The Case for Hawaii: Gettin Nitty Gritty with the Schedules  

Posted by Walter

Ever since we hear at the323 lit the powderkeg that is Hawaii football, we've been very nearly inundated with emails and comments comparing the schedules of Ohio State, West Virginia, and Hawaii (and in many cases attempting to prove that there simply is no comparison at all). While we appreciate each and every person who takes the time to comment on our site, many, if not all, of these emails simply missed the point. WE KNOW HAWAII'S SCHEDULE IS TERRIBLE! IT'S THE LOWEST RANKED STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE IN THE NATION, WE GET IT! The 323 is not advocating the position that Hawaii's schedule is better than either Ohio State or West Virginia's. But then again WE DON'T HAVE TO TAKE THIS POSITION because Hawaii is undefeated while OSU and WVU both have a loss. If Hawaii also had one loss or either OSU or WVU were undefeated, then yes there would be no debate. But that's not the argument.

We ARE arguing:

undefeated team + very weak schedule > one loss team + weak schedule

We ARE NOT arguing:

undefeated team + very weak schedule > undefeated team + weak schedule

NOR are we arguing:

one loss team + very weak schedule > one loss team + weak schedule

Remember folks, Hawaii hasn't lost yet. If and when they do this all becomes moot. But for right now, the323 is going to set out and prove that both Ohio State and West Virginia's respective schedules were an absolute joke. They may be stronger than Hawaii's, but take a look for yourself and tell me that either of these teams deserves a title shot over Hawaii after not being able to navigate these cupcakes unscathed.

Ohio State Schedule

Game #1: 38-6 win over Youngstown State

Level Of Difficulty (1 being easy, 5 being extremely difficult): 1

Comments: Youngstown State is 7-4 in Division 1AA making them a solid, yet unspectacular 1AA group. Or in other words, cannon fodder for any Division 1A team that isn't Michigan.

Game #2: 20-2 win over Akron

Level of Difficulty: 1

Comments: Well Akron is a Division 1A team....barely. Currently 4-8, the Zips are near the bottom of the MAC in what has been a down year for the conference. Don't forget that the Buckeyes struggled in this one only leading 3-2 at halftime!

Game #3: 33-14 win @ Washington

Level of Difficulty: 2

Comments: Finally into the big boy part of the schedule, Ohio State's win of UDub probably looked a lot better at the time then it does not. Washington was 2-0 at the time, but the OSU loss was the first of 5 straight for the Huskies dropping them down into LAST place in the Pac-10.

Game #4: 58-7 win over Northwestern

Level of Difficulty: 1.5

Comments: Looking back, at 6-6 in the Big 10 Northwestern was actually a decent opponent for the Buckeyes. That said, they did manage to lose to Duke AT HOME this season, so the Buckeyes don't get much credit for dismantling them in Columbus.

Game #5: 30-7 win @ Minnesota

Level of Difficulty: 0.5

Comments: I know they say that any Big 10 road game is a tough game, but come on. Minnesota finished the year 1-11 with their only win coming against Miamie Ohio of the MAC. Not only that but the Gophers lost to Florida Atlantic, Bowling Green and 1AA North Dakota State this year, with the final two coming at home.

Game #6: 23-7 win @ Purdue

Level of Difficulty: 2.5

Comments: Another win that looked a lot better at the time. When OSU bulldozed the Boilermakers they were 5-0 thanks to an early schedule of Toledo, Eastern Illinois, Central Michigan, Buffalo and Northern Illinois. Since the close loss to Ohio State, Purdue has proved just how mediocre they are losing to each and every Big 10 team with half a pulse (Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Indiana).

Game #7: 48-3 win over Kent State

Level of Difficulty: 0

Comments: Kent State is currently 3-9, last in the MAC, and managed to lose to Temple, Buffalo, and N Illinois all in the same season. Pathetic isn't a strong enough word for the Zips.

Game #8: 24-17 win over Michigan State

Level of Difficulty: 2

Comments: Had the game been in East Lansing the Buckeyes might have whiffed a 3 with this one. Michigan State played them tough, and it was a solid win, but you can't ignore the Spartans' 7-5 record which included losses to Northwesten and Iowa. To say they are anything more than a middle of the road Big 10 team this year would be disingenuous.

Game #9: 37-17 win @ Penn State

Level of Difficulty: 3.5

Comments: By far the best win of the year. Closer to a 4 than a 3, but we've got to acknowledge just how overrated the Lions were this year. Erratic QB play and an inconsistent running game made this an easy win for the Buckeyes. Hard to take anything away from OSU for this one.

Game #10: 38-17 win over Wisconsin

Level of Difficulty: 3

Comments: It's the Big 10 so no surprise that OSU feasted on another overrated team. Don't forget this was a close game until the fourth quarter. Wisconsin built it's reputation for 2007 with a big 2006 season. This year Wisconsin was nothing special, nearly losing to UNLV in the second week, and then struggling with teams like The Citadel and Iowa at home.

Game #11: 21-28 LOSS to Illinois

Level of Difficulty: 3

Comments: Illinois is talented, but very young. They were unranked and went into Ohio State's house and beat them pretty good. This game was not in doubt at all in the second half.

