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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Polar Football?

posted by Mike Coffey
Ever since the move to Conference Championship Games Brought to You By AllState Because You Could Die Tomorrow Just Like John David Stutts, it seems the college football schedule has crept later and later. The Pac10 and Big East, not saddled with a made-for-TV event, followed ESPN's financial siren song and now consider the first weekend of December a viable date for games. While on the good side, it's allowed teams like USC to fiddle with their schedule and move the UCLA rivalry game to the very last weekend, why anyone would want to sit in a place like Piscataway and watch horrific football in the chill is beyond me.

The ACC, SEC, and BigXII teams that aren't in their title game are handcuffed, so there's plenty of broadcast space looking to be filled. Ending your season on Thanksgiving weekend has almost become an anachronism, and ending it before that puts you at a competitive disadvantage (as the Integer is finding out).

So the question becomes: Should the Fighting Irish get into the act?

Spending Thanksgiving in California (or someplace else warm) has become almost a tradition in and of itself for Notre Dame. But now we have this extra weekend hanging out there, and given its possible use to create a beneficial bye week during the meat of the season, perhaps ND should think about this a little.

I'm not suggesting they play in South Bend in December. Late November games are bad enough. If they're going to do this, they'd end up on the road two weeks in a row.

Warm-weather destinations, though, are attractive. The "barnstorming" plans call for games in places like Orlando and New Orleans. Is it possible a decent Big East or Pac10 team could be coaxed into an appearance somewhere like that?

Indoor destinations are another possibility. Indianapolis has a beautiful new facility just down the road. Detroit could use something like a Notre Dame game as a financial shot in the arm.

If Miami weren't locked up in the ACC, it'd be a natural to sign a four-year deal with them. Games in Miami, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Houston on the first Saturday in December would be financial and ratings winners.

Perhaps the readership could come up with a suitable opponent.

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Anonymous Tony Spilotro said...

"Oh he was a good boy...always stood still when I hemmed his pants."

"Do you believe he killed Buckwheat?"

"Oh yessssss!!!"

12/04/2008 11:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arizona State in Glendale.

12/04/2008 11:42:00 PM  
Anonymous LastDon said...

You have to get around the NBC thing, but...

Missouri - St. Louis (dome, away) & Indy (dome, home)

Florida State - Jacksonville (away) & Detroit (home)

Texas Tech - San Antonio (away) & Minneapolis (home)

You get the point. We have to get rid of the notion that a barnstorming game is just a bizarre home game. Make them road games for both teams on both ends, with alternating regional advantages.

12/05/2008 12:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Charlie Profundo said...

Notre Dame football will save Detroit. Oh the hubris.

12/05/2008 12:33:00 AM  
Anonymous mooneytostle said...

if a team plays a game at Hawaii, they are allowed to play 13 games in a season

12/05/2008 12:38:00 AM  
Anonymous LastDon said...

I guess I overlooked the fact that each of the teams that I mentioned could potentially have championship games to play after Thanksgiving.

Perhaps these matchups could be scheduled during Thanksgiving week in odd years though. A two-game series over four years with a decent team could at least provide two late season games of interest outside of USC.

12/05/2008 12:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Missouri, Florida State and Texas Tech all are non-options. Missouri and Texas Tech are locked into the Big XII, Florida State into the ACC, and both of those conferences have conference championship games.

How about a road game at Hawaii? Just a thought.

12/05/2008 12:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Savage said...

LastDon, the issue is that Mizzou, FSU, and TT could be playing in championship games that weekend in any given season. Thus the need to take a BIG EAST, Integer, or Pac-10 opponent.

12/05/2008 02:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some more ideas, after giving this more thought. Balancing ND's needs with the ability of other schools to play this game . . .

Road games @ Syracuse (dome) and South Florida.

Neutral site game vs. Air Force at a warm weather site with significant military presence. San Antonio, San Diego and Jacksonville come to mind, although the latter two are more Navy than Air Force and Jacksonville usually hosts the ACC championship game, although not this year. Caveat: a ND - Air Force matchup the first week of December might not sit well with Army and Navy.

I like the idea of a neutral site game at Indianapolis this week, although I would rotate a number of teams through. Cincinnati and Louisville for certain. I would also add Illinois and Indiana to the mix if the Integer can be convinced to play this weekend (I hear they're looking to schedule Thanksgiving weekend in the near future).

