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It's Cupcake Week in the Big XII

What a huge week for the Big XII conference in football!  Look at these matchups!

  • Southeast Missouri State @ Missouri
  • Cincinatti @ Oklahoma
  • Texas @ Texas El-Paso
  • Texas Tech @ Nevada
  • Louisiana Tech @ Kansas
  • San Jose State @ Nebraska
  • Oklahoma State @ Houston
  • Eastern Washington @ Colorado
  • Kent State @ Iowa State
  • Texas A&M @ New Mexico
  • Northwestern Louisiana State @ Baylor

Whew!  Takes your breath away, doesn't it?  Here are the Sagarin ratings for this weekend's opponents:  221, 42, 141, 81, 98, 117, 74, 104, 134, 79, 179.  That's an average opponent rating of 106...and there are only 119 teams in division 1-A (ok, the "Bowl Championship Subdivision").

What a horrible week for Big XII football this weekend.  So bad that ABC had to hold their nose and select the least offensive matchup for television (Cincy/Oklahoma).

Extra frosting this week!

I'm sensing another "Instant Classic" for ESPN Classic this weekend.

Oh sure, some people will defend the schedules as saying "everybody does it", or "every year there's a cupcake on the schedule."  But does that really make it right?

Absolutely not.  In places like Nebraska, where football games have been sold out for over 45 years, people are just going to suck it up and pay for their season tickets.  You're not going to risk your season tickets over these matchups.  But what about those places where fan support isn't so high?  During the broadcast of the Colorado/Colorado State game, a commercial ran on FSN promoting an offer for 4 tickets for $40.  (Just for comparison, tickets for this weekend's game between Nebraska-Kearney and Nebraska-Omaha start at $12 each!)

And before it looks like I'm picking on the Big XII, let's look at the rest of college football.  Here's what's on your TV this weekend:

  • Miami-Ohio @ Michigan
  • Ohio @ Ohio State
  • BYU @ Washington
  • Cincinatti @ Oklahoma
  • Ole Miss @ Wake Forest
  • Oregon State @ Penn State
  • San Diego State @ Notre Dame
  • West Virginia @ East Carolina
  • Louisiana Tech @ Kansas
  • South Florida @ Central Florida
  • Miami @ Florida
  • Texas @ Texas-El Paso

Other than Miami/Florida, what is there to look forward to this weekend?  This weekend's schedule is so bad that ABC has pre-empted "Saturday Night Football" for a NASCAR race.  When you consider the start of the NFL season and the pennant races in baseball, college football might fall to fourth place on the minds of the television viewer this weekend.

How does this situation get fixed?  It's simple really, and it starts with the BCS.  Return strength of schedule into the formula, like it was originally set up.  It was removed when sportswriters went into an uproar after the 2000 and 2001 seasons when sportswriters went into a tizzy after Florida State and Nebraska went into the title game because of their stronger strength of schedule.

Restoring strength of schedule to the BCS formula will cause some issues at first; schedules are set up years in advance and inevitably some  team will get edged out because their schedule was so weak.  If that's what it takes to eliminate weeks like this from the schedule, so be it.