Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Is the FSFB Optimistic or Pessimistic?

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)


nsc said...

MDG I think I made a major error when trying to explain my scheduling philosophy. I feel like BCS teams need to be on the schedule, just not the amount we add yearly. I think having a K-State and an Oregon next season is plenty for now. If we want to add more games I think you go after a mid-major like Colorado State was this season. It's obvious we could lose that game just as well. What I should have said is play BCS teams in moderation because when you play too many the team is drained and has nothing left for conference, or so it seems. Maybe the fans will understand that a little more?

Ral said...

I agree. The Dogs need to cut back on some of the big schools games in order have a good push to win the WAC.The Dogs have been in the thick of things in all 3 loses and with some changes at qb, could still turn the season around and into a bowl game.
I just hope they make the changes sooner then later..

nsc said...

I don't think they should rid themselves of all of their OOC BCS games, I just think some of them can be viewed as overkill. Why not play An SEC team and a PAC-10 team, that is plenty for the OOC. At the end of the year with two wins one against an Oregon, and say a Kansas will be more than enough to get us where we want to be. In 2004 we opened against Washington and K-State, winning both which in turn shot us up to #17. The same thing can happen now. That is why I was not a big proponent of the LSU game. We already had Oregon and Washington on the schedule and if we had won those games and were 3-0 we would have been earily close to that #17 spot at the time, maybe #20 or so. If you start out at the 18-20 spot it is not hard to believe you could move into the top ten if you go undefeated and that leads to a BCS game. I just explained myself wrong earlier. I hope everyone understands this is what I meant by changing the schedule a bit.

pleasewintheWAC! said...

Two BCS games a year are enough. The point is to WIN THE WAC and carry that into a bowl game, if it's a decent game they'll play a BCS team.

You can't get to a BCS game if you can't win your own conference, it doesn't matter if you beat USC, Auburn and Ohio State in the same year if you lose to Hawaii, Boise St and La Tech every year, figure out how to beat those three teams all in the same year and then worry about the SEC and Pac-10.

Fresno St. spends too much time worrying about winning the Pac-10 and not enough time worrying about winning the WAC.

nsc said...

Regardless of how you look at it, the Dogs ultimate goal is to win every single game. They just need to take it one game at a time and see where it takes them. If the Dogs make a run then they will be good to go but you know it makes it ten times as hard to do so if we have a major BCS caliber team right in the middle of the WAC schedule. I think we should have our OOC at the starting of the season and the conference for the remainder. Maybe we can focus on these two as separate entities. First OOC and then the WAC second but only because one happens before the other, not because one is more important than the other. Every game should be treated as the same and the Dogs should be ready to play every game regardless of the situation thrown at them.

Anonymous said...

Washington State
Arizona State
Oregon State
Notre Dame

How would our dogs do with this schedule?

Truth is when you play a schedule like that you deserve to be National Championship Contenders.

Colorado State
Utah State
Boise State
New Mexico State
Louisiana Tech
San Jose State

Yeah, we have a tough schedule. But, even winning all of them is it enough?

mdg said...

Well, according to what Hill said this afternoon on his weekley show, Auburn will be the SEC opponent next season.

at Auburn
Sacramento State
at Oregon
Kansas State

and one more OOC to add, please let it be a home against a IA foe

Anonymous said...

Hill believes that his teams are as good as any he is able to schedule. The stronger he schedules the more interest he develops from potential recruits..and that creates better teams which garners additional respect and it builds. Recruits are also attracted to his attitide and balls...the best recruits that FS lands come to play for Hill, not to attend FSU. Remember that the last 1-3 team was during PP's freshman year. There is no better QB developer than Hill. He's got three active in the NFL. Hill says TB has what it takes to be one of the very can you question his judgement? Oregon and Washington are good teams and FS matched thier play. They have a good team. Hopefully it will gell soon. If it does the team has the talent to run the Table. You just never know what Hills teams are going to do. How many years have fans gone through these terrible losing streaks just to have the team somehow come back and have a really good great year....almost all of them.

mdg said...

