The biggest topic in college football once again revolves around the SEC and its decision to stick with the eight-game, 6-1-1 format in 2016 and beyond, while other power conferences are either at nine games already or are moving that direction in 2016.
Much like the SEC had its post-spring teleconference yesterday, the Pac-12’s was today, and coaches took turns voicing their displeasure with the SEC staying at eight games, while their teams have to play nine games.
Stanford’s David Shaw has been the most outspoken critic dating back to last November, when he said the Pac-12 had the toughest schedule to navigate because of the SEC’s November ‘cupcakes’ schedule.
“You can write that — cupcakes,” Shaw told CBSSports.com. “It’s hard from here on out in our conference.”
Shaw today took another jab at the scheduling and accused the conference of backing down from playing each other. “Play your conference. Don’t back down from playing your own conference. It’s one thing to back down from playing somebody else. But don’t back down from playing your own conference.”
Oregon State head coach Mike Riley also voiced his displeasure with the conference’s decision, bargaining for some equity among the power conference’s schedules.
“I don’t think it’s right. There’s got to be some equity here,” Riley said.
Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich sided with both Shaw and Riley, adding he wasn’t surprised by the decision.
“Obviously our feelings are if we are going to call anything equal or point in the same direction for the playoffs, it seems like the qualifications for that playoff should be equal. We are a long ways from that in a few leagues and conferences,” Helfrich said.
He added later…
“I think there’s a couple leagues who are in the minority of playing less than nine league games, that’s definitely to their advantage.”
The Pac-12 and Big 12 currently have nine-game conference schedules. The Big Ten will have nine games starting in 2016, and strong support exists among ACC members to move towards nine games.
Remember, these coaches are just lobbying for their team and conference ahead of the four-team playoff, where politicking could be taken to a whole new level. The debate is merely just getting started. Wait until one SEC team and one Pac-12 team have an identical record and vying for that last playoff spot. That will be fun.
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