Big Ten Reportedly May Ease Up Scheduling Requirements, Would Be A Huge Mistake: HOOKSTEAD

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The Big Ten reportedly is considering easing up its football scheduling guidance.

The conference is considering no longer mandating teams play a Power 5 non-conference game every year and would allow teams to keep scheduling FCS opponents, according to The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy.

Scheduling FCS teams was briefly banned by the the Big Ten before it was allowed with some level of restrictions. The conference has always been clear it’s against it, but will apparently not care with USC and UCLA joining the conference next summer.

The dropping the P5 non-conference guideline is much more significant and a terrible idea.

Big Ten considering easing scheduling restrictions. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Why would the Big Ten make such a stupid decision?

Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti should absolutely not allow Big Ten teams to have a non-conference schedule without a P5 opponent.

It can’t be allowed. The FCS scheduling should also end immediately, but the P5 non-conference issue is significantly more important.

Fans aren’t paying to watch their team play cupcakes. Not at all. Fans want to see great games between P5 teams.

As a Wisconsin fan, I get zero joy playing teams like Illinois State from the FCS or other no name teams. Hell, I’m not even pumped about the fact there’s a home-and-home against Washington State that continues this upcoming season.

The Big Ten shouldn’t ease up scheduling guidelines. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

This is all because of the College Football Playoff.

Now, the reason this is happening is obvious. The Big Ten already plays a nine-game conference schedule, and the College Football Playoff is expanding in 2024 to 12 teams. Teams aren’t exactly incentivized to play tough schedules. It’s sad but true.

However, that doesn’t mean the B1G should make things easier. With an expanded 12-team field, there will be plenty of teams from the powerhouse conference that get in no matter what happens.

The regular season non-conference slate shouldn’t be sacrificed in an attempt to make things easier. The SEC already plays an eight-game conference schedule, and that’s a complete joke.

The Big Ten is considering easing scheduling restrictions. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images)

The Big Ten has long prided itself on a nine-game conference slate and attempting to put together fun non-conference slates.

For example, Wisconsin plays Alabama twice in the coming years. That’s a dream for fans. Why would the Big Ten drop a mandate for P5 non-conference opponents in the name of the CFP? It’s unneeded, and if teams are scared to play a P5 non-conference opponent, they definitely don’t have the guts to be in the playoff.

The College Football Playoff expands in 2024. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

Keep the nine-game conference schedule, keep a P5 non-conference opponent and ban FCS teams from ever appearing on a B1G schedule. It’s not hard to figure out. This is a great test for Tony Petitti. For the sake of the Big Ten, let’s hope he passes.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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  1. Why? Because polls, that’s why. Ohio State could go back to doing their “tour of Ohio” out of conference schedule and the pollsters would still put them in the top 5, and the “impartial selection panel” would put them in the playoff.

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