Pac-10 vs. Big Ten: An Idea for Kicking Off College Football Openers
NCAAF

An Idea for Kicking Off the College Football Season

7/10/08 in NCAAF   |   Todd   |   respect


With less than a month to go before most campuses are buzzing with college football practices, I ran across Adam Rose's Los Angeles Times blog, which expands on an article by Jerry Green of Detroit News.  They present an interesting idea to showcase opening games with nearly all the Pac-10 and Big Ten teams, and do so in annual head-to-head competition.  Television networks have already featured games of college basketball teams from differing conferences in a similar fashion, so why not football?  Plus, it would (sort of) keep the Pac-10/Big Ten tradition alive, even if it's not at a particular bowl game in Pasadena. 
 
In his blog, Rose has the top team finishers (from last year) playing each other, second place teams playing each other, and so on.  With the Big Ten fielding eleven teams, however, this model has the bottom team (Minnesota) scrambling to find a suitable replacement, in a short period of time.  That task of filling a hole in the schedule could prove to be difficult.
 
According to Rose and Green, here's what the 2008 openers would look like:
  1. USC vs. Ohio State
  2. Arizona State vs. Illinois
  3. Oregon State vs. Michigan
  4. Oregon vs. Wisconsin
  5. UCLA vs. Penn State
  6. Arizona vs. Iowa
  7. California vs. Purdue
  8. Washington State vs. Indiana
  9. Stanford vs. Michigan State
  10. Washington vs. Northwestern
I like the idea, and I think it would get fans from both conferences interested and jabbering at each other early (and often), from the end of the previous bowl season, until the next season arrives.  Compared to some openers that Top 25 teams actually play, these Pac-10/Big Ten games would be easy for networks to market, and have broad, nationwide appeal. 
 
To demonstrate, here are my strong "must see" choices for college football openers around the country for Week 1 in 2008:
 
(Exactly.  I can't think of any.  If you can, plead your case.)
 
Now, for the some real stinkers (I'll stick to the Top 25 mostly):
 
Villanova at West Virginia – would be great… if it were basketball
Youngstown State at Ohio State – gas consumption won't be a big factor for fans
Georgia Southern at Georgia – not fair, but they can dream like Appalachian State
Florida Atlantic at Texas – NEXT
Chattanooga at Oklahoma – Come on….
Appalachian State at LSU – No upset this time
Florida International at Kansas – Nope
Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn – Monroe might hang for a while, but that's it
Idaho State at Boise State – Not too terribly long ago, this would've been a game
Northern Arizona at Arizona State – NAU should stand for NEC (Not even close)
 
Although college football's arrival is exciting regardless of the schedule, I would love to see out-of-conference rivalries get started with this idea.  And, it would heighten everyone's senses, as well as each team's strength of schedule.  One can only hope this idea keeps rolling along (and mentioned to the conference commissioners) in the future.
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7/11/08   |   Deadpool

Scott wrote:

If you are looking for a must see game of the weekend, check out Illinois/Missouri in the Border War.  A battle of preseason top 20 teams, the game last year had everything you could've wanted and more.  Missouri was a 21 point favorite last year and every "expert" thought they would run Illinois out of the Dome.  Illinois lost there quarterback early, fell down by 21 points before half but came back thanks to there second string quarterback.  Illinois drove the length of the field in the closing minutes only to have Missouri intercept a pass on there own 3 yard line in the final seconds.  Illinois is a year more experienced and returns 16 starters this year from that team.  Missouri is picked to win the Big XII north and could possibly make a run at the National Title.  It'll probably be treated as an afterthought by most of the national media because it doesnt involve Ohio State, USC or LSU but it's definitely a "must see" game

Honorable Mention- Hawaii/Florida - granted it's more then likely not a "must see" game because it's a year late but I still find it an intriguing matchup.

Absolutely. It was the best game I watched last year (ok maybe behind Illinois beating OSU) and will by far be the best opening game this year... although I am not against the Pac-10 Big 10 challenge, especially being stuck in Phoenix! I would love to see my Illini come out here for a game...

