Tag:Scheduling
Posted on: December 29, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: December 29, 2011 12:15 pm
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TCU could replace A&M on Thanksgiving

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Big 12 is yet to release its schedule for the 2012 season in part thanks to the uncertainty of whether or not West Virginia will be a member of the conference or forced to stay in the Big East. Though that doesn't mean that some games aren't becoming a bit clearer, and one thing many Big 12 fans have been wondering, Texas in particular, is who will replace Texas A&M as Texas' Thanksgiving opponent.

Well, according to Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, it looks like it will be conference newcomer TCU.

"That is the one that I've heard," Dodds told the Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton. "It looks like we're going to have a Thanksgiving day or night game in Austin." 

Though Dodds did also caution that the schedule is still tentative, so nothing is set in stone just yet. Which is a sentiment TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte echoed to CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer.

"It's just in a review stage, we have to make sure West Virginia is in the hopper first," said Del Conte. "Texas put on a proposal that I thought was interesting - to rotate their games there. But that would mean they'd always end on the road.

"I think, for our conference, what is the best game to showcase the Big 12 That's what everyone wants. In my selfish case, what's the best game to showcase TCU? If it's a rotation of games there, does that really help the conference or is it better to go home-and-home? That game has been a historical one between Texas and A&M and from a television standpoint, we have to put in the right components to make it a great game. I do feel that TCU ought to be the right ones to fill that one in."

As for when we'll know for sure and when the Big 12 schedule will be released, nobody is all that sure right now. Though Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda also told Carlton that "it's getting closer and closer." Of course, nobody knows how close "closer" is, and with West Virginia still fighting with the Big East, it could still be a while.
Posted on: August 26, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: August 26, 2011 3:10 pm
 

Michigan to play Appalachian State in 2014

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

First, the facts: Michigan has agreed to play Appalachian State as the Wolverines' opening opponent of the 2014 season. Yes, this is the same Appalachian State that became the first-ever FCS team to beat a ranked opponent when they beat, yes, Michigan the opening week of the 2007 season.

You knew that. Which is why after the facts comes the opinion: this is the single dumbest scheduling decision we can remember, and the most craven one since Indiana sold out one of their own Big Ten home games to play at a "neutral site" full of Penn State fans.

Why is Michigan hosting the Mountaineers such a colossally horrid idea? Let us count the ways:

1. For weeks upon weeks leading up to the game, the talk surrounding Michigan won't be about the team's expectations for the new season or the Wolverines' star players or Michigan's Big Ten chances; it'll be about that time Michigan was ranked No. 5 in the country and lost to Appalachian State.

2. Viewers tuning in will no doubt hear much about the game they're watching, but they will hear just as much about the time the two teams played before and No. 5 Michigan lost to Appalachian State.

3. Even if Michigan wins, the story following the game will be "Michigan beats Appalachian State, not like that other time where they were No. 5 and lost to them." And if the game is close? "Michigan narrowly avoids losing to Appalachian State, like they already did that other time. Remember that?"

4. If lightning does indeed strike twice and the Wolverines lose, forget all the All-Americans and national titles and conference championships and tradition and everything; for any college football fan under the age of, say, 27, Michigan is now The Team That Loses to Appalachian State.

5. It's not possible for Michigan to earn "revenge" against the Mountaineers. The former is one of the most storied programs in college football history. The latter is an FCS program (a good one, mind) that, if they're lucky, might land in Conference USA the next few seasons. 30 Michigan wins can't equal the impact of one of Appalachian State's in the "series," much less the single one Michigan will likely earn in 2012. To suggest the Wolverines can "even the score" with Appalachian State is to also suggest the two programs are somehow equals, peers.

So why on earth would Michigan agree to a game that by its very existence -- "Michigan! Appalachian State! Round 2!" -- can't help but make that suggestion? Because people will watch. Because people will talk about Michigan. Because people already are talking about Michigan, and the game's just been scheduled. (You're reading this post right now, aren't you?)

Nevermind that the talk is about arguably the ugliest, lowest point in Michigan football history. Nevermind that viewers will be tuning in to watch Michigan play in the designated role of dumb overrated Goliath to the Mountainerrs' band of merry Davids. Nevermind that the rewards for winning are minimal, the cost of losing incalculable.

