In a previous post you mention OOC schedules don't look so good 2013. Beginning in 2014 HSC will play Wabash home and away. That should be fun and will greatly improve OOC for HSC. Double edged sword as you have stated; ODAC champ has to go 9-1 or 10-0 to get a decent first round game. If HSC or any other ODAC school loads up with two or three really tough OOC games and then run the table in the ODAC, the ODAC champ may well be in Alliance each and every year if the go 7-3 or 8-2.
I was surprised about the CG game since it seemed HSC had scheduled a really good OOC once a year recently. This must be a filler game before the Wabash home and away starts. Similar to how poor Alma had to travel to Lexington two years ago just because both teams needed to cover a gap. But I think the Wabash game is a really neat matchup. Two of the last all male schools, both with good academic reputations and long histories, playing. If I didn't live so far away, I'd go see that game.
Be interesting to see how it shakes out. Wabash is certainly not an opponent to take lightly. I don't think 8-2 sends you to Alliance. There is generally a 3 or 4 loss team that sneaks in from somewhere. But 8-2 from the ODAC will land you as a 7 or 8 seed, so it wouldn't be out of the question. On the other hand, if you schedule 3 strong OOC teams and lose to all 3, then run the ODAC schedule, it's hard to make a case that you would belong in the top half of a bracket. The seedings generally represent where teams belong. I think W&L maybe got shafted by a spot this year, maybe, but it was close enough. Other than the "flight avoidance" games, I haven't really seen a matchup that I think is an unjustifiable shaft.
So I wouldn't worry about it. You have to win. If you can't beat good teams in the regular season, you probably can't beat them in the playoffs. If you don't play them, go undefeated, you might get a good first round game, but you're going to get hammered in round 2. Ducking the competition just postponed the inevitable, it didn't actually change the outcome.
The ODAC champ can play with the 3-6 seeds in any given year. I have faith in that. Maybe not beat them, but play with them. But I haven't seen an ODAC champ since Bridgewater (and mostly I didn't see those teams since I was out of school and living far away!) that could compete with a 1 or 2 seed. So yes, going 10-0 or 9-1 and ducking all competition might get you a first round win, but it probably won't help the program improve over the long run. Playing up a level in competition and learning what it takes to beat those top teams... that can really help strengthen your program.
That being said, W&L's schedule is probably set in stone for as long as the three traditional OOC teams agree to keep it that way. Centre, Sewanee, and a Centennial team are convenient, competitive, and cover the main recruiting areas. So I don't expect W&L to change up much, but then again I don't see W&L really attempting to challenge for a national title either. ODAC champs, maybe a playoff win or two, would see the Generals pretty much with a permanent smile.
Now when it comes to tennis, or it used to be with lacrosse, there was a definite possibility and goal of winning a national championship.