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Pac-12 Football: 8 Game Conference Schedule Discussed

Pac-12 coaches would like to move down from nine games a year against conference foes to eight.

Stephen Dunn


You can certainly look either way and figure out what's good and what's bad about this.

Benefits to an eight game schedule:

  • A chance for more bowl-eligible teams.
  • Aligns us with the major college football conferences, all of whom play eight game conference schedules and don't seem to be showing any sign of budging. (Information out-of-date)
  • Easier road to going undefeated, which could mean an easier road to the national championship game.

Benefits to a nine game schedule:

  • Better TV deals with ESPN and FOX,
  • Stronger strength of schedule for the best teams, boosting BCS rankings and potential at-large bids.
  • More marquee conference games in the future, particularly with the big powers.
  • Better ticket sales for each university.

Coaches probably prefer an eight game schedule because it'll make it easier for them all to retain their jobs. More conference games = tougher foes = higher probability of more losses. Any chance they can get to move down the intensity of their schedule, they'll try and make it so.

However, it's athletic directors and university presidents that would have to be sold on moving down a notch. And with ticket sales and TV revenue more important than ever in the modern college football era, it might be difficult to expect much of a deviation from the norm, particularly now that the playoff should make it easier for the Pac-12 to get its chance at a title.

What do you think? Would you prefer the Pac-12 play eight or nine conference games?