Alright, who made this schedule?
Oregon State plays somewhere between the #1 and #6 toughest schedule this season. In the first three games the Beavers play two top 10 teams in all the preseason polls. Meanwhile, the Beavs rank somewhere from 22 to 36 in those same polls. The Beavs are pushing their own Heisman Hopeful, Jaquizz Rodgers, but some pundits think that Boise State's Kellen Moore is a front-runner (OSU's third opponent).
At this point does anyone realistically think Oregon State will be better than 1-2 going into Pac-10 play? Sure, I have dreams of 3-0 and College Gameday here for the Nov. 20th USC game after we start 9-0. It could happen.
Unfortunately, that just doesn't seem to be the way it goes for OSU. Losses to Fresno St., Louisville, Boise St (twice), Cincinnati (twice), Utah, and Penn St. early in the season always seems to propel those teams to the BCS and top ten seasons. Its almost like teams poised for a break out season have to make sure they schedule the Beavs that season. Again, BSU and TCU loom large this season.
The one magical season we as Beavers fans (Fiesta Bowl, top 5 finish) was fueled by a mediocre to weak preseason schedule. We almost lost to Eastern Washington and didn't exactly pummel New Mexico. If they beat Washington (3pt loss) then they had a good shot at being in the national title game.
Boise St. and TCU have such a weak conference schedule they need to schedule big games out of conference. Anyone who runs the table in a BCS conference will be in the title game. Worst case, they could be third and thus left out. Someday we will have a playoff and it won't matter.
So I ask the question: Why schedule teams as good or better than you out of conference?
I can only come up with these reasons:
* Prepare for the tough conference games
* Increase chances to be in a BCS game
* To get them back at our house in future years for a big game
If you're the Beavers only #1 and #4 are valid IMO.
2000 taught me that even a weak schedule can prepare you for a tough Pac-10 schedule. Also, most years our early bad starts continued into the early Pac-10 season. Early season losses to Cal, ASU, USC, and UCLA are still burned in my memory. Clearly, the pre-season didn't help prepare us for those games.
#3 doesn't seem to matter in this age of Utah, Hawaii, Cincy, Louisville, Boise St., and TCU all getting to BCS games. You can still get a BCS game even with one loss in conference if you win your OOC games.
Here's the crux of my argument:
The current system doesn't reward tough scheduling.
If the U of O goes 3-0 in OOC (likely) this year with their weak schedule and loses one game in conference, they're going to a BCS game no questions asked. They may even have a shot at the title game.
If there isn't any benefit, then why risk it?
I'm willing to bet the short/long term money for playing in a BCS game is much bigger than one payday game in Death Valley or Dallas, TX.
What do you think? Are these tough schedules worth the money? Do you think they help or hurt us?
Alternative Views and Related Links:
Bold scheduling has made Oregon State central figure in 2010 race - SI.com
Oregon Ducks rundown: The Ducks' nonconference schedule looks like cupcake row - The Oregonian
Is this a bad thing?
Monday, August 30, 2010
Alright, who made this schedule?