Another day and more strength of schedule debate being kicked around, specifically, as it relates to UCF.
And look, the bottom line is: their strength of schedule was not where it needed to be for the Knights to be seriously considered into the top four of the College Football Playoff for 2018. Everybody understands that, including the Black and Gold.
However, as we have written extensively recently, there are not easy solutions for them to be able to have better quality upper-level SEC opponents play them and at the same time trying to have home games at Spectrum Stadium on campus in Orlando.
Two other realities exist.
One, not everyone has flexibility in their schedule in the short-term to be able to play you, especially for a home and home series.
For example, Gators coach Dan Mullen was talking yesterday about Florida offering UCF a two home game for one home game tradeoff contract like they’ve done with others. But, that series would not begin for several more years anyway.
Then, on Saturday came a bunch of social media suggestions and debates that while on the surface comparisons to what Florida State and Miami did in terms of their 1980s scheduling would seem to be a legitimate comparison of scheduling mentality, it actually is a false equivalency.
I.E. not the same thing or facts don’t support it.
For example when you see a tweet like this about Florida State and Bobby Bowden taking on a road warrior almost mercenary type attitude toward scheduling in the 1980’s, it’s true:
Your Noles were independent and your coach took on everybody and anybody, everywhere, anywhere. Went to Ohio State 2x (no return visit). Went to Nebraska 4x (no return visit). Went to LSU 7x (LSU visited once). Twice did 2-for-1s at Auburn. Won most. All that led to ACC, No. 1. https://t.co/ALtoGql5dp
— Chris Wright (@FilmRoomEditor) December 15, 2018
However, the reality is Florida State wasn’t in a conference and was in a different financial time of college football. In terms of Television Revenue, as independent they weren’t getting any piece of the big TV money.. So, the #1 revenue generator for those Noles at that time, was to go take paydays from those power schools above that were in a conference and had the money to pay them to play them repeatedly.
The bonus is that Florida State won a bunch of those games, got really prominent a and like the tweet mentions, eventually got into the ACC for a more lucrative revenue world.
The same is true of the rise of the Miami Hurricanes under Howard Schnellenberger and Jimmie Johnson. The Canes without a conference, would repeatedly go play big time programs on the road for lucrative paydays without a home game promised in return. This was to help pay the bills and build their credibility. They really had no other choice.
So, the landscape of college football has changed, (especially in the 200s) in terms of conferences, revenue and options.
We will continue to write that UCF should try to exercise whatever leverage they have with ESPN or Fox or CBS and try to play a neutral site “made-for-tv matchups” at the beginning of the season.
And take look at next year’s schedule as an example.
As it stands right now, the Knights are slated to open with Florida A&M at home at Spectrum Stadium. They will then play Return game against Lane kiffin FAU team in Boca Raton after blasting them in the first game of a home-and-home series this past season.
And then, the Knights are doing with the CFP committee and their detractors have been after them about; they’re playing Stanford, a perennial Pac-12 power at home and then, traveling to Pitt who won their division in the ACC this year and is perennially a bowl team out of a power 5 conference. And, that is a road game at Pittsburgh, and the return of a home-and-home after UCF destroyed the Panthers back in September in Orlando.
So on the surface, that looks like a good out of conference schedule. But, it could become great if the knights were to go to ESPN and say “why can’t we play Someone like Georgia, or Texas, or Penn State at a neutral field for a boatload of money and we will buyout Florida A&M for our home game?
One of those brand names above added with Stanford and Pitt makes a very strong out of conference schedule argument for next year. And, it’s something that’s easily doable, because money talks and the big TV networks want matchups like this on the opening Labor Day weekend.
Again, we side with athletic director Danny White and the Knights that they shouldn’t be forced to go play a two for one against an upper-echelon SEC or Big Ten Or ACC program.
Instead, take advantage of what you do have at your disposal and go play the one-off neutral-site game next year, run the table again, and now your argument is even greater to be in that CFP final four.
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