Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hawkeye Football Scheduling

Here is an interesting article about NCAA football scheduling for the Iowa Hawkeyes. So what goes into setting the non-conference schedule? First, Iowa has four non-conference games each year, and one of those is always taken up by Iowa State, which makes financial sense. So of the three non-conference games, one is played against a BCS team - the next two years against Arizona - and the other two are against non-BCS teams. One of the first issues is does the other school have an open date the same as Iowa?

Assuming that common dates are found, what factors determine how the other three games opponents are determined? From the article it seems as if the significant factors for the BCS game is whether they can play a home and away series, which makes sense financially. For the non-BCS game it is the amount of money guaranteed to the opponents school and the distance traveled. For the 2004 season (the only year in which I have data), Iowa paid out a total of $4,236,845 in guarantees to Kent State and (maybe Iowa State) to play at Kinnick Stadium, which is not a bad chunk of change for Kent State. Iowa received $200,000 in guarantees - most likely from Arizona State to cover travel, lodging and other costs. This year's non-BCS home games are UNI and Arkansas State. Future non-BCS schools will be either Missouri State and North Texas.

One factor that may (or may not) be included is the likelihood of the Iowa (and opponent) game to be televised nationally or regionally. This may influence student recruiting and pollsters voting (positive or negative).

While I really think this is a great idea, it would be very difficult to research. Sighh!

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