Inspired by Kyle's post encouraging Georgia to schedule more Pac-10 teams, it got me wondering: whom would I like to see Oregon play in the future? Let me start by saying this: Oregon does a great job of scheduling.
The general philosophy of Oregon's scheduling is as follows. We never schedule 1-AA teams unless someone bails on us. We play the best regional schools that we can schedule (Utah and Fresno State in recent years; Boise State, New Mexico, and Wyoming coming up). But the real key is that we are determined to play a truly national schedule. In the last decade, we've played series with Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma. In the next decade, we have series with Purdue, Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas State, and Colorado. I can guarantee you this: on a home and home basis, the athletic department is willing to schedule anybody. Now, our schedule is full until the 2012 season but, if Pat Kilkenny is reading, these are the five schools that I want you to call up and get on the schedule as soon as possible:
But Dave, we just completed a series with Michigan, and beat `em both times! I know, but everything has changed with Rich Rodriguez being the new Michigan coach. It would be a matchup of the two best spread offensive teams in the country. The massacre in Ann Arbor last season, that wouldn't happen again. We'd be treated to a shootout, and one hell of an entertaining game. Michigan will be kind of awkward next season, as Rodriguez will begin to implement the spread without the personnel, especially at quarterback, to execute it fully. But by our earliest opening in 2012, Michigan will have the scheme and the athletes to return to their place as a perennial title contender.
- Ohio State
Staying in the Big 10, I don't know anyone that wouldn't like to see a series with the Buckeyes. They roll through the Big 10 every year without challenge, then get rolled by whatever real team they play in the national title game. The Sweater Vest has some challenges on his schedule in the next few years (SC, Cal, Va. Tech, Oklahoma), but it wouldn't hurt the Bucks to schedule two legit non-conference games, as the Big 10 is pretty much like playing in the WAC. I really believe that Ohio State has the athletes to compete with anyone, but is so softened up by playing the Big 10 schedule that by the time the NC game rolls around, they haven't had enough challenges to be prepared. So what better way to prepare them then by putting their usual athletic defense up against our spread?
- Notre Dame
We all know two things: 1) Notre Dame sucks; and 2) despite repeated inquiries, they refuse to schedule us on a home and home basis because we don't play in a major media market (But apparently Army and Baylor do?). And, considering that we'd beat them to a bloody pulp, would we really want to see this game? Yes, because we love seeing ND beaten to a bloody pulp! I know that we hate ND because of the undeserved media coverage they get, their stubborn attachment to being an independent, and because their last bowl win was the year before Danny O'Neil quarterbacked the Ducks in the Rose Bowl. And I realize that our hatred just fuels the media coverage. But, dammit, as long as ND is going to get the media coverage, it may as well be being beaten down by us. As ND is too chicken shit to actually schedule us, we'll just have to hope that we meet them in a bowl game at some point.
Might as well just go straight for the best, right? LSU fans might be the most annoying in all of college football. They love to turn their nose up to the Pac-10. They don't seem to travel out of the warm weather, so not too many Pac-10 teams are going to play them much (other than the Arizona schools). This probably should have been the national championship game last year, so we just have to hope that we get that chance again.
I bet you weren't expecting to see the Scarlet Knights on this list, were you? While Rutgers has come so far as a program in the last few years as to make this a worthwhile game to schedule football-wise, it's the prospect of playing a game close to New York City that I like best about the idea. New York has been a key market to the advertising of the Duck program (games on the YES Network, Joey's billboard, etc.), but it would also give a lot of big wig TV execs, Heisman Board members, etc. to come check out a Duck game live. I'm not sure how much that helps these days, but I do know that it couldn't hurt. Marketing the program to the power brokers seems like a smart move to me.
There are others that would be great, for sure. Florida and Texas immediately come to mind as great programs that would be an absolute blast to have a game against. Hawaii or Miami would be nice just to have a great vacation to go on. However, weighing everything, the five teams above are the teams that I would be on the phone with first. Which teams to do want to see on future Duck schedules? Discuss in this thread.
What we do know is that we have great games coming up the next few years, and there is no reason to think that won't continue. You won't see us doing the SEC S.O.P. and loading up on 1-AA foes any chance we get, and we benefit by being treated to great games.