Breaking down the I-A vs. I-AA games
June 5, 2007 (Sporting News)
I don't like 'em, but ADs at fat boy schools with rabid fan bases love 'em: non-league games pitting I-A teams vs. I-AA teams. Heck, BCS heavies could schedule your Granny's Sewing Circle to visit and still sell out. Hey, if you wanna show up with your wallet in your mouth to watch a glorified scrimmage, that's your problem.
I give credit to the Pac-10 for not taking the easy way out and scheduling a bunch of I-AA pylons. Check it out: The Pac-10 has just two games vs. I-AA foes, the fewest of any BCS conference. If any league deserves to schedule a few easy "Ws," it's the Pac-10, given the fact league schools are forced to fill nine of their 12 scheduling slots with conference tilts. A breather would have been appreciated.
And a special mention to the ACC for scheduling only six I-AA fall guys.
Which BCS league stands to get the fattest on I-AA teams? The SEC, with 10 games vs. I-AA meatballs. Sorta takes luster off of all of those "the SEC is best" arguments. Oh, yeah, I forgot: SEC teams beat up each other so they have to "take it easy" in non-league games. Uh, yeah ... I guess.
No school plays two I-AA foes, but it's worth noting that 24 BCS schools don't have a I-AA opponent on their to-do list this season. Good for them. Maybe they noticed last year that I-AA teams toppled I-A teams on several occasions. Remember these stunners?
Montana State over Colorado
Southern Illinois over Indiana
Richmond over Duke
New Hampshire over Northwestern
That's just downright embarrassing. (Quickie sider: my all-time fav I-AA over I-A game is The Citadel over Arkansas in 1992.) And even a few non-BCS teams got pantsed by I-AA teams last fall: Cal Poly over San Diego State; Portland State over New Mexico; North Dakota State over Ball State.
Shameful. But I love it. I like to think of it as I-A big boys getting taught a lesson by blowing a breakaway slam dunk.
Oh, most I-AA teams will take their whipping (and mega-guarantee check) and slink home. But some won't. Nope, several I-A teams will suffer the ignominy of being whipped by I-AA runts this fall. You can bank on that. Here's a look at all 38 I-A vs. I-AA matchups this fall. Which I-A teams do you think are in the most peril of being punked?
Caveat emptor, BCS Big Boys!
James Madison at North Carolina, Sept. 1
Villanova at Maryland, Sept. 1
Samford at Georgia Tech, Sept. 8
Furman at Clemson, Sept. 15
William & Mary at Virginia Tech, Sept. 22
UMass at Boston College, Sept. 29
BIG EAST (6)
Murray State at Louisville, Sept. Aug. 30
Southeast Missouri at Cincinnati, Aug. 30
Elon at South Florida, Sept. 1
Maine at UConn, Sept. 8
Grambling at Pitt, Sept. 8
Norfolk State at Rutgers, Sept. 15
BIG TEN (8)
Appalachian State at Michigan, Sept. 1
Youngstown State at Ohio State, Sept. 1
Northeastern at Northwestern, Sept. 1
Indiana State at Indiana, Sept. 1
Eastern Illinois at Purdue, Sept. 8
Western Illinois at Illinois, Sept. 8
The Citadel at Wisconsin, Sept. 15
North Dakota State at Minnesota, Oct. 20
BIG 12 (8)
Northern Iowa at Iowa State, Sept. 8
Southeastern Louisiana at Kansas, Sept. 8
Missouri State at Kansas State, Sept. 15
Texas State at Baylor, Sept. 15
Illinois State at Missouri, Sept. 22
Sam Houston State at Oklahoma State, Sept. 29
Montana State at Texas A&M, Sept. 1
Northwestern State at Texas Tech, September 29
Northern Arizona at Arizona, Sept. 8
Idaho State at Oregon State, Sept. 15
Western Carolina at Alabama, Sept. 1
Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky, Sept. 1
Richmond at Vanderbilt, Sept.1
Western Kentucky at Florida, Sept. 1
Western Carolina at Georgia, Sept. 15
South Carolina State at South Carolina, Sept. 15
Jacksonville State at Mississippi State, Sept. 22
UT-Chattanooga at Arkansas, Oct. 6
Northwestern State at Ole Miss, Nov. 3
Tennessee Tech at Auburn, Nov. 3
I-A TEAMS WITH NO I-AA FOES (24 schools)