WANTED: Has-been dynasty seeks I-AA teams, preferably sub-.500

Is this a joke, Bobby?

On Friday, February 8, Florida State released its 2008 football schedule. The mighty Noles will be opening their season with back-to-back home games versus–drum roll, please–Western Carolina and Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Both I-AA teams, the WCU Catamounts are 3-19 in the last two seasons while the UT-Chattanooga Moccasins have torn through the I-AA ranks with a two-year mark of 5-17.

Reeling from multiple suspensions related to academic fraud (now there’s a shocker) that will leave FSU without several starters for the first three games of 2008, FSU Coach Bobby Bowden shamelessly acknowledged:

“There’s no way we would be ready to play a ranked team at that time…the first three ballgames we’re going to have around, what, 12 scholarship guys out?”

For those not paying attention at home, Bowden just said, “Yep, I’m a pussy.” Even worse, he was almost glib about failing to keep his kids in good academic standing. Seeing as Bobby’s integrity is already a non-starter, I guess he might as well piss on basic accountability while he’s at it.

Thank God this scheduling isn’t endemic to the rest of Division I-A. At least we can count on, say, the defending national champion LSU Tigers to schedule aggressively. Les Miles is a man among boys! He’ll take on anyone…anytime…anywhere! Can I get an Amen from SEC country? I mean, it’s not like LSU’s 2008 schedule has eight home games, including a four-game non-conference gauntlet of Appalachian State, Troy, North Texas and Tulane.

Oh please, spare me the lame-ass one-liners about Notre Dame scheduling the Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. I’m not a big fan of scheduling the service academies, if only because it gives all the intellectually lazy ND haters of the world an excuse to spin total bullshit as fact. The real facts are these: the Naval Academy has one of the top Div I-A winning percentages since 2003, while the Air Force Academy has been been a legitimate mid-major bowl team for a quarter century. If you think scheduling the likes of Navy or Air Force is the same as scheduling not one, but two Div I-AA opponents in the same season, you’re incapable of having an honest discussion–about anything–so shut the hell up.


 [Note: only days after this article was written, Florida State put all of its athletic programs on two-year probation. According to an AP report issued on February 14, 2008, 60 student-athletes spread out across all FSU sports programs have lost or will lose some eligibility. Bottom line: any parent who willingly watches his or her child sign a Letter of Intent for Florida State should be charged with negligence. That “school” is a joke. And beyond that scoreboard they don’t care what happens to your kids. ]

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  1. “What’s any of that garbage got to do with Notre Dame?”

    Notre Dame exists in a vacuum in which no information on any other teams, list of which two recent heated rivals of ND, is relevant? Pointing out to prospective recruits and their parents the hypocrisy of other programs in relation to ND isn’t relative?

    Do me a favor and crawl back under that myopic shamrock of yours. I’ll wake you for those 3-4 hours every Saturday between September and January you apparently care to watch college football.

  2. What’s any of that garbage got to do with Notre Dame? Those teams don’t even deserve any recognition. If I wanted to hear about LSU and whatever other garbage team I don’t care about, I’d go to espn.com.

  3. Mac, you are the greatest. What an article!! FSU was great, but LSU was the icing on the cake. Gilligan, what you said about the way every team plays our Irish is so true. Well done to both of you.

  4. The arguement that will be returned is “we play a tough acc/sec/big ten schedule” well lets not forget that along with these bad I-AA teams they can play Duke, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, until recently Wake Forest, Indiana, and Miss St. All these teams are doormats for the elite teams in the respective conferences. ND consistently play teams with winning traditions and as you so plainly put it, the service academies are not doormats and walk overs and have not been for some time. I always make the arguement that ND will never sneak up on a team or surprise a team, because every college team puts the bullseye on ND when they play them.

  5. How come Joe Paterno and Penn State get passed over time and again when we criticize soft scheduling? Since he’s been head coach at PSU, Paterno has had a hand in setting up easy schedules. He took over in the mid-sixties. A couple of years later he dropped Navy who beat him two years in a row. In 1969 Penn State went undefeated and cried that they should have been voted National Champs, even though they did not play a ranked team the entire year except for a one point victory over Kansas State (ranked 19th) in their bowl game. They had first shot at playing Texas in
    the Cotton Bowl, but ducked that one knowing they didn’t belong on the same field.

  6. ND is held to a standard that is unattainable by “haters”. If we played Appy st, Troy, and North Texas we would get put down for that. It doesnt matter who we play. If it all Big Ten opponents people would dog us for that saying “Big Ten is Week” which to some degree they are correct but bottom line is teams all across the country schedule “cupcakes” in the beginning to help get out the kinks. No, I dont find a problem for this because it gives exposure to these “smaller” schools and also help prepare the powerhouses for their season. People just hate on ND plain and simple. No one likes the contract with NBC and no one likes the fact that they probably couldnt get it due to grades or cost. I just smile and remember where I came from when I see the hate!

  7. As ND fan, I get more crap about playing service academies than anything else. Unfortunately for Irish fans, the service academies being a decent mid-major football ball team has not outweighed the stigma most non-ND fans have of them.

  8. Frankie V, thank you, I stand corrected. I think my blood pressure goes up when I think about 1993 National Championship voting.

  9. Mac:
    Short, to the point and rather humorous. Your choice of words, description of events and other highlights are note worthy.

    Altogether, you are right on. This is stuff that others, other teams, just don’t want to hear. Keep up the good work. When are you slated to return from the departed?

  10. Norm, for once I’m not going to disparage OSU in this discussion. Don’t get me wrong, OSU’s schedule was a joke in 2007. We were still in the middle of the summer and I was telling my few Buckeye friends they didn’t even have a losable game until the last weekend of October.

    2008 is a slightly different story, however. Yes, there’s an inexcusable I-AA tune-up vs. Youngstown State, followed by a joke of an in-state “rivalry” matchup with Ohio U. But I can’t imagine many teams have two harder games in the season’s first six weeks than @USC and @Wisconsin. Much like the loser of that OSU-Texas home-and-home seriesa couple years back, OSU could be setting themselves up to be written off as early as the second week of September.

  11. JC,

    Technically, the last time we played FSU they ran rough shot on us at home in 2003 under Ty.

    We did win the last matchup in Tallahassee though.

  12. Amen, Brother Mac. Not to mention the last time we played, we beat them on their own turf! Should I dare mention the 1993 National Championship that was a GIFT from the so called professional sports pundits?

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