NCAA Football 2012-2013: Savannah State, Florida State Type Match Ups Aren’t A New Concept. But Is It Wrong?

Apparently, a travesty happened last weekend in college football.

Savannah State, a division I-AA program, played Oklahoma State and lost 84-0. I would have thrown in a more appropriate term for the loss but there are none really. 

Yes the loss was ugly, and yes it was probably unnecessary for Savannah State to even make the trip over to Stillwater. But I have a question for all of you “outraged” over the Athletic Departments decision to schedule these games for them:

Have you not been paying attention every college football season?

The University of Oregon, a top-10 program and potential National Championship contender, has no business playing Arkansas State. But there they were hanging 69 points on them week one. Missouri played Southeast Louisiana week one and steamrolled them 62-10. Where is the outrage for the Lions AD and his decision? Oh and there were others:

  • Mississippi State v. Jackson State- 56-9
  • University of Arkansas v. Jacksonville State- 49-24
  • Arizona State v. Northern Arizona- 63-6
  • University of Utah v. Northern Colorado- 41-0
  • Kansas State v. Missouri State- 51-9

These are not meant to be riveting contests for the fans, folks. These games are played every season, usually as a tune-up before the big boys get into the teeth of their real conference and non-conference schedules. Did you really think Savannah State went into that match-up thinking “I think we have a shot”? The Athletic Director made the right call on this one.

The big “controversy” is that they head down to Tallahassee to play sixth-ranked Florida State team that is favored by 70 and 1/2 points. Lets take a moment to look at the big picture here, Savannah State University is going to receive almost $1 million dollars for these two games. That money is going to go a long way towards helping an athletic department already hurting to keep its operations going. Lets also not get caught up in scores, Savannah State is an awful football program as noted by the Associated Press:

“Savannah State is one of the worst teams in the Football Championship Subdivision, going 4-72 against teams from that lower-level division. They’ve lost seven of their last 11 games by at least 30 points. The offense is basically nonexistent, having scored one touchdown in its last five games.”

There you have it, doesn’t matter if it is Oklahoma State or Grambling, Savannah State stands ZERO chance no matter who is in front of them.

So why all the vitriol for the athletic director? What would you, plain Joe/Jane, do if you were the head of this department, had an opportunity for an influx of cash close to a million dollars, and looking at books that have no other color but red? If you say you’re thinking about the “mental state of the players” you’re kidding yourself. These guys are football players and you can’t tell me they aren’t excited to play Oklahoma State and Florida State. That they want nothing more than to shine in those games because they were either A.) passed over by a division-I program and this is their time to prove them wrong, or B.) know there’s an outside shot at a transfer and they want to see how they stack up.

So lets stop pretending that this is some sort of evil thing Sterling Steward, Jr. has done. As long as that kind of money is being thrown around it will continue to happen.

As it always has.

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