Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Scheduling Respect

Yesterday on the BarkBoard I posted a topic on scheduling and how Fresno State is affected by their own scheduling each season. I used Boise State as my example of how a team should schedule and as I expected most Fresno State fans were not happy with what I had to say. However, I feel as if Fresno State fans are ignoring the results of the scheduling that Boise and Fresno have attempted over the past three years. While Fresno State has played teams such as USC, Oregon, and Virginia they have very little to show for it aside a bowl victory over the Cavaliers in 2004. Boise on the other hand while playing a paltry schedule has been the team with the more desirable results. Boise's last three bowl opponents have been TCU (ranked in the top 25 at the time), Lousiville (ranked in the top ten at the time), and Boston College (ranked in the top 25 at the time). Quick, how many of Fresno State's bowl opponents over the last seven years have been ranked at the time they played? If you answered one you are correct. So Fresno State who has the mighty schedule and the mentality that they will play anyone anywhere in the end is the one that ends up on the short end of the stick. I do not possibly understand how any Fresno State fan could see our respect level as being better than that of Boise's with these type of results.

If our goal is to play in a great bowl game against a BCS opponent then why do we not schedule as Boise does? Boise is going to play in a BCS game this season, mark my words. They will be the only undefeated mid-major and with that they will carry votes to get into the top 12 in the nation. Each week after they rip another opponent a new one they will move up one or two spots. Boise right now sits in the 19-20 range. if they win their final seven games and move up 1-2 spots a week they will be in the top 12 when the season is over. However, remember the loophole rule that the NCAA made to give mid-majors a better chance at a BCS game. If Boise finished 14th in the rankings but no team from a conference such as the ACC finishes higher then Boise is in. With the way the ACC has performed up to this point I would not be surprised to see Boise finish higher than that entire conference. With that being said Boise would then most likely play a team such as Texas in the Fiesta Bowl. But wait a minute, Boise gets no respect and never plays anyone, until it matters that is.

The problem I am having here is understanding the Fresno State fans point of view on scheduling. It makes absolutely no sense to me why you would want as fans to continue scheduling teams we have a great chance of losing to. Yes I understand that if we win the game we all of the sudden become a headliner for college football again. However, look at it from this point of view. Say for the next three years Fresno State dumbs down it's schedule. Say the Bulldogs in turn go 11-1 for two years, and the third year go 12-0. In the first two years they play top 25 teams in bowl games and the third year they play in a BCS game. Are you telling me because we didn't play as tough a schedule you as Fresno State fans would not appreciate a BCS game in that third year? Are you saying as Fresno State fans you will not accept all of the money and accolades that comes with a BCS game?

What should be remembered here is if we do concentrate on scheduling big game non-conference opponents we are continuing to forget about the conference we play in. The WAC should be the first goal, win the conference and the move on to the bigger and better things college football has to offer. No my opinion is not always correct, it is just my opinion and nothing more. I feel like if we would have skipped the LSU game this year and played a lesser opponent then our season wouldn't be looking so terrible right now. However, we took the LSU game and there is a real possibility that this team could be 2-6 after eight games. Is that really what you as Fresno State fans want to see? I know I don't and I am tired of playing these schools that offer nothing but a big loss for us. Schedule to fit the talent of the team, don't schedule without thinking about how it will affect the team. It is this unwillingness to look at what is best for the Fresno State football team as a whole that has started this downward spiral the Dogs are currently in.


Anonymous said...

Your argument is assenine. It is our scheduling that gives us our identity. The lack of a name opponent is always brought up when Boise is being discussed with regards to how good they are. Boise will get some votes and may move up the ranking but will never be taken seriously as a big time program until they start scheduling bigger name opponents and beating them. A few more years of scheduling patsies, running the table and then getting trounced in a bowl game will take away any respect they might get from a 11-1 or 12-0 season.

To be the best you have to beat the best. Fresno State wants to be the best and there is only one way to become the best and that is to schedule the way we schedule. Boise can run the table for the next four years but probably never get higher than 10 in the polls because of their schedule. Fresno will run the table soon and with the way we schedule there will be a chance for a national championship. The goal is a national championship not just a big bowl appearance.

as previously posted:

Boise gets the kind of respect you give to a labrador whose just done a trick for you. Fresno gets the kind of respect you give to a growling pit bull, you back away slowly and run the other way. I prefer Fresno's scheduling over Boise State's.

nsc said...

