For the second year in a row, cupcake hogging North Carolina has scheduled two FCS teams in football, thereby entering cupcake football schedule SOS.
SOS, you ask? Serial Offender Status in college football schedule cupcake hogging shall hereinafter be known simply as SOS. This is really a thing. And, if all that cupcake hogging is not enough, perhaps that serial could be changed to something more edible like, uh, cereal. The whys and wherefores of this scheduling are beyond me, so I would welcome some comment back from a Tarheel stalwart explaining those whys and wherefores. Between bites, of course.
Thus, the evil eye of the weak sister bogus non-conference college football schedule witch hunt patrol is once again upon an ACC team in general, and North Carolina, in specific, for the unmannerly crime of cupcake hogging again in 2016.
It might be edifying to revisit last years’ comments on this atrocity. Some sage saw through the gauzy haze of this murky mirage at foggy bottom, to opine as follows:
In its annual attempt to ferret out the smoke and mirrors scofflaws of big-time college football, the evil eye casts its hungry gaze upon the apparent shameless, and infamous, gall of not one, but two, members of the Atlantic Coast Conference who have scheduled not one, but two, 2015 games against FCS opponents. Yes, North Carolina and Boston College, the evil eye can not only see, but it can also count. Nothing gets past the evil eye.
So as not to eat with too big a spoon, I mean paint with too big a brush, it should be noted that Boston College did wake up and smell the coffee in 2016, and wiped the excess pastry residue from their chinny-chin-chin. One will be enough for the Eagles in 2016, thank you.
The fact that North Carolina was in the hunt for the College Football Playoff last season would auger for their cleaning this up, too. The two FCS teams on the Tarheels’ schedule last year, especially that second helping, could have kept them out of the CFP if they were in the mix on all other counts. It is plenty easy to find a weak unit Group of Five team instead of loading up on a second FCS game. Why not go that route, er, rout. One FCS game is a serving and two is cupcake hogging. Although one FCS game is de rigueur for many Power Five outfits, it is worth noting that there are plenty of Power Five teams that have not chased wins in this manner, meaning they have not scheduled a FCS game and are only playing Group of Five and Power Five non-conference opponents.
There are quite a few questionable non-conference schedules this year among Power Five teams. Baylor and Maryland drew more than a passing glance from the evil eye. They are both playing weak non-con schedules barely made palatable by some lukewarm, but rapidly cooling, road games. Florida is saved by an away game at Florida State. Or maybe not, you be the judge, the rest of their non-conference games are shockingly bad: Massachusetts, North Texas and Presbyterian, all chomp fodder in The Swamp. The list of Power Five schedules saved by just one game is lengthy. A good number of ACC teams are saved only by Notre Dame being on their non-conference schedule. For example, Miami takes on the likes of Florida A&M and Florida Atlantic at home while they are at Appalachian State in addition to their road game at South Bend. The evil eye must view these one game wonder non-con schedules through deeply tinted rose colored glasses for them to pass unmolested.
The only reason the above do go on without all due abuse is that North Carolina is unique in the entire spectrum of Power Five teams in scheduling two FCS teams. An evil, but bleary-eyed, review of all Power Five schedules for cupcake hogging offenders has revealed North Carolina to stand alone at the pastry counter this year in making that a double. And doubling the trouble, this is the second year in a row of this egregious gluttony. Therefore, the evil eye is upon you North Carolina. If the Tarheels are contending for the College Football Playoff in November, just remember this asterisk by their record: * = Cupcake Hogging.
It is true that North Carolina is playing two legitimate opponents in their non-conference schedule. And neither of them are home games. The Tarheels get Georgia in the opener at a in-name-only neutral field, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The next game is on the road in Big Ten country, at Illinois. So they also needed a couple of home non-conference games. And the FCS teams they are playing are high quality teams in the FCS, James Madison and The Citadel. I don’t like calling teams like this cupcakes and I don’t think they are cupcakes. In their own FCS, they are power players. But, when a FBS powerhouse drops down a division to play an FCS team, it is by the differences in the divisions that they take on the role of designated cupcake. These are just the facts of life and finance in these FBS versus FCS games.
Does playing two FCS teams, especially good ones, double the chances of an unceremonious upset, heaven forbid two, under the heavenly Carolina Blue sky? It is worth noting that James Madison won at SMU last year and The Citadel beat in-state, Power Five, SEC member, South Carolina, for two of the nine FCS victories over FBS teams in 2015. The Gamecocks likely tried to forget about their loss to El Cid as quickly as you can say the words “in denial” and the Bulldogs will remember it forever. Can lightening strike twice? Can lightening strike twice, twice? That would be hilarious. Here’s hoping the Tarheels get a jolt or two. Twice would be nice and would definitely suffice.
The evil eye gives full weight to the above facts that are in North Carolina’s favor. In fact, the evil eye would respectfully suggest that North Carolina is only one Group of Five game away from having a legitimate non-conference schedule. However, the evil eye must remain steady, unblinking, and all-seeing. Even with the stipulation that those above facts in the Tarheels’ favor are admitted into evidence uncontested and viewed in the most optimistic light possible, they are not persuasive. Such is the thin line between love and cake. SOS. *