In the era of huge television contracts and B.C.S. rankings, college football teams' non-conference schedules present tricky issues and provoke considerable debate.
On that same subject, but in a lighter vein, here are Ten Out-of-Conference Contests I'd Like to See:
Auburn v. Virginia: The Tigers versus the Cavaliers . . . or the Plainsmen versus the Wahoos . . . or the War Eagle versus the Hoos. Anyway, there would be a lot of orange, a lot of blue, way too many mascots, and one of the greatest disparities in average S.A.T. scores between any two schools in Division I-A.
There's a reason why they don't call it "Mr. Jordan's academical village."
Kansas State v. Texas Tech (in September): All right, this one isn't a non-conference game, but it's called playing somebody already. Look into it.
Penn State v. Louisiana State (with the winner to face California): Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh, my!
Notre Dame v. Illinois: Because I'd like to hear Myles Brand explain why "Fighting Illini" is an objectionable example of insensitivity but "Fighting Irish" isn't.
A politically correct tribute to Irish cultural contributions.
Minnesota v. Virginia Tech (in November): In theory, one of them would have to find a way to win a big game late in the season, wouldn't they?
Syracuse v. Stanford: A contest between the Orange and the Cardinal would be a clash out of Church history . . . or out of "What Not to Wear." Take your pick.
Arizona State v. Duke (in the Peach Bowl): Just so Charlie Daniels could perform at halftime and sing a modified version of his most famous song, this time beginning with the words, "The Devils went down to Georgia . . ."
Getting to hear Charlie Daniels sing the national anthem at the Peach Bowl, then watch him eat a buffet full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches afterwards, would make you proud to be an American.
Indiana v. Virginia Tech: Gerald McGrew would have a field day, throwing nets over Hoosiers, caging up Hokies, and transporting them all back to his zoo.
Oregon v. Clemson (in the Humanitarian Bowl): The Ducks would wear their day-glo yellow and green road uniforms. The Tigers would wear the purple jerseys and orange pants that they break out for special occasions. The whole thing would take place on Boise State's heinous blue field. The fun part of watching this one would be adjusting the color on your T.V. set so that the field looked green, which probably also would make the teams look like they were dressed normally, too.
Georgia v. Michigan: Did I mention that one already?