As always, you can click the link to read the full newspaper. Our story follows below.
Alright Rebel fans, it's "Strength of Schedule Month" in college football. That’s right, we’ve blown right through "Hypothetical Uniform Modification Month," and only a few short weeks remain until "Fiendish XBox Abuse Month," formerly referred to as "Actually Caring About Professional Baseball Month," or "The Dark Ages"… but we digress; back to "SOS Month."
So the pundits have been pontificating on the perils of program opponents this period (Alliteration FTW!!!). Anyway, experts have said that Ole Miss' paltry schedule could cost them this season. The real question is this: what could a weak SOS possibly cost the rebels? A bowl game? The only way that happens is if we somehow need to count both I-AA wins to get to six victories and bowl eligibility. That scenario is downright, knock-on-wood, impossible.
No. What the experts say that our schedule could cost us is a BCS bowl or even (gasp!) a National Championship. Almost certainly, the Rebs have to go 11-1 at worst for SOS to factor into the BCS equation. Even so, we’re more than willing to bet that, were we able to put ourselves in that situation, we’d still be peachy, even with Northern Arizona and Louisiana Generic University on the schedule. Here’s why.
After wins and losses, the most important element to determining who is in a position to play for a BCS bowl is the media hype surrounding that program, starting all the way back in May and June. Critics point to Auburn's 13-0 season and subsequent BCS title snub. And while Auburn, in retrospect, should have played for the title in favor of Oklahoma, OU’s season-long hype parade, coupled with Auburn’s disappointing stumble the season before, cemented the decision to allow the Sooners an ass-whipping session at the hands of the Trojans.
The Rebels won't suffer from the same fate. Most polls place us in the top ten, and polls ranking the Rebels outside of the top 15 don't exist outside of the state of Arkansas. Because the Rebels begin the season at such a high point, they won’t have to worry about vaulting other undefeated teams in the polls. Basically, if Nutt and co. are still undefeated after the Alabama game, we're likely #2 in the country. Then it's all about holding on.
With this possible storybook season, the last thing we needed to do was schedule what appears to be an easy Mid-Major win, only to end up facing Wyoming, Mizzou, or Wake Forest during their programs’ best seasons ever. We’re watching you, UAB…
For anyone who still isn't happy with the easy schedule, just prepare yourselves for 2012, when the Longhorns come to Oxford. Hopefully we won't be wishing we could play two 1-AA teams that year.