In big time football programs, they pretend they play a 12 game season, but they don’t really, because the first three or four are played against schools they know they can beat. This is what we call the doormat season. For example, in today’s exciting gridiron contests, Penn State edged Kent State 34-0, Maryland outlasted West Virginia 37-0, Virginia nipped VMI 49-0, Louisville finally overcame a game Florida International team 72-0, and Ohio State came back from a dead even 0-0 score at the opening kickoff to prevail over Florida A&M 76-0.
Which is to say that most of the big college programs actually play about an eight game season. The doormat charade pads their records, but it’s kind of disgusting when you think about it. It doesn’t even really qualify as a pre-season. What do you learn by scrimmaging with teams whose players are about three quarters your size and two thirds your speed? Anything?
This is one of the last areas where the Ivy League has anything to offer, what with being pretty much nothing anymore but left wing propaganda factories for the permanently spoiled narcissist progeny of federal government officials. But they don’t play a doormat season in the Ivy League.
I admit they used to. There were a bunch of colleges and universities that were actually founded for this purpose and located near Ivy League schools. Places with strange names like Bucknell, Colgate, Lafayette, Lehigh, Holy Cross, UMass, and the University of New Hampshire(!?), they existed to provide easy wins for Harvard, Yale, and whatever the other ivy schools call themselves.
But this has long since ceased to be the reality. These days, most of them frequently drub the ivy teams they play early in their schedules, which go on to include numerous college names nobody has ever heard spoken aloud.
When you think about it, it’s kind of nice, a sort of proof of the victory of egalitarian ideals over obsolete notions of aristocracy and meritocracy. And people say there’s no progress.
But, as usual, the next step into the future is being pioneered by Harvard, whose relentless search for social justice in football has caused the Crimson to schedule for the past two years as its opening game none of the traditional local doormats. Who wants to start the season with a 42-30 loss to Holy Cross? I mean, it’s so much more global of spirit to leave New England altogether and fly out to the lovely lower left hand corner of the country and play with the University of San Diego, whose team even has a Spanish name, the Toreros (loosely translated in English as ‘barristas.’).
The University of San Diego has a very distinguished history. It was founded just 300 and some years after Harvard, in 1949, as the San Diego College for Women. Cool.
And, yes, men are now allowed to enroll, 40 or 50 of them per year, a number which is expected to grow through time until it may one day reach a critical mass that will inspire Harvard to look elsewhere for a brand new pigskin peak of aspiration, maybe Mount Holyoke.
Today, though, the Crimson triumphed, 42-20, despite being severely yelled at by the opposing defense.
Where was I? This whole doormat thing should stop. Why can’t the big-time programs learn from the example set by the schools that invented football in the first place and were better at commandeering all the early national championships than anyone has proven able to do since?
Oh. And in late breaking news, former ivy doormat Rutgers thumped the Arkansas Razorbacks in what looked very much like a real college football game.