Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When Respect is Due

Dad, I now have greater expectations for your landscaping ;) This was from the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Amazing, ornate, and beautiful things all around! Respect! :) (yes, Dave, that was for you :) lol)

Now for a College Football Rant: (for those disinterested, this is your cue :) lol)

I don't know if it's a hold-over from Michigan being my second-choice for undergraduate, but I've never really been a fan of Ohio State sports. My dislike of OSU sports is probably also due to my pension for supporting the David's against Goliath's (where OSU has been a Goliath throughout the Jim Tressel era), but Ohio State deserves respect for continually putting themselves in a position to be in the national conversation in football. Yes, there is a lot to a program beyond scheduling, but it's definitely a factor (just ask Boise State fans). Over the past nine years, Ohio State has had 35 non-conference games. Of these, 29 of them have been played at home. In a given year there are about four non-conference games and of these four games, Ohio State schedules one game against another national power in a home-and-home series (recently USC, Texas, and Miami), but the other three are played in the Horseshoe against patsies (ie the football powers of Ohio, Youngstown State, or Marshall).

Consequently, going into Big Ten play each year, they have created a setting in which they are pretty much guaranteed 3 wins, and if they get lucky (or every other year when it's a home game), they go into conference play undefeated. Part of the reason Ohio State can get away with this is due to a consistent strength of schedule in Big Ten games, but also because the one game against the national power creates enough positive press to forget about the other games. Furthermore, Ohio States' proximity to so many MAC schools (Ohio, Bowling Green, Akron, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Miami of Ohio, and Kent State) provide a plethora of patsies for them to pay $250,000 a game to come into the Horseshoe (which has a capacity of 102,329, so you do the math whether or not they make out ahead thanks to that game lol) and get beat each year. These MAC schools, because they play in FBS and not the FCS, create significantly more legitimacy to their schedule instead of UMass, New Hampshire, or Colgate who offer about as stiff competition.

Either way, Ohio State has created a system that maximizes profitability, winning percentage, and national recognition. Florida State has the national recognition part down (as three of their non-conference games were against perennial powers Florida, Oklahoma, and Brigham Young - I include BYU here because they think they're national enough to go independent. I think they're drastically over-estimating themselves, but that's a completely different matter...) Needless to say, major conference ADs should take a page from OSU's playbook if they want to help their program continue to be profitable and gain national prominence so despite disliking the Buckeyes, I have to give them my respect. (Them and Brian Cashman, that dude is also a genius.)

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