12/05/2008 07:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IU in Indianapolis?

12/05/2008 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Army-Navy won't care-they recently announced a movie to the second weekend of December

12/05/2008 08:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who else around here still wants a piece of Miami?

12/05/2008 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus M. said...

Someone mentioned IU, but why not Louisville in Indianapolis? Indy is pretty much halfway between the two, the basketball games have been great between the two schools, and playing in the new Lucas Oil Stadium would make for a good atmosphere.

12/05/2008 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Abe Froman said...

I think we should move the Purdue game to that week. Indianapolis would be a good neutral venue and it would open up a bye week during the beginning of the season.

12/05/2008 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are almost suggesting that we play good teams in your plan. Please check our schedule. We are going away from good teams and focusing on weaker opponents. Like Washington and Washington State. Miami is a raising team and we would not want to touch them.

12/05/2008 10:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at the next few years future schedules, why would they need a second week off. If you are going to beef up the schedule like it was a few years ago then I could understand it. Outside of the conference championship games what are the ratings for the other games. If Notre Dame is playing a .500 team or worst it just reinforces the money grubbing stereotype of college athletics.

12/05/2008 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a team like South Florida in Orlando and then Indy. It would satisfy one of our Big East games so we wouldn't have to play Syracuse...

Or for that matter, Syracuse in the dome..they seemed like a worthy opponent this year.

12/05/2008 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On second thought...let's move Michigan St. to that weekend in Detroit/Indy. That way we can get them at the end of the season in their typical swoon.

12/05/2008 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you write? You absolutely suck at writing. You "book" was an abomination- and no I didn't buy it, I think your mother gave it to my aunt who gave it to me. T-O-T-A-L G-A-R-B-G-E.

You have gone on unchecked long enough. It will stop

12/05/2008 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mike Coffey said...

I write because I enjoy it. If you don't enjoy reading it, the simple solution would seem to be not to read it.

12/05/2008 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger BC said...

Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota, or Illinois at Soldier Field.

I know it'd be cold, but I think ND's Chicago base would fill the stadium, especially if the game were against a midwest team. And it would be great to play some of these natural, geographic rivals again.

12/05/2008 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim M. said...

Ignore the rude and mindless posts.

I like the idea. 2 Byes in the season is a good thing. It helps in preparation and you can compartmentalize the schedule. Leaves some extra time to add new packages.

12/05/2008 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notre Dame Stadium!!

It's ND, and with the snow it's even more beautiful. Last I checked football is played in all kinds of weather. Lets bring those boy for the south and show them some real football weather...I love when the ball hits your hands and it hurts like hell, cause it so cold.

12/05/2008 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous tenict said...

I believe playing IU in the Dome at Indy would be a great idea for one more game. Perhaps that could alternate with Louisville, but the IU idea has merit. With Swarbrick's ties in Indy, that should be doable.

12/05/2008 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous tenict said...

HEY ANON WHO HAD A RANT AGAINST MIKE COFFEY: If you have any Gonads, why don't you identify yourself with a name.

I thought it was a great post, and it certainly has others voicing their ideas. After the events of the last two weeks, it is good to read about something else that could be a positive for Irish Football.

12/05/2008 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if they would do this, but what if we set up a yearly game against Penn State at Neutral sites around the country?

12/05/2008 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger DMW said...

We really need another game against B+ conference schools such as Va Tech or Oregon because the schedule is just too damn soft.

12/06/2008 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Starting as early as possible and ending as late as possible not only gives an extra bye week for rest, I think it also gives an extra week of practice. The NCAA rules used to state that you could start practice a set number of weeks before your first game, then practice through your last game.

Why not also use this opportunity to play a Thanksgiving game somewhere besides California? Keep the Southern Cal game on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but play in another state in odd numbered years.

12/06/2008 03:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim M. said...

I really don't think PSU would agree to that one. Their constituency is primarily PA, E. OH, NJ. I think the original post with a local team may be better for recruiting purposes as well.

Still you may be on to something. Just don't think PSU is the answer.

12/06/2008 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous scott said...

i could argue some of these points either way. but, i especially like the idea of the warm weather southern boys coming up here to play in the cold. texas, miami, lsu maybe.

12/19/2008 09:28:00 AM  

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