Non-Conference Football Scheduling Getting Difficult

Paul Steinbach Headshot


Schedule posters hang in the Fresno State football offices, their handwritten game scores serving as a historical record of the program's success under eighth-year coach Pat Hill. They're also visual evidence for prospective recruits of Hill's scheduling philosophy: "If you want to be considered among the best, you have to play the best - even if the odds are stacked against you."

Since 2001, Hill has become the media's poster boy for aggressive scheduling. That season, Fresno State, a member of the mid-major Western Athletic Conference, toppled a non-conference lineup that included Colorado, Oregon State and Wisconsin. And while subsequent marquee opponents have included Oregon, Tennessee and Oklahoma, other teams among the nation's Goliaths have begun to dodge David's slingshot. Michigan opted not to sign a contract to host Fresno State in 2002. Texas Tech exercised a buyout clause that same season. Oklahoma State, due to visit Fresno in 2003 as part of a home-and-home commitment, reneged.

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