The San Bernardino Valley College and Victor Valley College football teams were beat up and abused by foes from the stronger National Division for the last three weeks.
Now they get to take on opponents in the same boat. The two open American Division Mountain Conference play against each other at 1 p.m. in Victorville Saturday.
That means one team will stop the bleeding while the other will continue its freefall.
Both SBVC coach Pat Meech and Victor Valley coach Dave Hoover have been critical of the new scheduling and conference alignments that have the perceived weaker teams playing the power teams first in nonconference.
Overall the weaker teams went a cumulative of 6-42 against the big boys. The Rams are coming off a 73-13 shellacking by Mt. SAC while the Wolverines were thumped by Saddleback 69-14.
“It’s like going out and playing USC every week when you’re San Jose,” Meech said. “You don’t stand much of a chance.”
“I don’t see what good it does anyone,” adds Hoover. “We didn’t benefit by playing those teams and they certainly didn’t get better by playing us.”
Victor Valley started its season by playing Riverside, Palomar and Mt. SAC – teams ranked 25th, 11th and first in the state respectively.
SBVC also played Riverside but also faced No. 14 Desert and No. 17 Saddleback.
The Rams were more competitive, at least staying close for a half in their first two games.
SBVC has been manhandled by a cumulative score of 154-41 with most of its points coming at garbage time. It also has a losing streak of eight games that includes the last five games of 2007.
“We’re definitely in need of something positive to build on,” Meech said. “But I can’t fault the effort. Our guys are showing up every single day and working hard. They just haven’t had much to show for it.”
The plight of the teams shows up in the statistics columns. In scoring offense Victor ranks 27th (14.7 ppg) while SBVC is 28th (13.7) of 37 teams. In scoring defense the Rams are 34th (47 ppg) while SBVC is 36th (51.3 ppg).
The Rams are a lofty sixth in passing offense (254.9 ypg) thanks to the effort of freshman quarterback O’Ryan Bradley but are just 29th in rushing (72.3 ypg).
SBVC is 27th in passing (158.7) and 35th in rushing (20.7).
The two teams are close defensively with the Rams 29th against the run (217.7) and 17th against the pass (195.3) while the Wolverines are 35th against the run (268.7) and 18th against the pass (198.3)
“In the past to win our conference you had to go undefeated so losing the first game really puts you behind the eight-ball,” Hoover said. “It’s a little different now. No one knows how this is going to play out but both of us really need a win.”
It is a relatively light schedule for the local colleges. Chaffey (3-0) heads to Grossmont (1-2) for a 1 p.m. contest against the former Foothill Conference juggernaut.
But the University of Redlands, which is ranked in three national polls, is idle along with Pomona-Pitzer (1-1) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (1-1).
La Verne (0-1) will host Willamette (Ore.) at 1 p.m.