On Thursday, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis spoke to “College Football Playbook” on SirisXM Radio and told listeners that it was time for the Spartans to get “rewarded” for their strength of non-conference scheduling.
And it is, undoubtedly, a much tougher schedule they will have over the next few years starting in the 2014 season. Also starting that year is the new four-team College Football Playoffs, which will still rely somewhat on merit.
The Big Ten is going to a nine conference game schedule starting in 2016 and doing away with FCS opponents. Instead, Michigan State has scheduled a slew of big name, high-caliber teams in order to boost their visibility and earn them some recognition for when the playoff system starts.
“We need to make sure we get rewarded for making those dramatic changes,” Hollis said of the addition of facing top talent teams.
Alabama, Oregon, Boise State, Miami (Fla.), and the traditional Notre Dame series are just a sample of the bigger names on the schedule for the Spartans in the coming years.
“Some would argue the AD is not doing the right thing,” Hollis said of his recent insistence in the past few years to bolster the Spartans’ nonleague schedules, “because those kinds of games aren’t gonna be rewarded when your winning percentage is 50% or 75% vs. 100% against opponents that are directional or more the guarantee (payout games against lesser teams).”
This in mind, Big Ten leaders, such as Hollis, are hedging their bets that playoff officials are going to consider a team’s strength of schedule when considering positions within the playoffs come the post season. Not to mention, the added draw for fans of being able to watch some of the nation’s best teams play in their hometown stadium.
Money is king in the world of NCAA football, but nothing breeds more financial payoff than success itself.
You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.