Pac-12 Football Roundtable: Eight Game Conference Schedule Thoughts

Ezra Shaw

What are your thoughts on the Pac-12 coaches considering an eight game conference schedule?

David Piper, Addicted to Quack -- I hate the idea. I understand that having more conference games puts the Pac-12 at a disadvantage vis a vis the SEC. However, the fact of the matter is that, in the past, this conference has had significant trouble filling out OOC schedules with quality opponents. For many schools, the loss of a conference game would be filled by an Idaho or, worse, a 1-AA type opponent. While that may make it easier for more teams to be bowl eligible, it's bad football. I don't need more bad football.

Jack Follman, Pacific Takes: Don't like the idea. Basically what it would do is take a potentially good conference game off of the schedule and adds a game that no one wants to watch against an FCS team or a low-level FBS team. Also, opens it up even more for unfair in-conference scheduling. For example, with the eight-game format, there is a good chance that the past two years, Utah would have avoided playing Oregon, Stanford and Washington.

Sean Reynolds, Block U: Utah was one game away from bowl eligibility last year and theoretically could have gotten there with one extra out of conference game against a bad WAC or MAC team (and no jokes about the Utes losing, on the road, to another WAC team - Utah State). But I feel getting to a bowl game that way is cheap and I don't know if I'd be satisfied with weakening the schedule solely for the prospects of getting more teams into the postseason.

I'd really hate losing out on playing an extra Pac-12 team to turn around and play New Mexico State. So, while I get the coaches' feelings behind the potential move ... I don't know if there is enough good to warrant it.

I do know that some Utah fans would love an extra conference game to play past Mountain West foes. I don't know why, really, because I have zero interest in playing Wyoming or Colorado St. again in football - especially now, when there isn't much to gain and a whole lot to lose if you, you know, lose (and Ute fans witnessed this last year with that loss to the Aggies). It just seems 9 games is the future at this point and helps balance out the conference slate so it's fairer all around.

Andy Wooldridge, Building The Dam: It would be a mistake. The idea was popular, if unsound, when other conferences weren't playing more than 8 conference games. But the Big XII is at 9, and the BIG is on their way to 9, and considering 10. The increased emphasis on Strength of Schedule that's bound to come one way or another with the Football Championship Series also makes 9 games make more sense than 8, and that's especially true for the Pac-12.

One of the reasons the Pac-10 went to 9 games was the problem many schools not named USC or Washington were having filling out their schedules, and geography does have a lot to do with it. There aren't that many non-FCS teams in this area to work with that are willing to do 2 for 1 or 1 offs, and there's also the problem of selling less desirable games. They either don't sell out, or carry a lower price tag than better games would. These games also hurt the tv package attractiveness, as well as other advertising. Its bad business as well as bad football.

Gekko Mojo, UW Dawg Pound: I don't have much of a reaction to it either way, at least not until we have a sense of what the specifics would be. Questions like the preservation of rivalry games, the methods that are used to select playoff teams and whether or not scheduling alliances are part of it would all affect my general opinion. As a concept, I generally prefer a nine game conference because, hey, I like mixing it up with you guys.

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