Cupcake or Power Five

Cupcake or Power Five
File Photo: Georgia Bulldogs running back D'Andre Swift (7) rushes in for a touchdown in the first half of the Murray State Racers v Georgia Bulldogs game on September 7, 2019 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Should teams schedule a cupcake or power five non-conference opponent?  Even if teams don’t schedule a power-five opponent, there is no excuse for a power five team to ever play an FCS opponent. Absolutely no one wants to see that game.

Cupcake or Power Five

FCS Opponents

There is no way to put a positive spin on a power five program playing an FCS team.  Fans definitely don’t want to pay to sit and watch a “scrimmage”.  But if you are a season ticket holder you are required to pay for that game. If you choose to stay home and watch, some of the cupcakes such as an FCS opponent are pay-per-view games. It seems you have to pay no matter what.

Games such as these are purely financial. For the cupcake, they get a big paycheck to get embarrassed. For the power five universities, other than getting an easy win they get virtually nothing from one of these games.

It seems the fans are getting tired of having to pay to watch these games, both on-site or at home. There should be no debate on a cupcake or power five!

Non-Power Five

Consequentially, there are situations where quality power five opponents back out of games scheduled leaving a school with a need to fill that date. Unfortunately, that is when the lesser team is scheduled. The NCAA should not allow this to occur. Teams should be required to adhere to contracted games. The only exception to this should be a natural disaster or other such catastrophic events. The penalty for this should be loss of postseason participation, such as playoffs or bowl games. Ultimately, the fans and players are the ones that bear the consequences of these back outs.

Power Five Opponents

Despite his reputation for not being media-friendly, Nick Saban is on the right track.  Saban feels that power five schools should only play power five non-conference games. If teams played a more competitive schedule, we could conceivably see a two or even three-loss team get into the CFB playoff.

But with that being said, the SEC is the biggest offender of playing cupcakes. While most conferences schedule the cupcakes early in the season, the SEC teams schedule a cupcake near seasons end. This game is usually right before a tough game or rivalry game near the end of conference play.  Consequentially, this gives teams a chance to rest minor injuries or spend more time preparing for a difficult opponent. Once again, this is at the expense of the fans.

Scheduling and The Answer

Power five schools should be required to schedule one non-power five non-conference opponent. The non-power five opponents should be a group of five team. Under no circumstances should a team be allowed to schedule an FCS opponent. One sure way this will change is if the NCAA mandates this change. However, the chances of that occurring are highly unlikely.

Unfortunately, it’s all about the almighty dollar. If a legitimate opponent isn’t available teams will schedule a cupcake or worse an FCS opponent just to fill the stadium, or gain thousands on a pay-per-view broadcast. Not to mention all the revenue generated by local businesses on game day.

The Final Thought

In conclusion, there is only one guaranteed solution for this. Fans will have start boycotting these ridiculous games, especially against FCS opponents. In addition, the fans need to stop purchasing pay-per-view nothing games. The only way universities will stop this scheduling practice is if it begins to hurt them financially.

If you are a fan that complains about these games, but you continue to attend them or purchase the pay-per-view then you are part of the problem not part of the solution.

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  1. Agree that they should never play FCS, but you are skipping the real problem with college FB — trying to ignore the G5. Already the Mountain West Conference — with more wins against P5 schools than any other conference, including the SEC — is better than the Pac-12. And the AAC has touted it’s claim as the sixth power conference as well. But G5 schools will never get a sniff because no P5 school will schedule them since the risk outweighs the reward.

    The answer is to realign college football into each major conference having a linked sub-conference, and then have a system of relegation like EPL soccer. The better G5 schools like Boise State (that beat every P5 school that isn’t too scared to schedule them) would finally be allowed to rise into the so-called power conference and get a fair shot at better recruits and the national championship, instead of never getting top 10 votes from the biased media.


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