You know, not three days after Chip Towers engages in some serious navel gazing about how his poor old paper is being unfairly maligned in some quarters for being biased against Georgia, you get this headline from today’s AJ-C:
Is UGA’s schedule too soft?
This is asked in the context of an SI.com article rating 2007 D-1 football schedules. Georgia’s is ranked fourteenth – not in the conference, not in the Southeast, but nationally. That’s out of 119 schools. Yet somehow we are led to believe that this is a deficiency.
… Which raises the question: when toughness of schedule bears on BCS voters’ minds, do the Dogs play too soft of a schedule to rate serious consideration for major bowl games? Does the fact that many of Georgia’s SEC opponents are thought to be playing tougher schedules diminish the Dogs’ stature as a “powerhouse” program?
Maybe Chip can enlighten us with a follow up blog on media bias.
While we’re on the subject of schedules and SI.com, take a look at Stewart Mandel’s list of the ten most important games of 2007.
Actually, start by trying to figure out what the criteria are for being designated a “most important game”. The headline says “Ten showdowns that could shape the national title picture”, but you have to be seriously deluded to think that FSU-Alabama or Hawaii-Boise State will fall into that category.
Then you get to the fine print:
While we obviously don’t know for sure which teams will live up to their reputation as national-title contenders and which ones will come out of nowhere, we can certainly make an educated guess. And for each of those teams, you can usually identify at least one game — most likely on the road, most likely against a similarly-talented foe — that will make or break that team’s fortune, and in turn, help define the entire course of the coming season. There are also those games that might not necessarily carry title implications but will still prove to be a defining moment, be it as a milestone win for an emerging program or a landmark moment — positive or negative — in a coach’s tenure.
All of which boils down to “whatever Mandel thinks is significant right now.” Which still makes me wonder what Mandel’s smoking. ‘Bama won’t be a serious contender in the SEC West this year, let alone a national contender. If FSU is a serious contender for anything, that Virginia Tech game is likely to loom much larger than the game with Alabama.
Speaking of the Hokies, how do you leave the LSU-Va. Tech game off a list of the ten biggest meetings of the season?
Louisville is listed twice. Cal is listed. Yet no mention of Tennessee, which plays Cal and Florida in the first month of the season.
And Boise State-Hawaii is a joke as a top 10 game – except that Mandel’s a guy who thinks the Fiesta Bowl changed college football as we know it.