Mine Eyes Have Seen the Gory: Manufacturing Many Misguided Mismatches

What is the NCAA's abuse excuse? Why can't the governing body short-circuit such shortsighted showcases? Who came first - the pimp, the prostitute or the John?

Savannah State's prostitution pummelings by football "Johns" Oklahoma State and Florida State (combined 139-0 despite FSU game suspended by inclement weather with nine minutes remaining in third quarter) triggered inquiries as to whether similar stirring shutouts occurred in basketball.

Well, one of the most unbelievable feats in college hoops history occurred on January 23, 1907, when Dayton blanked Cedarville, 80-0. Two years later, Mississippi State whitewashed Brownsville AC, 75-0, on January 22, 1909. The only shutout in Big Ten Conference history occurred on January 6, 1914, when undefeated Wisconsin blanked Parsons, 50-0.

Perhaps the degrading games represented the sport's oldest profession. At any rate, Savannah State will oppose Florida and Ohio State this winter but at least it will be in basketball rather than possibly adding to its shutout futility on the gridiron. The Savannah Campaign also includes games at Marquette and Saint Louis.

Universities charge good money to watch these bad examples of sportsmanship equivalent to prearranged, onesided cockfights/dogfights. A couple of non-league gimmes can be tolerated for an assortment of reasons. Three or four raise eyebrows and spark rebate requests. But a half dozen or more for power conference members is preposterous, bordering on fraud with visions of class action lawsuits no matter the quality of other non-conference foes.

Fresh faces continue the flogging fiasco. Fearless Frank Martin was supposed to bring some bravado to South Carolina. But the mighty Gamecocks will commence a quest to secure their first NCAA playoff victory since 1973 by opposing a steady stream of lightweights. It serves them right that they lost to Elon for the second straight season.

Let's hope that elite schools, especially Maryland edging out Arizona State, Iowa, Michigan State, Missouri, Texas A&M and Virginia this season, feel good about themselves as they subject their fans to such vivid voyuerism. The "classic cupcakes" won't be shutouts, but this is the self-absorbed mindset resulting in the following shamelessly extensive nonsensical non-conference homecourt opponents by power league basketball "Johns":

