Let's talk about schedules and fan travel with our new conference configuration circumstances. Let's also talk about destinations for travel. In 2011, as we well remember, the schedule gave us, drum roll please:
2011 HOME SCHEDULE
2011 AWAY SCHEDULE
2012 HOME SCHEDULE
2012 AWAY SCHEDULE
Now, let's make some assumptions about the Big East Schedule beginning in 2013.
First, let's assume the worst, that Air Force and BYU won't change their minds and join the Western Division, and that there are no other viable western alternatives. If one more (or two more) western teams, Cincy and Louisville get shifted over to the East. However, let's also assume that Navy is able to work it out, and that Temple also joins the East. If Navy doesn't come, we need one more in the East, probably Memphis or ECU would fill in if needed.
5 games in the Western Division. 3 games crossover in the Eastern Division. 4 non conference games per year. Here is what it may look like, if the teams we skip for the first rotation are Temple, USF and UConn.
2013 HOME SCHEDULE
1 TBD Nonconference
2013 AWAY SCHEDULE
2014 HOME SCHEDULE
1 TBD Nonconference
2014 AWAY SCHEDULE
1 TBD Nonconference
A few thoughts.
1) Comparing even years to even years and odd years to odd years is the only way to be fair about it, because of the rotation.
2) It would be easier to give a 2 for 1 to Nebraska or someone, if one loss would not take you completely out of the picture.
3) Can schedule open nonconferences against Fresno, Nevada, Utah State and perhaps even the Utes if they change their attitude a little.
4) We should never ever ever return to the Kibbles and bits dome. Getting Vandalized should not be allowed. Perhaps a 4 for 1, with the 1 being at Martin Stadium.
5) In 2012, the only real attractive road trips are to Hawaii and Michigan State. Southern Miss. might be OK. Making the trip to Reno has its issues, but still a possibility. Hawaii and Michigan State are not real easy to get to. Southern Miss. is also not that easy, and not that much of a reward. Reno is Reno.
The home schedule pretty much blows except for BYU and SDSU. It is always fun to beat up on Fresno, but won't be the same without the Fu Manchu.
6) For the 2013 away schedule, BYU is drivable. Washington is drivable. SDSU is a fairly short plane trip or drivable if you are slightly crazy. Rutgers. NYC. Louisville. Horse Farms and Louisville sluggers. SMU. Dallas. Not bad.
2013 home is not extremely compelling, but is deeper than 2011. Outside of TCU and Air Force, there wasn't much offered this year at home. Navy, UCF, Houston, Cincy and Southern Miss. all could beat you if you don't play well. Much better than Wyoming, New Mexico and Tulsa, in my opinion.
7) 2014 road schedule. Ole Miss is the opener and is a destination game. UCF offers Disney world. Navy would be kind of cool. Maryland, Virginia, even Philadelphia is possible. Houston could be cool, especially if later in the year. Cincy? Maybe. Better than Laramie or Fort Collins.
Home 2014 offers more way more than 2012. Rutgers instead of Miami, OH? check. BYU and SDSU are on both schedules. SMU for CSU. I'm down with that. Louisville for UNLV? Yes please. If they schedule Fresno or Nevada for the other home game, that one is a wash. If they schedule another good home game, it is much better.
Bottom line, if you travel for 1 big game a year or so, and maybe drive to one other regional game, and try to make the bowl game, this schedule is way better. Orlando or Laramie? NYC or Fort Collins. Keep San Diego. Houston or Dallas or Albuquerque. There is really no comparison.
All the whiners need to stop. There was no choice, and this is a significant upgrade. If it goes bad, it will be because the whole system changes, and we will still be closer to where we need to be than if we stayed.
Bonus: Blue on Blue is back, baby!!!!!! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Hair Thompson!