First and foremost guys, I started this blog to share my thoughts, feelings and knowledge of Bulldog football with fellow fans. NSC is a passionate fan and has taken the time to post here, since I do not have the same amount to devote to this site as I did last season. I have asked numerous time if anyone else wanted to contribute to the blog, and no one else stepped to the plate. Now, some of the loyal readers (thank you for reading) are calling him not a fan of Bulldog football, WTF?
NSC and myself spend countless hours, reading, studying and searching for information that other Bulldog fans might find interesting or informative. You don't always have to agree with us, but just respect the fact that we are Bulldog fans and love Bulldog football.
As far as my take on scheduling, unlike NSC, I remember the days of the PCAA/Big West. Granted I was only in elementary, junior high and high school, but I followed the Bulldogs just as passionately as I do now. In fact, I probably followed them more then because it was hard to get information on them outside of the Fresno Bee.
I never thought Fresno State would ever get to play Tennessee, Oklahoma, Ohio State, USC, Kansas State, or Wisconsin in the regular season, let alone schedule home games with the latter two. But I get NSC's point. Jim Sweeney would have played the "big boys" in the 80s and early 90s, but he didn't want to whore out the program. He knew he didn't have the speed to contend with some of the better teams and wouldn't go on the road unless it was a home-and-home. He made an exception with UCLA in 1987 and 1995 and again his final season with Auburn.
Fresno State was not hurting financially like fellow Cal-States like Long Beach State and Cal-State Fullerton and didn't have to schedule "body-bag" games. Would Fresno State have had the same success under Sweeney if it played the "big boys" every year? My guess is no, and Fresno State might not have been invited to join the WAC in 1992. The football team's success in the mid and late 80s was the driving force to get the WAC invitation.
Sweeney had a very talented team in 1987, minus a QB with starting experience but the defense was relentless. But games at Washington State and UCLA took their toll early on. And the offense was not quite good enough to beat SJSU at home, close road losses at Pacific and Utah State sent the 'Dogs to an 6-5 season. If the schedule had been the usual soft self, minus WSU and UCLA, the 'Dogs very well could have started strong, worked out the kinks on offense and won the PCAA and earned a bowl berth.
Boise State knows it can't contend week-in and week-out against a tough schedule, and chooses to schedule what best fits its program. Pat Hill, on the other hand, feels his team can and schedules the best possible schedule. Am I for it? Hell, yea! But I think Hill, should realize the limitations of his team. If the Bulldogs travel to Baton Rouge in three weeks for nothing more than to be taken behind the woodshed, it really could hurt the program, instead of helping it.
USC was a great game and great exposure, but since the team has won just one game. Hill's program earned unparalleled respect from the nation and instead of building upon that, the program is regressing. And a blow-out loss at LSU, might be see Hill's program make a complete 180 in less than one year.
So with that said, why schedule a slate full of tough games in 2007, when the program might need wins and confidence more than national respect. The schedule already has games at Oregon and at home vs. Kansas State. The Ducks will be a top 20 team, and the Wildcats will be a bowl contender next season. In my opinion, there is no need to add a game at a top-flight SEC school. Sacramento State is already on the schedule, so why not try to get one or two more non-BCS school at home, giving the program seven -- or maybe eight home games -- for the first time since 1994. The game at Hawaii will give the 'Dogs 13 games in 2007, I for one would like to see at least seven home games, I am tired of "death-march" schedules with seven road games.
note: The pic is a painting of Heraclitus and Democritus. Imaginary portraits of these greatest pre-Socratic philosophers were meant to provoke reflection on two extreme attitudes in life: one optimistic and the other pessimistic. (don't mean to insult the intelligence of some, but just give the few the heads up)