My argument is assenine? That's kind of funny to hear because I think I make valid points and your points are dreams at best. Fresno State will go undefeated? Tell me when because the 2007 team will be less talented than this team. When you lose McCauley, Wright (he will leave), Williams, Fairman, Fernandez, and Young what are you left with? Far too many young players with little experience at best. Now as for your schedule the best to be the best comment. Come back next season after we get rocked at Oregon, and whatever top flight SEC team we schedule. I am sure you will be brimming with confidence after Auburn or Tennessee beats us by 30. But like you said playing these teams will make us the best one day.

One last thing, Boise has not lost a bowl game by more than seven points in the last five years. What are you talking about with respect to the Broncos getting blown out in bowl games? Did you even watch the bowl games they have played the last few years? A loss to Louisville in the last minute, a loss to BC in the last minute, and a win over TCU. Yeah boy that weak schedule really hurt them come bowl time.

What scheduling weak for a year or two would do is build up the teams confidence and bring more fans to the games because we would win. Fresno fans show when we win. You make a BCS game and a bigger following occurs. A bigger following gives you the opportunity to expand the stadium and make the program big time. The way its going now that won't happen, even with playing the best.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure you're a fan? To here you tell it we should have never left the Big West or even played outside the valley. I guess we should just cancel the rest of the season and maybe next years also since you've already decided we won't be any good for years to come. Maybe we should tell our recruits to go somewhere else since without any experience they won't be any good and won't help us anyway.

Now listen carefully son, i got a secret for you.

Every major accomplishment in sports or life begins with a dream.

If your kid comes to you and tells you he wants to be a surgeon you'll probably tell him to stop dreaming and go cut the grass cuz dreams don't come true.

Have a nice day.

nsc said...

Don't disrepsect people, that is rude. You can write what you like on here, it's completely fine but when you come on here and put other people down for their thoughts then you go to far.

That being said I don't disagree that it all begins with a dream. But since you have your own world and don't want to see into anyone else's I will just concede you are right and I am wrong about the scheduling. I mean of course I am not a fan, why would I write the blog and give up an hour to two a day to write about the Bulldogs? Because I hate them right? Look here is my thoughts on scheduling. One thing leads to another for me.

First off our team is down right now and will be for one or two years the way I see it. That is why I said change the schedule for the next two years, not forever. If you do that then the team can learn together instead of getting blasted everytime they play. After the initial period then you begin to bring the teams that are much tougher such as the Oregon's and such. You know what, you pretty much do what fresno state did back in 2001. I mean that cannot happen often and right now we play teams that are a bit above our level at times.

Now I dont think you are wrong for what you believe, I mean we all have differing opinions, but dont put me down for mine. All that is is what I believe. I am going to have to watch Boise get 14 million for a bowl game this season which doesn't make me too happy. I am sure you know what I mean. I just feel like if they take advantage of the system in that sense we should to. That way we dont waste all of our effort out of conference and can bring home a WAC crown. Is that really that bad of an idea??

bulldog1 said...

I like the way we schedule. I love the thought of us beating a USC or Oregon or Tennessee. I love the thought of a national championship.

Yeah Boise may run the table and have a SOS of around 97. And maybe they will make it to a BCS game having played weaklings. Boise can have their patsy schedule. We want to play for a title. Boise will never get there with that schedule and you know it.

Hill has done it right. We have a reputation nationally. Everyone respects us. Everyone believes we can beat them. As a program, we have grown up a lot the last ten years.

Our schedule looks like any other from the Pac-10, SEC or Big 10 its just that our tough games come primarily from the non-conference. Let's face it, Nw Mexico State, Utah State and La. Tech are patsies for the Big 12 schedules.

And look at this debate. We no longer hope for a good season and bowl bid - we expect to go undefeated. We expect to get a BCS shot. We expect to get national attention. We expect to have a title someday. Would we feel the same playing Sac State each year?

