Sunday, September 22, 2013

NCAA Football - These Games Shouldn't Count

This past weekend saw 4 of the NCAA Top 25 rated teams run up over 70 points in their games.  This was a record.  Every one of these games was a sham.  Ohio State (ranked 4) beat Florida A&M 76-0.  No. 7 Louisville edged Florida International 72-0.  No. 16 Miami had a hard time getting past Savannah State 77-7.  Baylor, No.20, handled U La-Monroe 70-7.  All of the winning teams were at home.

It is a time honored tradition that powerhouse college teams play a few 'scrub' games early in the season, non-conference games against second or third tier teams that have a very small chance of even scoring, much less being competitive.  These games serve two purposes for the BIG team - first, since the NCAA does not have any pre-season games, these games serve as the pre-season tuneups before the teams start playing their regular foes.  Second, it allow the BIGs to run up horrendous scores against hapless defenses, to help drive up their rankings and gain national attention.

For the SMALL teams, there is but one benefit - money.  The BIG teams pay the SMALL teams to be cannon fodder.  The SMALL college's AD and Administration love to get their hands on the cash.  The players who are thrown out on the field, embarrassed, and sometimes injured are of no consideration.

This crap has been going on for as long as I have watched college football.  Teams I like and dislike both take advantage of the situation.  It sucks.  It is intentional manipulation of the standings, almost cheating I think. 

I propose that any game like this should not count in the standings.  Either give the BIGs a couple of 'pre-season' non-conference games for a tuneup, or make sure that any sham game is of no consideration.  Let's see then how many lamb colleges continue being sent to the slaughterhouse.

A blatant example of this is happening this year.  Baylor is ranked in the Top 20.  In their first three games, they have scored 69 or more points in each, including a school record 70 twice.
In this 3 game stretch, they have barely beaten the mighty Wofford Terriers, 69-3; the invincible U of Louisiana-Monroe 70-7; and the powerhouse Buffalo Bulls 70-13.  I'm sorry - Baylor has a good team, but this Top-20 ranking is based on crap, and the university should be ashamed for paying three small colleges to come to Waco to get slaughtered. 

Update - while I can't exactly claim that ESPN stole my thoughts on this, I did hear an extended discussion of this on their Mike and Mike Radio Show the following day. 

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