George Sarkisian- Shame on all 93 div 1-a football schools playing div 1-aa opponents in 2011

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Letter to the Editor:  Shame on all ninety-three div 1-a football schools playing div 1-aa opponents in 2011.

May 29, 2011


In an effort to call out my own mistakes, one of my previous mailings detailed the number of football games div 1-a schools will play against div 1-aa schools for the 2011 season.  Even though I checked my data numerous times before sending it, going back to my data a few days later I realized I had transcribed a column in an excel spreadsheet.  This threw out all the numbers.  I take responsibility for that mistake (unlike all those high-ranking officials at Notre Dame who refused to accept the blame for the needless death of the student video-operator, Declan Sullivan.  That was, and always will be, the ultimate example of cowardice by adults who should have known better.)


For the 2011 football season, 120 schools have a div 1-a classification.


Ninety-three schools play ninety-seven games against div 1-aa schools.  All ninety-seven games are scheduled to be played at the div 1-a school.


Air Force (vs. South Dakota and Tennessee State), Eastern Michigan (vs. Howard and Alabama State), North Carolina State (vs. Liberty and South Alabama) and Wyoming (vs. Weber State and Texas State) play two games against div 1-aa schools.


Shame on all ninety-three of these div 1-a football schools.


With all the state monetary aid the public colleges get, as well as the:


  • Exorbitant cost of tuition;
  • Room and board;
  • Books;
  • Alumni donations;
  • Foundations;
  • Television and radio money etc.;
  • Merchandise
  • Bloated athletic department payrolls (both in salary and personnel)
  • 60,000 plus seat football stadiums (Michigan is talking about expanding to 119,000 seats-each seat is only 12 inches wide though-try sitting in that with a winter coat),


the only legitimate excuse I will accept from a school is that other div 1-a schools are afraid of them and will not schedule them, such as has been the case of Boise State and Brigham Young in recent years.  All this talk about schedule conflicts and travel and time limits is bunk.


There are an average of 200+ athletic department employees at each of the one hundred and twenty div 1-a football schools.  Ohio State has over 400 employees


There are over 24,000 athletic department employees throughout the country in div 1-a alone.  If you, the athletic directors, cannot hire someone smart enough to figure out how to schedule other div 1-a opponents, then shame on you.


The twenty-seven div 1-a football schools that do not play a div 1-aa football school this year are:

(Although most schools from the big six conferences have routinely scheduled div 1-aa opponents in previous years such as Appalachian State vs. Michigan.  The following twenty-seven only get a pass this year.)


  1. big ten                          Michigan
  2. big ten                          Ohio State
  3. big twelve s                       Oklahoma State
  4. big twelve s                       Oklahoma
  5. big twelve s                       Texas A&M
  6. big twelve s                       Texas
  7. conf usa e                Alabama Birmingham
  8. conf usa e                East Carolina
  9. conf usa e                Marshall
  10. conf usa w               Rice
  11. conf usa w               Tulsa
  12. div 1-a inde                  Notre Dame
  13. mac east                  Miami-OH
  14. mac west                 Ball State
  15. mountain west              Boise State
  16. pacific twelve              Colorado
  17. pacific twelve              Stanford
  18. pacific twelve              UCLA
  19. pacific twelve              USC
  20. sun belt                         Florida            Atlantic
  21. sun belt                         Florida            International
  22. sun belt                         Middle            Tennessee
  23. sun belt                         North Texas
  24. sun belt                         Troy Alabama
  25. western athletic              Nevada Reno
  26. western athletic              New Mexico State
  27. western athletic              San Jose State



By contrast, there are 126 schools playing div 1-aa football.


Seventy-seven div 1-aa schools play ninety-seven games against div 1-a schools in 2011.  All div 1-aa schools are the visiting team.


The following twenty-one div 1-aa schools play two div 1-a opponents in 2011.


  1. big sky                          Idaho            State
  2. big sky                          Weber            State
  3. big south                Charleston Southern
  4. big south                Gardner Webb
  5. big south                Stony Brook
  6. div 1-aa inde                  South Alabama
  7. great west                 California Davis
  8. great west                 California Poly
  9. great west                 North Dakota
  10. great west                 South Dakota
  11. mid-eastern athletic            South Carolina State
  12. missouri valley                Indiana State
  13. missouri valley                Missouri State
  14. ohio valley                Austin Peay
  15. patriot League             Fordham
  16. southland                      Central            Arkansas
  17. southland                      Nicholls State
  18. southland                      Northwestern State
  19. southland                      Southeastern Louisiana
  20. southland                      Texas            State


In previous years, I get a few responses from div 1-a schools telling me of the difficulty of scheduling other div 1-a schools because of timing, open dates, travel etc.  Those are not acceptable excuses.  You have budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars.  Figure it out.  The only reason a div 1-a school will schedule a div 1-aa school is to get another home game and usually another victory.


The div 1-aa school will get a nice payday.


If you want to help a div 1-aa school why don’t you implement revenue sharing throughout all of college football.  That would be the honorable thing to do.  Scheduling a presumed lesser opponent is not an honorable thing to do.


By the way:


  • The eight teams in the Ivy League each play a ten game season beginning on September 17 and ending on November 19, 2011
  • Not one school has a bye week.
  • Each school plays all seven Ivy League opponents.
  • Not one school schedules any non-div 1-aa opponent for its non-conference games.
  • Travel is limited.
  • Sixteen of the twenty-four non-conference games are against Patriot League opponents.
  • Four are against Northeast Conference opponents.
  • Two are against the Colonial Conference.
  • One is against the Mid-Eastern Conference.
  • One is against the Big South.


Maybe the reason most Ivy League Schools have endowment funds in the hundreds of millions of dollars is that the athletic department administrators know that a penny saved is a penny earned.


Take that with your SAT scores!!!




George Sarkisian

Chief Executive Officer



Farmington Hills, Michigan 48334

tel: 248-626-9137


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