There is no better QB developer than Hill. He's got three active in the NFL. Hill says TB has what it takes to be one of the very can you question his judgement?

First Hill is not a great QB developer per se...

Volek and Carr are his only QBs that are in the NFL and he only recruited Carr...

Dilfer was recruited by former OC Rich Olsen and tutored by Tedford under Sweeney...Volek was also recruited by Sweeney

look at Hill's other great franchise QBs he recruited Jeff Grady in 98 and Jordan Christensen in 02....

Pinegar was picked up as a lucky backup after Oregon and other Pac-10 teams backed off after Pinegar got hurt his senior year in 1999. If Grady would have panned out, Pinegar would not have played in 02 and 03. And if Christensen would have panned out, he would have started in 04, 05 and this year...

Why do you think Hill was recruiting Reedley JUCO Robert Johnson in 03? If Pinegar was so great and Christensen was supposed to be his "franchise" QB, which he stated after signing him in 2002, then why recruit the best JUCO QB in the nation?

Hill deserves credit for recruiting Carr, but then again Carr always dreamed of playing for Fresno State and spurned Purdue and Washington to sign with a first year head coach and FS in 97 after the 'Dogs had posted 3 straight losing seasons...

I am not being negative, I am just stating the facts...

Now, Brandstater is the heir apparant??? Well, since Carr, the heir apparents (Grady and Christensen) have not panned out well, the odds are against Brandstater to achieve greatness under Hill...

Remember that the last 1-3 team was during PP's freshman year.

Hill's 1997 and 2002 teams started 1-3 and finished at least .500, and I'll even add the 03 team that started 3-3...well in those respective years, FS played the toughest part of its schedule early on in September, this year however, the toughest part of the schedule is yet to begin....I'm talking about Hawaii, at LSU and at BSU...three teams that will be ranked in the top 25 when the regular season is done, LSU and BSU are ranked already and both may not lose another game this season...IMO, only Hawaii is a game FS has a chance to win, just because it is at home...

Hopefully it will gell soon. If it does the team has the talent to run the Table.

even in the beginning of the season, when I expected this team to be one of Hill's better ones, I didn't think this team could win at LSU and at BSU LSU is better than advertised, especially the defense, and BSU is a lot better than I predicted the Broncos to be...but the real problem is the Bulldogs, the team is just not good right now, and unlike in years past, they are not even making plays...

You just never know what Hills teams are going to do.

yes we is the same pattern, but the schedule might be just too tough this year, and 6-6 might not cut it for a bowl berth, especially if SJSU is bowl eligible...

How many years have fans gone through these terrible losing streaks just to have the team somehow come back and have a really good great year....almost all of them.

exactly! every year, but all good runs eventually come to an end, and unfortunately Bulldog fans, 2006 just might be that year...again I am not trying to be negative, but just stating the facts...

El Perro Chato said...

Why does everybody want to dumb down the schedule? Dumbing down the schedule is like going from a Cadillac to a Pinto. Now that the fans have had a taste of beating Wisconsin, Colorado, Oregon St. and K-state when K-state was supposed to be scary, who wants to get up Saturday morning, get all the tailgate paraphernalia and go see the Dogs trounce Sacramento St. We were a couple of plays away from beating USC, I want to see Fresno St. beat USC, Oregon, and all the Big 12, Big 10 and SEC schools. The bottom line is that those schools have more money than Fresno St. The Fresno St. needs more money to get better recruits to be able to beat the big boys consistantly. We need a payout from a BCS game to be able to do that. Why don't we ask the current players and prospective recruits if they would rather ride in a Cadillac or Pinto. Maybe Fresno St. should schedule big name schools from the BCS conferences that are beatable, like an Kansas, Oklahoma St. Arizona, Stanford and a Northwestern, oh yeah, those guys don't want to play us anymore. The fans want to see the Dogs play the big name schools and it doesn't matter if it's Stanford or USC. How fun would it be to see the Dogs beat up Stanford, Arizona, Kansas, and Oklahoma St. at home.

mdg said...

