[quote="JohnT, post:9, topic:3073"]It's not about playing the very best. It's about not playing the very worst.[/quote]
Programs don’t need to play Murderer’s Row, and you shouldn’t play Cupcake Parties either. They have to find a balance that enables them to play quality opposition.
There isn’t a need to schedule 6+ tournament teams in one season. But if you can schedule a couple tourney potential teams (not low major potential tourney teams) from power conferences, then you are challenging yourself.
We don’t generally do that, and that hurts our recruiting as well.
One can argue whether “challenging yourself” is beneficial or not.
One can also argue about how much playing cupcakes hurts recruiting.
But there’s no argument for scheduling the RPI killers - there is absolutely nothing to be gained from that. Sadly it took the loss of an NCAA bid for DeChellis to understand that.
I think challenging yourself is important to show recruits, not only do you come to Penn State for the academics, and the newly built destroyer of a program, us in 2016 :), but you will get to play against the best teams as well.
Also, I think “challenging yourself” sets teams up for the NCAA tournament. It allows coaches to see other styles, how their teams act against those styles, and how they can adjust. In conference play, there is a great familiarity there for coaches. After a few seasons, there won’t be much coaches do that will be surprising. That’s why OOC can be so important come March.
The Big 10 is all the challenge needed.
If you think about the teams with a “go anywhere, any time” scheduling philosophy, it was Temple (which had a relatively soft A10 schedule and did need to challenge itself) and Michigan State and IU under Knight - teams that were trying to prep for national championships.
Any team in a big conference without legit national title hopes needs to schedule wins and RPI in the OOC.