Today the ACC's College Football Blogger at ESPN posted a message saying, in essence, that FSU fan's should quit whining about the recently released ACC and 2011 Football Schedule. I had a bit of an issue with something she said:
"In order to be the best, Florida State -- and Clemson and Virginia Tech and anyone else who wants to join the club -- has to beat the best. Line up an SEC schedule and knock 'em down, just like Auburn did last year, Alabama the year before, Florida, LSU and so on..."
Well let's just take a look at those tough SEC Schedules:
-Road Games? 4 road games all year.
-OOC Schedule? 2 Sun Belt teams and an FCS team (2 of those in the middle of the SEC schedule). 1 non-conference BCS opponent.
-Juggernaut Arkansas State the week before their game AT Mississippi State on short rest
-10 days of rest before Clemson their only non-SEC BCS opponent.
-Full two weeks off before Bama, their biggest rival
-Road Games? 4 road games all year (Played a Neutral site in SEC-riffic Atlanta vs. VA Tech - who do you imagine had the home crowd feel there?)
-OOC Schedule? 2 Sun Belt Teams and an FCS team. 1 non-conference BCS opponent.
-Full offseason of rest/preparation before their only non-SEC BCS opponent.
-No short rest games. None. period.
-FCS laugher a week before their HOME game against Auburn, their biggest rival
-Road Games? 4 games all year (played a neutral site game against UGA, in the State of Florida, "neutral", right....)
-OOC Schedule? a WAC and an FCS team and really stepped up relative to the rest of the SEC and played two non-conference, BCS opponents
-No short rest games. None. Period.
-2 weeks off before road game at Tennessee (Rival), 2 weeks off after home game against LSU (Rival)
-FCS laugher a week before their game against FSU, their biggest rival
And now 2011 FSU:
-Road Games? 5 Road games
-OOC Schedule? 2 FCS Teams, No. 1 team in the nation, and an SEC team. 2 non-conference BCS Opponents
-No week off after playing the No. 1 team in nation and before playing biggest division rival, a team FSU hasn't beaten in their place in 10 years.
-3 days rest after other significant division rival (NC State) & before longest geographical road trip in the conference (Tally to Boston).
-ZERO Rest before a Rival or a Marquee opponent.
-ZERO benefit of an FCS laugher before ROAD game against biggest rival, Florida
I agree with her point as a whole. The schedule is the schedule. Play it to the best of your ability, beat who you're supposed to beat, make some breaks and beat a team maybe you're not supposed to and maybe you're in the national title discussion. But please don't get caught in the trap of throwing up other schedules without doing full research. It's clear the schedules she referenced were just not as tough as the one FSU faces this year.
However, "toughness" can be relative, so I'll just say this: none of those other three schedules she referenced were laid out as nonsensically as FSU's 2011 schedule. The SEC wouldn't and doesn't do that to their title favorites, why did the ACC?
*note: I didn't compare LSU's 2007 schedule b/c that was a juggernaut. It was the only schedule she referenced that actually helped her point. She was just blindly throwing mud against the wall and hoping it would stick with the other schedules.