South Alabama head coach Joey Joe Joe recently said some things about the challenges facing a school like USA in games against FBS teams. He clarified those remarks by saying they were made in jest, but they were probably fueled by 60% jest and 40% mid-major-angry-at-the-world. It happens on occasion, and it's understandable. These teams get a shit deal on behalf of the rest of their athletics departments. The matchups are demoralizing, and the only difference between sanity and madness is a subtle nod versus explicit acknowledgement.
"I read an article recently called 'Blood Money,' and that's a good analogy," Jones said of the major Division I football schools giving smaller D-I schools a fat paycheck to come to their place to play. "You have to take a beating in those games."
But Jones added that's the price young college football programs have to pay in order to build their programs.
"One of the benefits is the money," Jones said. "We'll get $980,000 for going to Tennessee."
"The negatives is injuries. I was looking at some of those Mississippi State linemen and they're 6-foot-4, 330 pounds with hair on their legs. Some of our guys don't have hair on their legs," Jones quipped with a laugh.
So it's kinda tough to say these things publicly without completely undermining your own team. Jones joked that he tries to keep his team within 40 points in these games, adding that "you're going to get beat bad." He reminded everyone that he was just kidding around, as if that might make some sort of difference to his players. Maybe they can use this as a rallying point, but it's gotta be difficult to contend with that nagging "we can't win here and let's just try not to die" feeling that came courtesy of the head coach.