More Big 12 Games?
By Adam Caparell - June 26, 2007
Forget adding a preseason slate or even a playoff. If some schools in the Big 12 had their way, they'd add more conference games to the schedule.
Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder, for starters, is one who would like to see more conference games added to the schedule every year.
"We've talked about it (in the Big 12)," Holder said. "But it's hard to get 12 difference athletic directors in agreement."
Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne likes the idea as well, on one condition.
"If we do that, it can't be unilateral," Byrne said. "It has to be across the board with all the conferences - the SEC, the ACC, the Pac-10, the Big Ten - all have to schedule more."
There hasn't been much talk coming out of any conference about upping the number of league games played every year recently, but from a standpoint of fair competition, it only makes sense - especially for these bigger conferences. With only 12 games on the schedule, and just eight conference games on the slate in the Big 12 for example, some teams will have an easier schedule than others based on the fact that they'll miss some of the best teams every few years. This year's lucky team is Kansas, who won't have to play Texas and Oklahoma. Others like Missouri and Nebraska miss one or the other.
Adding more conference games would also mean tougher overall schedule. Gone will be some of the patsies teams play in the first month of the season that the big boys use to fatten up their win total and prepare for the season's harder tests yet to come. But with the way college football is currently structured around the BCS, making things more difficult isn't necessarily a smart decision.
"And if we do that, so that we're all playing a more rigorous schedule, then I have no problem," Bryne said. "On the other the other hand, doing it unilaterally is folly. Because the way the BCS works, it doesn't matter what your strength of schedule is. All that matters is wins and losses. And you don't want to schedule yourself into too many losses.
"Unless we do it across the board and all conferences play nine games, 10 games, 11 games, and we all do the same then I'd be worried about that," Bryne said.
But any changes, if they are ever made, are a long ways off. Texas, for instance, has its non-conference schedule in place through the 2011 season already.
But if there's one thing both Holder, Byrne and any other AD in the Big 12 can agree on is they'd love to play more home games.
"We want to play as many games at home as we possibly can," Byrne said. "A home game generates millions of dollars for us. Road games generate zero. So which side of the coin do you think I'm going to come on?"
When putting together their schedules for prospective years, Byrne and Texas A&M are almost exclusively in the market for non-conference games that won't require a return trip. And that, as well, is not going to change anytime soon.
News & Notes: If you're a Colorado or Colorado State fan and you have tickets to the season opener between the two long-time rivals, you better set your alarm clocks early - very early.
Kick off for the annual matchup, to be played again this year in Denver, is set for 10 am MT. No word on whether the Invesco Field beer taps will be altered to dispense coffee instead.
And then around the country... What a difference a year can make. Boise State reported that is has taken in a record $19 million in athletic donations for the 2006-07 academic year...Miami and USF have signed off on playing five times between 2009-2013...And finally, the Michigan Board of Regents recently approved $226 million in renovations for The Big House, Michigan Stadium. The only thing that can be said about that is it's about time. Michigan Stadium is as nostalgic as it gets and a landmark on the American sports scene. But it's a dump to watch a game in, especially from the press box where upon entering it you feel like you've gone back about 40-50 years. It hasn't changed since the 1950s and it needs some fixing up ASAP. I have no idea how they can accommodate all the media requests for a big game in that small space, let alone every other year when Ohio State comes to Ann Arbor. Change can be a good thing, and a much needed thing in the case of Michigan Stadium.
Posted by Adam Caparell at 04:15 PM on June 26, 2007