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August 19, 2009

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Hike

What's the point spread for the Montana State game? Or did no one even bother?

bevo

Nice article with some good points. Instead of banning these body bag games, how about this proposal: Any team that schedules at least one Division I-AA opponent cannot play in the MNC game? Want to play for the mythical title, then at least have the balls to play a full slate of Division I-A teams.

gatorhead1013

"Florida has set the gold standard for scheduling of creampuffs"

Gimme a break. Florida plays the SEC schedule in addition to Florida State every year. Miami is still on the schedule at least 2-3 times a decade. Other recent bowl teams that have appeared (or will appear) on the schedule include Hawaii, South Florida, Troy...at least a tier or two above the Chas Southerns of the world.
Sure, Florida has their share of cupcakes but if you want the "gold standard of cream puff scheduling" look at recent LSU, Penn State or Ole Miss schedules.

DAve

I'm about to take sides with a Gator here... what wonders never cease.

Seriously, though: to the programs and its fans from the PAC-10, Big 10, Independents, and Big East: until you have to win a conference championship game at the end of the regular season to guarantee a spot in the national championship, quit your whinging.

Coach

There's a single thing I take away from seeing that 73 point line...

That someone named 'danny sheridan' is going to great lengths to draw attention to himself and his employer, USA Today.

And it worked, didn't it?

So what next, a big mention in Sports Illustrated, and The Sporting News too?

Of course, the grand prize is a mention on ESPN, that's worth money!

Who cares and so what.

As far as the game itself, not only are the Charleston Southern players men enough to take the field against Florida in Gainesville, but they won't cry or whine about I-A versus I-AA no matter what happens, good or bad.

And another thing, as far as I-AA teams playing their supposedly superior I-AA brethren:

I believe that not only will I-AA Richmond beat I-A Duke in Durham on September 5, but that the I-AA Salukis of Southern Illinois will probably beat I-A Marshall in West Virginia... and I fully expect Northern Iowa, Weber State, William & Mary, Wofford, the University of Massachusetts, and other I-AA football teams also, to give their supposedly superior I-A opponents a great game on September 5.

Only wimps and cowards shy away from competition and battle... the players on those I-AA teams I mentioned are ready, willing, and eager to play a I-A opponent on September 5, or why else would they have scheduled those games?

And the football teams at Richmond and Southern Illinois are more than just eager to play, they're prepped for victories on that day!

PT

Nice writeup, schools such as Florida should never play D II schools, never. I wonder what the cost of a ticket is for that game?

Jason

For what it is worth an actual I-A opponent pulled out of the opener and the Gators were forced to settle for this team on their schedule.

skaboomizzy

Regarding the strength of schedule argument:

I know back in the early days of the BCS, wins against I-AA teams (cram your FBS/FCS crap NCAA, it'll always be I-A and I-AA to me) did not count toward bowl eligibility or strength of schedule. In other words, if you went 6-6 and one win was against Directional Cupcake Tech, no bowl for you. For all computer ranking purposes, that game essentially does not exist.

I agree with just about every other point in the article. If we've learned nothing else from the last decade, it's that a tough early-season loss to a highly-regarded team is not a deathblow to national title chances. If the Big 12 title game winner ends up 12-1 with a close September loss to Florida or USC, they're probably still getting a slot in the national title game. The big money guys will never pick an undefeated Utah or Boise St over them.

Dave

"Seriously, though: to the programs and its fans from the PAC-10, Big 10, Independents, and Big East: until you have to win a conference championship game at the end of the regular season to guarantee a spot in the national championship, quit your whinging."

The teams in the Pac 10 and Big East play every other team in their conference. If you play every other conference opponent, do you need to have a conference championship game at the end of the season?

SpiceDonk

Of the 4 teams that will have unblemished DII schedules at the end of the season, 3 are in the PAC-10, clearly let's attack the conference that regularly schedules real games and beats itself up with tough competition. SEC has always scheduled these early season laughers.

Sam

"Gimme a break. Florida plays the SEC schedule..."

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH....

tristan

With all due respect, won't the spread for the Tennessee game be even bigger?

