Mike Hlas is an award-winning columnist with the Cedar Rapids Gazette and force behind The Hlog. Each week he will break down the biggest mismatch in college football. Considering the increasing number of Bowl Championship Series teams scheduling games against cupcake opponents, Mike's task is more challenging than getting a South Carolina congressman to act respectfully during a presidential address.
It's never fun to see two college football teams meet when both are struggling to gain some sort of positive identity.
Division I-AA bottom-feeder Idaho State wearily travels to Norman, Okla., to face a battered Oklahoma Sooners squad.
Idaho State, 1-11 last year, hasn't enjoyed a winning season since 2003. It began this season with a 50-3 walloping courtesy of the maroon meanies of Arizona State.
The Bengals had a measly 37 total yards against ASU. They had five turnovers, zero yards in kick returns. Were it not for a 54-yard field goal by Jarrett Huck, Idaho State would have taken a doughnut home to Pocatello.
"That is how it is when you only have 65 scholarships," Arizona State Coach Dennis Erickson said. "I've been there. That's hard."
So what's Oklahoma's excuse? The Sooners fared no better in their 2009 debut, losing to Brigham Young in Dallas, 14-13.
Sooner Nation, as it calls itself (there is no such country according to Game of the Weak friends with ties to the United Nations), can blame the first-half shoulder injury of Heisman Trophy-owning quarterback Sam Bradford for its woes.
OU had only 70 yards in the second-half after Bradford's exit. But it never really established a great offensive rhythm when Bradford was in the game. BYU had the ball for 37 minutes and was the better team.
"We played as sloppy a game as I've been a part of here," Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said. "We do think we have a chance to have a tremendous football team and we're gonna get it fixed and move in a positive fashion as fast as we can."
But Idaho State may have something to say about that. Well, no, of course it won't. A bad I-AA team has no business being on Oklahoma's schedule.
More accurately, Oklahoma has no business scheduling a bad I-AA team. Or any I-AA team.
This week, though, the Sooners will welcome an opponent that gives them a chance to win.
Suddenly, Sooner Nation (again, not a real place) is left to wonder if this season is already shot. Just who will Oklahoma play in the Independence Bowl, anyway?