Nevermind all of that; it's free publicity, tons of it, and from what we can tell Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon truly believes there's no such thing as a bad version of it. He doesn't mind if you haul out all of those old 2007 tomatoes all over again, really--just so long as it's Michigan you're throwing them at, he's happy.

A postscript just to prove our point: doesn't this post feel incomplete without video of the Mountaineers' victory in the Big House? Yes, yes it does. So here you go:




Posted on: July 30, 2011 12:08 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 12:08 pm
 

Big Ten could play conference games earlier

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Big Ten has always been big on tradition, but now that the league has added a twelfth school in Nebraska and a championship game, the conference seems to be moving in a more "modern" direction. Further changes for the league could be on the horizon, and according to Teddy Greenstein in the Chicago Tribune, one of those changes could be the league holding conference games earlier in the season.

Currently the Big Ten does not begin conference play until after the first four weeks of the season, but there are at least three coaches in the conference who wouldn't be opposed to seeing that change. Wisconsin's Bret Bielema thinks it would be a good move for the conference to schedule one conference game a week for the first four weeks, saying it would be "a great way to showcase those schools."

Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald and Illinois' Ron Zook are also in favor of the idea.

While I haven't asked every single one of them, I'd have to think that Big Ten fans might enjoy it too. Considering the beginning of the Big Ten schedule is normally filled with games like Penn State versus Indiana State, any conference game would be more appealing. You have to think that the television networks that broadcast the Big Ten games would be in favor of such a move as well.

It's something that the SEC has been doing for years, and this year the SEC will have two conference games in the second week of the season. In the ACC both Miami and Maryland will start their seasons against each other as well.

Posted on: June 24, 2011 12:51 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 7:45 pm
 

Playing in Baltimore will pay off for Maryland

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier this week Maryland announced that it would be playing two upcoming home games at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. One against West Virginia in 2013, and again against Virginia Tech in 2014. While you'll hear reasons about getting the school more exposure in the city of Baltimore and hopefully picking up an edge in recruiting by playing in an NFL stadium, there's a bigger factor in Maryland's decision. One that the school isn't shying away from, either.

Maryland is going to make money off of these games. More money than if they'd just played the games at Byrd Stadium.

In an email to the Washington Post, Maryland's deputy director of athletics, Randy Eaton, says that the school is set to make about $3.5 million per game in Baltimore. That's compared to the $1.5 million the school normally makes for every game in Byrd Stadium, which means that's an extra $4 million in the school's coffers.

“In addition to all the other benefits of playing this type of game in Baltimore – extending our fan base, recruiting, enhancing the experience for our student-athletes and fans – the additional revenue is vital for the ongoing financial challenges facing Maryland athletics,” Eaton told the Washington Post.

Athletic director Kevin Anderson also told the paper that the school had been working on moving these games to Baltimore for six months, and that the financial benefits were a factor in the decision, and called the added revenue along with greater exposure for the school a "perfect storm."

Considering the decline in season ticket sales at Maryland the last few years -- a factor that played a role in Ralph Friedgen's dismissal -- this is a move that makes sense for the school, and I wouldn't be shocked to see Maryland schedule more games in Baltimore in the future. I know of at least one opponent Randy Edsall might like to play there



Posted on: June 23, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 12:02 pm
 

Randy Edsall wants to play Penn State

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Wednesday Maryland announced that it would be playing West Virginia (2013) and Virginia Tech (2014) in Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium. Apparently those games aren't the only scheduling thoughts on the school's mind. While playing in a celebrity golf tournament for charity on Wednesday in Pennsylvania, head coach Randy Edsall told the York Dispatch that he'd like to see Maryland resume a series with Penn State in the future.

"I think it would be good for the region and for both programs," Edsall told the paper.

"Kevin Anderson, my athletic director, he and I have talked and that's something we want to do, but we're not going to play two for one (two games at Penn State for every one at Maryland). If they want to play us in a one for one and have an extended series, we would love to do that."

Penn State and Maryland are not strangers to one another on the football field, as they used to meet on a regular basis, with the last meeting coming in 1993. What happened after that? Well, Penn State joined the Big Ten, that's what.

The first meeting between the schools came in 1917, and over that 66-year span the two teams met 37 times. Now, if history is any indication, this is a series that Penn State would love to start again if it can find a place to fit Maryland in its schedule. In those 37 contests, Penn State went 35-1-1.

As for why Maryland would want to resume the series, maybe the Terps feel that they've got a 34-game win streak in them? 

