Sunday, August 30, 2009

Taste for cupcakes

Remember back in 2006 when the NCAA approved the addition of a 12th football game for Division I-A schools? Fans thought it was great. Coaches and athletic directors, however, thought of something else: $$$$$$$$.

The 12th game has been a scam of the fans. While paying customers were hoping for great interconference matchups (OK, so we did get USC-Ohio State), the coaches and ADs rushed to schedule more cupcakes. Contract a home game with Our Lady of Consecutive Defeats, get an easy victory, make millions of dollars for the athletic department. If you can play four cupcakes in non-conference games, then all you have to do is go 2-6 in league play to be eligible for a bowl game. Nothing like a trip to Shreveport, La., or Boise or Birmingham to keep the alums happy.

And what makes it bad is the idiots behind the BCS formula don't penalize schools for playing games against I-AA opponents. There is no meaningful strength of schedule criteria in the formula. So why not schedule TWO games against I-AA teams? Line up Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Liberty, Youngstown State, Furman, James Madison and hand out checks for renting a win. The fans will still show up and pay top dollar for tickets, even if the game is a glorified scrimmage. Aren't you, the fans, tired of paying high prices for tickets and getting less?

In Week 1 of the season, there are 74 games involving Division I-A teams. Thirty-eight (51.4 percent) are against Division I-AA creampuffs, er, opponents. Many of them are laughable, including Florida as a 73-point favorite over Charleston Southern. If you're going to be a 73-point favorite, do you really need to schedule this game?

Since the NCAA went to the two-division format for Division I programs in 1978, only four schools have not scheduled a game against I-AA opponents. The four are Notre Dame, USC, UCLA and Washington. Good for them.

Football is supposed to be a man's sport. It's time the coaches and athletic directors starting act like one and play somebody. Florida hasn't played an out-of-state regular-season non-conference game since 1991. The Gators last played a regular-season game west of the Mississippi in 1983. Big 12 teams will play 48 non-conference games this year, but only 11 of them are against BCS schools. Only Baylor, which plays Wake Forest and UConn, plays two BCS teams. Texas Tech and Texas aren't playing a single non-league game against opponents from BCS conferences.

That's shameful.

By the way, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News gives us his five softest schedules for the 2009 season. For the second year in a row, a Big Ten school wont he award for biggest creampuff schedule.

5 easiest schedules.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home