SEC & Pac-10 Scheduling

Here’s a video from ESPN.com discussing the difference between SEC and Pac-10 scheduling:

Ted Miller of ESPN.com makes a key point that by playing a round-robin, 9-game conference schedule, the Pac-10 assures itself of five extra losses per year spread out over the league’s teams.  Instead of getting an easy win by scheduling an extra cream puff as the SEC or Big 12 teams tend to do, Pac-10 teams must play one more legit BCS-league opponent. 

It seems to me that as far as scheduling goes, this negatively distorts the Pac-10’s value as a league when compared to other leagues.  And it hearkens back to my long-held point that scheduling reform is needed in college football.

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19 Responses to SEC & Pac-10 Scheduling

  1. bryan July 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    since when are wash and wash st considered legit?

  2. Branch Jahvidian July 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    Since both have played in a Rose Bowl in this decade.

    Since when are Miss St, Kentucky, and Vandy considered legit?

  3. jcal July 17, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

    Well, when Kentucky had Andre Woodson and Vandy had Jay Cutler, both teams were teams to be reckoned with; Kentucky went triple OT on LSU (when LSU was ranked 1) and beat them in 2007. Either way though, the first person who commented is like the vast majority of SEC homers… as unfortunate as it may be, no matter how much evidence you put in front of them, their biases will probably never be corrected. No reason to shoot back with uninformed comments like that Branch, it just adds fuel to their retard fire.

  4. Max July 17, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    The SEC has easier schedules than the Pac-10…is this news? What’s next, a post titled, “Man Walks on Moon”?

    Not only is it tougher to play every team in the conference, but the Pac-10’s OOC opponents are also far tougher than the SEC’s.

    This has been going on for years, but why would the SEC change it when they can win national titles that way?

  5. slippy July 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    Um, Vanderbilt won 11 games in 4 years with Jay Cutler. I hardly see how that is a team to be reckoned with.

  6. jcal July 17, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    A “team to be reckoned with” doesn’t necessarily have to do with W-L records. There are teams that you don’t want to face regardless of their records, and Vandy in 2005 was just such a team. Just take a look at their double OT loss to the then 13th ranked Gators. Go further and look at the rest of their losses, and you’ll see that they played a lot of good teams that season very close.

  7. slippy July 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    Yea that Florida team wasn’t great – 5th in the SEC. Vandy also got destroyed by Georgia and LSU and didn’t play Auburn. Lost to Middle Tenn St. I’ll repeat that. Vanderbilt lost to Middle Tennessee State. Beat a 5-6 Tennessee team. Lost to a bad Kentucky team. And lost by a TD to a mediocre SC team. Yea I would have had no problem with them on the schedule.

    Just because a team upsets another team in conference doesn’t always mean it’s a tougher conference. Ole Miss beats Florida last year it’s because the SEC is the best and very deep. No one talked about the depth of the Pac 10 when OSU upset USC.

    Playing your whole conference is tougher for 5 of the 6 BCS conferences (not counting the Big East until they get more teams). But only one conference does that.

    I don’t even like the Pac 10.

  8. jcal July 17, 2009 at 11:33 pm #

    I… think… you really didn’t get the point of my post slippy lol. Read my initial post as a response to the second poster… then figure out what I’m trying to say before you go running off to any conclusions. Reading comprehension man… oy… Let’s not go off on tangents here

  9. V. Money July 18, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    To be fair, a number of SEC teams do have a 9th BCS opponent scheduled on their roster. For example, Florida, like every other SEC team, plays 8 conference games on its schedule as compared to the Pac-10’s 9. But they’re also under contract to play a home-and-home with Florida State at the last regular-season game each year. So in effect, the question, as with the Pac 10, comes down to what to do with the other 3 games. Georgia and South Carolina also do this with Georgia Tech and Clemson, respectively. Even if FSU isn’t the dynasty it once was, it’s still an improvement over a cream puff.

    On the other hand, Big East teams, which play a round-robin style schedule like the Pac 10, only have seven conference games a year. For conference schools thin on cash, there is definitely an incentive to leverage a good chunk of the five remaining games into guaranteed game checks. On the other hand, teams like, say South Florida, can also find room to schedule more BCS opponents to improve their schedule. In fact, the Bulls have FSU and Miami on the list this year.

  10. philnotfil July 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    First, yes, every PAC-10 team plays one more conference game than SEC teams who don’t play in the SEC championship. However, the two teams playing in the SEC championship do play the same number of conference games, and against a higher level of competition. PAC-10 teams are guaranteed to play the weak sisters of their conference. If an SEC team gets a Kentucky or Mississippi State on their schedule, if they go to the conference championship they are going to face the toughest team in the other division, just like the PAC-10 teams. If an SEC team doesn’t get one of the weak sisters, they still have to face the toughest team from the other division, sometimes for the second time.

    Second, I don’t see why the SEC has to apologize for their Strength of Schedule.
    Average Strength of Schedule for the last five years (with highest and lowest rated SOS):
    2008
    PAC-10: 85 (Oregon State 22, Arizona 160)
    SEC: 35 (Florida 4, Tennessee 83)

    2007
    PAC-10: 58 (Washington 19, USC 111)
    SEC: 23 (Florida 2, Arkansas 68)

    2006
    PAC-10: 29 (USC 6, Washington State 64)
    SEC: 31 (Florida 1, Alabama 99)

    2005
    PAC-10: 63 (Stanford 4, California 190)
    SEC: 52 (Tennessee 13, Mississippi 124)

    2004
    PAC-10: 67 (Arizona State 5, Oregon 145)
    SEC: 58 (Georgia 4, Mississippi State 138)

    Overall for those 5 years
    PAC-10: 60
    SEC: 40

    What does it say about the PAC-10 when their OOC schedule is consistently tougher than the SEC’s, but the SEC’s overall SOS is consistently higher than the PAC-10’s?

