Thursday, October 05, 2006

Is Auburn a Good Idea?

They are ranked #2 in the nation. They are a modern powerhouse college football team. They have one of the top defenses (if not the top defense) in the nation and have a great running game that can devastate any opponent. Fresno State is willing to play them next year without anything in return aside the game itself. Fresno State wants a home game in return but Auburn is not going to give us that, we are not a BCS team. Major market teams such as Auburn will never play in a stadium like Fresno State's. For God sake's Auburn only plays four road games this season and only leaves their home state twice the entire season. In other words Auburn does what they want when they want to.

The question I have is do we as fans feel like this is a good game to play? I know that our team is going to be very young next season with many underclassmen starting. Our QB position is going through much turmoil but hopefully will be fixed by that time. We will have a new starting RB and three new starting wide receivers. We will have to replace Kyle Young at center. We will have to replace Marcus McCauley, Vincent Mays, Elgin Simmons, and Josh Shirley (although the last three on that list haven't been impressive at all). Fresno State will be going through a year of rebuildng next season as Pat Hill will have to plug in players to see where they fit best. We will have plenty of players on the field with little experience. We already have a schedule next season with Oregon on the road (who will be in the top 20 without a doubt) and K-State at home who should be much improved. Adding Auburn is really going to put a strain on this young Fresno State team. I don't necessarily think it is in the best interest of a young team to go and play a game of this magnitude. Does anyone remember David Carr's first game at Ohio State and what happened? We were a relatively young team at that time as well. It is very hard for a young team to go into a hostile environment such as Auburn and have a positive experience (plus Oregon's stadium is pretty damn hostile already). I just believe this game has such a huge downside that maybe the Dogs should find another opponent closer to the West coast to play.

However, I realize that games like this can also be good for a young program. A game like this can teach the young players how tough it is in a hostile environment to execute the way you do while in practice. If Brandstater went through a game such as this and performed above expectations it could very well stay with him for the remainder of the season improving his performance as the season moves along. This kind of game can also help to bring the team together if the Dogs can show they can hang with such a dominant team on the road. Regardless of how you look at it, this is going to be one of the toughest games in Bulldog history if they they play it. USC was tough, but it was only four hours away from home and 20,000 of us went down to USC to watch the game. It was almost a home away from home in that game for the Bulldogs. Auburn will not be that way and there will be very little Bulldog support down there for the game. I just hope the team is ready if we accept a game like this, to say the least it is going to be a learning experience.

Brandstater on Himself - Today in the Fresno Bee they covered the woes on offense for Fresno State. I was impressed with the fact that Brandstater knows he is not getting the job done. He said if he doesn't improve he knows this is going to be it for him which makes me believe he knows he has to improve. I respect the fact that Tom is not acting like he has played amazing and blaming others for his problems. It's nice to see someone taking the blame when he knows he has not performed as well as he can.


pleasewintheWAC! said...

Next is a rebuilding year. I keep hearing people on the Bark Board talking about this year being a rebuilding year too. I guess every year is a rebuilding year.

The problem with Auburn is it may be too emotionally and physically draining for the team, just as the other Big BCS Wins have been. Even if by a Miracle of God Fresno State beats Auburn, they will flutter into the WAC and lose to a team they "shouldn't lose" to.

If it seemed like Fresno State was building on playing these BCS schools year after year, improving their records and improving recruiting then it would make sense, but it doesn't seem like Fresno State has improved in either category.

Two BCS games a year is enough.

nsc said...

Yeah I dont know, I just think we have too many skilled positions players leaving this season to not consider next season a rebuilding year. I know its near impossible to rebuild in college but Fresno is in a position where they have to figure out who their starters will be for the next three years in many spots. The defense (who is not playing well) is going to be depleted next season, so we shall see if the new recruits can take over and step it up.

I also feel like two BCS games a year is plenty. I think we should continue to play two bcs schools and when we become a stronger team maybe we can take on more. Dont kill all of the BCS games, just dont overload it and drain the Dogs emotionally and physically.

pleasewintheWAC! said...

Two BCS games is plenty and then as a reward in winning the WAC they play a solid BCS team in a bowl game, making the grand total three.

Anonymous said...

The only problem i would have with just two BCS games a year is the fact that our own conference is not considered very good and would bring down our rating if we were to have a great year. We know Boise, Nevada and Hawaii are good but the bottom of our conference is not and we would be penalized for it.

It may not seem like Boise has been penalized but you have to consider they will never be thought of as the best in the country with their schedule.
If the bottom of the conference can get even a little better it would boost the conference perception and in turn boost the perception of the teams at the top.

I think this would help as much as playing and beating BCS teams.

nsc said...

You make a good point with respect to the bottm of the WAC conference. However, if you recall in 2004 Fresno State knocked off two pretty lousy BCS teams in Washington (1 Win) and K-State (4 wins) yet were moved all the way up to #17 in the nation. If Fresno State had not stumbled against the 3 WAC teams they lost to they would have definitely finished in the top ten that season. Now you only need to be in the top 12 to make a BCS game. So the WAC's bottom feeders will not hurt you as bad as it has in the past if you go out and blow them out of the water. Two BCS games would be plenty to get you into a BCS game if you run the table, there is just no way around it.

Anonymous said...

last year wasn't a rebuilding year.