Pac-12 coaches attack SEC scheduling but should they?

On Thursday, some of the Pac-12 coaches took to the pulpit to attack the SEC’s decision to only schedule an eight game conference schedule with their main argument being…


Seems like I’ve heard that somewhere before….

Let’s face it, a nine game schedule in the ACC is not the same as a nine game schedule in the Big Ten which in turn is not the same as a nine game schedule in the Big 12 which in turn is not the same as a nine game schedule in the Pac-12 which in turn would not be the same as a nine game schedule in the SEC.

Here’s the argument from the coaches…

David Shaw:

I think if we’re going to go into a playoff and feed into one playoff system, we all need to play by the same rules

Jim Mora:

I would like to see everybody operate under the same set of rules or restrictions or regulations or whatever word you want to throw in there

Mark Helfrich:

If we’re going to call anything equal and everybody pointing in the same direction as far as a playoff, it seems like the qualification for that playoff should be equal

Sounds like they were all spoon fed the same line from Larry Scott, doesn’t it?

Last year, the SEC placed five teams in the top ten of the NCAA strength of schedule. Would adding a ninth game for the other conferences increase their SOS higher than the SEC? I doubt it because even though the coaches saying they want everything “equal”, no schedule (except the Big 12 because of their low number of teams) will be equal because conference teams simply won’t play the exact same teams as all of their conference peers every year. It’s not equal and it’s not going to be equal. For every Pac-12 team that has to play Stanford or Oregon, there is another that skips them and instead gets Colorado or Cal.

The SEC is only playing an 8 game schedule but they also currently have the toughest conference in the country. That could change and if it does then they should seriously consider adopting a different conference schedule if they need it to booster their strength of schedule but right now, they don’t.

When you look at the Pac-12’s out of division opponents, some of them line up to play a big out of conference game but others simply add three “wins” to their nine game conference schedule.

Oregon State plays Portland State, Hawaii and San Diego this year as their three OOC games.

Arizona plays UNLV, UTSA and Nevada.

Colorado plays Colorado State, UMass and Hawaii

Others pony up by playing a team from a Big 5 conference that they think they should beat….

Washington has Eastern Washington, Hawaii, Georgia State and Illinois (they will be playing 13 games)

Washington State plays Rutgers, Nevada and Portland State.

The point of this is that not all Pac-12 out of conference schedules are equal. Some have Notre Dame, Texas and Michigan on their schedule while others will feast on Hawaii and Portland State.

If the Pac-12 coaches have enough time on their hands to complain about another conferences scheduling, they should be complaining about the out of conference scheduling of their peers as this negatively impacts the perception of their conference and creates inequality in their own conference.

With the four game playoff, which hasn’t happened yet but is already rumored to be moving up to eight in the near future, everybody will be given a chance to play based on their own merits and scheduling. The bottom line is schedule how you need to based on your conference strength of schedule, win the games you play (for Stanford that means not losing to a 2-7 conference opponent) and you will be rewarded.

About Kevin Causey

Dry humorist, craft beer enthusiast, occasionally unbiased SEC fan, UGA alumni, contributor for The Comeback.