I listened to the last night’s college football podcast, and I feel compelled to respond to some of those opinions that are so good, they ought to be facts.
First of all, I absolutely agree that games between Division 1 and lower division schools need to be stopped now and forever. I understand that the lower division teams often depend upon these games to help fund their programs. I don’t care. If these schools are serious about fielding a competitive football team, they can try to appeal to their alumni bases to raise the funds to move to Division 1. There is NO benefit for the Division 1 teams, and now we are learning that there are a lot more fans like me that aren’t that interested in watching your team destroy a team starting players that may not be accepted as walk-ons for yours. I really like games that are competitive beyond the third possession.
Damien asked for a few reasons why another Division 1 team would not want to play a juggernaut like Ohio State. Here are a few:
1. Teams don’t want an automatic loss if they even have a glimmer of hope to make a bowl game. Even if the team has to end up paying to go to the bowl, the one thing that makes the expense worth it is the additional practice weeks of practice. This gives them a leg-up on those teams they edged out, and it also gives them a chance to show visiting recruits what their practices are like.
2. Even the smaller schools don’t want to give up a home date. Besides the ticket sales, concessions and parking, the entire community profits when people visit your restaurants and stay in your hotels.
3. Playing really good teams can often be hazardous to your players’ health. Injuries against these teams can often cause your players to miss games against teams you may be able to beat at full strength.
Someone commented about Texas actually traveling to Wyoming. I’d have to look it up, but I bet Wyoming has hiked down to Austin four or five times in exchange for this home game.
Last year, in the move back to the Big East, Temple could only schedule eleven games. This irritated the hell out of me, so I looked at their schedule. On the weeks Temple had open dates or were playing a 1-AA team, 67 (SIXTY-SEVEN) other 1-A teams also either had open dates or were playing a 1-AA opponent. It was a real shame that no other team had the guts to step up and play Temple. This would have benefited both teams.
I have mixed feelings about the scholarships being given back to Penn State. I understand wanting to give kids a chance to play and not wanting to punish the current players. I also realize that this huge punishment was levied against the athletic administration and the school, in general. Now, this isn’t the first time the NCAA has reduced punishments, but this appears to be the largest reduction. I am afraid that other schools will see this precedent as the NCAA pulling out their own claws. This may open the door for a lot of renegade actions because the teams can always ask the penalties be reduced and threaten to sue if they’re not.
Someone else commented on LSU being Georgia’s third top 10 opponent this season. They talked about Tennessee playing three, and said no other team will play as many. Well, after the Georgia game, LSU will be playing Alabama and Texas A&M. One of those two may drop out of the top 10, but probably not. They also will play Florida and Ole Miss who are both ranked 21st or better right now. Texas and Notre Dame could also end up playing several highly ranked opponents.
The guys discussed some of the weekend games, and they all picked a pretty low score for the LSU–Georgia game. I don’t see this since both teams are loaded offensively and have some obvious issues defending the forward pass. Aaron Murray is a stud, but he generally is good for one or two bonehead plays per game. So far this season, Zach Mettenberger is playing like the Mettsiah the fans were hoping to see last season. One pick versus 10 touchdown passes. He had 12 touchdown passes all of last season plus 7 INTs. Lots of freaks playing all over the field for both teams. Georgia’s tightend is AWESOME, and LSU can’t match him. LSU’s fullback is a MAN who can destroy lesser men with his blocks, run over those same men or catch a few passes. Georgia can’t match him.
Both teams’ defenses are young. Both have a lot of talented players. LSU’s defense has looked better, but Georgia has played against better offenses. The difference here is with the coaches. It’s been a long time (like since the 90s) that Georgia has had a truly dominating defense. Theirs is more likely to break first.
One more thing about this game–special teams. You folks above the Mason-Dixon line may not have realized that during last weekend’s game against lowly North Texas State, North Texas returned an ensuing kick off 99 yards in the second quarter and recovered a blocked punt in the third quarter to tie the game at 21. Georgia scored four more times to put the game away, but THEY CAN’T PLAY LIKE THAT AGAINST REAL TEAMS! As bad as North Texas is, there’s no excuse for this game to be tied in the 3rd quarter. Assuming the special teams gaffes are corrected, LSU 31-GEORGIA 28.
They also discussed the Texas A&M-Arkansas game when they should have talked about the Alabama-Ole Miss game. Both teams are undefeated, and Ole Miss is a whole lot better than they were last season. Bo Wallace is a playmaker at QB in a similar fashion to Manziel. He also has a couple more playmakers at receiver that he didn’t have last season. I think BAMA will win, but I’ll be surprised if the margin is greater than 10 points.