Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Unfamiliar Territory: Part II of II

In Part I of Unfamiliar Territory, we examined the teams which Michigan has never faced.  In today's post, we make use of "The Matrix".

The Matrix is the product of about 10 man hours of work between December 2011 and June 2012.  I made use of the awesome Stassen database form here.  It could have been more comprehensive, but simply told, it shows the relative number of times teams have played since 1936 (my arbitrary cutoff based on the first AP poll) and the year of their most recent meeting (that is the season year, January bowl games rolling to the previous calendar year.)  The teams were selected as being the 35 FBS schools from 2011 AQ conference (or independents) with the most wins all-time (look, we go by winning percentage, Boise State's small sample size gets in the way) along with 6 wild cards (teams I just wanted to look in to, like FSU, Miami, UCLA, etc.)  Army and Navy are there mostly from a love of history.  So there's some absolutely arbitrary decisions in there.  If you're upset that Mississippi or Oregon State isn't in there, I'm sorry.  (About the only one I'm lamenting now is that I didn't include BYU, but alas.)  At the end of the article, you'll get the complete list of never have mets if you don't want to sort through my analysis.

Some general notes: As was pointed out by Pete Gaines in my tweet previews, the South was very insular.  Just look at the number of teams that Auburn has never faced, it's staggering.  As I pointed out in Part I, many of Michigan's SEC matchups have been in bowl games in the last 25 years.

So, my question, what are the ten best matchups that have never been played?  What would you most like to see?

But first, the honorable mentions of things that struck me funny:

Nebraska vs. Navy
This just makes sense.  I mean, Nebraska has no use for the Navy, even if the highest honor a Nebraskan can receive is Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska

Ohio State vs. Army
Woody Hayes was a USN veteran.  No way that Wayne Woodrow was playing Army.  Then again, he never played Navy either.

Stanford vs. Iowa
The Herbert Hoover Bowl.

Clemson vs. Purdue
Eightball vs. Team Not Found

Georgia Tech vs. Colorado
The battle for the 1990 National Championship can finally be settled on the field!

And now, the ten best in no particular order:

Michigan vs. LSU
I mentioned this yesterday, but this would have everything in terms of storylines: Two historically powerful teams, Les Miles vs. his alma mater, Les Miles Damn Strong Team vs. Brady Hoke's Michigan Fergodsakes.  The team that only plays at night vs. the team that treated its first home night game last year as the moon landing.

Texas vs. Florida State
I just find this one shocking.  I guess the issue is that the ACC and the Big XII don't have a lot of  bowl matchups.  Five national championships between them.  

Notre Dame vs. Auburn
13 claimed National Championships between them (one less than Alabama, PAWWWWL!), War Eagle vs. Go Irish!  I'd love to see this.

Alabama vs. Oregon
OK, seriously, Nick Saban's defenses vs. Chip Kelly's offense?  Would that interest you?  Would it?
Oklahoma vs. Georgia
Seriously, never?  Nine national titles between them, and they've never played.  Ever.  Wow.
Tennessee vs. West Virginia
Oh man, Vols vs. Mountaineers.  So many couches.  The poor couches.

Virginia Tech vs. Iowa
Hokies and Hawkeyes.  Beamerball vs. Ferentzball.

Arkansas vs. Michigan State
The Battle of John L. Smith.  How could we screw this up?  Oh right, because John L. won't be there next season in Fayetteville.

Florida vs. Wisconsin
The prototypical B1G/SEC matchup has somehow never been played?  Never a Citrus Bowl?  Ever?  

North Carolina vs. UCLA
Probably better on the hardwood, but still, it could be fun.

So there you have it, ten great games that have never been played.  Below, the complete list.  Thanks for reading.  Post your most intriguing games in the comments below.