7/10/08   |   RichmondSpider

MarkTheShark wrote:
I don't understand what your argument is? Do you like college football? What exactly would you have a team, say an SEC team do? In their four non-con games do you want them to play the four best teams that weren't in their conference based on the previous years rankings? You know that's impossible for several reasons.
Do you want them to ignore rivalries?
Remember, college football has more parity now than ever before.
I'll take Cincinnati and the points right here and now for that game in Norman. You name the bet.
Are there teams that still schedule those cupcakes and give them a slice of the home pie to come in and get their a**es kicked? Sure, of course but those are schools that haven't got tothe elite status because they don't realize that ultimately it hurts them more than helps them.
One last point is one you kinda made yourself: When Florida scheduled Hawaii they had no idea that they would be coming off a BCS Bowl bid and yet they are. So it's just impossible with scheduling contracts made years in advance to know what you will be in for once those games actually occur.

I really don't have an argument - just a perception.  I LOVE college ball - it is by far my favorite sport - nothing can compare to the rivalary, the fun, the quality play and quality players... it is almost the perfect sport.

 

I just get tired of these "professional" college teams playing one, maybe two good, tough games a season then thinking they are the best thing since sliced bread.  I understand completely the difficulties of scheduling years and years in advance (and you can bet your bottom dollar Hawaii was an average WAC team when Florida scheduled them - and they wouldn't have had they been scheduling them last year), I understand playing your rival (The Richmond/William and Mary game is the 4th longest rivalary in the nation).  While the parity has gotten closer in the years, there are still conferences that, when examined top to bottom, are just weaker than others - the Pac10 and the Big 10 to name two - if they were to play an entire conference schedule it wouldn't be any stronger.

 

Just stop trying to convence the world, and especially yourself, that you are "beefing up" your non-con schedule by scheduling Hawaii - or Tulsa, or FSU...

7/10/08   |   Jubanator14   |   367 respect

RichmondSpider wrote:

Miami will be better but not great. Same for FSU.  Tulsa, 5 times - 5 wins for OU - I can see trying to build an instate rivalary with Tulsa, but it takes two teams to make a rivalary, not just one.  Then Notre Dame - yea, we have been promised that "ND is going to be much improved this year" year after year after year.

 

I see Tennessee, Ohio State and LSU as excellent games.

 

Hey - OU is doing what every other big name school in the nation is doing... and I am not saying in their eyes that it is wrong... but just admit that your non-con schedule is cake and be done with it.  I am tired of schools trying to convence the world how tough their non-con schedule is when everyone knows why it is scheduled that way... small school/less talented school gets media coverage, big bucks and the powerhouse gets a win - just call it what it is!

Name me two or three other schools that actually schedule big name opponents. How about big time programs that are willing to play teams away and not just have crap teams come in for beat down. OU has a big name opponent each year for the next 11 years. How many other super powers can say that? Not to mention Tulsa is a very good C-USA team.

This season the non-conference schedule isn't cake. Outside of the Tenn-Chattanooga game, those are 3 solid opponents.

7/10/08   |   MarkTheShark   |   590 respect

RichmondSpider wrote:

Miami will be better but not great. Same for FSU.  Tulsa, 5 times - 5 wins for OU - I can see trying to build an instate rivalary with Tulsa, but it takes two teams to make a rivalary, not just one.  Then Notre Dame - yea, we have been promised that "ND is going to be much improved this year" year after year after year.

 

I see Tennessee, Ohio State and LSU as excellent games.

 

Hey - OU is doing what every other big name school in the nation is doing... and I am not saying in their eyes that it is wrong... but just admit that your non-con schedule is cake and be done with it.  I am tired of schools trying to convence the world how tough their non-con schedule is when everyone knows why it is scheduled that way... small school/less talented school gets media coverage, big bucks and the powerhouse gets a win - just call it what it is!

I don't understand what your argument is? Do you like college football? What exactly would you have a team, say an SEC team do? In their four non-con games do you want them to play the four best teams that weren't in their conference based on the previous years rankings? You know that's impossible for several reasons.
Do you want them to ignore rivalries?
Remember, college football has more parity now than ever before.
I'll take Cincinnati and the points right here and now for that game in Norman. You name the bet.
Are there teams that still schedule those cupcakes and give them a slice of the home pie to come in and get their a**es kicked? Sure, of course but those are schools that haven't got tothe elite status because they don't realize that ultimately it hurts them more than helps them.
One last point is one you kinda made yourself: When Florida scheduled Hawaii they had no idea that they would be coming off a BCS Bowl bid and yet they are. So it's just impossible with scheduling contracts made years in advance to know what you will be in for once those games actually occur.

