Thursday, October 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: Aggies get ready for a rough road ahead

BobDunning2W

By
From page A2 | August 29, 2014 |

TO PLAYOFF OR NOT TO PLAYOFF … “Hey Bob,” came the phone message from a longtime Davis resident … “How will the Ags do this year?” … while there are indeed a number of sports vying for our attention, when I get a question like that during the last week of August, I know instinctively that the caller is talking football …

Simple answer: UC Davis will be better this year, but that might not necessarily translate into more wins against what many are calling the toughest schedule in school history … stepping out of their division to play both Stanford and up-and-coming Colorado State might bring some dollars flowing into athletic department offices, but it’s guaranteed not to produce any wins …

Plus, when Eastern Washington comes to town on Sept. 27, Aggie fans will have a chance to see magician-turned-quarterback Vernon Adams perform his magic … put simply, Adams is the best FCS quarterback in the country, bar none … things can happen between now and then, of course, but on paper this one doesn’t appear as if it will produce a “W” for the local heroes …

In a bit of scheduling bad luck, the Aggies play the two Montanas on back-to-back weekends, including a date in Missoula where the UM Grizzlies enjoy the best home crowd in all of FCS football … last year the Aggies lost to both of the Montanas and probably will be happy to split this time around … so we’re up to four losses and counting …

Which brings us to the positive side of the equation … I know coaches don’t like to “overlook” anyone, but the Sept. 6 home opener against the Fort Lewis Skyhawks will be a welcome relief and an easy win between Stanford and Colorado State … other “winnable” games come against woeful Northern Colorado and dangerous Northern Arizona, plus the annual rout of sad Sac State … the poor Hornets fired their coach for undisclosed reasons in the off-season and would be lucky to win a campus intramural game at this point, no less beat the Aggies …

The 50-50 games, both unfortunately on the road, come at Portland State and Cal Poly SLO … if UC Davis can go 7-4 against this murderer’s row, Ron Gould should be national coach of the year …

ONE SHORT OF A DOZEN … scheduling non-conference college football games at this level can always be a challenge, which may explain why the Aggies ended up with only 11 games while virtually everyone else in the FCS will play 12 … the downside of this is that when it comes to playoff selection time you had one less opportunity to win … the upside is you had one less opportunity to lose … still, if you’re on the bubble of the 24-team field and you’re 7-4 and the others being considered are 8-4, it could be much harder to make your case …

SPEAKING OF THE FCS … many college football fans have to think long and hard before figuring out the difference between the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Football Championship Subdivision, which makes me long for the days when the NCAA called these two divisions simply I-A and I-AA … no confusion there … plus, now that the so-called Football Bowl Subdivision has a four-team national championship playoff beginning this year, the labels are even more irrelevant … both divisions, in fact, offer a legitimate “championship” …

Time to end the name game and come up with new and meaningful labels for these two divisions … the easiest thing, of course, would be to have Divisions I, II, III and IV … unfortunately, those in the FCS would scream long and hard about being “dropped” to Division II, those in Division II would be unhappy about now being in Division III, and those currently in Division III would be positively depressed with a Division IV label … the human ego, it’s a beautiful thing …

— Entries to the Contest to Replace the Above-Pictured Columnist are due on Monday, Sept. 8, at 5 p.m. Entries, between 400 and 800 words, can be emailed to bdunning@davisenterprise.net and should include a short biography and mug shot of the author.

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