robertContributor IOctober 21, 2008

The PAC 10 has six teams with a SOS in the top twenty due to very competitive scheduling.  How does a team like Texas Tech with a SOS of a 103 ranked 7 in the country, whose toughest contest to date was to a 4-3 team the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  The game was decided in OT and that suggests Texas Tech has a lot more work to prove they belong in the top 10.  Mean while a Oregon State team loses to Penn State, Utah and BYU on the road and is the only team to play two top ten teams. Oregon State is considered average, why and how?  I know, Utah is not a top ten team but to me since they played a tougher schedule they appear to be ahead of an untested Texas Tech.Utah has a legit gripe!

It seems that some fans and specifically some in the main stream sports media whom pander to conferences which choose to schedule poor non-conference games.  I would think the SEC and Big 12 would encourage tougher non-conference scheduling so that when they get into conference play they will be ready to play. When teams avoid a tough schedule it sends a message that college football is a business and the revenue generated takes top priority over pride of proving a team is the best by playing the best.  It appears that the SEC or Big 12 use subjectivity as a way of avoiding tough non-conference scheduling,  knowing that words can not be disproved but losing to Big Ten, PAC 10 or Big East conference would send a message that counters their agenda. 

The NCAA should institute a minimum standard of non-conference games to be followed by all BCS conferences.  Every year each BCS conference should rotate with another BCS conference and schedule two non-conference games for each University within those conference.  Another rule should be for BCS conferences to play a non BCS conference that has had two or more schools in the top 50 rankings,  and this would ensure that these schools get an opportunity to compete in a bowl championship series, if there rank breaks into the top 8.  This would allow more parity in non-conference scheduling and keep schools from padding their schedules with cupcakes. Isn't the goal and priority of the NCAA to ensure a more competitive scheduling system to narrow the huge gap that exists in the scheduling of non conference games among the BCS conferences.

The main  comparative advantage for not scheduling a tough schedule is that there is no penalty for playing terrible programs or lower division schools so why would a football power want to play a school that has no real positive value which translates to risk.  If schools lose out of a BCS bowl because they failed to schedule appropriately than a non BCS team could squeak in and that seems appropriate and fair. 

The NCAA can institute a rule where all non-conference schedules need to be open starting in 2012 when the rotation between BCS conferences will commence to ensure a competitive balance.  The NCAA can also institute the non BCS conferences to each BCS conference.  This would help to ensure that non BCS programs who have been screaming foul for 10 years, get an opportunity to compete, as a way of being more equitable. The SEC and Big 12 could get broken up by East and West so smaller BCS conferences can play west one year and the east the next.

In closing if the NCAA would adopt these scheduling proposals, this might be a positive lesson in sportsmanship, that has dissipated from amateur sports over the quest to be elite or the best.   Sportsmanship needs to be re-instilled in our society rather than the win at all cost mentality that has been the accepted practice for way too long.  Who knows, maybe this attitude of choosing to win right,  might trickle down to high school programs and some over bearing little league dads.  The lesson here is be fair and honest and leave the tongue and cheek games in the locker room. We in correct society have been taught at an early age that might does not make right.   However,  compromising in the name of fairness will only improve relations and ultimately, change the game for the better.