Monday, October 20, 2008

Football Scheduling Questions

During the last week or so, I have received a few questions regarding football scheduling. Let me take a few minutes to review how football scheduling works for us and address a couple of the issues that have been raised.

1. Conference Games- The conference office schedules all of our conference football games. All 12 of the schools provide the conference office with their (a) Homecoming date [everybody wants a home game]; (b) Family Weekend date [everybody wants a home game]; (c) Fall Break date [nobody wants a home game]; and (d) previously scheduled non-conference games [can't play a conference game on those dates]. The conference office has the difficult task of trying to make 12 schools happy...and to make matters worse, the 36 Homecoming, Family Weekend, and Fall Break dates [12 schools with 3 issues each] are usually bunched into about a one-month period of time.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that sometimes there are problems that can't we worked out. But yes, the conference's goal is for each of the 12 schools to have home games on Homecoming and Family Weekend days and no game of Fall Break.

There is an additional issue that sometimes comes into play. In some situations, the conference schedule is being projected out further than an institution has set its dates for HC, FW and/or FB.

2. Non-Conference Games- We schedule our non-conference games. David Walsh, our Deputy AD, works with the head football coach to develop that schedule. We are currently playing a FBS [1-A] game each year on the road. We have been fortunate to be able to play quality institutions like Virginia, Duke and Vanderbilt. With the two or three remaining FCS [1-AA] games we schedule, our objective is to achieve a balance between competitive games and games that we should win. The A10 is too tough a conference to load up our non-conference schedule with too many ranked FCS opponents.

We also try to achieve a balance between home and away games [i.e., 5 or 6 home games and 5 or 6 away games in years we play 11; and 6-6 on years we play 12]. This year, circumstances caused us to have to play 2 FCS [1-AA] games on the road...the good news is that we won both of them [at Elon and at VMI]. With the availability of our on-campus stadium beginning with the 2010 season, we will be able to consider purchasing "home only" games because with increased ticket sales, we will be able justify the expense of paying certain teams to come to Richmond, without a return game.

I hope this adequately addresses a few of the issues regarding football scheduling.