Ron Wellman Column: Non-Conference Football Scheduling
Nov. 30, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Non-conference football scheduling is a topic that comes up regularly, especially in light of the Atlantic Coast Conference's recent decision to reduce the number of conference games from nine to eight.
Prior to the decision to have Notre Dame play five ACC opponents per year, the ACC athletic directors had moved to increase the number of league games from eight to nine. But the addition of a non-conference game with Notre Dame approximately every three years caused the ADs to return to an eight-game league schedule.
After the league moved to a nine-game schedule, we changed our home-and-home series with Rice to a later date. We have long-standing contracts for road games at Army and Vanderbilt for next year and have recently added Presbyterian to our home schedule. With four scheduled home ACC contests, we currently have five home games scheduled for 2013. We feel that our fans deserve at least six home games each year and we have been searching for that final non-conference game. Our goal is to play seven home games as often as possible. But we are currently caught in a scheduling quagmire where we are challenged to find a home game.
Because we are already playing a Football Championship Subdivision team in Presbyterian, we can only consider Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. And because of our desire for a sixth home game, any series we enter into must start at BB&T Field in 2013. With all 14 ACC schools seeking a fourth non-conference game, that has significantly altered the marketplace and will affect game guarantees.
We have searched from coast to coast to find a non-league opponent. We have spoken with Big 10, SEC, Big 12, MAC, WAC and MWC schools but everyone seems to want a home game at this point so there is quite a logjam. We have even spoken with other ACC teams about playing a game as non-conference opponents.
We are optimistic that we will find that sixth home game and we will let you know as soon as we finalize the 2013 non-conference schedule.