I believe Maryland began scheduling "cupcake" opponents sometime during Friedgen's reign. IIRC, the games didn't always end with Maryland winning. In the short run, this may not bode well for Maryland, but I think it'll eventually make Maryland more desireable for 4 and 5 star recruits.
Maryland, IMO, will be in the middle of the pack most years. They will be fine.
I think you should leave it up to individual schools to decide who they want to play out of conference. If they're talented enough, it won't matter. If they're not, they likely won't excel much in conference either, and it's a nice opportunity for some FCS schools / players to "say they played them". LSU brought Towson to their house last year, and it was actually a fairly competitive game. Alabama had no qualms pounding Western Carolina in to the ground last year. Georgia disposed of Georgia Southern and it didn't keep them out of the top 5. Florida's game with Jax St. didn't knock them out of the top 10.
To me, it makes no sense that you are even allowed to play FCS schools if you are a D-I team. It's like the Ravens playing the Argonauts and expecting it to count as a win.
It only takes 6 wins to become bowl elligible, and historically, teams play 8 conference and 4 non-conference games. If a team pads those 4 non-conference games with all, or some FCS schools, who, on paper at least, should be an easy win....that makes a sham out of an already diluted bowl season. Some of the teams that get into a bowl should not be there. Be nice if they actually had to earn their way in by beating (at least) 6 FBS teams.
Raise the bar, don't lower it.
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