Scheduling Outrage? Not Really.

So we've scheduled another FCS (D-1AA) opponent, South Dakota, for 2011. And there's outrage from the loyal fans. "Oh, how can we compete for national titles?" "Bielema should be canned." "Can't we get another Pac-10 team?" "The MAC?" "We chickened out of Virginia Tech." "We were scared to schedule Texas!" "We should play all ten Big Ten teams" (never mind the math).

Please. The FCS games replace overpriced mid-major "talent." No one ever liked playing the mid-majors, either. They were always "beneath us," too. They became too expensive so the big kids around the NCAA flexed a little muscle. "You want a cool million for a one-off at our house? Sorry, no. We'll go get Cal Poly Wofford for half that (or whatever it is)."

Those second rate games get us better bowls. I'm ok with that. They also make the athletic department more money. I'm ok with that, too. Some of you don't want to go watch the Wofford game? You're not going to cancel your season tickets over it; let someone else go in your place.

My understanding is that Alvarez wants one "travel" game a year for the alumni and the players (Las Vegas, California, Hawaii, etc.), one "good" game for rankings purposes (a solid BCS team, or a Fresno State type), and some home moneymakers, e.g., FCS or cheap mid-majors. Makes sense to me.

Crying about missing out on Texas? Get over it. We got nothing in that proposed deal (for 2009). We gave up a home game (ticket sales are the lifeblood of the program), travel to Austin for a likely loss, which hurts us more than beating Wofford does (lower ranking, fewer wins, lower bowl, less media attention, less money -- gee, looks like a real winner), and Texas backs out of the return game four years later because, well, they can make a bunch of money by staying at home and playing Chattanooga. If Texas will negotiate with us on close to even terms, that deal can happen. If not, I'm happy playing ASU, Oregon State, Virginia Tech, etc. Oh, but we won't be a national title contender? I'm sorry, when was the last time we were? Let's try winning the Big Ten again before we worry about contending for national titles.

As for VaTech? I've written about that before. It was the right decision. Folks who think it wasn't are delusional. That is, unless you really like playing for the shot at the Insight or Champs Sports bowls.

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