Posted on: May 19, 2011 12:05 pm
 

Clemson, Georgia set dates for rivalry renewal

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Fans along the Georgia-South Carolina border who've debated since Signing Day which of the surprisingly strong 2011 Georgia or Clemson recruiting classes was better, congratulations: in a couple of years, you'll get your answer on the field.

That's because the Bulldogs and Tigers have officially set dates to renew one of the oldest and most underrated rivalries in the South. Both ends of the home-and-home will be played as season openers, with Georgia playing host on August 31, 2013, and then traveling to Clemson on August 30, 2014. The series had been announced in August 2005, with the last meeting between the teams taking place in 2003.

The 2013 meeting should feature Isaiah Crowell running against Tony Steward,  Mike Bellamy going up against Ray Drew ... so yeah, two-years-plus away or not, we're clearing our calendar all the same.

Besides, Clemson-Georgia is usually must-see viewing anyway, a still-bitter rivalry that dates back to 1902 and features two sets of fans that don't care at all for each other. The most famous meeting between the two came in 1984, when Kevin Butler's 60-yard field goal gave the Bulldogs a 26-23 upset win over the second-ranked Tigers. YouTube doesn't offer up any footage, but we do have Larry Munson's "worse than bonkers" call, and unless you're a Clemson fan, that's almost as good anyway:



Here's hoping we get something half as good come 2013.
Posted on: May 5, 2011 1:28 pm
Edited on: May 5, 2011 2:00 pm
 

Michigan State to open season on a Friday night

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Michigan State had already decided last fall that it would open its 2012 schedule against Boise State on a Friday night during Labor Day weekend, and it seems the school likes the idea of a Friday night game so much, they've decided to do it in 2011 as well. The school issued a statement on Thursday saying that it was moving its season opening game against Youngstown State from Saturday September 3 to Friday September 2.

 

“We’re extremely excited about this special opportunity to kick off the 2011 season with a nationally televised game against Youngstown State,” said Michigan State's AD Mark Hollis. “Over the years, fans have expressed increased interest in kicking off our home football schedule with a Friday night game on Labor Day weekend. We believe it will be a positive experience for our entire fan base, including the student body, and we couldn’t pull something like this off without campus-wide cooperation.

“Since Michigan (K-12) schools don’t begin fall classes until after Labor Day, the vast majority of high school teams will play their football games on Thursday that week, making this a great way for our fans to kick off the holiday weekend. By moving the Youngstown State game to Friday night, it’s also our hope that the state tourism industry will receive a positive bump since most fans will now have the opportunity to make plans to enjoy the entire Labor Day weekend.”

The game will be played in primetime on the Big Ten Network, and it will mark only the tenth time in school history that the Spartans have held a home game at night.

Personally, I'm all for moving the game to a Friday night. I'll take football on as many days of the week that I can get, because, let's face it, what else am I going to do on a Friday night? Go outside? I'm a blogger, fresh air terrifies me.

 

Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:48 pm
 

Northwestern and Notre Dame renew rivalry

Posted by Tom Fornelli

That video is from 1995, and it shows what happened the last time Northwestern and Notre Dame met on a football field. During that game, Northwestern shocked the world by upsetting ninth-ranked Notre Dame in the season opener by a score of 17-15. It was the first game of what turned out to be a dream season for Northwestern, as the Wildcats finished the year 10-1 and went to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1949.

At that time, Pat Fitzgerald was Northwestern's middle linebacker. Now that he's the team's head coach, Fitzgerald will get his chance to not only beat Notre Dame as a player, but as a coach as well. It was announced on Thursday morning that the Irish and Wildcats would be rekindling the series. Northwestern will return to South Bend in 2014, while Notre Dame will make the trip to Evanston in 2018.

“We’re excited about having Notre Dame make its first visit to Evanston since 1976,” said Northwestern AD Jim Phillips in a press release. “This is really an exciting time for Chicago’s Big Ten team as we continue to upgrade our nonconference schedule. With schools such as Boston College, California, Syracuse and Vanderbilt visiting Ryan Field in future years, combined with Nebraska to our division in the Big Ten, there’s no better time to be a Wildcat.”

Phillips also worked in Notre Dame's athletic department from 2000 to 2004. While the schools haven't played since that 1995 shocker, they have played a total of 47 games against one another.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com