Michigan vs. LSU
Michigan vs. West Virginia (1904)
Michigan vs. Georgia Tech (1934)
Michigan vs. Clemson
Texas vs. Clemson
Texas vs. Michigan State
Texas vs. Florida State
Texas vs. Illinois
Notre Dame vs. Auburn
Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech
Notre Dame vs. Arkansas
Nebraska vs. Navy
Alabama vs. Pittsburgh
Alabama vs. Stanford (1934)
Alabama vs. Navy
Alabama vs. Wisconsin (1928)
Alabama vs. Iowa
Alabama vs. Purdue
Alabama vs. Oregon
Penn State vs. Virginia Tech
Penn State vs. Arkansas
Penn State vs. Utah
Oklahoma vs. Georgia
Oklahoma vs. Georgia Tech
Oklahoma vs. Michigan State
Oklahoma vs. Illinois (1917)
Oklahoma vs. Purdue
Ohio State vs. Georgia Tech
Ohio State vs. Virginia Tech
Ohio State vs. Army
Tennessee vs. West Virginia
Tennessee vs. Washington
Tennessee vs. Stanford
Tennessee vs. Navy
Tennessee vs. Michigan State
Tennessee vs. Illinois
Georgia vs. Washington
Georgia vs. Army
Georgia vs. Minnesota
Georgia vs. Utah
Georgia vs. Iowa
Georgia vs. Illinois
LSU vs. Pittsburgh
LSU vs. Navy
LSU vs. Army
LSU vs. Minnesota (1931)
LSU vs. California
LSU vs. Purdue
Auburn vs. Pittsburgh
Auburn vs. Washington
Auburn vs. Stanford
Auburn vs. Navy
Auburn vs. Minnesota
Auburn vs. California
Auburn vs. Utah
Auburn vs. Iowa
Auburn vs. Illinois
Auburn vs. Purdue
Auburn vs. UCLA
West Virginia vs. Texas A&M
West Virginia vs. Arkansas
West Virginia vs. Washington
West Virginia vs. Minnesota
West Virginia vs. Iowa
West Virginia vs. UCLA
Syracuse vs. Texas A&M
Syracuse vs. Arkansas
Syracuse vs. Stanford
Syracuse vs. Utah
Syracuse vs. Oregon
Georgia Tech vs. Colorado
Georgia Tech vs. Washington
Georgia Tech vs. Minnesota
Georgia Tech vs. Wisconsin
Georgia Tech vs. Illinois
Georgia Tech vs. UCLA
Georgia Tech vs. Oregon
Virginia Tech vs. Colorado
Virginia Tech vs. Arkansas
Virginia Tech vs. Washington
Virginia Tech vs. Minnesota
Virginia Tech vs. Wisconsin
Virginia Tech vs. Utah
Virginia Tech vs. Michigan State
Virginia Tech vs. Iowa
Virginia Tech vs. Illinois
Virginia Tech vs. Purdue
Virginia Tech vs. UCLA
Virginia Tech vs. Oregon
Virginia Tech vs. Missouri
Colorado vs. Pittsburgh
Colorado vs. Arkansas
Colorado vs. Florida
Colorado vs. North Carolina
Colorado vs. Navy
Colorado vs. Purdue
Texas A&M vs. North Carolina
Texas A&M vs. Navy
Texas A&M vs. Minnesota
Texas A&M vs. Wisconsin
Texas A&M vs. Iowa
Texas A&M vs. Oregon
Pittsburgh vs. Arkansas
Pittsburgh vs. Stanford (1932)
Arkansas vs. Washington
Arkansas vs. Army
Arkansas vs. Clemson
Arkansas vs. Utah
Arkansas vs. Michigan State
Arkansas vs. Florida State
Arkansas vs. Iowa
Arkansas vs. Illinois
Arkansas vs. Purdue
Arkansas vs. Oregon
Washington vs. North Carolina
Washington vs. Clemson
Washington vs. Florida State
Washington vs. Missouri
Florida vs. Stanford
Florida vs. Navy
Florida vs. Minnesota
Florida vs. Wisconsin
Florida vs. Purdue
Florida vs. Oregon
Stanford vs. Florida State
Stanford vs. Miami (Florida)
Stanford vs. Iowa
North Carolina vs. Minnesota
North Carolina vs. California
North Carolina vs. Iowa
North Carolina vs. Purdue
North Carolina vs. UCLA
North Carolina vs. Oregon
Navy vs. Michigan State
Navy vs. Iowa
Navy vs. UCLA
Navy vs. Oregon
Army vs. Wisconsin
Army vs. Florida State
Army vs. Iowa
Army vs. Purdue
Army vs. UCLA
Minnesota vs. Florida State
Minnesota vs. Miami (Florida)
Wisconsin vs. Clemson
Clemson vs. Utah
Clemson vs. Michigan State
Clemson vs. Iowa
Clemson vs. Purdue
Clemson vs. UCLA
Clemson vs. Oregon
Utah vs. Michigan State
Utah vs. Florida State
Utah vs. Miami (Florida)
Utah vs. Purdue
Florida State vs. Iowa
Florida State vs. Illinois
Florida State vs. Purdue
Florida State vs. Oregon
Florida State vs. Missouri
Miami (Florida) vs. Illinois

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