Sunday, September 09, 2007

(posted by OMDQ)

Q: How does a Division 1-A (or FBS...whatever) football team rebound from a season-opening 49-3 beating at the hands of a team that is the defending national champion, features a Heisman trophy candidate at quarterback, and is currently ranked in the top ten?

A: Schedule a game against West Virginia Tech and score 49 first quarter points en route to an 87-0 victory.

That's exactly what the Hilltoppers did on Saturday afternoon, pounding the hell out of Tech in front of 16,165 fans. I'm not even sure what division West Virginia Tech is in - according to Wikipedia, the school is a member of the NAIA's Mid-South conference, but it seems almost impossible that a Division 1-A program would schedule such a lowly opponent.

I don't know if this is a common trend or not, but it seems like a smart idea for teams with heavyweight programs in Week 1 to schedule a pushover of their own for Week 2. But the NAIA? Seems like overkill.
Photo: Raw Meat

Posted by One More Dying Quail at 1:59 PM


The box score is just ridiculous. What is the point of that game? It doesn't make you any better beating down on a team not even in the same class as you.

cgb said...
Sep 9, 2007, 2:54:00 PM  

Only 3 points in the 2nd? Fucking slackers.

twoeightnine said...
Sep 9, 2007, 3:08:00 PM  

Not that this is an excuse, but you do know that W. Kentucky was Div I-AA until this year, right? It's possible and even likely that the game was scheduled when they were still I-AA. So, they're basically the equivalent of a very good I-AA school playing 5 I-A schools this year. Over the next five years they faze out the I-AA opponents and have scheduled Alabama, Tennessee and Nebraska. I'm in no way a WKU fan, just thought the criticism was a bit unfair. For each creampuff they'll beat up this year, they'll get drubbed by a BCS school themselves.

Anonymous said...
Sep 9, 2007, 3:19:00 PM  

In addition to what Anonymous said, the reason you see so many creampuff games scheduled is that college teams don't play any preseason or exibition games, so the early cupcakes act as their preseason to warm up to game speed and work on things like timing, playcalling, etc. Usually when two good teams do play each other in the first game, it's actually an awful game with a lot of mistakes (ie, FSU v. Miami the past 3 years). But of course there are always exceptions (Cal vs. Tenn). So answer, as usual, is not one way or the other, but a little bit of both.

Anonymous said...
Sep 9, 2007, 4:29:00 PM  

anonymous #1, as I said, I have problem with a team scheduling a tough opponent for Week 1 and taking it easy Week 2. But for even a 1-AA team to play an NAIA team is crazy.

I will give this caveat, however: until 2006, Tech was a Division II school and WKU was 1-AA, so this might have just been an unfortunate coincidence in which one team moved up while the other team moved down.

Sep 9, 2007, 4:37:00 PM  

As stated before, WKU was DI-AA and WV Tech was DII last year. In recent years, WKU has played WV Tech every other year. I suspect this is an old local rivalry from a time when both teams were in the same Div II conference. I am not sure, since I'm not WKU fan.

There are many reasons a Bowl Subdivision (formally DI-A) team would schedule a "cupcake"
-preparation (mentioned before)
-aid in Bowl eligibility (> .500)
-inflate record for BCS selection, or schedule a NC run

In the Championship Subdivision (formally DI-AA) scheduling dynamics are different and they don't really "schedule cupcakes". CS teams mostly consider these Factors in non-conference scheduling
-Attendance (local rivalries and/or competitive games help)
-Travel costs (CS teams don't have private jets)
-If playing DI-A powerhouse teams, $ize of Paycheck
-If making a playoff run, increased SoS since that is the major focus of the NCAA selection committee when choosing the 8 "At Large" teams for the 16 team playoff. All teams with 4 or less losses are considered, so a couple losses to tough teams doesn't kill your title hopes like in DI-A.

Delaware, my CS team, has played DII West Chester U every year for decades (Both teams were DII when it started). We have a long win streak in the series (including a 84-0 beating in 2000) but they still try hard to upset us every year. Since WKU is a FBS independent now (trying to join the Sun Belt by 09), they will stop playing WV Tech. I doubt the WV Tech fans (scarce as they may be) are happy that the series is ending this way. Maybe WKU will start playing the main WV campus in Morgantown (WV Tech is a regional WVU campus).

Anonymous said...
Sep 9, 2007, 11:52:00 PM  

anonymous: thanks for the information.

My last comment contained a typo. I meant to say I have NO problem with teams playing tough games in Week 1 and scheduling an easier opponent in Week 2. If you're gonna challenge your program, you should be able to take it easier that second week.

Sep 10, 2007, 12:48:00 AM  

I believe FCS teams can schedule NAIA teams. St. Francis beat Indiana State in 2005.

Western Kentucky is in limbo right now. They're not really an FCS team and they're not really and FBS team. They'll be a full member of the Sun Belt by 2009. I don't really have a problem with the game. But 87-0 and 49-0 after 1 quarter?........Holy crap.

Eric said...
Sep 10, 2007, 12:53:00 AM  

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