7/10/08   |   RichmondSpider

Jubanator14 wrote:
2002 and 2003 - Alabama
2004 - Oregon
2005 - @ UCLA and 11-1 TCU
2006 - Washington and @ Oregon
2007 -  Miami and Tulsa
2008 -  Cincinnatti, TCU, and @ Washington
2009 - @ Miami and Tulsa
2010 - Florida St and @ Cincinnati
2011 - @ Florida St. and Tulsa
2012 - Notre Dame
2013 - @ Notre Dame and Tulsa
2014 - Tennessee and @ Tulsa
2015 - @ Tennessee and Tulsa
2016 and 2017 - Ohio State
2018 and 2019 - LSU
(*Not to mention playing Texas & a rising Texas Tech team every year*)

You are telling me that Miami won't be real good next year, and Florida St and Notre Dame will not be better by the time OU plays them? How about Tennessee, Ohio St, and LSU, are they going to all of a sudden suck?

Here is some more information for you if you'd like to see how tough OU's non conference schedule has been in comparison to the other BCS schools since Stoops took over. After checking that out, go to the home page of that blog. They have put together some of the best research out there for non conference games of all the D-1 teams.


Miami will be better but not great. Same for FSU.  Tulsa, 5 times - 5 wins for OU - I can see trying to build an instate rivalary with Tulsa, but it takes two teams to make a rivalary, not just one.  Then Notre Dame - yea, we have been promised that "ND is going to be much improved this year" year after year after year.

 

I see Tennessee, Ohio State and LSU as excellent games.

 

Hey - OU is doing what every other big name school in the nation is doing... and I am not saying in their eyes that it is wrong... but just admit that your non-con schedule is cake and be done with it.  I am tired of schools trying to convence the world how tough their non-con schedule is when everyone knows why it is scheduled that way... small school/less talented school gets media coverage, big bucks and the powerhouse gets a win - just call it what it is!

7/10/08   |   illini81887   |   1414 respect

Illinois was not a 21 pt dog last yr. It was only 6 or 7. Anyways Illinois will have dominant D-line and martez wilson will anchor LB. On offense running game might be suspect out of juice, but with depth at WR should be fine.

Clemson-Alabama, Tennessee-UCLA, Illinois-Missouri, Kentucky-Louisville, Michigan St-Cal, USC-Virginia, NC St-South Carolina, are the games to watch Week 1

7/10/08   |   Jubanator14   |   367 respect

RichmondSpider wrote:

I hate to knock on anyone's school... but OU tries "to schedule at least one big time BCS opponent each year."  WOW - don't knock yourselves out.  So - who is it this year, Cincinnati? Washington? TCU? Baylor? K-State?

 

As for your list, Miami, FSU, ND... again - WOW!

(Edited by Jubanator14)

2002 and 2003 - Alabama
2004 - Oregon
2005 - @ UCLA and 11-1 TCU
2006 - Washington and @ Oregon
2007 -  Miami and Tulsa
2008 -  Cincinnatti, TCU, and @ Washington
2009 - @ Miami and Tulsa
2010 - Florida St and @ Cincinnati
2011 - @ Florida St. and Tulsa
2012 - Notre Dame
2013 - @ Notre Dame and Tulsa
2014 - Tennessee and @ Tulsa
2015 - @ Tennessee and Tulsa
2016 and 2017 - Ohio State
2018 and 2019 - LSU
(*Not to mention playing Texas & a rising Texas Tech team every year*)

You are telling me that Miami won't be real good next year, and Florida St and Notre Dame will not be better by the time OU plays them? How about Tennessee, Ohio St, and LSU, are they going to all of a sudden suck?

Here is some more information for you if you'd like to see how tough OU's non conference schedule has been in comparison to the other BCS schools since Stoops took over. After checking that out, go to the home page of that blog. They have put together some of the best research out there for non conference games of all the D-1 teams.


7/10/08   |   TonyBaronie

Ohio State and USC already are going to play in each other this season and next season.

7/10/08   |   MarkTheShark   |   590 respect

RichmondSpider wrote:

I hate to knock on anyone's school... but OU tries "to schedule at least one big time BCS opponent each year."  WOW - don't knock yourselves out.  So - who is it this year, Cincinnati? Washington? TCU? Baylor? K-State?

