Afternoon Poll/Discussion: Beefing up Baylor's Non-Conference Schedules

USA TODAY Sports

With strength of schedule potentially playing a role in determining playoff spots and/or seeds going forward, should Baylor put more emphasis on marquee matchups?

A few days ago, I got an email from a longtime reader here at ODB who was interested in discussing the potential, some might say the need, for Baylor to improve our non-conference scheduling over the next few years.  It's something we've discussed here and there before, mostly in terms of wondering when or if we'll ever get to see something like TCU's opener this year against LSU.

The reason that Baylor hasn't done something like that in the past, preferring instead for sacrificial lamb opponents like Northwestern State and Buffalo, is wins.  We wanted as many of them as possible for bowl eligibility and recruiting; the chance between going 5-6 or 7-6 (with a bowl win) was important enough to us to pay a "lesser" team to come to Waco.  We've also emphasized old rivalries with non-conference games against TCU, SMU, and Rice.  I would expect those things to continue.

Still, I think Baylor is doing itself a disservice by watering down our non-conference schedules, and not only because it means we land on lists of weak non-con games year after year (in fairness to Baylor, Wofford was a last-minute replacement for SMU, but it's not like SMU is a powerhouse, either).  We're getting to the point now, in terms of national reputation and recruiting, where we could gain significantly from playing a marquee matchup.  Sure, we could lose the game, but the point is that all losses are not created equal.  If we, for example, played a close game against a Stanford team coming off a relatively dominant stretch of years, that's something you can build on. There's also something to be said for having the "guts" to put your program, yearning for legitimacy as we are, on a voluntarily huge stage.

So my question to you is this: looking at the non-conference games we already have scheduled below, would you prefer that Baylor prioritize wins as we have before or try to increase the difficulty of our non-conference schedule?  Vote in the poll and give me your thoughts in the comments!

Baylor Future Non-Conference Opponents - 2013+
2013 2014
08/31 - Wofford
09/07 - Buffalo
09/21 - ULM
08/30 - SMU
09/06 - Northwestern State
09/13 - at Buffalo
2015 2016
09/05 - at SMU
09/12 - Lamar
09/26 - Rice
09/03 - Northwestern State
09/17 - SMU
09/24 - at Rice
2017 2018
09/02 - at SMU
09/09 - UTSA
09/23 - Duke
09/08 - at UTSA
09/15 - at Duke
09/22 - SMU
2019 TBA
08/31 - at SMU
09/07 - UTSA
09/14 - at Rice
TBA - Liberty
TBA - at SMU

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