One of the NCAA's most pressing issues has been resolved: there will be a college football playoff starting in 2014.
Now athletic directors are facing a new challenge: beefing up their schedules.
Strength of schedule is going to figure into the postseason playoff format now more than ever. Because of this, the days of premiere programs scheduling only "cupcakes" before conference play may be at an end. This is especially obvious in the Big Ten, where several AD's are stressing the importance of SOS.
Wisconsin is just one of the marquee programs looking to upgrade its schedule immediately. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the Badgers are in discussions with defending-champion Alabama about starting a home-and-home series in the upcoming years.
Athletic Director Barry Alvarez also made public his desireto schedule the University of Notre Dame. Scheduling harder games is quickly going to become the new norm. Down south, Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione is encouraging the rest of the Big 12 to follow suit and add big-time games to their slates.
This will be particularly interesting in the SEC. In the past, SEC teams have tried to minimize the number of difficult non-conference games because each believes their league is the most difficult in the country.
But if other conferences are working hard to challenge their teams more and more every year, will the SEC be forced to do the same?