Sunday, September 11, 2005

A Package of Cupcakes

Next Saturday, opponents for Big East Conference football teams include Georgia Tech, Virginia, Maryland, Nebraska, and Oregon State.  This group represents a major step up in class from foes of the past weekend.  Then again, how could it not?


League favorite Louisville had a bye week.  It still faced tougher competition than most of its conference mates.  Four of the seven opponents were from Division 1–AA programs, and only one of those four was ranked in last week’s 1–AA Top 25.  Indeed, this group represented not a murderers’ row, but a jaywalkers’ row.  Here are the credentials of the not-so-magnificent seven:


Penn State (defeated Cincinnati 42–24):  Has fallen far from its once lofty perch in recent years, playing in just one bowl game over the past five seasons.  Making it by far the class of this bunch.

Ohio (defeated Pittsburgh 16–10 in OT):  Notable more for what it’s not: NOT Ohio State; Located in Athens but NOT the Georgia Bulldogs; Led by former Nebraska head coach but NOT Tom Osborne;  Unfortunately for Panther fans, NOT Dave Wannstedt’s first win.

Buffalo (lost to Syracuse 31–0):  NOT the Bills (okay, I’ll stop that).  Has been shut out in three straight games, all by Big East schools (the other two were both against UConn).  Rated 118 among 119 Division 1–A programs in Sports Illustrated’s season preview – Take that, Florida International!

Villanova (lost to Rutgers 38–6):  Gave eventual champion North Carolina a scare in the Sweet 16.  Oh, we’re talking football?  Okay, it’s the alma mater of Howie Long and Brian Westbrook.  A possible Final Four contender – sorry, still thinking hoops.

Wofford (lost to West Virginia 35–7):  Ranked #22 in last week’s Division 1–AA poll by The Sports Network.  Located in Spartanburg, SC, a city whose website proclaims, “Service Is Our Business.”

Florida A&M (lost to South Florida 37–3):  Located in the same city as a college football powerhouse (Florida State).  Has a great marching band.  Sounds like a juggernaut if you break up its name, since Florida is a top 10 team, and A&M is a contender in the Big XII.

Liberty (lost to Connecticut 59–0):  Founded by Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell.  Linebackers defend not with crushing hits, but by sitting in judgment of opposing ballcarriers’ lifestyles.


Although the competition gets tougher next Saturday, Rutgers has some good news: they’re next for Buffalo.