I know it's the way things are done but, after watching a couple of weekends of gross mismatches, I have to say that I think it's wrong to schedule grossly mismatched teams in a game in which size, speed and depth of talent can draw the line between a competitive game and the serious risk of injury for the overmatched players.
To our credit and that of the PAC 11, we are not known for doing this. And, some mismatches may not have been mismatches when they were scheduled.
But, it is clear that football programs use money to lure underqualified teams into their stadiums -- just to put an easy game and more revenue on the balance sheets. No small influence is the proliferation of TV coverage and the money that flows from a lengthened season. I can understand AD's on both sides of the equation scheduling for money.
But, in doing so, they endanger the players on the weaker teams. The patsies may play well for a short time, but soon, skill, size and depth wears them down. And, when they are weak, they are more susceptible to injury.
The QB hits by Barr and Judge were good, clean football plays. The players did absolutely what they are supposed to do. But, I had a hard time cheering them. Their offense really did not belong on the field with our defense.
Again, I'm not calling us out. I could give examples in most every conference -- more so in the "football elite conferences".
I know there is no "objective" standard by which to schedule, but there has to be some idea of which teams will match up and which won't. In the same way that in the old days of boxing, promoters knew which fighters would be beat down and knocked out, easily, without threatening a champion's reign. Unfortunately, some of those patsies suffered severe injuries. Some died. None belonged in a champion's ring.
I know that many see soft preseason schedules as an essential component in "team building". I'm not sure that works. Didn't help our basketball teams much.
And, I think football is different. The physical risk to the players is much greater. One reason we play so much better as the game goes on is that we are big, strong, fit, talented AND deep. We can play tempo and win because our athletes are stronger, faster, AND we can substitute with equal quality -- something most little schools cannot do. We did that to a good school, Nebraska -- no adjustments, just talent and depth. There is no way a shallow school will keep up with us.
I would rather play a matched team -- even if we might lose an early season game and run the risk of stigma than play another game like last weekend.
Or, I'd rather play more in conference games and/or have a shorter season. I suspect that "in conference" opponents are more likely to match up than the non-FBS or lower division teams that are showing up on schedules.
I'm sure this will not be a popular post. And, I'm not saying we should not enjoy the victory. But, it's a topic that's been on my mind for the last few weeks and I'm wondering how other people feel about it.