Nobody in college football takes more flack for their non-conference schedule than Baylor. And while there are currently plenty of things to give the Bears flack over, here in about a decade non-conference scheduling won’t be one of them.
It was announced on Friday that Baylor and Oregon have agreed to a home-and-home series. The Ducks will visit Waco in 2027, and the Bears will travel to Eugene the following year. If they don’t meet up in a bowl game before then, it will be the first time these two teams have played.
The addition of Oregon is a major boost to a future schedule that is pretty lacking; even with the conference rule that members must schedule at least one power five non-con opponent per year. Baylor has Liberty, Abilene Christian, Stephen F. Austin and Incarnate Word scheduled over the next four years. Those aren’t even cupcakes, those are crumbs. Even if it is just to collect a check, those teams don’t belong on the same field as Baylor.
So, even though Duke and Ole Miss are also on the schedule during that span, I don’t see the perception of the Bear’s weak scheduling changing anytime soon. Not to mention, 2019 is particularly bad since there is not a P5 opponent scheduled that would help balance out the game against Stephen F. Austin. UTSA and Rice are the other two opponents scheduled for that year.
Now, I don’t actually think non-conference scheduling means a hill of beans when you play in a round-robin conference format, but perception is reality so to speak. It doesn’t matter that the Bears have ranked 20th in the country in strength of schedule on average over the last four years, they need to keep scheduling opponents like Oregon to change the perception.