This past Saturday, we witnessed the biggest abomination of college football that our fair state has ever seen, Oklahoma State's throttling of woeful Savannah State.
This coming Saturday, we're due another shameful matchup when Oklahoma hosts Florida A&M, an FCS team from the same lowly league as Savannah State.
It is football only a vampire could love.
Bloodlust is a must.
This madness needs to stop. The NCAA or the BCS or whoever's in charge of college football these days should ban games against lower-division teams. End the insanity. Bring back the civility.
After what we saw last week in Stillwater and with what we expect this week in Norman, we know these games are immoral.
Now, it's time to make them illegal.
The rule change would be pretty simple, really. Football Bowl Subdivision teams like OU or OSU would only be able to play other FBS teams in non-conference play. They could be from big-time conferences or low-level leagues. They could be powerhouses or powder puffs. But at the very least, they would be operating under the same rules for scholarships, practices and the like.
That means Football Championship Subdivision teams like Savannah State and Florida A&M would be off limits.
It's obvious that they need to be.
Sure, you occasionally have an Appalachian State, a lower-division team that shocks the world like the Mountaineers did five years ago at Michigan. But you're way, way, way more likely to have an ugly blowout that borders on gruesome.
That's what last Saturday's game in Stillwater was. And truth be told, the Cowboys did everything in their power to minimize the bloodbath. They used nearly a hundred players in the game, they benched the starters in the first quarter and they used fourth-stringers and walk-ons much of the second half.
And OSU still won by 84 points.
There was a point in the second half where TV cameras captured Cowboy coach Mike Gundy and one of his assistants sitting in a couple chairs — yes, chairs — on the sideline. Actually, lounging might be a better word to describe their posture.
They looked like a couple Little League soccer parents watching practice.
Who's ever seen such a thing in major-college football?
The whole scene last Saturday night was cringe-worthy. There's a good chance that it won't be quite so bad this Saturday night — Florida A&M won seven games a year ago, including a 47-7 pummeling of Savannah State — but it's still bound to be ugly.
No one is comfortable with these games, not even highly paid coaches who crave wins above all else. Gundy bristled at questions about Savannah State during his postgame press conference.
“I don't think I should have to comment on what the score is,” he said Saturday night. “I think it's irrelevant at this point.”
It ceased to be relevant less than half an hour after the game?
Sooner coach Bob Stoops got testy, too, during his weekly press conference Monday when asked about how he manages the game against an outmatched opponent.
“I don't even think of things like that going into a game,” he said. “To me, it's all about us and making improvement, being sharper. That's all I think about.”
But after what happened Saturday in Stillwater ...
“I wasn't in Stillwater,” Stoops said curtly. “I've got nothing to do with that.”
Listen, I realize why these matchups happened. Both schools got desperate. Conference realignment left them short non-conference games, and they had to scramble to find opponents. There are lots of moving parts when it comes to non-conference scheduling, everything from having open dates that match to agreeing on the payout amount. And when neither school could strike a deal with an FBS team, they went looking for an FCS team.
I understand the mechanics of the situation.
That doesn't make the reality any better.
Perhaps college football's move to a four-team playoff will change things. Right now, we have a system that rewards perfection. It doesn't mind all that much what teams you play in the non-conference as long as you beat them. But with the new system, a team won't have to be undefeated to make it into the playoff.
What's more, strength of schedule could actually be the difference between being a playoff team and being left out. Teams might be encouraged to schedule tougher non-conference games because of that.
Games against teams like Savannah State and Florida A&M might be eliminated naturally.
But in case that doesn't happen, let's ban them anyway.
If anyone is worried that this change would drive up the cost of payouts, place a cap on how much any school can pay or receive. Put it at $2 million or so. That would allow the powder puffs to receive a nice payday or two but would protect the powerhouses from facing a bidding war.
Yes, this is a lot of regulation on scheduling, and frankly, college sports has too many rules as it is.
I mean, have you seen the size of the NCAA handbook?
But clearly, non-conference scheduling needs a moral compass. Schools have long been left to their own devices, and now, we find ourselves watching games that are as lopsided as Tulsa Union High vs. Taft Middle School would be.
The madness needs to stop, and banning games against lower-division teams is the only way to make sure it does.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.