Some interesting information from the AAS today regarding future Texas football scheduling:
With Texas working on its future football schedules in light of the trimmed-down Big 12, look for this to happen: The Longhorns will strongly consider making Notre Dame an annual game but not in Arlington or Chicago as the Irish preferred. Texas can’t have two neutral-site games in a year because it would be a financial hit and unfair to Longhorns season ticket-holders.
An annual matchup with Notre Dame over a eight to ten year period starting in 2015 makes a lot of sense for both schools for reasons I've already laid out. I understand that proclaiming Notre Dame's utter irrelevance is both fun and factual, but that's not a permanent state of being. Brian Kelly is a real football coach who has already enjoyed great success at a school which was the football equivalent of the University of Houston (with less local talent) and he's going to maximize at Notre Dame.
That suggests the question: what can Notre Dame be maximized to?
Whether that means a Top 25 team or a national title contender, our purposes are served either way in every way.
Even though a “very high-profile Big Ten team” has inquired about a future home-and-home series
1. Penn State/Michigan
3. Ohio State
4. Indiana (Belmont does like a good exaggeration)
Penn State makes a lot of sense on a number of levels (previous history of series, shared values, Paterno-Mack mutual love), but Michigan has aggressively been in talks with a number of schools, so perhaps they're reconsidering their traditional early season warm weather aversion.
But there's a wrench in the works...
Texas will not waste any time trying to schedule future Big Ten opponents because of the Big Ten Network’s insistence on allowing Texas a bare minimum of highlights from those games on Longhorn coaches’ shows and elsewhere.
Apparently the Big 10 Network objection is semi-legitimate and wasn't just a convenient means of jettisoning Minnesota for our own nefarious reasons. Next time you see Texas playing a Big 10 team it will be in a BCS bowl or the, God helps us, Alamo Bowl.
Look to the ACC, Pac 10, and SEC to provide our non-conference games of interest.
It canceled its two-game set with Minnesota, which tried in vain in the 11th hour to reconfirm it. The Big Ten needs to think it through.
Yes, the Big 10 should immediately abandon a key aspect of their business model which created the most profitable television property in college football history because it mildly displeases Texas and prevented one of their basement teams from getting shellacked.
They'll get on that right away.
Texas will probably book Maryland for the 2017 and 2018 seasons with a game in Austin and another at Redskins home FedEx Field in Landover, Md. Texas also has to reorganize its slates the next three years and move some games - including a few it hasn’t even announced yet — because of the coming schedule of nine league games.
I'm indifferent to this match-up, and outright disappointed if we're trying to sell this as a marquee game. It's possible that in some years we'll schedule three middle tier out-of-conference opponents which will, in aggregate, provide some interesting games and travel locations.
Oklahoma has done this in some years.
More likely, we'll attempt to pair Maryland with some logical candidates ranging from respectable to good from the SEC or Pac 10.
Getting Maryland to play their home game at Fed-Ex Field would be a coup.
A few thoughts:
- The administration now understands that we've lost our two most interesting and/or enjoyable road games in the Big 12 as well as the potential of an appealing title game. Round-robin Big 12 scheduling guarantees some really shoddy stretches of games (try Baylor, Kansas State, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma State played in a row on for size) both home and away. Similarly, the Big 12 will degrade perceptually in relative short order to the 3rd or 4th best conference. Though Texas' rep is made of teflon, some of that stink will stick in years when the SEC and Big 10 put up their one or no loss champions. Upgrading our out-of-conference schedule is our best ameliorative measure on several fronts and I'm glad Belmont gets it.
- Check out how the 2015/2016 seasons open:
2015 @ Notre Dame, Cal
2016 @ Cal, Notre Dame
Yeah, that'll work.
- Let's take a quick look at 2011-2014...
We open thusly in 2011:
Sept. 3 RICE
Sept. 10 BYU
Sept. 17 at UCLA
Sept. 24 UCF
We need to ditch one of these games to fit the Big 12 schedule. Logic dictates that we ditch UCF. I like Rice as a sure patsy, UCLA is set in stone, and BYU gives you an interesting match-up, national respect, and there's no obligation of a home-and-home return. If we ditch BYU, that's a fail.
Sept. 1 WYOMING
Sept. 8 UTEP
Sept. 15 at Mississippi
Ole Miss will be a fun road trip, but this non-conference is weak overall.
We may ditch UTEP or Wyoming, but holding firm is more likely.
Sept. 14 MISSISSIPPI
Ole Miss is our only commitment.
No non-conference commitments. This is wide open territory. Butch Worley can go crazy.
I'm interesting in your thoughts. Who do you want to see us play? I don't mean in a fanciful, dream-match way. Legitimate possibilities.
We should have no interest in playing LSU or Arkansas, for reasons that I hope are obvious.
Florida would be awesome, but it's not happening so long as they've got a possibly reinvigorated Florida State on the non-con schedule and their SEC slate.
The Big 10 is out, apparently.
I'm thinking Pac 10 (Washington, Stanford, Oregon), ACC (Maryland, Boston College), SEC (Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama).