Nov 11, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; General view of the Playoff selection committee press conference at Marriott Wardman Park. Mandatory Credit: Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff committee talks strength of schedule

Before the Ohio State Buckeyes lost to the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday to send the Auburn Tigers to the national championship game, the question of strength of schedule came up. The Tigers play in a much better conference than the Buckeyes. If the Buckeyes had defeated the then 10th-ranked Spartans, it would have been just their second top 25 win of the season (Their first came against the Northwestern Wildcats, who wound up finishing 5-7).

With the BCS being abandoned in favor of a four-team playoff next year, strength of schedule will be a huge topic for the committee.

“If you look back over the last 10-20 years, there’s all kinds of rationale that go into scheduling,”  former NCAA executive and committee member Tom Jernstedt said. “For wins. For revenue. … Strength of schedule will become such an important factor that if you want to be under consideration, you need to have a more meaningful schedule than perhaps you’ve had in previous years.”

This could cause teams to schedule tougher. For instance, once the Florida State Seminoles lost to the North Carolina State Wolfpack in 2012 and realized they were out of the race, they upped their schedule. Out of conference in 2014, they’ll play the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Notre Dame Fighting Irish in addition to the annual showdown with the Florida Gators.

“A lot of teams are going to be at the mercy of their strength of their conference, former Nebraska Cornhuskers’ head coach and committee member Tom Osborne explained.

This could help college football add more marquee out of conference matchups.

No fan will be upset about that.

Tags: College Football Playoff

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