In the era of the college football playoff, it looks like adding quality nonconference games is the way of the future. At least it appears to be something Stanford is banking on.
The Cardinal released its 2015 football schedule on Tuesday night, and while we already knew the slate of opponents thanks to the recent addition of a game against Central Florida, the timing is now set in stone.
Here's the schedule in tweet form:
*2015* 9/5 @ NW 9/12 UCF 9/19 @ USC 9/25 @ OSU (Fr) 10/3 Arizona 10/15 UCLA (Th) 10/24 UW 10/31 @ WSU 11/7 @ CU 11/14 Ore 11/21 Cal 11/28 ND
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) September 17, 2014
My initial reactions are generally positive - I'm very interested to see the Northwestern and UCF games, and I'm excited about the slate of home games as well. It's hard to imagine a more exciting end to the year than home matchups against Oregon, Cal and Notre Dame.
However, there is one bothersome stretch: after playing on the road at USC, Stanford has a short week before it plays a Friday game at Oregon State. I'm not particularly thrilled that Stanford has a short week between two road games.
On the whole, I wish the Pac-12 as a whole would cut down on these Friday and Thursday games - they're almost unanimously ugly corporate constructs that add little to the fan experience - but I also know that the path the future is paved with weekday football games. So long as Larry Scott and his cronies are in charge, so it goes. The almighty dollar will justify any of Scott and company's inane (or otherwise) decisions.
It's hard to tell how good any of the opponents will be - or how good Stanford will be, for that matter - but the schedule is one I'm pretty happy with.