USC Trojans athletic director Lynn Swann doesn’t believe the program can only rely on the Pac-12 schedule to get noticed.
Partially blaming — or at least inferring — coastal bias, Swann believes a tough non-conference schedule is a must.
“Because of time zones, people on the East Coast aren’t really seeing us,” Swann said in a Q&A with The Orange County Register. “We have to play a tougher schedule. If the voters are going to look at four teams to be in the top four, the Pac-12 playing the Pac-12 won’t get it by itself.”
That appears to be a subtle shot at his own conference, but it could have simply been Swann stating that the league is too weak or overlooked to afford a program like USC the luxury of playing cupcakes in the non-conference.
“We have to schedule teams and we have to have that very competitive schedule to be able to get that look,” Swann said. “And we’ve got to win those games. So it’s important to have Texas on the schedule. It’s important that Notre Dame is playing well and we play them and we beat them along the way.”
This, obviously, makes sense. Winning games happens to be important. Beating teams that are supposedly good is even more important.
For Swann, this comes down to how he thinks the Selection Committee will view resumes.
“The committee who’s going to vote on this is going to look at strength of schedule. They’re going to look at how you win games,” Swann explained. “They’re going to look at a lot of factors. They’re going to look at the competition inside your conference, outside your conference, all those kind of things. It won’t ever be just one thing.”
Anyway, the biggest take here is the possibility that Swann thinks the Pac-12 is either overlooked, underrated, or simply not good enough to warrant easy non-conference dockets.