We’re starting to hear a few things from the poobahs on the selection committee about criteria. There’s a lot of talk about schedule strength, which is welcome, of course. But it’s also one of those easier said than done things, too. Or maybe not.
As an athletic director, one of Radakovich’s prime duties is making Clemson’s nonconference football schedule. He has to mix the right blend of teams with the Atlantic Coast Conference opponents to come up with a slate that draws fans to Memorial Stadium and gives the Tigers a chance to succeed.
He doesn’t necessarily see the implementation of the College Football Playoff as catalyst for sweeping changes in how teams schedule.
“There are certain times when people are going to say, ‘This team that we have coming back is going to be really good. We have a chance to really make a run. Is this schedule set up for us to do that?” Radakovich said. “Now the year following that the same AD may say, ‘I’ve lost all of this stuff. How am I going to make sure that this team has a chance to be successful?’ That’s the difference between football and basketball.
“In basketball you can change your schedule like that. In football it’s a lot more difficult. It could be something that’s an outgrowth of this new system.”
C’mon, Dan, it’s not that difficult to drop a 1-AA cupcake for a neutral site game to start the season against a D-1 opponent. You pull out the ol’ Rolodex – or more likely, you’ve got the number on speed dial – call your friends at ESPN to make something happen, and voilà!, instant schedule credibility. (Plus, do it early, and even if you lose, you’ve got time to regain your stature with a playoff run.)
Expect to see a rise in spot scheduling like this as teams realize ways to game the new system.