At the very least an 8 game conference schedule allows for a cupcake to be scheduled, and an automatic victory, it also allows one less loss for half the conference. figuring a couple of upsets if the league is in any shape or form strong... that means one more loss for a few upper echelon teams in those conferences.
Now we are supposed to believe that a strength of schedule factor will be in place to keep, say the SEC from cupcaking their way to glory by skipping out a tough inner league game that in all probability, just might, just might, blemish their records.
Take it a step further and you have perceived strength of conference due to the year before scheduling cupcakes and half the league with one less loss, they seem powerful,,, allowing for early preseason ranking that are high, matchups against in conference high ranked teams that get that ranking due to preconceived strength, etc a blurry mess of WE ARE THE BEST CONFERENCE can't you all see??
Or is it that conferences playing a 9 game conference schedule take themselves out of the conference strength picture due to that extra league wide loss half the teams get?