Don't dumb-down the schedule, but make a bit more reasonable.

Like next year, I am against Sac State, but at least it is a regional opponent, but as far as BCS teams, there were already two, at Oregon and Kansas State at home. So why add a road game at Auburn, especially then the 2007 team might just needs wins and not respect.

I know there are far and few BCS schools willing to schedule a home and home, but I know the AD is working on a deal that would send FS to Washington State and WSU would come to Fresno and the third game would be in Seattle.

I like it when FS plays the big boys, but I don't want the game to be a body-bag game, like Tennessee and Oklahoma of 2003 and LSU this year. Know your limitations!

It doesn't help that Kansas drops FS from the schedule, but replacing the Jayhawks with Auburn creates an unbalanced schedule in my book for next year's team.

Since home and homes with BCS teams are rare, and with at least 4 OOC games every year, I say play two BCS teams and two non-BCS.

I wouldn't mind seeing a few home and homes with a Southern Miss, Marshall, Houston, Air Force, Utah, East Carolina, UCF, coupled with BCS games against Oregon, Kansas State, Wisconsin, Washington, Washington State and maybe a Northwestern, Colorado, Missouri, Georgia Tech, NC State, Minnesota or a few Big East schools like Louisville, West Virgnia or Pitt...

FS scheduled a home and home with Louisville around 1990 to be played in the late 90s but the move to the WAC and the great work of one inept future AD, ended that series...Utah was scheduled for a home and home for 99 and 00, but the WAC adds Nevada and FS had to drop an OOC game both years, and it chose Utah...

My point is, play a moderate to tough OOC and win, take home the WAC title, and more than likely a BCS bowl berth will equal a marquee matchup with a top 10 BCS team.

Hill is always so quick to open the prize early in the season, why not be patient and win the league and get the prize at the is just a thought...

would you rather FS have a season like 2001 when it beats 3 BCS teams to start the season but finishes with 3 lossess and unranked...

or have a season like Utah in 2004, where it got 3 moderate wins against BCS teams, but got to play the Big East Champ in the Fiesta Bowl, granted Pitt was not the best top 20 team, but you get my point...

Utah got lucky with that schedule, but notice there was no consecutive/multiple road games at BCS schools early in the season...

Eric PZ said...

Thank you. I glad I'm not the only one who remembers how boring things were back in the PCAA/Big West days. There were only a couple of games each season that were even close. Bulldog Stadium would start to empty at half-time because the games were usually a blowout. I don't want to return to those days. The more big name school the Dogs can play, the better. The program has improved the last 20 years (damn, am I that old now?) because we are playing better teams. The recent results are only a small bump when compared to where we've come from. There's no need to panic.

However, it would be nice to win the WAC for a change. ;)

nsc said...

I still think many of you are not getting what I am saying here. Yes i thnk playing BCS teams is a great thing, but we do not need to play four a year. In fact two is plenty to be considered in the BCS mix. Like MDG said Utah had two BCS schools on their schedule and finished in the top five in the nation that season. We can do the very same thing and be invited to the party if we stick to a schedule with schools such as Oregon State and K-State on our schedule. Adding Auburn is going to make things very hard for the Bulldogs. Just my thoughts, I blogged on it today so let me know what you think.

El Perro Chato said...

I know what you mean. We can still get into a BCS game without having to play LSU and Auburn. I just don't like that fact that it sounds like people in the valley are dodging playing anybody, anywhere, anytime. I was the kind of player that played bigger than my stature and I always took down the big boys. The Dogs can lighten the schedule and keep the fans happy by playing a Kentucky, Duke, Oklahoma St. Kansas, and Baylor to pay them back for what they did to us a couple of years ago, but shsh don't tell anybody they're lightening up the schedule. I see that they need to do that especially when they're trying to break in a new QB. Next year who ever is the QB is going to be better. Remember D Carr opening up at Ohio St, he stunk, then went on to become the #1 draft pick. I'm not saying either QB now will be as good as Carr but they will be ok next year.