mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!
Indeed. Also, apparently the "Preview" button posts the diary entry. Sorry for the premature post; I'm still trying to get the formatting to work.
EDIT: I stripped out the HTML table and just spaced the entries with the Tab key. Bootleg, but it should at least be readable now.
Colorado wasn't unexpectedly good; they were a great program at that time. Bill McCartney (former Bo assistant) built them into a powerhouse, only to have his successor, Rick Neuheisel, allow it to collapse. (How Neuheisel keeps getting plum head coaching jobs is beyond me.)
Back to the record comparison, if you take away the 13-38 record those teams posted against us, their record in years they played us goes to 303-269-3 (.529) - or almost identical to their overall winning percentage for those years. So it appears that our scheduling pretty much held to form.
"Unexpectedly" is probably the wrong word - they had an excellent program throughout the '90s. The point was merely that even by their historical averages, the teams we played were especially good.
Michigan played Utah in 2002 and Oregon in 2003 as part of the new 12-game schedule that eventually became permanent in 2006.
What's most noticeable to me is the rise of the MAC and other fodder over the years. Those are very quality non-conference schedules in the mid to late 90's. By 2003, it's basically Notre Dame and non-BCS teams (generally the MAC).
Thanks for catching that -- not sure how I missed those games. They've been added. Including them changes the percentage for teams in years we play them from 0.507 to 0.509 - not much of a difference.
And I agree with your point about the change in scheduling. Can you even imagine having Boston College, Colorado, and Notre Dame on the same nonconference slate nowadays? And the change didn't begin immediately upon introduction of the BCS system, either - though I'm not sure how far in advance some of these schedules were made.
last year is even more depressing in this light: its the only year we didn't win at least two OOC games in the past 16 years...(ever?)
I'm not so sure this even compares to the Big Ten study. Typically, you want to play a solid to very good (even great, heaven forbid) non conference game, then a kind of middling one (hence, the Oregon games, at least in theory), and a creamy puff puff or two to close it out.
You kind of have to toss Notre Dame out of this mix because we will play them every year, except for a couple, and I'm sure they'll have up and down years. I can't think of anyone who plays a game like this, unless it involves ND, of course anymore. Texas and Oklahoma used to play each other every year, but now they're in the same conference.
The reason I'm ticked that UM plays Notre Dame so much is that you probably couldn't, or wouldn't, go out and schedule another Big Timer because you just don't know if the Irish are going to rise from the ashes, and having two heavyweights on the schedule as non con games is something NO ONE does. It's almost certain death to any MNC hopes, especially if you have a quirky year where both of those might be road games.