College football: An imaginary Saturday
Last college football season, I picked out a September Saturday, counted the number of games in which major college teams played opponents from a lower division and ruminated on what could be if teams were willing to play legitimate games.
So I decided to do it again. Last Saturday, we had 21 matchups of Division I-A teams against I-AA squads. That’s out of 68 games total, so there were 47 games of teams in the same division. So almost one third of major college football games last Saturday were virtual exhibitions.
But it gets worse. Nine of those 68 games were conference games. So it’s really 21 out of 59. More than a third. And that’s not even counting the likes of Nebraska-Arkansas State, OSU-Louisiana/Lafayette, North Carolina State-South Alabama, Kansas State-North Texas, South Carolina-UAB, Texas Tech-New Mexico, Georgia-Florida Atlantic and LSU-Idaho, which were virtual exhibitions, too.
You occasionally get good games, even in expected mismatches. Western Kentucky beat Kentucky and Ball State beat Indiana. Troy almost upset Mississippi State, and Utah State almost upset Wisconsin. Those games, I don’t like, but I can live with.
But what if we just got rid of the I-AA games. What if we took the 21 major schools that played lower-division foes, and scheduled games matching the 21? Think how much better September Saturdays would be.
You don’t have to think about it. I’ll figure it out for you. Here are the I-A vs. I-AA games from last Saturday:
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