Monday, December 01, 2008

Memo to Jeremy Foley

Never, ever schedule a Division 1AA school again.

EVER!

You did it in 2006, scheduling Western Carolina, and it almost cost us a chance at the stupid BCS Championship game.

Here we are in 2008 and once again the computers aren't giving our schedule respect, well because you screwed up.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Henry,

You ain't gonna like our first opponent next year, out of the glorious Big South! I guess Foley will have to work on that for 2010.

DolFan 316 said...

I blame the expansion of the regular season to 12 games for this. All that adding a 12th game did was give the big boys a free win over a 1AA patsy. The Gators aren't the only team who does this by a long shot. Certainly several Big 12 teams are guilty of the same thing.

The major difference is that somehow every other team gets their designated patsy out of the way in September while somehow the Gators are stuck with theirs in late November, making the game stick out like a sore thumb in the middle of rivalry week and conference-deciding clashes.

peachy said...

Our conference season seems to start unusually early - and if we must play Tennessee in the third week, I'd really rather have two live opponents beforehand, even if that means shoving a real weenie into the schedule later on. (Though, really, it should be easy enough to find a sufficiently weenie team in I-A, right?)

JD said...

It all comes down to money. A few years ago, when they added the twelfth game, I remember an article saying that the difference between playing Miami at home or on the road was $1,000,000 ($1.5 million for a home game vs. $500,000 for a road game). The problem is some mediocre Div-1A teams (like UCF) think that they deserve a home and home (why UCF backed out of a contracted game). A win over a patsy is a nice bonus, but the real reason is to get the extra money from another home game.

It is OK to say don't schedule a 1AA school, but when the number of 1A schools willing to take a paycheck for a beating is dwindling, you have to look elsewhere.

GatorMatt said...

It's a bit tough, because now the problem is turning out to be far more of a problem with the rest of the SEC being down. Tennessee I think most of us expected to be down this year, but LSU and Georgia were presumed to be so strong this year and just didn't deliver. Then ironically, Ole Miss is looking like much more of a team and turning out to be a more respectable loss than we thought originally. Thankfully at least this year, we only had one IAA opponent, but is dropping The Citadel for someone like Wyoming really all that different? The biggest thing that we can do is soundly whip 'Bama and things will all continue to take care of themselves. GO GATORS!!!

Henry Louis Gomez said...

GatorMatt,

You bring up a reasonable point which is that we can't control the relative strength of our conference from year to year nor the conference schedule. BUT WE CAN CONTROL our non-conference schedule.

is dropping The Citadel for someone like Wyoming really all that different?

Jeff Sagarin has the Citadel ranked #159. Wyoming is 106. The answer to your question in a scenario where could miss out on the big game by fractions of points in the computer ranking is YES.

We don't need to schedule teams outside of Div. 1A.

JD said...

Henry,

In the ideological abstract it would be great to schedule a Division 1A team for strength of schedule, but in the concrete real world, it isn't always possible when you factor in the other varriables. There are 14 Saturdays available to schedule 12 games. Eight weeks are taken up by the conference schedule, plus one for FSU. Of those nine games, four will be home games, four will be road games, and one is at a neutral site. The University wants to maximize its profit, and make the fans happy by hosting as many home games as possible. To do that, you need to find a school that:

a) has an open date,
b) is willing to go to your house, and
c) is willing to take a paycheck in lieu of a home-and-home series.

Begin with the 118 other Div 1A teams.

You can't add another SEC team, 107.

Another BCS Conference team will likely want a home-and-home, 54.

Of those 54 teams, you have to find three who have an open date on a week that you want to schedule a game. (Because we all know how valueable a bye week is.) They have to want to travel to Gainesville, which in some cases may be cost prohibitive, or a team may just not want to get pounded by the Gators. Most importantly they have to be willing to give up a visit from the Gator Nation another year.

For argument's sake let's say 2/3rds of the remaining teams fit the bill, 36.

You wind up with 36 patsies, and 65 BCS teams with an average of 4 holes to fill on their schedule.

It would be nice if the world were more like EA Sports NCAA Football, and these other issues didn't factor in, but even in the video game sometimes your options are limited by other teams' schedules.

You're right. It sucks scheduling 1AA teams, but go easy on Foley, he seems to be doing a great job overall in developing all of UF's athletic programs.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

I know the economic importance of having a home game that doesn't require a road game in return but I have to believe that the argument that it must be a 1AA school is frankly bullshit. You discount that a BCS conference team would take a payday. There's plenty of bottom dwellers who might take the money and there's other teams that are looking to make a name for themselves like Fresno State. In Florida alone we have FIU and FAU that may take the pay day.

This is horseshit and it would be fitting if it bit us on the ass. Will you be justifying it in the abstract or lamenting it in the real world if it comes to pass.

GatorMatt said...

Henry, you'll be glad to know that FIU is our next-to-last opponent next year. Hopefully they'll give us that "boost" that The Citadel didn't. But, then there's Charleston Southern. Whatever the reason, in the years I've been following Florida Football (which admittedly isn't nearly as long as some of the blog readers), I can't remember us never scheduling someone from I-AA. It seems that's just the way it goes. Too bad we're not in the PAC-10...we wouldn't have this problem. But then their strengths in just Washington and Washington State might really hurt us too. That raises an interesting point. Why isn't USC getting "penalized" for scheduling the teams they do? Say what you will about the SEC this year, the PAC-10 is almost always weaker.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

The computers actually like the PAC 10 for some reason. For one thing it's the only major conference with a full round robin. Each team plays all 9 conference foes. That means one less spot for intersectional play. Perhaps the computers like that or perhaps since there is less "inter-connectedness" between PAC 10 teams and other teams it skews the picture.

Trader Rick said...

I want the GAtors to play my other alma mater, USF!!

Anonymous said...

Supposedly UF gets USF in 2010 & 2015. I would like to see them add a second respectable game each year, maybe rotate Miami and USF.