Monday, February 02, 2015

A few quibbles with Bates' latest letter

Brad Bates released a letter on Friday explaining scheduling and addressing the 2015 schedule. I applaud his willingness to address issues in such a public manner, but there are a few things that don't ring true. The three big issues I question are the demand for seven home games, the FCS opponents and the non-conference games.

  • Seven Home Games. I am sure that in surveys and focus groups, most BC fans and ticket holders said they want seven home games. However, ticket sales and our inability to sell out during seven game homestands says otherwise. Does the feedback from ticket holders carry any caveats? Because most of the anecdotal stuff I hear is that people want seven games, but don't want bottom feeder opponents. Until BC reaches a point where ticket demand indicates that we can support a seven game schedule, I question that Bates should keep forcing it. Guarantees for that seventh opponent are going to become more and more expensive. Maybe BC should settle for six home games every few years and go get a payout as a road team from a major program.
  • FCS opponents. Bates mentions New Mexico State cancelling at the 11th hour and forcing the Howard issue. The official cancellation may have been 11th hour, but Bates knew it was highly likely months ago. If BC really wanted to find a respectable replacement for the Aggies, they could have been more proactive in their scheduling. I suspect they hoped to pressure New Mexico State to keep the game or pressure their conference to provide another FBS patsy. Since we couldn't get an FBS patsy we decided to pay for an FCS one. I think it was all a calculated risk to help a young team. I don't have a problem with Bates or Addazio for doing that. I just prefer they were a little more forthright about the whole thing.
  • Non-conference games. Bates implies that teams were afraid to schedule BC. I am sure that was the case for some of the programs we contacted. However, BC also didn't agree to take on all comers. You cannot say people are afraid to play us and not employ your own any time/any place attitude. 
Scheduling is tough and will only get tougher. Other than playing BYU, I think our best future solution might be playing non-conference games against ACC teams. Wake and UNC are going to do it. Why not us? It is less expensive than other opponents. The fans will see familiar names on the schedule and selection committees will reward those games over lower-level FBS teams. The only downside is potential confusion with regards to ACC divisional races. Yet complaining about that is a nice problem to have. If we lose to say Pitt in an out of conference game yet still win the Division, you won't hear BC ticket holders complaining. 


Hoib said...

I like the idea of non league ACC games, particularly against our former Big East brethren in the Coastal who we will only see once every 6 years under the current format. The other way to do it is go to 9 league games and cut that wait down to every 3 years.

chicagofire1871 said...

Getting a steady dose of Miami and Pitt would be great! WF? NC State? Louiseville? yawn

Napolean Bonaparte said...

Bates is obviously feeling the heat for the Howard debacle - as well he should. No matter which way you slice it - he should not have allowed us to get into this position. We simply should not be playing two FCS teams. Daz gets paid a lot of money to get the team prepared for the season. He shouldn't need two more weeks of practice - which essentially is what we gave him here with Maine and Howard. I don't mind giving the team a little growing room with a manageable first game - but the opponent has to be FBS level. Playing the likes of Howard hurts the program - Bates wasn't prepared.