BG posted their 2007 schedule today, and needless to say, the natives are a little restless. (Warning, that second link might not be safe for small children, devout Catholics, or the friends and family of BG Athletic Director Greg Christopher.)
There is a lot to be unhappy about, and while the five-game home slate is a kick to the jimmy, most of the rage, I believe, is from what’s NOT on the schedule. We’ve certainly played worse schedules in the not-so-distant past. With Western Kentucky moving up to Division 1A this year, there are no 1-AA schools on the slate, which is a plus. The rest of the non-conference schedule is actually quite impressive as well, with games at Minnesota, Michigan State and Boston College, all of whom are big enough names that a win would be impressive, but none are real monsters like we’ve gotten into in the past to pull a fat check.
What’s missing is a home game with Boise State. The mid-major darlings, coming off their sandlot win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, were supposed to visit Doyt Perry Stadium on September 29. After we shuffled out of our game with them last year to help the MAC and Ohio University (who, despite winning the MAC East lost to BG at home last year, I might add) fix a scheduling disaster you’d think they would have avoided this year.
And even though Boise State posted a schedule with a trip to BG planned on their website not more than two weeks ago, BG and the MAC had other ideas. We get the Hilltoppers instead. Also missing is the road portion of a rumored, then published home-and-home with Navy. Annapolis is a kickass place to catch a football game on a fall afternoon, but that game, and likely the series, have fallen by the wayside.
Also, in true ESPN-scheduling-the-MAC fashion, BG has at least three Friday games this year. While this works out for me and my Thursday/Friday “weekend”, it might not be the best for attendance. Two of them at home, one is against Toledo the day after Thanksgiving. Again, works for me, probably doesn’t work for the thousands of on-campus students that will be booted from their dorm Wednesday evening. Add in one home game where I’ll be recovering from a wedding (the future wife has already nixed a whirlwind Saturday through NW Ohio, and I don’t think I blame her…there’s sleeping and gift-opening to do that day!) and another where I’ll be in another country, and I’m looking at three possibilities for home games. The Toledo game will happen, and I’ll likely toss a coin to see if I head to the Ohio U. game (Saturday) or the Akron game the following week (Friday). Or, if things start off much better than expected for the Falcons this fall, I may try to hit them both. Time will tell.
Is the way the schedule came down ugly? Yes, very much so. Is it worth threatening the AD and his puppy? I’m not so sure about that.