2008 OOC schedule, make or break?

Happy to be blogging here, many of you probably know me as RE/MAXGriz over on egriz, I was asked to add some of my long winded insight into the blog features here.  Earlier this week in a discussion about the next season I thought I’d take a look at how the conference has booked their out of conference schedule (OOC).  It’s interesting what’s been set up, and for the amount of teams that are really striving to reach the playoffs, I was pretty surprised at how difficult they set up their schedules.  So lets take a look at what each team has set up before conference play starts:

Eastern Washington – Two FBS schools in Texas Tech and Colorado, in back-to-back games, ouch.  I know that the gap between top FCS teams and many FBS teams has closed, I see both of these games as very tough ones to win for EWU.  They’ve also got a home against Western Washington and two open dates (which I’ll bet one gets filled).  I’d expect possibly a Great West team or maybe another D2 school if they don’t want to travel.  If they look to a mid-west or east coast FCS team I’d expect they’d have to travel out there.  3 road games and 1 home game OOC could be rough, however it could also really toughen them up for the conference.

Weber State – They’ve also got 2 FBS teams, Hawai’i and Utah, probably both losses, those are both very good football teams.  The two home games they have booked are lower division schools, Dixie St and Montana-Western.  So chances are they’ll be 2-2 when done with the OOC, however they’ll not have a single win to help their status with the playoff committee, they’ll have to win at least 7 conference games to be even considered, if they even go 6-2 in conference play they’ll just have 6 Division 1 wins.  So Weber must be banking on winning the conference auto-bid this year.

Idaho State – ISU has Boise and Idaho booked in their OOC, as well as North Dakota.  Boise will most likely win, Idaho… who knows, I’d think the Vandals would have the edge there.  North Dakota went 10-2 last year and beat Southern Utah (although SUU didn’t win a game).  I think this game will be tough for ISU, they’re rebuilding and they’re having budget issues, so they probably won’t book an FCS road game as well.  They could limp out of the OOC with either a 1-2 or 0-3 record.

Portland State – They’ve got an OOC that tilts to their favor, games against Cal Davis and W. Oregon.  I don’t know much about Davis, so I can’t say how competitive they’ll be.  PSU should have their system in place and I think they’ll win both of those games.  Also they travel to Washington State, Wulff, WSU’s coach will be familiar with them, but he’s rebuilding a Cougar team that could have trouble stopping the spread offense.  Could be interesting to see what happens.

Montana – The Grizzlies have a bear of an opening game, testing a defense with 8 new starters against Cal Poly’s amazing and experienced offense.  The Wofford game stung Montana, and Cal Poly could do the same.  After that Montana returns to home to host Southern Utah, Central Washington and Cal Davis.  Most likely they’ll finish the OOC 3-1.

Montana State – Another team with 2 FBS and 2 lower division schools.  The Cats play Minnesota and Kansas State back-to-back, they also host Adams State and South Dakota.  MSU could be in a similar bind as Weber State, coming out of their OOC 2-2 and relying on winning the conference to make the playoffs.  I think they might have a chance to knock off Minnesota, they beat Colorado a few years back, so who knows!

Sacramento State – CSUS has an interesting OOC, they host two lower-division schools, Humbolt State and Southern Oregon.  They also travel to Davis and to Colorado State.  Since half of the conference is playing Davis, maybe I should check up on these guys!  Sac could be 3-1 OOC when it’s all said and done, they don’t play Davis until late, as they usually do. 

Northern Colorado – They’ve got 3 games booked so far, they travel to Purdue and travel to (guess who?) UC Davis.  They also host Texas State.  Didn’t they beat Texas State last year, or the year before that?  UNC is still building, and they’re on the rise, they could come out of this 1-2 but most likely I’ll say 0-3. 

Northern Arizona – NAU plays Arizona State, New Mexico Highlands (who?), and Southern Utah.  Pretty straight forwards, ASU will most likely beat NAU, but the other two games should be wins for the Lumberjacks.  2-1 OOC is decent. 