Game #12: 14-3 win @ Michigan

Level of Difficulty: 3.5

Comments: Usually this would have been a 4 since such an intense rivalry makes the game tougher. But then again, Michigan did lose at home to 1AA Appalachian State. That makes it half a point easier. Michigan was pathetic all year, and when OSU played them their two best offensive player (Henne and Hart) were both banged up. 3.5 is generous.

West Virginia's Schedule:

Game #1: 62-24 win over Western Michigan

Level of Difficulty: 1

Comments: W Michigan finds itself 5-7 overall and near the bottom of the MAC (what's the deal with all these MAC teams). Bottom line, if you lose to both Eastern and Central Michigan (as WMU did) it ain't an impressive win.

Game #2: 48-23 win @ Marshall

Level of Difficulty: 0

Comments: This ain't your daddy's Thundering Herd. Gone are the Randy Mosses, Chad Penningtons, and Byron Leftwiches. Marshall went 3-9 this year, which was somewhat miraculous after a horrendous 0-7 start. Gross.

Game #3: 31-14 win @ Maryland

Level of Difficulty: 2.5

Comments: Actually a win that looks better now....slightly. Maryland did beat up on Boston College pretty good, but we'd be remiss to ignore the fact that they managed only 6 wins playing conference games in a soft ACC and needed W's over Villanova and Florida International to get there.

Game #4: 48-7 win over East Carolina

Level of Difficulty: 1

Comments: 7-5 record is solid. Fact that they play in Conference USA and got SMOKED by Marshall is anything but solid. Seems like the Mountaineers play the Pirates every year, and every year its a cakewalk.

Game #5: 13-21 LOSS @ South Florida

Level of Difficulty: 3.5

Comments: Can almost excuse this one since it was the biggest football game in the history of South Florida and the Bulls have had WVU's number for a while now. BUT, South Florida's gone in the tank since then and if South fucking Florida has your number, well that ain't the stuff champions are made of.

Game #6: 55-14 win @ Syracuse

Level of Difficulty: 0.5

Comments: Woulda been a 0 but for the Orange's win at Louisville. Cuse is 2-10 and is hands down the worst team in the Big East....just as they have been for the last few years.

Game #7: 38-13 win over Mississippi State

Level of Difficulty: 3

Comments: Actually a nice win. Mississippi State hung tough to finish 7-5 in the SEC, even beating a secretly lousy Alabama team along the way. That said, the 7 wins are VERY inflated thanks to the likes of Tulane, Gardner Webb and UAB. That this is one of WVU's three best wins should tell you something.

Game #8: 31-3 win @ Rutgers

Level of Difficulty: 3.5

Comments: Another team living off a reputation built in 2006. This wasn't the same Rutgers team in 2007, currently standing fifth overall in the Big Least. The Knights did beat South Florida though....whose claim to fame is beating not exactly sure what to do. Still, probably the second best win of the year because it was on the road.

Game #9: 38-31 win over Louisville

Level of Difficulty: 2.5

Comments: Rivalry game so that counts for something, but to be honest Louisville was awful this year. They are 2-4 in the Big Least, and 5-6 overall. Bottom line, WVU played a close game against a team that was incapable of stopping anyone on defense all year. Whoopdy Doo.

Game #10: 28-23 win @ Cincinatti

Level of Difficulty: 3.5

Comments: Definitely the best win all year, but even a 4 might be generous. After all, it's fucking Cincinati. The same Cinci team that lost to Louisville and Pittsburgh (ouch). Still, the only ranked team WVU beat all yea. Congrats boys!

Game #11: 66-21 win over UConn

Level of Difficulty: 1.5

Comments: Anyone who watched this game knows UConn had no business being anywhere near the top 25. UConn needed divine intervention to beat Louisville and Temple (!!) and hasn't beaten a team with a pulse all year. This team is currently second in the Big Least which pretty much tells you all you need to know about WVU's conference.

Game #12: Pittsburgh

Level of Difficulty: 1

Comments: First off let's remember that the Panthers are coached by Dave Wannstedt. Second of all, they are currently 4-7 overall with a loss to Navy on their resume. Third of all, they're coached by Dave Wannstedt. WVU could beat them 100-0 and I wouldn't bat an eye. This team sucks and it's in Morgantown with a national title game spot on the line. The phrase "dead man walking" comes to mind.

Well, there you have it folks. It actually is THAT BAD for both OSU and WVU. Now let the emails commence on how Hawaii's schedule is even worse, and that it's the weakest rated schedule in the nation. Once again, I emplore you readers to understand that we are NOT arguing that Hawaii's schedule is strong in any sense of the word. We are simply arguing that:

Undefeated Record (which Hawaii owns) + Very Weak Schedule (which Hawaii owns)

is greater than

One Loss Record (which OSU and WVU own) + Weak Schedule (which, as you've just see, both OSU and WVU own)


Anonymous   says 12:03 AM

All the BCS conference lovers should attend the annual player-haters' ball... hate, hate, hate, hate! (ever seen Chapelles' show?)

Seriously, the WAC is wack, but so is the rest of college football. Big name teams push their way blindly until they find a load of cash, then hoard it from the rest like the old conservative hermits that run/ruin the system. If it were about who is good and who is deserving, the best teams would play each other. But no, its about money, its about hating your neighbor on rivalry weekend and showing the bird to the have-nots.

The case against the BCS and the old folks and big wallets that protect it started with Utah, and Hawaii is simply evidence file C. Its sad College football is like the Hague, where cases take decades to finish!
Go warriors!

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