College Football Teams Scramble to Fill Schedule Holes

College Football Teams Scramble to Fill Schedule Holes
  • Opening Intro -

    Credit the University of West Virginia for leaving a huge void in the football schedules of multiple teams for the 2012 season.

    Before you get your nose out of joint, I'm not blaming the Mountaineers for leaving the Big East Conference early.


WVU exit creates numerous scheduling headaches.

University officials strongly felt that any delay in the schools exit to the Big 12 Conference would be more harmful than the $11 million the university had to pay for an early exit. WVU’s exit fee was added to the $9 million given by the Big 12 to compensate the Big East for its loss (you can read the legalese here.

Exit Fee

The $20 million exit fee will benefit Big East schools directly. Amounts have not been announced, but it seems that the football playing schools will receive some of the largesse given that each of the seven remaining football-only schools are now scrambling to fill one or two voids on their schedules. An earlier void was created when TCU backed out from joining the conference last fall. Expect the B/E schools to use some of the money gained to entice other schools to schedule a game at the home of a B/E school.

Upon exiting the Big East, the Big 12 Conference immediately published its upcoming football season schedule. There is still a chance that one or more of the schools bound for the Big East Conference in 2013 might join the conference early, which would immediately resolve one of the scheduling voids each team has. If that school is Boise State, then the Big East would leave the Mountain West Conference in a lurch. Yes, the B/E should and most likely will compensate the MWC for its loss.

Scheduling Holes

It isn’t just B/E schools that are coming up short this season. Florida State had a game scheduled against West Virginia, but the Mountaineers canceled that game as soon as it confirmed its B/E exit as reported by the Orlando Sentinel. Florida State wants a home game and has contacted Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. Rutgers, however, may not be willing to give up another home game with unconfirmed news that the Scarlet Knights are in talks with the University of Arkansas for a home and home series to begin this fall in Fayetteville. Syracuse has confirmed that it will not play Rutgers twice this fall as has been proposed.

Other schools are seeking to fill their scheduling voids with FCS (former Division 1-AA) teams. That option, however, might be a problem for schools that already have one FCS game on the schedule, but then a look at Arkansas’ schedule for 2012 shows the Razorbacks starting the season with FCS Jacksonville State and a FBS Sunbelt team, Louisiana Monroe. No one will knock the Razorback’s schedule given its challenging SEC schedule and its usual Top 10 capabilities. And Jax represents just one FCS team, not two.

Looking Ahead

Barring no further conference defections, the scheduling woes for most teams should settle down next year. That’s when the Big East welcome several new members and may, for a fee, allow Pitt and Syracuse to beat feet for the ACC in 2013.

College Campus reference:

state-by-state travel guides

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