Our Fans Deserve The Best. Let's Schedule Rice
The Texas Longhorns, at least until the year 2010, were a football power under Mack Brown. They went to the national championship game twice and they compiled a conference record of 6-2 or better all but one time. This is very impressive considering the competition in the Big 12. A look at their recruiting class for 2012 would be like taking a look at ANY recruiting class Brown has brought in since arriving at Texas. They signed 12 of the nation's top 150 recruits, third only to Florida State and Alabama. Yet every year Texas insists on scheduling 2 home games that they have zero chance of losing.
This is to say their opponent is a team with zero recruits in the top 150. In 1998 it was New Mexico State and Rice followed in '99 by Stanford and Rice then Louisiana Lafayette and Houston in '00 and New Mexico State and North Carolina in '01 and the list goes on. Granted some of those schools have improved over time but during that particular year Texas had superior talent. Now it must also be noted that from 1998 to 2009 Texas played either 6 or 7 true home games(Oklahoma is always in Dallas). This means approximately 30% of Texas's home games over that span have been a complete rip off for any fans attending the games. In my article "i think teams with 7 losses should play in bowl games" i proposed that 8 conference winners have a playoff to decide the national champion. Under this proposal a team's non conference record would have NO IMPACT on its chances of a national championship.
More specifically, a team could go 0-3 in non conference play and still WIN IT ALL. So i am encouraging non conference play to be about finding the best competition possible so as to make your team as good as it can be when conference play starts. But there was Texas again in 2011 with Rice on its home schedule and 101,624 truly sad people showing up to watch it. Texas is just an example. All football powers are guilty of what i have just described. The first week of any season is "let's see how bad we can crush this group of third rate recruits". In 2011 Wisconsin's punching bag was UNLV, Mississippi State had Memphis, Michigan State had Youngstown State, Ohio State had Akron and the list goes on. The reason for this scheduling is obvious. Without a playoff you must try and win EVERY GAME. One early loss and your opportunity to hoist the trophy in January is all but gone. College football might someday be worth a damn. When we're all dead.