Expectations can be tough.

Anonymous said...

I agree, you need to lighten up...don't you recognize the kind of respect Fresno State received by playing SC the way they did? You saw it this year in all four teams they have played. All of the teams brought thier very best games and that is due to respect they all have for FS...and the way the Washington team celebrated after thier win? ...that is respect... respect that Boise has not earned..all you have to do is listen to espn's analysis of the Boise State win over Utah...it just isn't there....FS is noted going for trying to get to the big stage of the college game..Boise State is noted as a respected mid- major...and yes, it is really disappointing when FS loses...and the dream takes a hit...but look at how TB throws??...what an arm!...and Hill has three active QB's in the NFL..that tells me he is one of the best at developing talent at this position..and he thinks TB has what it takes...what does Hill have to do to gain your trust and faith? if nothing else, you have to give Hill and his teams the respect they have earned....because they are striving to be the very best...

Anonymous said...

Yeah I get NSC's point, but I do disagree with it. Playing good teams close gives Fresno state a perception that it needs. Your Boise state example is great, because it shows how important perception is. if Fresno State goes unbeaten, or even with only one loss, it has a much better chance of getting into a BCS bowl than maybe any other mid-major team, because of the way it is perceived by other coaches and the media. Since computer rankings only count for so much, the way people see a team is that much more important. If you go to the east coast and say your a Fresno state fan, people know about the team, and know about Hill; That is more important than any undefeated season Boise state, Utah, TCU, Huston, and Tulsa have had in the past decade. If you asked all the voters of the AP or USA Today polls which mid-majors they rank the highest on a given preseason, or over the last ten years, they would probably all put the 'dogs first or second, despite the things that NSC has pointed out. College football is as much about what you look like as how you play football. Scheduling the big guys has been the most vital strategy of the hill era, and though it has yet to collect the greatest dividends, there is no question that it soon will. The media perception of Fresno State is very high, probably the highest for any mid-major.

Ill give another few examples. When Fresno State played USC last year, they were 16th in the polls. That respect was not earned so much by their record or their loss to Oregon, but by their play and their reputation over the past years. In the CFN-119 and the CBS sportsline-119, the 'dogs are consistently ranked higher than teams that have beaten them, and that respect goes into how they get ranked after wins and close losses.

One final scheduling note i have is the way it has been done in the past, by scheduling teams that looked good at the beginning and then proved to be paper tigers. 2004 provides the best example, when the 'dogs beat the very same team that had upset the 'greatest team ever' in Oklahoma, Kansas State. Then it went into a Washington team that was hyped by many as the team that would restore them to their old Pac-10 glory. Both those teams turned out to be duds, but when the wins came, they were seen by everyone around the country as a affirmation of their memories of the '01 Dog team that beat Oregon State, Wisconsin and the very same Colorado team that to this day feels it was robbed of a chance to play in a national championship.

My point is this: this is a REBUILDING year for the 'dogs, and everybody knew it. They are a young team and will need to get better, and this trial by fire is only going to strengthen their resolve in the next years. I think that many of the changes posed on this blog, namely the replacement of Brandstater and the departure of Hill, would be very detrimental to the program.

El Perro Chato said...

We need to schedule hard. We went toe to toe with USC and Oregon. We're one or two special players away from beating the top dogs. The scheduling philosophy is what attracts young recruits to come to the valley. Games against USC and LSU are more exciting than Portland St. and Weber St. Winning the big games starts with recruiting and playing anybody, anywhere, anytime brings the recruits with a chip on their shoulder to Fresno St. Imagine if all the players from the valley that go to play elsewhere stayed at home. Imagine if all the players such as Slocum, K.James, D. Ausberry, A. Horn, A. McCoy and all the other ones that leave the valley to go to the Pac 10, if they stayed at hoe to go to Fresno St. We could compete with anybody. Thats' why David Carr is such a valley hero. he always wanted to be a Bulldog. If we had all the valley talent stay home, it would'nt matter who we played. We beat them consistantly. The valley has some awsome high school football programs that are producing division 1 players. I wonder if Fresno St. was ranked in the top 10 every year, would valley kids still go elsewhere to play football?