Oklahoma football: UTEP faces tough schedule
My Dallas pal Joshua Bostic has nominated Texas-El Paso for his annual “Impossible Out-of-Conference Schedule For Million Dollar Payday” award. The Miners host the Sooners, then go to Ole Miss and Wisconsin.
2011: Florida Atlantic (at Florida 41-3, at Michigan State 44-0, at Auburn 30-14)
2010: San Jose State (at Alabama 48-3, at Wisconsin 27-14, at Utah 56-3)
2009: Florida International (at Alabama 40-14, at Rutgers 23-15, at Florida 62-3)
2008: Troy (at LSU 40-31, at Ohio State 28-10, at Oklahoma State 55-24)
2007: Louisiana Tech (at California 42-12, at Ole Miss 24-0, LSU 58-10)
2006: Louisiana Tech (at Nebraska 49-10, at Texas A&M 45-14, at Clemson 51-0)
2005: North Texas (Tulsa 54-2, at Kansas State 54-7, at LSU 56-3)
2004: Louisiana Tech (at Miami, FL 48-0, at Tennessee 42-17, at Auburn 52-7)
2003: Fresno State (at Tennessee 24-6, at Oklahoma 52-28, Oregon State 16-14 won by Fresno State)
Is UTEP in that company? I mean, OU and Wisconsin are a stout duo, but Ole Miss? Wouldn’t be a huge surprise if UTEP won at Ole Miss. And the Miners are hosting the Sooners. Get a big-time opponent to visit, and it’s hardly an “impossible” assignment. Unwinnable, probably, but not impossible.
The other candidates for the award would be Alabama-Birmingham, which plays at South Carolina and Ohio State; Central Florida, which plays at Ohio State and hosts Missouri; Arkansas State, which plays at Oregon and Nebraska; Louisiana-Lafayette, which plays at OSU and Florida; North Texas, which plays at LSU, Kansas State and Houston; Louisiana-Monroe, which plays at Arkansas and Auburn, and hosts Baylor; and Florida Atlantic, which plays at Alabama and Georgia.
What would you rather do? Go to Georgia and Bama, or go to Wisconsin and host OU? Go to LSU, K-State and Houston, or go to Wisconsin and host OU? Good questions both. I’m not really trying to trash Josh’s selection of UTEP. The Miners are certainly well-qualified for the award. But they’ve got some company.
And UTEP isn’t necessarily accustomed to such a twosome as OU and Wisconsin. UTEP played Arkansas in 2010, Texas in 2008 and 2009, OU in 2002, Alabama in 2001, and OU and Texas A&M in 2000. For comparison sake, last year, the Miners opened the season with SUNY-Stony Brook. This year, the Sooners. For that alone, UTEP might deserve the award.
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