Friday, December 16, 2005

The Round Robin Rocks

I want to go on record as being very excited about the Pac-10's new conference scheduling format starting next year. The Pac-10 almost immediately approved a full round robin format after the 12-game football season was made permanent by the NCAA. For some reason, I don't think the average non-Pac-10 fan is aware of the change, as demonstrated in this letter: "I say the Big XII, SEC, and now the ACC are determining conference champions the right way. On the field. The PAC 10, and Big 10 +1 need to take notice." To credit Pete Fiutak, in his response to the letter he states he supports the Pac-10 plan. It’s not the Pac-10 that needs to take notice, but rather the 12-team mega-conferences and especially the Big 10.

In the Pac-10, there will never again be conference co-champions that did not play each other, such as Big-10 champs Iowa and Ohio State in 2002, necessitating the existence of convoluted rules to determine the conference's Rose Bowl/BCS representative. Also, the Pac-10 will have no need for a conference championship game. Every team will play nine conference games and there is no risk of crowning a team with a lesser conference record the conference champion based on one very good or bad game, á la Big 12 champs Kansas State in 2003 or ACC champs Florida State this year.

The system is good for USC because it allows the Trojans to continue their annual contest with Notre Dame, play another big-name school in non-conference play (Nebraska in 2006 and 2007, Ohio State in 2008 and 2009), and play one other relatively easier non-conference game, in addition to their nine game conference schedule.

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