Michigan Football: 4 Ways the Wolverines Can Improve Their Scheduling
We've heard many fans complain in recent years about not only Michigan's scheduling strategies, but other teams' around the country as well.
With any situation, you're bound to get complaints from somebody, though. So what should the Wolverines do when it comes to scheduling future opponents?
Here's a look at four pieces of advice the administrators should keep in mind while scheduling future opposition.
Absolutely No FCS Opponents
I thought I'd get this one out of the way first. Even though it's a very obvious fact, it still needs to be mentioned.
It does appear that all the Big Ten schools are following this advice going forward, though, so that's a breath of fresh air.
The 2007 Appalachian State incident has nothing to do with this either; whichever way you spin it, playing an FCS school is a no-win situation.
Again, though, it does appear that Big Ten versus FCS schools will be coming to an end sooner rather than later.
More Conference Games
The eight game conference season appears to be coming to an end as well, as the future slate will likely include nine—or even ten—games.
With the additions of Maryland and Rutgers, that means every conference opponent still won't be played.
Regardless, playing another conference game or two and eliminating some of the cupcakes from the non-conference schedule is a good thing.
There really doesn't seem to be any complaints from anybody when it comes to an expanded conference slate, so this one is a win-win for everyone.
Be Cautious About Scheduling Locations
This one relates to scheduling locations when it comes to playing schools from warmer climate states, mainly the SEC.
If a school from the SEC won't agree to play a home and home series with a Big Ten school, then there is no reason to do them any favors. Either they agree to make the trip north, or scheduling talks should end.
Simply put, SEC schools WILL NOT come north to play football. This was most evident during the 2012 season.
Out of the 168 regular season games that SEC teams played in 2012, there was literally only one game played further north than the state of Missouri. That one game was when Vanderbilt traveled to Northwestern to take on the Wildcats.
Neutral site games with SEC and Big Ten schools is one thing, but a home and home series is the ideal format.
Schedule the Best
To be the best you have to beat the best. What does this mean? It means that Michigan should go out and schedule as tough of a non-conference slate as it can.
The perfect example of this was when the team played Alabama last year. No, Michigan wasn't ready to compete with them, but at the same time it wasn't a bad idea to schedule that game.
We have seen Dave Brandon and some of the other administrators take this to heart, as future schedules include the likes of Arkansas and BYU.
There's no doubt they'll try to schedule even bigger yet, though, evidenced by the fact that Oklahoma was recently contacted for future play, but the Sooners declined.
As long as a big-name school is willing to either make the trip to Ann Arbor or play in a truly neutral location, then that school should be considered.
Plus, with the new playoff format that favors strong non conference schedules, it will pay dividends.
Again, to be the best you have to beat the best.