It’s been a discussion in the Big Ten to stop scheduling FCS opponents for a little while, But now not the conference is taking action. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has announced that, from this point on, conference athletic directors will no longer schedule FCS games.
Delany confirms that outside of existing contracts, Big Ten ADs have committed to scheduling no more FCS games beginning next season.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 31, 2015
The conference has released an official scheduling blueprint to follow, referred to as the “Strength of Schedule Commitment”.
This format lays out the required components of every future B1G schedule: at least one game against an autonomy five opponent, nine conference games, one championship game and no games outside of the FBS.
So why are we talking about this? Because it brings up the question, should the Big 12 follow in these footsteps? The conference has recently received some heat for the lack of non-conference competition. Some even point to a weak non-conference schedule as to why at least one Big 12 team was left out of last year’s College Football Playoff.
Big 12 teams have already taken the first step in playing stronger non-conference opponents. Several members have marquee opponents scheduled throughout the foreseeable future. Even Baylor has acknowledged that they’d like to strengthen their schedule just a tad.
Scheduling FCS opponents hasn’t worked all that well for the Big 12 in recent years either. Northern Iowa knocked off Iowa State in 2013, and North Dakota State is coming off wins against Kansas State and Iowa State in back-to-back years.
Of course there’s a downside to shutting out the FCS as well. They depend on these ‘pay days’ to fund their athletic programs throughout the year. So what do you think, should the Big 12 follow suit, and stop scheduling FCS opponents?