College Football: Debunking The Soft Schedule Argument

Phil HarrisonCorrespondent IAugust 22, 2010

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 01: Da'Michael Horne #7 of the Youngstown State Penguins carries the ball against Larry Grant #6 of the Ohio State Buckeyes on September 1, 2007 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.  The Buckeyes won 38-6. (Photo By Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It has become the most often-used reason as to why team's have inflated perceptions across this crazed college football nation: "But their schedule is soft..."

I know this is probably just as futile of an attempt at limiting this argument, as it is for an SEC fan to believe that people in the South are not born with more fast-twitch muscle fibers, but here we go anyway.  

Here are the top reasons why the "weak schedule" argument has no place in college football:


Nearly Every Program Plays "Cupcakes" 

For every tit, there is a tat.  If you want to use the argument that a team just doesn't schedule very well out of conference, please take a look at your own team's schedule before upchucking this lame comparison.

Every big time college program tries to bring in big revenue.  To do this, Athletic Directors schedule games in which there is not a return trip the following year.  The only teams to accept this set up, are those teams that want a payday and exposure.

More home games equals more gate revenue, equals more money, equals more opponents named after points on a compass.  It is not that hard of a equation to figure out, and one that is now the norm rather than the exception.


Schedules are made far in advance

Dear Regular Joe Fan:  A football schedule is not made just prior to the year that it is played.  P.S. it is not even a normal practice to make if two or three years prior to when it is played.  

If you know anything about this process, then you know that schedules are made years in advance.

Just because a team is good today does not mean that they will be the same juggernaut when the time rolls around to actually play the game.  Even the elite teams of College Football go through down cycles, as recruiting classes cycle in and out.

On the flip side, a team that is not that good today may just be a tougher out than anticipated after a few years pending on the future schedule.  All in all, it is not an exact science by any means.


There are only a few top-tier teams that can be scheduled

Dove-tailing off of the last point, the best that can be hoped for when scheduling for "weight" is to work out a deal with one of the few "upper-crust" programs out there.

The fact of the matter is that there just aren't enough of these programs around to make everyone's schedule loaded.  It is a numbers game, and one in which you cannot continue to schedule the same out-of-conference opponents year in and year out.


Three-fourths of a team's schedule is generally already made out

Please don't use the argument that a team's conference is weak.  Beside the point that it is an apples to oranges comparison anyway, team's that are in a conference have an obligation to play the schedule laid out before them by the conference suits.

All a team can do, is strap on their helmets and play one game at a time without a let down throughout the entire conference slate that has been pre-determined for them.

Lost in this argument is the fact that no matter who you are playing, running the table of a conference is still an extremely hard thing to do.  If you can navigate the travel, injuries, hostile crowds, and luck in any conference, you should deserve some credit.

In closing, I am going to boil this down really simple:  Get off of the weak schedule argument and remember that what is true for one team, is true for another (including the one that you are rooting for).  

Let's all embrace the upcoming college football season for what it is:  One that should be full of many heart-pounding moments, unbelievable moments, and unparalleled enjoyment.  To sum it up:  We should all have no trouble scheduling for this one.