Savannah State coach Steve Davenport talks about his team's game against Oklahoma State, the program's first against a major-college foe. The Tigers play the following week at Florida State.
The reality is, it's a money deal. That's just being honest and upfront from our perspective. We had an opportunity to play the game and raise more money than we would have otherwise, so I would be dishonest or disingenuous if I didn't mention the word money.
Obviously, we realize that in both of those first two games, if you look at it program to program, we're overmatched. We're overmatched in terms of the amount of scholarships. We're overmatched in a lot of different ways.
But from our perspective, it gives us an opportunity ... to be in two quality arenas. The opportunity to visit those arenas and go match up against a guy that “is supposed to be a better player than you” is an opportunity for any athlete that respects themselves. And that's what we've preached to our guys. In both of those games, we have an opportunity to go up against the best of the best and see where you stand.
The minute that I went in front of our team and announced that we were playing Oklahoma State, they were all excited about the opportunity to go to Stillwater, Okla., a beautiful part of the country that a lot of these kids will never get an opportunity to see, and then the opportunity to go up against really, really good football players.
We're looking forward to getting on the plane and coming to the beautiful city of Stillwater.
Tale of the tape
Oklahoma State vs. Savannah State is a mismatch, but what about player-to-player comparisons? Here's a look at one position, right guard, where Lane Taylor will start for the Cowboys and Cedric Brown will get the nod for the Tigers.
Taylor, Category, Brown
6-foot-3, Height, 6-foot-2
328, Weight, 280
Senior, Class, Junior
Arlington, Texas, Hometown, Thomasville, Ga.
Utah, New Mexico, SMU, Kansas, Also Recruited By, Wofford, Middle Tennessee, Tuskegee, Albany State
OSU's lone returning starter on the offensive line, Notable, Savannah State's lone returning starter on the offensive line
OSU's five worst nonconference matchups
The five worst nonconference matchups in OSU football history since World War II:
1. Savannah State, 2012: The Cowboys will be the first major-college opponent that the Tigers have ever played. It's a dubious distinction considering the FCS program hasn't had a winning season this century.
2. Missouri State, 2008: An FCS team, the Bears had no bite against a Cowboy team that would win nine games and finish in the top 25.
3. Wichita State, 1974: Only four years removed from a devastating plane crash, the Shockers lost 59-0, the first of nine losses that season.
4. UTEP, 1977: The Miners were coming off consecutive one-win seasons, and they looked it in a 54-0 loss to the Cowboys.
5. Southern Illinois, 1973: Coming off a 1-8-1 season, Southern Illinois lost its opener at OSU, 70-7 en route to a three-win season.
OU's first worst nonconference matchups
The five worst nonconference matchups in OU football history since World War II:
1. Chattanooga, 2008: The Mocs played in one of the best FCS conferences but hadn't had a winning conference record since 1991. The Sooners would eventually play for a national title. The result of this mismatch for the ages: 57-2.
2. Idaho State, 2009: The lopsidedness of this matchup (64-0) was largely overshadowed by Landry Jones getting his first start in place of the injured Sam Bradford.
3. Indiana State, 1999: It was Bob Stoops' first game as Sooner coach, a 49-0 cakewalk. Maybe it didn't matter how bad the opponent was.
4. New Mexico State, 1989: The Aggies were coming off a one-win season and were worse in '89. They were winless, including a 73-3 loss to OU.
5. Arkansas State, 1992: Arkansas State, a 61-0 loser at OU, returned to Division I-A that season after winning only once the year before in I-AA.