Why Alcorn?

Instead of scheduling games no one cares about, why not play at least TEN conference games?
One rent-a-win and one game that generates interest should suffice.

An embarrasment, slap in the face, and salt in the WMS wound.

They don’t want nine conference games, much less 10 (and by “they”, I mean pretty much every school in the conference except Alabama). Reasons:

  1. Another conference game is just another chance to beat each other up. You want to make sure the SEC rarely/never makes the playoffs? Schedule 10 conference games, plus the SEC championship game, and we’ll be watching ACC vs. Big Ten every January. Want to make every coach in the league unhappy? Schedule 10 SEC games. That’s two more chances to lose, and two more chances to lose get coaches fired.

  2. You’ll have to play the extra conference game on the road every other year, unless its Arkansas-A&M or Florida-Georgia. That’s a loss of revenue. That’s the main reason for rent-a-wins – not for an easy W, but for a game we can count on in the budget every year (and charge for in the season ticket package). Remember we had Okie State coming to WMS for many years and only played in Stillwater once. No one will agree to that any more, and I can’t believe OSU let us do it for 20 years or whatever it was.

Nine SEC games would actually make Jeff Long’s life easier. He would have four SEC games at home every year, whether we’re the “home” team vs. A&M or not; thus would have four SEC games to attract the season ticket buyers (as is the case this year). And he’d only have to find three NC games, not four.

The SEC requires an annual game against a Power 5 team, so that’s nine games against Power 5 schools (we may have to get an exemption for 2018 after we got Michiganed; it’s impossible to find a Power 5 team with an opening in 2018 and the other option is to buy out a school on a P5 team schedule so we can play that P5 team instead, and even that is proving difficult.) Our P5 team in 2016 and 2017 is TCU. What we have this year is two cupcakes (Alcorn and Texas State), a midlevel team (LaTech, which gave us all we wanted) and TCU.

THIS. You just can’t, in college ball, play 12 hard games. Not if you want to go to a decent bowl. Now if EVERYONE played 12 hard games (think the NFL, but with 16 games of course), then it wouldn’t matter. (And in the NFL, you don’t get to the Super Bowl by being ranked, its is fine to be 11-5, you will be in the play offs, go 9-3 in college? NO CHANCE at a good bowl, much less the play offs).

Swine & Greg are correct about why we can’t have 10 conference games or 11 games against P5 level teams.

However, I’d like to have someone a bit higher on the pecking order than Alcorn St. But on the other hand, it’s harder to identify the “rent-a-wins” than it used to be. This season has seen some shocking upsets & near upsets by lower level FBS teams. LaTech would’ve been considered a “rent-a-win” even 5 years ago. So while I wish we were playing someone with a better rep than Alcorn, I’m not sure who I can say off the top of my head who that’d be. Every “guaranteed win” is pretty low on the scale.

I wish we wouldn’t play FCS teams. SEC considered a rule against it and decided not to; there are FCS teams who depend on their rent-a-win money to keep the program afloat. I suspect Alcorn is one of those. Big Ten did pass a no-FCS rule starting next year. But an FCS team just beat a top 10 team at home (Iowa), and Michigan State struggled with Furman (and we can’t forget App State beating Michigan at the Big House). So even they are not a guaranteed win any more. Never were, really. Does the name Citadel ring a bell? Anyway, if you limited it to just FBS teams, scheduling would be really, really difficult. I suspect we’re going to wind up replacing Michigan with an FCS team because of the scheduling crunch.

By the way, WMS was going to get a cupcake no matter what. Originally LaTech was scheduled for Little Rock, not RRS. Which leaves Texas State or Alcorn for the nonconference possibilities, since TCU is a road game. Next year? TCU was gonna be on the hill, so that leaves FAMU, New Mexico State and Coastal Carolina. LR gets FAMU. NMSU or CCU wouldn’t be much better; they’re FBS but just barely. It’s pretty much a lock that Vandy will come to WMS in 2018 to wrap up the contract.

That FCS team was NDSU (defending 5 time FCS NC). They actually are receiving votes in the AP and Coaches poll. So, it’s not exactly like us playing Alcorn. It’s more like us playing a much better La Tech.

#2 is the main reason. It is getting harder and harder to get teams to play at your house without demanding a return game. You see this with Mizzou playing in Jboro last year and Miami at App St. this year. With aTm in big D every year, 3 or 4 SEC away games, and an away game against a name OOC team every other year, can’t afford to give up any more home games. So you have to go down the list as far as it takes to find a rent a win that can’t afford to demand a return game.

Every SEC team plays a team from the FCS. It is going to happen until the SEC says no, and that’s not going to happen with this commissioner. Arkansas has Florida A&M scheduled for next year and Missouri State in 2021.

SEC teams schedule as low risk as possible outside of the one Power 5 game each year. That’s why you see so many teams go 2-6 or 3-5 in conference, but still make a bowl.

The out of conference scheduling trend in the SEC is this: 1 Power 5 team, 1 group of 5 team that should have an OK year, 1 weaker group of five team (preferably that has reached FBS status within the past 5-10 years) and 1 team from the FCS.

That’s what Arkansas did with TCU, Louisiana Tech, Texas State and Alcorn State. The SOS will likely be worse next year with TCU, New Mexico State, Coastal Carolina and Florida A&M.

Here are the other SEC-FCS games this year:

Alabama-Chattanooga, Nov. 18
Auburn-Alabama A&M, Nov. 18
Florida-Presbyterian, Nov. 18
Georgia-Nicholls (UGA won 26-24)
Kentucky-Austin Peay, Nov. 18
LSU-Jacksonville State (LSU won 34-13)
Mississippi-Wofford (OM won 38-13)
Mississippi State-Samford, Oct. 29
Missouri-Delaware State (Mizzou won 79-0)
South Carolina-Western Carolina, Nov. 18
Tennessee-Tennessee Tech, Nov. 5
Texas A&M-Prairie View A&M (TAMU won 67-0)
Vanderbilt-Tennessee State, Oct. 22

You’ll notice many of those are being played in November. That’s the Urban Meyer effect. He did that at Florida to give his team a glorified off week before playing Florida State and potentially the SEC championship.

Then there are games against teams that recently made the FBS:

Tennessee-Appalachian State
Mississippi State-South Alabama
Florida-UMass
Ole Miss-Georgia Southern
LSU-South Alabama
Texas A&M-UTSA

Arkansas will play such a game next year against Coastal Carolina, which is going to be in its first year in the FBS.