Oklahoma State football: Who is Savannah State?
A new low comes to Oklahoma State football on Sept. 1. Maybe a new low for Big 12 football. The worst program to ever grace a Big 12 schedule.
OSU hosts Savannah State on Sept. 1, and there is no pleasant way to put this. Savannah State will be the worst opponent the Cowboys have ever played, at least going back to World War I. I can’t speak for some of the teacher colleges of the Woodrow Wilson era. But Savannah State will be the worst in at least 90 years.
There is no shame in Stillwater when it comes to scheduling.
Savannah State is a Division I-AA program in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Savannah State joined the MEAC for the 2010 season and was independent the eight years before that. Before 2002, Savannah State was NCAA Division II, the level at which Central Oklahoma and Southwestern State play.
Here are Savannah State’s season records going backwards from 2011:
1-10, 1-10, 2-8, 5-7, 1-9, 3-8, 0-11, 2-8, 0-12, 1-9, 2-7, 2-8.
That’s 12 seasons in the 2000s, with 20 total victories.
Savannah State has beaten Morris Brown, Miles, Edward Waters, Livingstone and North Carolina Central twice. Savannah State has beaten Winston-Salem State, Clark Atlanta, Concordia College, Webber International, Johnson C. Smith, Morehouse, Norfolk State, Allen, South Carolina State and Fort Valley State once each.
In 2011, Savannah State lost 59-3 to Bethune-Cookman, 45-3 to Norfolk State, 47-7 to Florida A&M, 44-17 to Morgan State, 41-6 to Appalachian State and 63-6 to Southeastern Louisiana.
And now Savannah State comes to Stillwater to usher in the post-Brandon Weeden era. I know that scheduling I-AA opponents has become common. I know that it’s become almost necessary at times. I know all the reasons.
It still stinks. Especially when the talent and resources discrepancy is so huge. Savannah State plays in a 7,500-seat stadium. Savannah State never has played a major-college opponent. Savannah State in the ’90s played Central Florida and Middle Tennessee, but that was before those schools made the jump to NCAA Division I-A.
Savannah State football is known for two things. Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe played there. So did Troy Hambrick, a tailback who gained 972 yards for the 2003 Dallas Cowboys. Alas, I doubt Sharpe or Hambrick suits up for Savannah State on Sept. 1, in what promises to be a very embarrassing game for college football, the Big 12 and OSU.
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