Horace Steenblatter

Houston was favored by 80-something in their game vs TCU when TCU had just come back from the death penalty. As I recall Houston covered, winning 91-0 or therabouts.

Wyatt Moore

Houston was never favored by 80 nor has anyone ever been...they did play SMU coming off of the death penalty but were "only" -59...they won 95-21 in 89 I think. To my knowledge that is the highest "widely available" line between 2 1-A teams. I was thinking perhaps Fla was in the high 50's a earlier this decade vs a La directional...

Jonathan

I do not really agree with this article at all. You leave out how much these 1 AA teams depend on the notoriety and game guarantee $. Oh wait, no one in the media cares about them or the fact that it is good football to alot of people.

Lisa horne

Your stats are incorrect, FYI.

USC played Memphis State in 1991, UCLA played N.E. Louisiana in '96, Washington played Pacific in 1981.

As of now, Notre Dame is the only school to have played all FBS (div 1A) schools since '78.

Wyatt Moore

all of the schools you mentioned are 1-A

Matt

I don't know if "Memphis State" is now considered Memphis or if "NE Louisiana" is now one of the directional Louisiana schools, but Pacific isn't I-A in football. There are 120 teams, and Pacific isn't one of them.

The Wiz

The reason you don't see Pacific on the current I-A roll is that it dropped football after the 1995 season. Among its notable alums: Pete Carroll.

Memphis State is now Memphis. The name was shortened in 1994.

Northeast Louisiana is now Louisiana Monroe. You might recall that the Warhawks defeated Alabama in 2007.

Jams

Strength of schedule is included in all the components of the BCS, computer polls included. The reason there isn't a separate component for strength of schedule is that all the existing components are supposed to include that already, thus having a SoS component would double-count it.

Margin of victory is what's not included, maybe that's what you're thinking of, Wiz.

The Wiz

I understand that strength of schedule is (supposedly) included in the BCS, but as I noted, a strength of schedule component "with teeth" needs to be added to the BCS formula. One that docks teams for scheduling nonconference games against I-AA opponents, as Florida regularly does. Nonconference scheduling is something teams control.

Example: USC lost one game in 2008, on the road at Oregon State, which finished 9-4. Its three nonconference games: at Virginia, Ohio State and Notre Dame.

Florida lost one game in 2008, at home to Mississippi, which finished 9-4. Florida's four nonconference games: Hawaii, Miami, The Citadel (I-AA), at Florida State.

I would rate the USC nonconference schedule ahead of Florida's.

USC and Florida each lost on the same week in 2008. The Trojans dropped from No. 1 to No. 9 in the AP poll. Florida dropped from No. 4 to No. 12.

As the season progressed and teams entered conference play, Florida eventually passed USC in the BCS standings. In the second-to-last game of the regular season, Florida played The Citadel, a I-AA team, but was not penalized for doing so.

Frankly, I'm not sure how a team that fills out its nonconference schedule against a I-AA opponent can be considered to have a schedule that is more demanding, regardless of what the perception is regarding the strength of a conference.

If the argument comes down to the SEC being superior, consider this: The Pac-10 is 10-7 in head-to-head matchups against the SEC since 1998.

ESinclair

We repeatedly hear this SEC excuse-making that SEC teams are allowed to schedule creampuffs because their in-conference schedule is so tough. One problem. This is inarguably bogus.

Over the last decade, the SEC hasn't had the most difficult SOS. It hasn't even had the second most difficult SOS. In fact, the SEC ranks THIRD in SOS over the last decade. THIRD.

Conference BCS Strength of Schedule Rankings (this decade)
1. Pac-10 (2.285)
2. ACC (2.428)
3. SEC (2.714)
4. Big-10 (3.857)
5. Big-12 (4.142)
6. Big East (5.571)

The SEC excuses are simply statistically bogus. The SEC doesn't play anything even close to the most difficult schedules. The facts prove objectively that SEC OOC scheduling is laughably pathetic and completely unjustifiable.

Let's hear it for Southern Cal, UCLA, and Notre Dame: these are the only three teams in all of college football with any self respect.

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