Dec. 2, 2009
FRESNO, Calif. - With the win in its last outing against Louisiana Tech, Fresno State notched its 80th victory in the decade. With one more win this season, the first decade of this century would be the most successful in school history, surpassing the 1980s which produced 80 wins.
It would add to some of the many great accomplishments this decade. Fresno State has already played in more bowl games (8) this decade than any other and spent more weeks ranked in the Top 25 than all of the other seven decades of Bulldog football combined.
What makes the milestone even more remarkable is a list of notable programs that haven't won as many games or played in as many bowl games, but also that Fresno State's 80 wins have come against the most demanding schedules in school history. Heading into Saturday's game at Illinois, Fresno State will have played 23 of its 37 non-conference games of the decade on the road, 20 of those against BCS-conference schools.
Of Fresno State's 20 BCS road games already this decade, the opponent was ranked in Top 25 15 times. That list includes two teams - Oklahoma and USC - that were ranked No. 1 in the nation when the Dogs played them. Fresno State also played at No. 5 LSU, and against others ranked in the Top 25, like Oregon (three times), Ohio State, Wisconsin (twice), Colorado, Tennessee, Kansas State, UCLA, Texas A&M and Cincinnati. No other decade in Bulldog history has seen such a collection of non-conference foes.
In the 1980s, the Dogs played 19 non-conference road games, nine against schools from BCS conferences. None of those teams were nationally ranked.
In all, the Dogs have posted solid records against teams from the ACC (3-0), Big 12 (3-2), Big East (1-1) and Big Ten (1-5) conferences in the decade. Only two of those games, 2007 against Kansas State and the 2008 game against No. 10 Wisconsin, were played at Bulldog Stadium. Prior to 2000, Fresno State had never beaten teams from any of those conferences.
The Dogs have a 6-8 record against teams from the Pac-10 Conference since 2000, but only four of those 14 games were played in Fresno. The programs only wins over UCLA (twice) and Washington have come in this decade.
"This group of players have done something amazing," said head coach Pat Hill on the team's accomplishments. "We've played a lot more road games than home games and they have battled and made a name for themselves. The non-conference schedule we have played is really second to none nationally. For this group of players to play such a demanding schedule and still be on the verge of breaking the school records for most wins in a decade is really a testament to their character."
Boise State leads all Division I FBS schools with wins this decade with 110, followed by Texas and Oklahoma with 109. Fresno State is tied for 24th for most wins.
Of non-BCS schools, only Boise State, TCU (96) and Utah (85) have more wins than the Dogs this decade. The Dogs are also high on the list of West Coast schools in wins. USC leads the way with 101, with Oregon (86) and Oregon State (80), the only schools with as many wins.
Notable schools not hitting 80 wins/8 bowl games this decade:
Alabama: 78 wins, 6 bowl games
Arizona State: 56 wins, 6 bowl games
Arkansas: 70 wins, 6 bowl games
Cal: 71 wins, 6 bowl games
Clemson: 79 wins, 8 bowl games
Colorado: 58 wins, 5 bowl games
Notre Dame: 70 wins, 6 bowl games
Penn State: 76 wins, 5 bowl games
Texas A&M: 63 wins, 6 bowl games
UCLA: 66 wins, 6 bowl games
This is a special commentary from Fresno State's Official Sports Report. To receive free daily Fresno State stories, go to www.officialsportsreport.com.
"We are Your Team!" The Bulldogs are finishing off their 2009 season on Saturday, December 5, when they hit the road to take on the Fighting Illini of Illinois. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network at 9:30am (PST) and on local radio KMJ-580 AM. Stay updated with all the latest Bulldog news on GoBulldogs.com.
|Email this article||Printer-friendly format|