Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's always a good month

to talk about LSU football:
LSU recently announced that it will start the 2008 football season at home against Appalachian State, much to the dismay of many Tiger fans who can’t fathom playing against an I-AA school.

Before you accuse LSU of padding its schedule, remember Appalachian St. beat Michigan at Michigan last year.

As Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated put it:
Shortly before last season's BCS bowls, I was having a conversation with an athletic director at one of the nation's football powers when he mentioned he still had a game to fill on his 2008 non-conference schedule. At such a late stage, he said, he would likely have to resort to a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) opponent.
While he didn't explicitly say so, I could tell from his response he wanted nothing to do with the three-time defending Division I-AA national champions, and who could blame him? Appalachian State's stunning 34-32 upset of then fifth-ranked Michigan in last year's season opener showed not only how dangerous the Mountaineers can be but also what a gigantic stigma losing to such a team creates.
Give credit to LSU for going where so many others would not. Over the past few months, Appalachian State associate athletic director Jay Sutton got turned down by one BCS-conference school after another in his quest for a big-conference opponent (the Boone, N.C., school has faced at least one upper-division foe every year since 1982). "We'd come back with, 'However much you're paying, we'll take less,' " said Sutton. "That didn't work either."

Florida State, North Carolina and Georgia Tech all declined, according to Sutton. The Tar Heels, perhaps wary of losing to an in-state opponent, opted instead to play another regular FCS playoff participant, McNeese State. Florida State and Clemson -- both of which are playing two lower-division foes next season -- opted for less-threatening teams from Appalachian State's conference, Western Carolina and The Citadel.

Labels: ,

That's pathetic and disappointing on Florida State's part, especially since FSU fans have made fun of power teams like Auburn and Nebraska for pulling out of future scheduled matchups.

Sad. I guess they want Bobby to go out with a winning record.

Kudos to the Tigers.
To be fair, FSU might not have as favorable a schedule as LSU for setting up a game like this. It's the season opener (Aug. 30), and LSU doesn't play a tough game until Auburn on Sept. 20. That makes one thing in the SI article less of a consideration:

'"Of course we don't want to play [Appalachian State]," an anonymous ACC coach told the Charlotte Observer. "It's not because I don't think we can beat them. ... When we play a [FCS] team, we want to play our starters for one quarter, get a lead, and get them out of there. That's not going to happen against Appalachian."'

I think the ACC coach is exaggerating a little, there's some fear of an upset as long as Armanti Edwards is playing. But playing Appalachian St. won't keep LSU from game planning or resting for its SEC opener (Auburn). Also, the article didn't say anything about TV, but I suspect that ESPN or one of the other networks sweetened the pot.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Old Favorites
  • Political Boxing (untitled)
  • Did Bush Take His Ball and Go Home
  • Teratogens and Plan B
  • Foghorn Leghorn Republicans
  • Quote of the Day
  • October's News(Dec.1)
  • untitled, Nov.19 (offshore revenue)
  • Remember Upton Sinclair
  • Oct. Liar of thr month
  • Jindal's True Colors
  • No bid contracts