Until the 2015 season kicks off — and quite possibly for some time after it — Art Briles is going to be asked about Baylor’s 2014 nonconference schedule. The Bears played SMU, Lamar, and Rice, and were left out of the inaugural Playoff despite an 11-1 record; Ohio State played Navy, Virginia Tech, Kent State and Cincinnati, and went on tice-president Jordi Cardoner doesn’t expect a deal for PSG star Neymar this month.He openly acknowledged that the Paris Saint-Germain forward is unhappy in the French capital, though he stated that it is something that the Parisians have to sort out o win the CFP championship despite the same 11-1 regular-season record.
That’s not the sort of program-defining, even conference-defining schism that’s going to be overlooked after a single offseason. So , Briles addressed the issue from a couple of different standpoints.
Art Briles a Jadon Sancho.Dortmund chiefs have previously discussed interest they received from a “super club” in the spring regarding the former Manchester City youngster.But Zorc confirmed a meeting was held with Red Devils chiefs during the Inside Borussia Dosked about his non-conf. scheduling philosophy. Said non-conf schedule had “zero effect” on Baylor getting left out last season
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter)
Baylor’s Briles: “We’re getting Duke on schedule. but you go undefeated in Big 12 and you make the Final Four. no question about that.”
— Kevin Lyttle (@klyttleAAS)
The end result is that Briles has both the right idea about Baylor’s nonconference scheduling … and the wrong idea about Baylor’s nonconference schedule.
Even if Duke regresses from its historic recent highs under David Cutcliffe before the Bears face them in 2017, it won’t change the fact Baylor’s nonconference slates have been — and for this season and the next, will be — Charmin-soft. is an Ohio State fan, but he’s also not wrong:
The “lousy” VT team Ohio State lost to last season (40th in Sagarin) would be the strongest non-con opponent for Baylor since UConn in 2009.
— Ramzy Nasrallah (@ramzy)
After facing SMU, Lamar and Rice imoving for Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez.The Chinese Premier League outfit are trying to capitalise on the Spaniard’s uncertain future at St James’ Park with the offer of a megabucks deal.The Sun says it is understood Dalian Yifang have offered n 2014, in 2015, Baylor will face … . (The SMU game is away from Waco, at least, which might matter if .) The — vs. FCS Northwestern State, vs. SMU, at Rice — is more of the same.
So yes, Duke likely represents a substantial step up … but Briles is also right that if his team runs the Big 12 table, it won’t matter a lick if they do or not. last season, they cruise into the CFP, and their nonconference approach (to anyone other than Buckeyes supporters, anyway) doesn’t even rise to “interesting footnote” level.
Briles and the Bears deserve some acknowledgment of the fact that thanks to the Blue Devils, their nonleague schedules won’t be so cupcake-sweet forever … and even more acknowledgment that if they finish the Big 12 drill, even that concession to resume-building won’t be necessary.
If Briles is saying the SMU/Lamar/Rice slate would have had “zero effect” if the Bears had defeated West Virginia, he’s correct. If he’s saying the committee wasn’t paying attention to his team’s nonconference slate when they chose Ohio State — , it’s not immediately clear which of those possibilities he means — he’s highly incorrect.
“The committee noted that Ohio State’s non-conference schedule was stronger than Baylor’s,” at the time.
That doesn’t guarantee that if it had been the Bears playing Virginia Tech and Ohio State Lamar, the teams’ playoff places would have been switched; over Wisconsin than schedule strength. But clearly the 2014 slate didn’t do Baylor any favors … and its 2015 and 2016 don’t look likely to do so, either.
No, if Baylor goes undefeated that won’t matter. But which is more likely: the Bears running the Big 12 table, or Baylor dropping one somewhere along the line and needing the committee’s approval to make the field? , only one Big 12 team has managed the former — Texas, in 2009. ( in the Big 12 as a reason beefing up the schedule shouldn’t be necessary.) Incredible as the Bears’ run under Briles has been, is “12-0 or bust” a realistic strategy?
Given how close TCU and Baylor both came to accomplishing the feat last season (not to mention Oklaoma State in 2011, Kansas State in 2012, etc.), perhaps it is. Playing difficult games to impress committee members via an airtight resume is one way to schedule with an eye on the playoff, but when a perfect record is all but certain to be rewarded with a berth regardless of schedule strength (and you already play nine conference games anyway), maximizing the likelihood of 12-0 with Creampuff U may be just as viable. (In essence, the entire Big 12 is confronting this problem . Which is greater: the risk of ruining a perfect season, or the reward of improving an imperfect one?)
Ultimately, the committee showed in its first season that the right approach is to aim high and give yourself as much scheduling margin-for-error as possible. It didn’t just take Ohio State over Baylor; it took Alabama and Oregon, both one-loss teams, over undefeated Florida State. had something to do with that, but the message was clear all the same: if the committee respects your schedule, a single loss isn’t anything to fear.
Duke is a worthwhile first step towards scheduling without that fear. But particularly if the Big 12 does take the championship game plunge again — providing even more opportunity to redeem a slip-up — Briles can afford to take several more steps going forward.