 

As for your list, Miami, FSU, ND... again - WOW!

Actually Cincinnati will give them a game this year. I'll take the points in that contest. Then they travel to Cincy in 2010. Ask Oregon State about how that went. They travel to Washington this year. The last time they went to the NW they lost. They go to Miami .. in 2009 ..that won't be easy with Marve a year older and all those freshman coming in this year ready to play. In fact I'll predict a Hurricane victory right now. He also didn't mention a future series of OU-LSU.
LSU's ok, right?In fact, lets go ahead and give the Oklahoma Sooners applause. They have gone out of their way to schedule meaningful out-of-conference games.
They should be emulated not derided.

7/10/08   |   RichmondSpider

Jubanator14 wrote:
I'll try and defend Oklahoma...

We were originally suppose to play Middle Tennessee St. (not great but still d-1) but they used the deal they had with us as leverage to get a better deal from an SEC school. They bailed on the deal and left us scrambling last November so not too many teams were available and we were lucky to even get a home opener.

With that said, Oklahoma has always tried to schedule at least one big time BCS opponent each year. They have an upcoming series with Miami, Florida St., Tennessee, Notre Dame, Ohio St., and I think with LSU.

I hate to knock on anyone's school... but OU tries "to schedule at least one big time BCS opponent each year."  WOW - don't knock yourselves out.  So - who is it this year, Cincinnati? Washington? TCU? Baylor? K-State?

 

As for your list, Miami, FSU, ND... again - WOW!

7/10/08   |   Todd

Scott wrote:

If you are looking for a must see game of the weekend, check out Illinois/Missouri in the Border War.  A battle of preseason top 20 teams, the game last year had everything you could've wanted and more.  Missouri was a 21 point favorite last year and every "expert" thought they would run Illinois out of the Dome.  Illinois lost there quarterback early, fell down by 21 points before half but came back thanks to there second string quarterback.  Illinois drove the length of the field in the closing minutes only to have Missouri intercept a pass on there own 3 yard line in the final seconds.  Illinois is a year more experienced and returns 16 starters this year from that team.  Missouri is picked to win the Big XII north and could possibly make a run at the National Title.  It'll probably be treated as an afterthought by most of the national media because it doesnt involve Ohio State, USC or LSU but it's definitely a "must see" game

Honorable Mention- Hawaii/Florida - granted it's more then likely not a "must see" game because it's a year late but I still find it an intriguing matchup.

Are Illinois and Hawaii as good this year? I thought about those games, but I felt Missouri and Florida will have little trouble with them now, as opposed to last year.

7/10/08   |   Scott   |   51939 respect

(Edited by Scott)

If you are looking for a must see game of the weekend, check out Illinois/Missouri in the Border War.  A battle of preseason top 20 teams, the game last year had everything you could've wanted and more.  Missouri was a 21 point favorite last year and every "expert" thought they would run Illinois out of the Dome.  Illinois lost there quarterback early, fell down by 21 points before half but came back thanks to there second string quarterback.  Illinois drove the length of the field in the closing minutes only to have Missouri intercept a pass on there own 3 yard line in the final seconds.  Illinois is a year more experienced and returns 16 starters this year from that team.  Missouri is picked to win the Big XII north and could possibly make a run at the National Title.  It'll probably be treated as an afterthought by most of the national media because it doesnt involve Ohio State, USC or LSU but it's definitely a "must see" game

Honorable Mention- Hawaii/Florida - granted it's more then likely not a "must see" game because it's a year late but I still find it an intriguing matchup.

7/10/08   |   Adam

As awesome as it sounds, why would a team like Ohio State agree to this.  They feel they play a tough enough schedule as is, why give a team that they could be battling down the stretch a one up on them?
Only reason it would happen would be big bucks.

7/10/08   |   Jubanator14   |   367 respect

I'll try and defend Oklahoma...

We were originally suppose to play Middle Tennessee St. (not great but still d-1) but they used the deal they had with us as leverage to get a better deal from an SEC school. They bailed on the deal and left us scrambling last November so not too many teams were available and we were lucky to even get a home opener.

With that said, Oklahoma has always tried to schedule at least one big time BCS opponent each year. They have an upcoming series with Miami, Florida St., Tennessee, Notre Dame, Ohio St., and I think with LSU.