A Modest Scheduling Proposal

August 16, 2017

My work schedule finally got reasonable enough so that I can listen to most of WNSP's Sports Drive show, and today Randy and Creg talked about an idea floated by Dabo Swinney. Division 1 college football should have "pre-season games."

My first thought was "that's why we have the NFL, colleges don't need it." My second thought was "what are the games against 1AA opponents if not exhibitions?" But my third thought was "Done the right way this could fix our scheduling problems."

As I observed in 2017 Schedules part 2 very few Division 1 teams play in "week 0" of the 2017 season. It must be NCAA-legal to do so, because 18 teams do. It follows that there is "room" in the season for the extra game.

As I've observed many times, 12 games is the right number for a field of 130 teams but a majority of the 1A teams only play 11 against 1A teams because of the rule change that allows wins against 1AA teams to count towards bowl-eligibility. The NCAA could fix the scheduling problems I've documented by implementing Dabo's suggestion as follows:

1A teams may schedule a game in the first week of the season against a 1AA opponent.
The game does not contribute to statistics or record for the current season. (Optional amendment: unless the 1A team loses, in which case a loss is recorded and the statistics are made a part of the record.)
Any 1A team that schedules a "pre-season" game must have 12 1A opponents in the regular season
In other words, if a team schedules fewer than 12 1A opponents, it may not play a "pre-season" game.

We could turn Dabo's idea into a win-win-win. The 1AA teams that depend upon the revenue from an "exhibition" vs a 1A team still get it. The 1A teams themselves get a bit more revenue by hosting a kick-off-the-season party, and we analyst-fans get about 100 more 1A-vs-1A games to analyze/watch.

© Copyright 2017, Paul Kislanko
Football Home