Dispatches: Talking Football With SMQ, Part 3

The following is the third volley in a series of back-and-forth dispatches between the venerable Sunday Morning Quarterback and I. The dispatches will be a running conversation that you're encouraged to participate in. Your comments, to be read diligently by each of us, promise to be an integral part of the conversation.

In my opening dispatch, I queried SMQ on how to sort out the top teams. In response, SMQ waxed philosophical on the rather arbitrary nature of the way we conceptualize "better," among other things. Perhaps foolishly, I in turn opened the playoff can of worms. SMQ wisely saved that topic for another day in his Part Two dispatch, while agreeing with BON reader billyzane that system meltdown isn't on the horizon. You're encouraged to read the preceding dispatches before continuing on.

Only two dispatches, SMQ, and anyone who's still reading is wondering whether you and I are sitting in the same room getting absolutely bombed on Maui Wauie while we fritter about the edges of coherency.

One thing's clear: no more playoff debate. I know better than to get in the way of a date with The Mayor.

I like reading your stuff SMQ - not just because it's well-written, which it always is, but because it's nuanced. I was a philosophy major; getting into the small stuff is time well spent, if you ask me. And though I'm sure you and I could keep going ad infinitum on some of the topics we started with, I think we ought to take the conversation to something more concrete for a while. For one thing, the season's still going on and we've got a lot of offseason time to kill. For another, we're out of Maui Wauie.

Okay, assume that you're the head coach of a major football program. Say, for example, Texas. Assume also that you have the final say in which games get scheduled, and when.

What's the most strategically sound schedule? Your task is twofold, we note. Your goal is to win a national championship, of course, but you have to keep the fan base and boosters happy, too. Schedule too many cupcakes, and don't win a title, and you've potentially made a big mistake. Schedule too many tough games, and don't win a title, and you've failed in a different capacity.

I ask you this because I'm deeply depressed about Texas' non-conference schedule next season. I know many rather big boosters of the program are none too pleased with it, either. Still, astute BON readers have pointed out that in terms of winning a national title next year, it's not such a bad thing. If Texas cruises through it's non-con schedule, it ought to be close enough to the top of the rankings to earn a BCS Title Game berth if it can navigate the Big 12 unscathed.

So, Head Coach SMQ, what's your preferred strategy?  And, readers, what about you? This topic is killing me. I want to raise bloody hell about our pathetic schedule next year; at the same time, there's some logic to just "getting by" and finishing undefeated. In today's BCS, undefeated's gonna get Texas in the title games more times than not. What to do?

--PB--

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