It’s never too early to talk college football. Never.
Even if the calendar say it’s barely summer, fall cannot get here fast enough. So over the next two weeks or so, Kermit the Blog will count down the 10 Easiest Schedules of the 2007 College Football season. We’re aiming for one a day (weekday), but we’re lazy, so it might take longer. Thankfully we’ve got time.
# 8 The University of New Mexico
This is the least sexy name on the list. It’s compounded by the fact that New Mexico’s stroll through the season isn’t even very interesting. That’s the bad news. The good news is that to compensate there is cleavage for artwork.
That’s a pic from the world’s crappiest camera phone of boobs. Her name was Katy. Probably still is. She was date I had a couple of years ago. It’s okay, she let me take the pic—I might be a pervert, but I’m not sleazy—but the photo was about all I got. And trying to get further with her that night was more difficult than anything the Lobos will have to do on a football field this year.
In fact, the biggest accomplishment for New Mexico has taken place before they even take the field, specifically: they managed to avoid enriching themselves financially in exchange for the pleasure of getting their collective asses kicked. The AD’s accountants might not be happy about this, but the school’s infirmary is probably pleased silly.
For a team that probably sits just a tad better than the dead middle of the college football class, New Mexico manages to face only two higher “ranked” teams—BYU and TCU—over the course of their 2007 Odyssey.
It a pretty outstanding achievement in the field of excellence because, to pull it off, you have to 1) be in a generally lousy conference and B) either never answer the phone or turn down some awfully gaudy checks.
From the Sporting News’ preseason rankings of all 119 D-1 schools (where New Mexico is #49): UTEP is 93. New Mexico State is 76. Arizona is 56. Wyoming is 72. San Diego State is 97. Air Force is 103. Colorado State is 82. Utah is 59. UNLV is 114. And Sacramento State is 120 and counting. If that. Sac State is D I-AA. So even if they were the best of that lot, they’d still theoretically be no better than FIU at 119. And that ‘if’ is actually a ‘not.’ The Hornets finished 4-7 and placed fifth in their B-league conference.
With five opponents in the bottom quartile, it’s very tempting to make the Lobos a lock for a bowl, but, well, with pretty much an identical schedule in 2006 they went 6-7 including a loss to the I-AA team on their schedule last year. So even when they are making it easy on themselves, they are not making it easy on themselves. But hey, if at first you don’t succeed…
But this is the NCAA where even the break-even get to go bowling. Yes, at 6-6 New Mexico got to play in—this is really a game—the New Mexico Bowl. They lost it. To San Jose State.
You shouldn’t lose your bowl if it shares the name of your school. Worse, the kids didn’t even get to go anywhere. It’s not like they got a trip to Miami out of the deal. And it’s Albuquerque, which ain’t the prettiest place on the planet to begin with.
But San Jose State was the better team on paper. They were the only team not named Oklahoma to give Boise State a game in ’06. Still. It’s not just a home game, it’s the same name as your state and your school.
Minus-1 for Los Lobos.
Working in the Lobos’ favor this year is an offense that returns seven starters including three on the offensive line to clear holes for maybe the best back in the Mountain West conference, Rodney Ferguson, who rushed for over 1200 yards as a sophomore.
On defense, they return nine starters. But those same starters were not very good last year, giving up an average of over 350 yards per game.
Frankly, I never understood the excitement over returning starters when those starters were crummy to begin with. “Hey, remember that defense that ranked 80th nationally last year? Freakin’ sweet, they’re almost all back this year.”
Actually it’s not even though good. The front seven that got pushed around by Portland State, they’ll be back. The defensive backfield will be full of new and inexperienced guys to get torched by whatever gunslinger BYU will put under center.
Nonetheless, with the schedule they have, the Lobos should still be well positioned to go at least 6-6 again.
And maybe lose in the New Mexico Bowl. Again.
Because that’s a schedule with more mediocrity than in Comedy Central’s primetime programming. Ironically, though, New Mexico’s sked might be funnier. But that’s not too difficult to accomplish either.
New Mexico’s 2007 Football Schedule
9/1 at UTEP
9/8 New Mexico State
9/15 at Arizona
9/22 Sacramento State
10/13 at Wyoming
10/20 at San Diego State
10/25 Air Force
11/3 at TCU
11/10 Colorado State
11/17 at Utah
The Rest of the List