On Monday, the Inside Blitz Podcast unveiled the full schedule for season six of the CFSL. Now, there were a few things we knew going into it, based on some teases put out ahead of time, but now that the full schedule is out is there anything we can really discuss that wasn’t heavily covered on the podcast? The answer is: absolutely. Let’s get started.
1) NOTHING COMES EASY
Gone are the days of the “bye” weeks. Teams that everyone felt would absolute cake-walks. Yeah, those days are long gone. This season, each week should be one of excitement and where every single game has meaning attached to it. Even those pesky non-conference games. We learn who the potential favorites are for the playoffs, which playoff team may not make it back this season, etc. As alluded to, for many teams, the first three to four weeks of the season may make all the difference.
2) EVERY MAN’S OHIO STATE
This topic really took precedent on Monday. Which team would be this season’s Ohio State? For those who don’t know, the Buckeyes went undefeated in the regular season, before getting bounced in the playoffs. But the real key here, is not the undefeated mantra, but which team will catch the league by surprise like the Buckeyes did. For some, it’s Michigan, others have offered Alabama, Miami, USC, or Nebraska.
3) THE LATE IN-CONFERENCE
Conference play is the largest proponent for who gets into the playoffs and who will be forced to sit at home. Conference play typically starts in week four, but we’ve got a couple teams who will kick off the season with some major conference tilts (Ohio State vs. Notre Dame and Auburn vs. Texas), but late in season, these matchups will be major. Clemson and Texas will be critical, of course, as will Ohio State and Michigan. But games like Florida-Miami, Nebraska-Oregon, and USC-Notre Dame all could play a pivotal role. That’s just week eight, week seven is filled with playoff implication.
4) IN WITH THE NEW
With the teams who finished in the top three of their respective conferences beating up on each other, it opens the door for different teams to finish in the top three and thus make the playoffs. Could be teams like Michigan, Florida, Miami, Nebraska, or Notre Dame. The same can be true for Alabama or USC, the two true new kids on the block. Of the teams I’ve listed, none of them have to deal with all of last season’s playoff teams, only a few of them, those which reside in the same conference. That makes life a little easier. But as I noted earlier, there are no easy games in this league.
5) one win
Here’s the beauty of the eight game schedule. All it takes is one win to start something spectacular for a team. One win can start a run, can be the difference between being in the playoffs and sitting at home watching them (see Miami-Florida or Michigan-Notre Dame from last season). Now, let me take the flip side to this as well. I don’t see any real way a team should finish with just one win this season. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but based on the schedule and the talent on each roster, I can’t see anybody finishing with just one win. This season, a team with five wins may be the conference champion, for either conference.