Thank you, Savannah State. I’m sorry you have become the Poster Child for one of college football’s biggest sins, but at least we now have a lot of people involved in the sport screaming about mismatches – these get-your-brains-beat-in-for-a-big-payday games.
I’m proud to say I’ve been harping about this for years, but it wasn’t until Oklahoma State whacked Savannah State 84-0 that so many other people became upset about this annual embarrassment to the sport. It is a hot topic these days with national pundits, particularly those folks who make a living analyzing college football for the TV networks.
The screams to stop this horrific scheduling picked up even more steam when Savannah State went to slaughter last week in Tallahassee, losing only 55-0 to FSU because the game was stopped in the third quarter because of dangerous weather conditions.
Here’s been the accepted formula for college football’s elite: Schedule one, if not two, home games each year against a patsy; write them a big check; pad your school’s record and coach’s resume.
The guilty schools justify this practice in many ways. They argue the money helps the victims pay their bills. They contend the outclassed players get to enjoy the experience of playing in a big stadium. They whine that they need a few “soft” games because of their grueling conference schedules.
Do the players who get embarrassed benefit from the money? Is it an enjoyable experience to get whipped 84-0 anywhere, anytime? If every major conference team played only competitive opponents wouldn’t it balance out in the end? Imagine, if you can, an NFL teams softening their schedules by playing a couple of semi-pro teams.
Next to the embarrassed players, the biggest losers are the fans. They pay a lot of money for tickets and in booster contributions to watch garage games.
There is hope we’ll see a reduction of these ridiculous games in the near future. When a four-team playoff starts with the 2014 season, strength of schedule reportedly will be a major factor in which four teams are selected are a yet-to-be-named committee. Of course, if every elite program schedules a couple of dogs . . . well, maybe we won’t see an end to these types of games.