhouses.

  6. Marty West says:

    JD –

    Are you actually arguing that Iowa shouldn’t play Iowa State?

  7. Sandy Underpants says:

    I really don’t think ONE in-state rivalry like Iowa St. is tipping the scale. Ohio St. did NOT belong in the Championship game last year because they had such a cupcake schedule and then we got another lopsided blow out starring OSU again, when it should have been a great USC-LSU match-up. I don’t think Ohio St. has a long-standing rivalry with Youngstown St, Kent St., and Akron. Please Big-10, schedule some real competition or get out of the BCS. At least everyone will be able to thank USC for saving us from an Ohio St. 3-Pete in 2008.

    You’re welcome.

  8. JD says:


    No, I was pointing out that that was kind of what the article’s writer was implying, which is also what a lot of Iowa fans were saying up until 1998. (As I am fond of pointing out, Iowa State singlehandedly saved the Big Ten and the BCS from making themselves look like bigger idiots than usual in 2002.)

  9. Doc says:

    I, for one, am pretty stoked that USC is playing both OSUs this year.

    Also, I found a hole in the Great Firewall. I don’t know what Brendan did to get on the bad side of the PRC, but something was blocking the site.