Despite being the dominant power in College Football, SEC teams tend to schedule way too many FCS games which will probably hurt some of their team’s chances when it comes to make decisions about the College Football playoffs. Will Muschamp, head coach of the Florida Gators, has stated publicly that he doesn’t want any opponents from a lower division anymore.
We’re probably going to move forward without playing FCS opponents. And I think our fan base wants to see better opponents.
Some say that Muschamp is saying this because Florida, coming off a 4-8 season, have their head coach on the hot seat. He lost last season to Georgia Southern in one of the true low points of a terrible campaign that was derailed with injuries and some awful offensive playcalling. Some might say that it’s easier to explain a loss to a division I team than one from the FCS.
But Muschamp might want it with all of his heart. The SEC voted on keeping the conference schedule an eight game one and with teams playing 12 games and Florida already having one game against Florida State, it’s not easy finding three more division one teams to play against, or it’s simply not in the school’s best interest.
I understand what Will’s saying. In a perfect world, you play all D-I schools. But also you have to have 12 opponents.
All 14 SEC teams have a game scheduled against an FCS rival in 2014, so we’re not seeing immediate change. From 2016, each school is obligated to play at least one team from a power five conference (Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC) on their nonconference schedule, which will probably force those used to scheduling cupcakes to change their philosophy a bit.
The most logical explanation for some schools wanting to rid themselves of FCS opponents is the matter of attendance. In the past, these games didn’t hurt their attendance numbers but recently more and more empty seats have being showing up, even for big schools who usually automatically pack their stadiums no matter the opponent, when an FCS or cupcake opponent is involved.
The SEC loves bragging about its strength and how their own conference schedule is difficult enough. But we probably won’t know how these latest decisions will affect them until we see what kind of decision making takes place when the four teams for the College Football playoffs are chosen.