Grading the P5 Conferences That have 14 Members (SEC, B-10, & ACC) By Strength of Non-Conference Scheduling
The SEC’s East Division (7 teams) takes on 6 P5 opponents, Vanderbilt and Missouri, do not play a team from a power conference, while South Carolina plays 2 this regular season! Their opponents include 5 ACC teams: UNC, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, & Georgia Tech, the lone non-ACC competitor is a Big 12 Team, Oklahoma.
The SEC’s West Division steps up against 5 P5 teams, from the Big Ten (1), the ACC (2), Big 12 (1), & the Pac 12 (1). these teams are B-10: Wisconsin, ACC: Louisville, Syracuse, Texas Tech from the B-12 & Pac 12: Arizona State. The Mississippi’s schools, Ole Miss & Mississippi State, just like last year, are not playing P5’s in their non-conference schedule!
The SEC is playing a total of 11 P5 opponents this year and played the same number last season. The truth is … this is pathetic! Sully’s College Football Page believes, during the regular season, a P5 teams should play 3 Power Conference opponents in a 2 year cycle! So the SEC should be playing 35 NC P5 opponents in a 2 year time frame (each conference member would play at least 1 P5 in year one and then 2 the second year or vise versa) Currently the SEC is taking on 22 P5’s in 2014 & 2015 seasons! Only Georgia & South Carolina have played 3 P5’s during the regular season in the past 2 years. Georgia has lined up against G-Tech twice & Clemson once, while South Carolina will have battled Clemson twice and UNC once by the end of 2015!
Please stop chanting … SEC… SEC… SEC … & … start chanting … Play … Some – – – body; … Play … Some – – – body; … Play … Some – – – body! Do what do Richt & Spurrier are doing give, at least arguably, college football best fans what they deserve ; A game of interest against a Non-Conference P5 opponent! It’s time for Southern Cal to run out of the tunnel at Bryant-Denny or Ohio State to charge on to the field at Ben Hill Griffin or Auburn” to come a-call-in” at the Big House or LSU to hold a vigil in front of “Touchdown Jesus”! If the SEC is as good as it thinks it is … “The Best” … then prove it during the regular season. Play P5’s outside the league and please, do so on a Home and Home basis. Forget these neutral site games, play one another on your & their home fields, put simply, the fans deserve it. They already spend enough money on season tickets and conference travel. They should not be asked to travel & hotel @ Houston, Arlington, or Atlanta during the regular season. These travel $’s should be spent in SEC or opponents home venues! Neutral site travel, clearly, that is for the 2nd season, the Bowl Season!
SEC P5 Non-conference Scheduling Grade: F
The Big 10 East, is once again, the stronger of the 2 divisions and will strap it on against 8 P5′ this season. These opponents will come from the PAC 12: 4, ACC 2, & the Big 12: 2. A side note, for the 1st time in over 100 years, the B-10 will not play Notre Dame! The conferences/teams B-10 opponents represent are as follows; PAC 12: Oregon, Washington State, Oregon State, & Utah; ACC: Virginia Tech & Wake Forest, & Big 12: Kansas & West Virginia. The Big Ten East breaks down as follows: Michigan & Rutgers are playing 2 Power Conferences opponents each, While Ohio State, MSU, Maryland, & Indiana play one. Penn State, for the second year in a row, will not line up against a P5! Shameful!
The Big Ten West is engaged, as they take on 9 P5 teams in 2015! These P5’s opponents come from the following Conferences; 5 ACC, 2 Big 12, 1 SEC, & 1 PAC 12! The teams that the B-10 West is challenging are: ACC: UNC, Virginia Tech, Duke, Pittsburgh, & Miami, Stanford represents the PAC 12, Alabama from the mighty SEC, and TCU & Iowa State out of the Big 12
The Big 10 is playing 17 P5’s this season which meets and surpasses the 14 minimal for a fourteen team conference. However, we do have a problem! The conference played the same number of P5’s last season, 17, for a 2 season total of 34. This leaves the Conference one short of the required 35 to earn A on SCFP! No question the culprit here is Penn State, had they “stepped up” in either year, the Big 10 would have been on target with its P5 NC Scheduling. No question or argument that PSU was short of scholarship athletes these past years … so what, if you claim to be a D1 associate, play in a D1 Conference, which they do, then schedule accordingly! Play three NC games against P5 teams in a 2 year cycle and all is well in Big Ten Country!
Big Ten Non-conference Scheduling Grade: C+
The ACC’s Atlantic Division takes on 9 Power Power 5 opponents in the 2015 season. These contests are against the following conferences’ SEC 5, Big Ten 1, & Notre Dame 3. ND is widely considered as part of the P5 makeup, for reasons that simply do not fit the existing criteria that defines how one would understand who is part of the P5. They’re not in a Power Five Conference or any conference for that matter! Yet, they do have a quasi relationship with the ACC to play 5 games annually (4 last year & 6 this year do to scheduling issues)! So it begs the question, if/are these encounters with ACC squads Quasi Conference games … and if so … should they be counted as Non-conference P5 games for the ACC or as something else? Ok enough!!! For our purposes, SCFP rules that Notre Dame is part of the Power 5 alignment, as an independent, in an organization that is defined by specific conference affiliation … what? Now that that is crystal clear, no further discussion/confusion will be tolerated … well … let’s go with this and see if it works! The teams battling with the Atlantic Division are South Carolina, LSU, Auburn, Kentucky, & Florida from the SEC, Indiana from the Big Ten, & Notre Dame takes on 3 Atlantic Division teams.
The Coastal Division challenges 12 P5’s in 2015 … The Coastal is behaving like a vaccine, a cure, all over the scheduling fiasco that is a plaque set upon college football fans. The ACC’s Coastal will kick it off against the following P5 Conferences: ND: 3 times (well … Ok … Quasi Conference) , the SEC: 2, Big Ten: 6 games, PAC 12: 1! The Teams included; as mentioned, the Irish 3 times; South Carolina & Georgia out of the SEC; Ohio State, Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, & Nebraska are the reps from the Big Ten, & the PAC 12’s: UCLA! Wow what a line up!
The ACC is playing 21 teams from P5 Conferences in 2015 and coupled with their 2014 scorecard of 17 tilts with Power Conferences, the ACC has been involved in 38 games in the past 2 years vs P5’s. This fits perfectly with what SCFP is calling for, 3 P5 Opponents in a 2 year time frame. This formula will allow ACC teams to play 1 FCS team (these FCS leagues are often dependent on these games to meet budget … about 88 or so of these games are played every year & the FCS teams will win anywhere from 2 to 8) every other year and fill their remaining games with G5 (Group of 5 … AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC, & SBC). Clearly, the ACC is getting this right!
ACC Non-conference Scheduling Grade: A+
Up Next: Big Twelve & PAC 12