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To be the man, you have to beat the man. To beat the man, you have to play the man. A soft schedule can train a team to excel only to predetermined levels of necessity. It also provides woeful preparation for contests against the elite teams.

Playing good--even great--teams, especially early in the season, on the other hand, can be extremely beneficial for a team, especially for a young or inexperienced one. Victories in these games can build enormous confidence and set the tone for early maturity and over achievement. Contests against the elite teams can also add a strong boost to recruiting efforts. Exposure, often National exposure, can also build name recognition. Contained within this specified genre is the only instance where a "moral victory" can be achieved. A team or program which has had little success for several seasons can lose to a "better" team 24-21 and still reap some of the benefits normally associated with winning. It should be noted however, that it is quite possible to over schedule. Losing 56-0 three years running can have an equally adverse effect, so some expertise in scheduling is called for.

In other words, a good coach or scheduler should try to schedule an upset. An example of this would be for a "lesser" team to schedule a more prominent team, say for two years even if both games have to be scheduled at the established school's home. Is this a good scheduling move? It is if the scheduler noticed that half of the more powerful team's roster consisted of seniors. Although this might prove rough going the first time around, it also means that the second game would be minus all those seniors. Posing that the smaller school had lost the first game, the motivation for revenge for the second game combined with the loss of so many seniors might influence the latter game. This is what I mean by trying to schedule an upset.
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