Saturday, June 02, 2007

More on Football Scheduling

Earlier this week, Steve Pederson told the Lincoln Journal-Star that it's much more difficult to schedule home games than it used to be:
“Teams you typically could pay for a one-time appearance in your stadium are not as willing to do that as they used to be. They want a 2-for-1. Yet at the same time, we’ve tried to avoid going to smaller venues to play games.“
And you know what, Pederson is right on that point. In the 1990's, Nebraska was able to get Washington State and Baylor to come in for home games without a return trip. In the 80's, both Oregon and Oregon State came to Lincoln without getting a home game in exchange. Now, Conference USA, Mountain West, and WAC teams demand a home-and-home or at least a 2-for-1.

However, that excuse doesn't wash when you consider that Nebraska isn't going on the road once in the non-conference portion of the schedule in 2008. Now comes word that Michigoon is looking for an opponent for 2008, and is willing to return the game. And guess what...both Nebraska and the Weasels have open dates on Labor Day weekend in 2008. Can't you see ABC and ESPN drooling over opening the college football season with this matchup? And wouldn't the 2009 schedule look a lot better with the Weasels coming to Lincoln instead of one of those Sun Belt teams?

First reaction to defend Pederson's scheduling would be to ask why Nebraska would want to open the 2008 season on the road, likely with a new quarterback. True. But Michigoon also had an opening on September 6th that they just filled with Toledo. So Nebraska could have found another game for Labor Day weekend, gone to the Big House on the 6th and then still had Virginia Tech in Lincoln on the 20th. Even pairing a 1-AA team with the Weasels would have been a better schedule than what the Huskers ended up with.

No comments: