Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The return of the Big Sky

They're baaack.  The Big Sky Conference, responsible for two of the more embarrassing days of the Dan Hawkins error (er, era), will once again send one of it's members into Boulder, looking for a paycheck, and an upset.  It's all part of a two-year dive back into D1-AA football, sending shivers up my spine as FCS teams, at least one of which will come from the Big Sky, will once again grace the CU football schedule.
Please let it be any Big Sky team other than Montana State. From:
On the surface, it seems like an easy proposition.  Schedule some weak opponent from the lower league, beef up your win-loss record with some extra "W's."  Texas Tech and Kansas State do it all the time; it's part and parcel of the modern non-conference schedule.  Especially considering the state of the program, CU could probably use some easier dates to ease the burden on Coach Embree and crew.

But, it's not that easy.  First, there's the anticipated loss in ticket revenue.  The leading assumption in the past has been that CU fans will only show up to see 'name,' or at least BCS, opponents.  While I think that's crap, it should become expected to show up regardless of the opponent, it's been the standard coming from Dal Ward for some time now.  Point in fact, these two FCS teams popping up on the schedule in 2012 and 2013 will mean CU will go two years without playing a major conference opponent in non-con play for the first time since 1948.

Second, there's always the chance the Buffs could lose.

What Buff fan doesn't remember the '06 and '08 dates with Big Sky opponents Montana State and Eastern Washington State?  The '06 home loss to MSU sits like a black stain on the history of the program, and the entirety of Buff Nation flirted with jumping off the 3rd Flatiron when EWU took a 21-7 lead into halftime in '08. While those performances, or lack there of, can easily be attributed to the anti-football ways of Coach Hawk, I'd rather just avoid that conference of Buffalo-killers entirely.
I'd also like to avoid EWU if possible.  From:
(BTW, Hawk's series of appearances on the ESPN show 'the Experts' chaps my ass.  He is the Matt Millen of coaching.  How do you take anything he says seriously?  "Well, when I was a coach..."  Shut the fuck up, program destroyer.)

I have to figure that the only reason that CU AD Mike Bohn is going through with scheduling another FCS opponent (after saying he would avoid it after the dueling Big Sky fiascoes) is that the rebuilding process is shaping up to be longer and more difficult than previously imagined, and that the financial flexibility afforded by the increase in conference revenues will allow him to spike a few home dates on the schedule to keep with the 6 home-game commitment.

Regardless, I approach the return of FCS squads, and those from the Big Sky in particular, to future CU schedules with trepidation.


Eric said...

2 quick questions and a statement:

Are these games guaranteed to be on TV because of the Pac12 deal?

Didn't we formerly have LSU and Cal in these spots, LSU backed out, and we dropped the Cal games because of the Pac12 move?

finally, that's a long quick post :)

RumblinBuff said...

I believe they would be televised on the Utah-CU version of the Pac-12 network. So you should be able to see them!

The BDC article mentions the LSU series talks, but I don't know why LSU would give us a straight up home/home since we suck, and all. LSU was on the schedule for a bit, but is now nowhere to be found. I wouldn't plan on a trip to the bayou. It's a shame, since we have a nice historical series with them.

The collum ballooned, my bad.