Scheduling to win. That's what college football has become. Line up four winnable nonconference games (preferably all at home), go 4-0, then hang on and hope to finish 2-6 or better in conference play. That gets you to 6-6 and in all likelihood, a ticket to a glorious postseason destination like Shreveport. Let the good times roll!
The alumni are (somewhat) happy, the coach keeps his job and continues to cash fat paychecks and the athletic director, whose fate is often tied to the coach, keeps his cushy gig for another year.
When teams from Bowl Championship Series conferences look for the easy way out, they most frequently seek opponents from the Mid-American Conference. Over the previous 10 seasons (1998-2007), MAC teams have been the designated jobber 277 times, more than any other non-BCS league, according to the study by Ed Gunther of National Championship Issue. The MAC has won 45 of the games (16.2%).
Next on the list: I-AA opponents, who have been scheduled 258 times. If you're thinking every I-AA opponent is Appalachian State, think again. Only 16 times has a I-AA team defeated a BCS opponent (6.2%).
But if you're playing percentages, schedule a Sun Belt team. Teams from that league have won only 8 of the 149 games (5.4%), a percentage even lower than I-AA. Makes that Louisiana Monroe victory over Alabama last season even more remarkable.
League Games Wins Pct.
Conference USA 233 54 23.1
Mid-American 277 45 16.2
Mountain West 157 54 34.4
Sun Belt 149 8 5.4
Western Athletic 194 43 22.1
Big West 42 4 9.5
I-AA 258 16 6.2