Monthly Archives: April 2008

Rating the 2008 Non-Conference Slate, Part 2: Big East

The Land of 5 Out-of-Conference games is next up. (Amazingly, despite having to schedule 5 OOC teams, none of them has 2 DI-AA teams. Huh.)

  1. Syracuse (2.25 legit, 1 DI-AA): @Northwestern, Akron, Penn State, @Notre Dame, Northeastern. Leaders by half a point, but in a way this schedule really isn’t even that legit since they’re probably being scheduled as a BCS patsy for at least two of these teams. They will probably be favored against Akron and Northeastern, though. Not sure about Northeastern’s similarly named Chicago counterpart, though.
  2. West Virginia (1.75, 1): Villanova, @Auburn, @Marshall, @Colorado, @East Carolina. Their game down at Auburn is probably one of my most looked-to intersectional matchups of the year. Kudos to both parties for scheduling it. That said, non-kudos to WVU for managing to only get 1 OOC home game.
  3. Cincinnati (1.5, 1): Eastern Kentucky, @Oklahoma, Miami (OH), @Akron, @Marshall, @Hawaii. Another good set of intersection matchups here for Cincy, though @Hawaii is obviously a shameless grab at a 13th game.
  4. Pittsburgh (1.5, 0): Bowling Green, Iowa, Buffalo, @Navy, @Notre Dame. Not much to write home about here, other than that none of these teams are in DI-AA! Though Buffalo should count towards that.
  5. Louisville (1.5, 1): Kentucky, Kansas State, Tennessee Tech, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State. After the disaster that was last season for the Cardinals, this schedule is actually pretty tough. Lucky for them, it’s all home games, and it’s hard to say if Kentucky or Kansas State will be improved from last year.
  6. Connecticut (1.5, 1): Hofstra, @Temple, Virginia, Baylor, @North Carolina. Two ACC teams, but otherwise not much to write home about. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if the Huskies went 2-0 against them,
  7. South Florida (1.5, 1): Tennessee-Martin, @Central Florida, Kansas, @Florida International, @North Carolina State. It’s hard to say how good Kansas will be this year, but that’s the only interesting part of this schedule.
  8. Rutgers (1, 1): Fresno State, North Carolina, @Navy, Morgan State, Army. The last minute addition of Fresno State made this schedule not completely a joke. That said, it’s still pretty pathetic, especially since this is a program trying to “prove” itself.

Anyway, next up on our exciting journey is everyone’s favorite conference that’s not too good with counting, the Big Ten. See you then.

Rating the 2008 Non-Conference Slate, Part 1: ACC

Now that most of the dust seems to be settled for out-of-conference scheduling, let’s get this over with. First off, the ACC!

  1. Miami (2 legit, 1 DI-AA): Charleston Southern, @Florida, @Texas A&M, Central Florida. The Hurricanes meet the Gators for the first time since the 2004 Peach Bowl. They also go on the road to College Station. I realize that this is numerically inferior to UNC’s schedule, but I just cannot in good conscience put that schedule ahead of this one. Miami is, for starters, a better team than UNC still and is not being booked by other conferences as a patsy. Additionally, UF and TAMU are on the road, which is good for some bonus points. And both schools are probably better than UConn or Notre Dame.
  2. North Carolina (2.5, 1): McNeese State, @Rutgers, Connecticut, Notre Dame. Two Big East teams and Notre Dame add up to one of the toughest schedules in the ACC. I realize this is numerically ahead of Miami, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on giving them the number one spot. I’m prepared to eat crow on this, though. Also, who expects UConn or Notre Dame to be any good? That said, they do get props for playing 3 BCS teams, even if two of them are from the Big East.
  3. Virginia (1.75, 1): Southern Cal, Richmond, @Connecticut, East Carolina. There are 4 teams with a 1.75 rating, but only one of them plays a single DI-AA team, so UVA gets the nod. Also, this USC is probably the single toughest opponent any ACC team will play this year. Unfortunately for the Cavs, though, they’d probably lose regardless of the difficulty of their schedule.
  4. Clemson (1.75, 2): N-Alabama, Citadel, South Carolina State, South Carolina. While Georgia Tech also plays 2 SEC teams, I’d say they average out to about the same strength. Mississippi State is probably worse than both Bama and South Carolina, but Georgia is probably better than both. Also, the Alabama game is going to be played in the Georgia Dome to open the season, so that should make for some good TV, if nothing else.
  5. Georgia Tech (1.75, 2): Jacksonville State, Mississippi State, Gardner-Webb, @Georgia. Thanks to Army pulling out of a home game for them, GT was forced to schedule Gardner-Webb. Still a tough schedule overall (well, relative to the ACC, anyway) with two SEC teams. I’m not sold on Miss State, but a lot of people seem to be very sold in UGA.
  6. Florida State (1.75, 2): Western Carolina, Tennessee-Chattanooga, N-Colorado, Florida. I’m not sold on the “neutrality” of Jacksonville, FL, but I put the N there anyway. If I’m not sold on Miss State, I’m definitely not sold on Colorado.
  7. North Carolina State (1.5, 1): @South Carolina, William & Mary, East Carolina, South Florida. The meat here is definitely with the Fightin’ Visors, but don’t count out the Pirates or Bulls.
  8. Wake Forest (1.25, 0): @Baylor, Mississippi, Navy, Vanderbilt. Not really that great of a schedule, but kudos for being the only ACC team to not play a DI-AA team this year (much less 2).
  9. Boston College (1.25, 1): @Kent State, Central Florida, Rhode Island, Notre Dame. I’m not sure if the Kent game is actually away or neutral, not that it really matters. BC lost pretty much all of their offense from last year so it remains to be seen how many of these teams they’ll actually be able to beat.
  10. Maryland (1, 1): Delaware, @Middle Tennessee State, California, Eastern Michigan. Cal is pretty much all you need to know about this schedule, the rest is cannon fodder. Regardless of how good Maryland is going to be this year (and they shouldn’t be terrible), they should be 3-1 at worst against this OOC schedule.
  11. Virginia Tech (1, 1.5): East Carolina, Furman, @Nebraska, Western Kentucky. The highlight here is obviously at Nebraska, not that it troubled USC much last year. In case you’re wondering about the “1.5” in the DI-AA column, Western Kentucky is a “transitional” D-I member. Next year they will be a full DI-A member in the Sun Belt.
  12. Duke (0.75, 1): James Madison, Northwestern, Navy, @Vanderbilt. Duke finally schedules down to their level. Northwestern probably wants revenge for last year, and frankly I can’t see any reason Duke will win any of these games except for maybe the one against JMU.

Anyway, that’s all I have for now. Next up: the Big East!

Paul Johnson Passes Out the Burnsauce

From CBS Sportsline:

When Georgia Tech’s leading returning receiver James Johnson said “… we’re going to hope that Coach does not do all that much running. We just hope he’s saying all that to trick people,” Johnson came out firing.

“He caught 30 balls (actually 25) and they went 7-6,” Johnson said. “If something wasn’t wrong, if what they were doing was so great, we wouldn’t be here. It’s not like we’re coming in here and dismantling this high-powered machine that was lighting everybody up.”

In other news, OOC Schedule previews are coming Real Soon Now. Rutgers and Kansas State have completed their swap of Fresno State, but Rutgers still had a vacancy in its schedule. While that’s likely to be a DI-AA team, I’m going to wait and see a couple more days.

Edit: Apparently James Johnson has left the team. Double burn. (More likely, though, it had to do with his injury issues.)