Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Scheduling Woes, No Horseshoe for 'Dogs

Fresno State finally got it's wish this year to play USC, but will miss out on another trip to Ohio State in 2008. In March new Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith decided to skip the 2008 opener with Fresno State. Fresno State has had trouble getting BCS teams at home, but rarely does it miss out on road game at a BCS power. Since the game was riding only on a oral commitment , no contract was signed, there was no buy out clause. Is Ohio State avoiding Fresno State? Do they fear a loss? They whipped FS in 2000 at the 'Shoe 43-10, but hey David Carr threw four ints. I think the AD wants to soften up the schedule a little since Ohio State already has to travel to USC in 2008. Hopefully, Coach Pat Hill and Fresno State's new athletic director Thomas Boeh will be able to add another home game in 2008 to go along with Wisconsin and road contest at Toledo and Kansas State.

Fresno State has had difficulties getting BCS teams or any IA teams for that matter to play at Bulldog Stadium. Since Hill's arrival in 1997, he has stated numerous times "Fresno State will play big time football". The 1997 schedule was set prior to Hill's arrival, but still had road games against Oregon and Oklahoma State. From 1998 on the 'Dogs have gone on the road to face: Texas Tech, Colorado(twice), UCLA(twice), Oregon State(twice), Ohio State, Wisconsin, Oregon, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Washington, and Kansas State. This year's road games include Oregon and USC, but only Baylor, Oregon State(twice), and California have been to Bulldog Stadium since 1997. Texas Tech and Oklahoma State have bought out their return games to Fresno, and Kansas moved this year's game to 2009. I think this is combination of middle of the pack BCS teams not wanting to afford a loss in non-conference play and poor contracts set up by old AD Scott Johnson(read Ohio State 2008 above). Scott Johnson was in charge of football scheduling from 1996, one year before Hill's arrival, until his retirement this past spring. During Hill's tenure he never was able to get a BCS team into Bulldog Stadium. His biggest claim to fame is this year's game at the Coliseum. Come on, USC was trying to play Louisville, getting a game against Fresno State is not scaring anybody in Trojan Land. All games in Fresno against BCS teams since 1997 were return games set up prior to Johnson taking over scheduling. Baylor was a return game from 1993, Cal was returning a game from 1995, and the Oregon State series was signed just after the 'Dogs and Beavers finished a previous home and home in 1994. Case in point, why wasn't there a signed contract for the Ohio State game in 2008? Oregon is scheduled to come to Fresno next year, Kansas State in 2007, and Wisconsin in 2008, hopefully the new AD Boeh will be able to get these teams, and others to keep their commitments. I am not worried about Oregon, they came here in 96 and were the visiting team in 1981 when Fresno State officially opened Bulldog Stadium. Kansas State is going to Marshall this year, so that is a good sign that they will come to Fresno. Wisconsin, on the other hand, I am not so sure.


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