    Did you notice that PAC-10 fans never want to talk about overall SOS, only OOC? They have a good point, when you ignore 3-5 ranked teams on the schedule, it does look much weaker.

  11. AUman76 July 19, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    BINGO! We have a winner! philnotfil…now if only the west coast folks had enough common sense to understand what you just proved to em. Get ready for a bunch of if’s and’s or but’s cause they can’t handle reality. Truth is only one pac1 team has a legit chance to compete nationally, USC. Even with all his highly recruited 5* kids Mr West Coast King of Football, Petey Carrol has one less Ring than a Johnny come lately name Urban Meyer at Florida. Hell he can’t even get one up on Les Miles. lol To make matters worse UF will be back as repeat winners and hopefully it will finally be against the Trojans. I hate the Gaytors (chill out folks my nephew is a UF fan but I still love him just not his team. We can take a lil ribbing in the south. Too bad the west coast condoms can’t. Oh wait they do come in ribbed styles don’t they? lol If SC can live up to the hype for once and beat Stanford and Oregon State in the same season they will get a chance to be the sack of Gator bait.

  12. Charlestowne July 19, 2009 at 8:37 pm #

    So, Stanford and Washington are “legit BCS-league opponents”? Just checking. (I’ll give you the other 8, good teams all.)

  13. Sam July 19, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    How about the SEC and Pac-10 both put their money where their mouths are and sort out a genuine plus-one/prohibit NC games against I-AA cannon fodder. Wouldn’t that be worth talking about?

  14. Tom July 20, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    Sorry, HP – I know you want new conferences, but that’s just not gonna happen.

    There’s two general ways scheduling reform can come about: 1) at the end of a bayonet, with the NCAA forcing teams to schedule differently or arranging the scheduling themselves, or 2) by providing incentives for teams to schedule more quality opponents. The first has as much chance of happening as rearranging the conferences, so the second seems to be the only path.

    As it is right now, there’s no incentives for a lot of teams to schedule tougher opponents. Right now, if a BCS conference team goes undefeated, it’s going to the national championship game (as long as there’s 2 undefeated BCS teams or less). I know I know, 2004 Auburn. That was four years ago, and things have changed – there’s no way an undefeated SEC team gets left out again. Not gonna happen, not with most people thinking they’re undisputably the best conferences.

    In fact, the SEC has more benefit of the doubt than anyone right now, placing teams in the championship with one or two losses the last three years. Why should they schedule tougher non-conference opponents when they can make it to the national championship game by scheduling cupcakes?

    A start would be the NCAA making a rule that I-AA cupcakes don’t count towards bowl eligibility. Teams would still schedule them because they’d still make money, but it might be a tougher decision if they knew there might be a money vs eligibility tradeoff to make.

    Other than that, I’m not sure how we can make it worth teams’ while to consistently schedule tough non-conference matchups…

  15. V.Money July 20, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    One more point:

    While the Pac-10 is one giant round-robin conference, the SEC is split up into two subdivisions of six each. Each team plays the other five in its division and three in the other, with each division’s champ going to Atlanta.

    Thus, the SOS of one division’s teams could be tougher than the other depending upon the way the strongest teams are split up.

  16. AUman76 July 20, 2009 at 9:58 pm #

    Sam, I agree with you. I hate playing D1AA teams and see no need in any D1 team playin em. There are plenty of D1 doormats to play before droppin down a division. But then again if we didn’t allow D1 vs D1AA we’d never seen the big11’s mighty Michigan beaten by Appy State. lol

  17. SEC pragmatist July 29, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    This debate is pointless. The PAC 10 does not get enough credit or media attention for generally being the second toughest conference in the country. Most elite SEC teams are playing at least 1 major OOC game so they do have 9 BCS opponents now. In the SEC you have more mega-games in conference each year with some FCS breathers in between. In the PAC 10 you have a decent opponent every week but you may only have 1-2 mega-games in conference. It all averages out about the same. The only way to solve this is to look at the colleymatrix or a similar stat program that caluclates schedule strength. Example, Bama and Utah had almost the same schedule strength rating prior to the Sugar Bowl last year. This proved how weak the SEC west was last year, hence Bama’s perfect regular season. USC and UF were the 2 best teams and unfortunately we never get to see the conference champs from the 2 best conferences SEC and PAC 10.

  18. james July 29, 2009 at 2:27 pm #

    last year’s bowl games: Pac-10: 5-0
    USC = most consistent and dominant team thus far of the decade –

    sure, florida has an extra title, but that’s due to the fact that the ignorant morons who refused to give USC the chance to demolish the gators ON THE FIELD for the national title unsurprisingly underestimated the obvious strength of the PAC-10 (see 5-0 bowl record above), and overestimated the strength of the sec (non-BCS Utah gave ‘bama a worse beating than the gators); not to mention the fact that most of the idiot voters probably go to sleep around the time the PAC-10 games get started -

  19. Max July 30, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    There is a simple explanation for overall SOS vs. OOC SOS: hype. The SEC plays a bunch of pansies out of conference and moves up the rankings. So when they finally get to playing each other, they are frequently matchups between ranked teams. It’s actually hard to gauge how good the SEC really is because few of its teams have truly been tested by the time they get to conference play.

    I am actually pushing for the Pac to play a bunch of D-IAA teams like the SEC does. The SEC is winning championships with this formula while the Pac just gets a few more losses because their opponents are tougher. Moreover, the Pac doesn’t even get credit for playing tough teams…they just get ridiculed for having a few more losses.