In a post entitled “Scheduling Issues”, HeismanPundit takes umbrage at the lack of quality of the SEC’s non-conference scheduling. While that’s not exactly a novel revelation, what’s really got his panties in a wad in the comments section of his post is his fever dream that SEC schools uniquely aren’t man enough to schedule more than one “legitimate” non-conference road game a year.
Well, USC goes to Nebraska and Notre Dame. That\’s two legitimate road OOC games. Washington goes to Syracuse and Hawaii, both actual road games that require road trips.
We are talking college football, not business. If you want to go to a college football business blog and brag about UGA\’s moneymaking, feel free. Here, we talk about football issues.
Hokay, let’s do that. Is there something particularly unusual about SEC schools not taking on multiple legitimate OOC opponents on the road?
I went to the National Champs.net site to check out all of the 2007 schedules for the BCS conferences to see how many schools in those six conferences play more than one “legitimate” (which I’m defining as a game against another BCS conference opponent or Notre Dame) road non-conference game this year.
The results are not likely to surprise any rational fan of college football.
From the ACC:
Florida State – 2 road games (Colorado and Florida); 1 neutral site game (‘Bama at Jacksonville)
Duke – 2 road games (Northwestern, Notre Dame)
From the Big East:
Connecticut – 2 road games (Duke, Virginia)
Pittsburgh – 2 road games (Michigan State, Virginia)
From the Big 10:
Illinois – 1 road game (Syracuse); 1 neutral site game (Missouri at St. Louis)
From the Pac-10:
Southern Cal – 2 road games (Nebraska and Notre Dame)
From the SEC:
From the Big XII:
Missouri – 1 road game (Mississippi); 1 neutral site game (Illinois at St. Louis)
Now, HP does use Hawaii as an example of a legitimate opponent, so if I stretch to include mid-majors that have the potential to be ranked in the Top 25 this year, you can arguably expand that list to include Washington (Syracuse and Hawaii) and Kansas State (Auburn and Fresno State).
That’s seven or nine teams, depending on your definition, out of sixty six to seventy or so schools. Around 10%. And if I pull the neutral site games off the list (which, given HP’s choice of words “actual road games”, I probably should), we lose two of those schools, since that’s how Missouri and Illinois face off. Beyond that, no BCS conference has more than two schools with two road OOC games on their schedules.
This is not exactly what I would call a common practice, in other words.
Needless to say, I don’t find HP’s position convincing me about anything other than his SEC bias. As LD puts it in that comment section,
This is all too disappointing. I was even thinking about writing a post on how much better your blog is when you focus on Heisman first-hand reporting rather than \”off-the-cuff\”, unresearched SEC-bashing. Sad.