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Quick, “Who is UC Davis?” note – Just looked it up, Davis went 5-6 last year, their most notable wins were against Portland State and beating San Diego late in the season.  They didn’t do much else.  A quick manual count has them losing 12 seniors to graduation from the 2007 season, which included some skill players.  They’re a younger team, probably still finding their way.

It amazes me how some teams almost schedule themselves right out of the playoffs, I know it’s usually because of money issues, but there’s a lot of cases where teams would have made the playoffs if they wouldn’t have booked 2 or 3 FBS teams, or didn’t book 2 or 3 Division 2 (or lower) schools.  It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out, it’s just a bummer we’ve got to wait so long until football season actually starts.

 

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7 Responses to “2008 OOC schedule, make or break?”

  1. superhornetApril 22, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    Hey, RE/MAX, good to hear from you again. I should be back up and running on eGriz within two or three weeks once I get settled into a new apartment.

    Anyways, one thing your research on the Manure Pile didn’t seem to turn up was that before they moved up, they were a D-II powerhouse, and even during the period between Sac’s move to FCS and theirs, they had our number, and it was no true upset. Their record last year came from a mere adjustment period to the rest of FCS. As much as I can’t stand Davis, I can flat out guarantee that they will have a much better record this year, and may even make a playoff push. HC Bob Biggs will see to that. He’s one of the best coaches college ball has ever seen, and it’s hard for a Hornet to say that. Biggs is just about on a par with Larry Kehres and Joe Pa in terms of delivering the goods on a year-in-year-out basis.

    Ugh! Did I just say that about Davis?

  2. BWahlbergApril 22, 2008 at 4:29 pm #

    Thanks SuperHornet – keep in mind Nothern Colorado was also a D2 powerhouse, and is in the same shoes as Davis. I’m not knocking UNC – they’re working and improving, however they’ve not shown they’re close to playoff caliber yet.

  3. KadeezyApril 23, 2008 at 9:27 am #

    BWahlberg… I appreciate you throwing this together, but UCD and UNC are FAR from being “in the same shoes as Davis”…

    Davis has made quite a few I-AA/FCS Top 25 lists since their transitional period began. As much as I hate to admit it (a la Superhornet), I would say that they’re definately a threat do not only make the playoffs this year, but to win a game or two this postseason.

    UNC made the jump too soon and can’t compare to the transition UCD has made to DI.

  4. BWahlbergApril 24, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    Very interesting, it looked like they lost a lot of skill players, RBs, WRs and QBs. Were those guys starters though, I was unsure when I looked at the roster.

  5. GoBearsMay 10, 2008 at 10:27 am #

    You could write books about what UNC screwed up in the transition. Davis did a good job however, and they are a solid team. Since they already play half the conference, hows about adding them?

    PS yes UNC did beat Tx. State, year before last for our only win of that season. >:(

  6. Brad BransonJuly 6, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    Eastern will win the Big Sky yea they will lose their first two, but come on. They return 16 of 22 starters from a team that didn’t to bad last year. Not to mention having one of the best ranked recruiting classes in the sub division. Ok, I’m partial but dosn’t anyone else see the wrighting on the wall? Obviously not. hum?

    EWU beat Davis last year with a super young team. They out played Montana and went on to nearly beat Appy, not to mention thier stomping of McNeese. Why no props?

    I dont mind actually EWU does better when no one is looking. They will be good!

  7. Brad BransonJuly 7, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

    The Big Sky is now full of ex D2 powerhouse schools. It is easy when academic reg relax. It all depends on how long you have been here. Northridge couldn’t hang. The new schools offer great excitement but it wasnt that long ago, 1980’s that Eastern benefited from the D2 rules and has made the transition. So PSU, NCU, SAC, realize there a few schools in the Big Sky who have already gone trough the door. What you are doing is admirable but certainly not unique. EWU did it 20 years ago after dominating D2. Yet the EAGLES have made the playoffs on average every other year. No better record than that.

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