Power League Member Excessive Picking on Patsies "Challenging" Press Release Spin
Arizona State Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Central Arkansas, Coppin State, Cornell, Dartmouth, Florida A&M, Hartford, Northridge State and Sacramento State "appropriate for this team right now"
Arkansas Alabama A&M, Alcorn State, Delaware State, Florida A&M, Longwood, Northwestern State and Sam Houston State "one of the toughest lineups in the nation. . . . definitely a challenge and we will be tested early and often. . . . important to have tough non-conference schedule to prepare us for SEC"
Cincinnati Arkansas-Little Rock, Campbell, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Mississippi Valley State, North Carolina A&T and Tennessee-Martin "wanted to challenge ourselves with difficult games and we feel we have accomplished that goal"
DePaul Austin Peay, UC Riverside, Fairfield, Gardner-Webb, Maryland-Baltimore County, Milwaukee and Northern Illinois didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Florida State Buffalo, Louisiana-Monroe, Maine, Mercer, North Florida and South Alabama "numerous opportunities to play against elite-level competition. . . . quality of schedule will serve as a motivator for our players to stay focused"
Georgia East Tennessee State, Florida A&M, Iona, Jacksonville, Mercer and Youngstown State "could possibly be the hardest this program has ever had. . . . lots of teeth in the non-league schedule"
Georgia Tech Alabama State, Chattanooga, The Citadel, Fordham, UNC Wilmington and Presbyterian "our home non-conference schedule will bring a lot of exciting basketball to our new home (McCamish Pavilion). . . . challenging opponents will also act as another step in the process of rebuilding our program"
Illinois Colgate, Eastern Kentucky, Gardner-Webb, Norfolk State, St. Francis (NY) and Western Carolina didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Indiana Bryant, Central Connecticut State, Coppin State, Florida Atlantic, Jacksonville, Mount St. Mary's, North Dakota State and Sam Houston State didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Iowa Central Michigan, Coppin State, Gardner-Webb, Howard, South Carolina State, South Dakota, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Texas-Pan American didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Iowa State Alabama A&M, Campbell, Florida Gulf Coast, Nebraska-Omaha, North Carolina A&T, Southern (LA) and Yale didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Kentucky Eastern Michigan, Lafayette, Lipscomb, Long Island, Morehead State, Portland and Samford "gives chance to work on things. . . . opportunity to focus on final exams"
Louisiana State Bethune-Cookman, UC Santa Barbara, Chattanooga, Houston Baptist, McNeese State, Mississippi Valley State and Northwestern State "it is a demanding schedule and we look forward to our program embracing the challenges"
Maryland Delaware State, Georgia Southern, IUPUI, Lafayette, Long Island, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Monmouth, Morehead State, South Carolina State and Stony Brook "very exciting and competitive. . . . look forward to the challenge"
Michigan State Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Boise State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Loyola of Chicago, Nicholls State, Oakland, Texas Southern and Tuskegee "combines challenges and unique events, giving us great competition on the court and a lifetime of memories"
Minnesota American, Lafayette, North Dakota State, North Florida, South Dakota State, Tennessee State and Toledo didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Mississippi Arkansas-Little Rock, Coastal Carolina, East Tennessee State, Fordham, Lipscomb, McNeese State and Mississippi Valley State "packed with exciting matchups for fans. . . . each team we face will bring a different style of play that will challenge our team in a variety of ways"
Mississippi State Alabama A&M, Alcorn State, Central Arkansas, Florida Atlantic, New Orleans and Texas-San Antonio "no question it's going to be challenging. . . . invaluable opportunity for this team to bond"
Missouri Alcorn State, Appalachian State, Bucknell, Nicholls State, South Carolina State, Southeast Missouri State, SIU-Edwardsville and Tennessee State "some big-time opportunities. . . . our team will be tested early and often"
Nebraska Jacksonville State, Kent State, Nebraska-Omaha, Nicholls State, Southern (LA) and Valparaiso "we will be challenged a great deal. . . . it is going to be fun for our fans"
Northwestern Brown, Delaware State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Illinois-Chicago, Mississippi Valley State, Texas Southern and Texas State didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Notre Dame Brown, Chicago State, IPFW, Kennesaw State, Monmouth, Niagara and Saint Francis (PA) "one of most challenging in program history. . . . one of things I have been most proud during my time here is the consistency we've shown from year to year and how we've been able to manage the schedule"
Ohio State Albany, Chicago State, Missouri-Kansas City, UNC Asheville, Northern Kentucky, Savannah State and Winthrop "our roster will be challenged throughout the year as we prepare for Big Ten competition"
Oregon Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Houston Baptist, Idaho State, Jacksonville State, Northern Arizona, Portland State and Texas-San Antonio didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Oregon State Chicago State, Grambling State, Howard, Montana State, Niagara, Texas-Pan American and Towson "will prepare us for the challenges of Pac-12 play. . . . the uptick in competition will be welcomed"
Pittsburgh Bethune-Cookman, Delaware State, Howard, Kennesaw State, Mount St. Mary's, North Florida and Oakland didn't attempt to embellish or justify
South Carolina Appalachian State, Elon, Jacksonville, Morgan State, Presbyterian, Rider and South Carolina State "will challenge us to grow and prepare for SEC schedule"
Stanford Alcorn State, Belmont, UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton, Denver, Lafayette and Seattle "arguably the most challenging schedule in recent memory. . . . opportunity to quickly establish a high RPI"
Texas A&M Army, Houston Baptist, Louisiana Tech, Northwestern State, Prairie View A&M, Southern (LA), Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Troy "although schedule is challenging, it will prepare us for the tough games we are going to have in the SEC"
Texas Christian Cal Poly, Centenary, Mississippi Valley State, Navy, Prairie View A&M, Southern (LA) and Southern Utah didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Texas Tech Florida A&M, Grambling State, Jackson State, McNeese State, Nebraska-Omaha, North Carolina A&T, Northern Kentucky and Prairie View A&M didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Utah Boise State, Central Michigan, College of Idaho, Idaho State, Northridge State, Sacramento State, Williamette (OR) and Wright State didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Virginia Delaware, Fairfield, Green Bay, Lamar, Mississippi Valley State, Morgan State, North Texas, Seattle and Wofford didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Washington Albany, Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Jackson State, Loyola (Md.), Northern Illinois and Seattle didn't attempt to embellish or justify
Washington State Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Buffalo, Eastern Washington, Idaho, Idaho State, Jackson State, Portland and Utah Valley "each year we try and put together a nonconference schedule that will best prepare us for Pac-12 play"
Wisconsin Cornell, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Nebraska-Omaha, Presbyterian, Samford and Southeastern Louisiana didn't attempt to embellish or justify