Well that is quite an upgrade to the schedule ain't it?
File this in the "not official yet but it will likely happen" drawer. The Chick-Fil-A Kickoff, which seeks to have an ACC and SEC school play each other in Atlanta to start the season, wants to put UNC and LSU on the field to kick off the 2010 season. For my money, this is a good deal. If Butch Davis wants UNC to be a national contender in football, one way you do that is go up against teams that have been where you would like to go i.e. a BCS bowl game. Granted, UNC stands to get dropkicked in such a matchup but making omlettes requires breaking eggs or something.
Anyway. The hitch in this particular giddy-up is the fact UNC's 2010 schedule is already set with four non-conference teams. So who gets the shaft? Well, SCAR would of course since dropping the I-AA opponent simply is not done and would create an out-of-conference slate that would look something like this: LSU, SCAR, Rutgers and ECU. While some would applaud the dropping of William and Mary for LSU, I happen to think that would be scheduling suicide. In light of that, SCAR will likely get bumped, probably to 2012 since the 2011 schedule is already locked up with four non-conference opponents as well: James Madison, Rutgers, Tennessee and ECU.
SCAR is not happy about the possibility of being swapped out for a fellow SEC member and have begun complaining very loudly that this arrangement is being driven by fascists members of the multinational military-industrial complex TV execs, namely ESPN. Well of course it is being driven by the TV execs. This is college athletics after all and SCAR deals with the pitfalls of having your schedule decided by TV execs much more than UNC does in football. In fact, as Tar Heel fans, we are accustomed to 9 PM starts in basketball and staying awake until 12:30 AM to see the end of an NCAA Tournament game all because TV execs make every effort to maximize their ratings by giving viewers what they want to see. Fancy that, TV execs programming their channel with games people might actually want to watch. It is like their jobs were dependent upon ratings or something. SCAR can whine about this but in reality they would make the same move if it meant a highly lucrative, maximum exposure game against, say, Notre Dame or Southern Cal.
This is the way college athletics is run these days which is why I quit complaining about the late starts in basketball a long time ago.