Strategic Scheduling: Why CFB Teams should Opt for a Gentle Out-of-Conference Schedule

The oddsmakers were correct about Washington on Monday night as the Huskies lost to Michigan. Neither team faced strong out-of-conference opposition until the College Football Playoff, and at least Washington played against Michigan State. Michael Penix Jr. transferred to Washington from Indiana and struggled against Michigan in the National Championship Game. With its soft non-conference schedule, Michigan became the outright national champion for the first time since 1948. Both Michigan and Georgia faced criticisms for their 2023 schedules, but their success sends a message to other college football programs. An easy out-of-conference schedule appears to be the best way to start a season in college football.