When the Pac-12 coaches meet this week, discussions about tweaking the schedule will be a popular topic. According to Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports, (h/t College Football Talk), the possibility of cutting a conference game will be discussed.
Bruce Feldman @BruceFeldmanCFB
One of the topics Pac-12 coaches will discuss this wk is trying to go to 8 conf. games (like SEC does it) down from 9.4/30/2013, 3:23:21 PM
The Pac-12 increased the conference schedule to nine games when it expanded back in 2009. Playing nearly every team in the conference each season does make for better competition, but with the improved play of certain programs, removing that extra game may be better for the conference as a whole.
Everybody is trying to get things in order with a new playoff format beginning in 2014. Not having to play Oregon and adding a cupcake opponent on the schedule would seem to make sense if you are trying to lock up a playoff bid.
An eight-game schedule is the formula the SEC follows, and it has helped produce a national championship every year since 2006. You would rather eliminate more conference games when playing in a difficult conference, as it increases your chances of appearing in a big bowl game.
However, playing that one extra game against a top-tier rival could make all of the difference in securing a playoff spot. This seems to be a tough decision to make.
Scheduling has become a popular topic the last couple of years. The Big Ten will expand to a nine-game conference schedule beginning in 2016, while the ACC will stick with an eight-game schedule, at least for now. The SEC would be foolish from a competition standpoint to add a ninth game, but the television contract has coaches and commissioners talking about it.
This decision will eventually be decided by the money and competition of the conference. Let the debating begin.