In February of this year, West Virginia dropped a home-and-home series with Florida State scheduled for 2012 and 2013, in part because of the Mountaineers move to the Big 12 this year and that conference’s nine-game league slate.
FSU replaced WVU on this season’s schedule with a Div. 1-AA (FCS) opponent, and the 2013 hole has yet to be filled. Unfortunately, the Seminoles may have another 2013 hole to fill courtesy of another Div. 1-A (FBS) program.
By way of the Tallahassee Democrat, FSU athletic director Randy Spetman (pictured) told a student affairs committee meeting Thursday that Nevada is considering cancelling its game with the ‘Noles scheduled for Sept. 21 of next year. No reason was given for Nevada’s apparent lean toward nixing the one-off road game in Tallahassee.
Spetman told the assembled crowd that, on the one hand, Nevada would be forced to pay $600,000 to get out of the contract for that game. On the other hand, it could cost $1 million — or more — for FSU to replace the Wolf Pack given the going rate for one-off games.
Nevada will officially move from the WAC to the Mountain West beginning this season; it’s unclear if, like WVU, the conference switch played any part in the Wolf Pack’s desire to consider ditching the FSU game.
Regardless of any of the reasons behind it, such a decision on Nevada’s part could again leave FSU in a scheduling bind, pending the official arrivals of Pittsburgh and Syracuse as members of the ACC. If those two schools move from the Big East to the ACC in 2013 — they’re “contractually obligated” to stay in the former conference through the 2013-14 academic year — the ACC would move to a nine-game league schedule and leave the 14-member conference with just three non-conference football openings.
If Pittsburgh and Syracuse are unable to “court” their way to the ACC until 2014, FSU and the other 11 current ACC members would have four non-conference games to fill in 2013. FSU has 1-AA Wofford scheduled that year, and had 1-A WVU and Nevada scheduled as well until events that have transpired or will transpire over the past few/future months. How FSU would go about filling all of those ’13 holes — and if it would be forced to eat 1-AA cupcakes in back-to-back years — is unknown.
Then again, because the ‘Noles will be headed for the Big 12 sooner rather than later, this’ll all be a moot point at some point this month, right?
A disturbing situation in East Lansing has added a head-scratching twist.
According to ESPN.com, and by way of a Freedom of Information request, Michigan State football staffer Curtis Blackwell was on the receiving end of a one-month contract extension earlier this month. Blackwell, whose title with the football program is director of college advancement and performance, was set to see his contract expire at the end of this week.
What makes this development noteworthy is that Blackwell has been indefinitely suspended by the Spartans since early February.
Around that time, it was confirmed by the university that three still-unnamed MSU football players had been suspended after allegations of sexual assault were made against them last month. An unnamed football staffer was suspended at the time as well; that staffer was subsequently identified as Blackwell.
A police investigation, as well as a Title IX probe, into the allegations continue. Blackwell is not accused of participating in the alleged sexual assault, but rather a non-sexual crime that’s connected to the investigation.
Mark Dantonio hadn’t spoken publicly about the allegations until earlier this week, and the head coach probably would’ve been better served to have kept it that way.
Texas A&M and UCLA announced Wednesday that their 2017 opener had been moved from Saturday to Sunday. As it turns out, that wasn’t the only scheduling news connecting the two football programs.
As part of a release announcing seven games being added to its future schedules, New Mexico confirmed that two of those contests will include A&M and UCLA. Both of those games, obviously, will be on the road, with the Lobos traveling to College Station Sept. 18, 2021, and to Pasadena and the Rose Bowl Sept. 13, 2025.
In its release, the school wrote that “[t]he game in College Station has a guarantee of $1,100,000 and 450 complementary tickets,” while “[t]he game in Pasadena has a guarantee of $1,200,000 plus 2,000 complementary tickets that UNM can sell for extra revenue.”
The last and only time New Mexico and UCLA squared off was in the 2002 Las Vegas Bowl, a 27-13 win for the Bruins. UNM and A&M actually completed a home-and-home series relatively recently, with the Aggies winning both games played in the 2008 (28-22) and 2009 (41-6) seasons.
In addition to the future Power Five games, a continuation of the long-running rivalry with UTEP will be extended. UNM will play in El Paso in 2021, then host UTEP in 2022. Those two games will mark the 79th and 80th contests in the regional rivalry.
Needing to fill a single spot in some future schedules, both Michigan State and Washington have come calling to the Mountain West for an opponent. Utah State was happy to oblige.
Michigan State will host Utah State on September 1, 2018. The Aggies will travel to Washington on September 19, 2020. For their travels, Utah State will collect $2.9 million between the two games, according to FBScheduels.com ($1.4 million from Michigan State, $1.5 million from Washington).
The Big Ten and Pac-12 each use nine-game conference schedules, leaving three spots open for non-conference games. The Big Ten requires all conference members schedule one game per season against another power conference opponent (the Pac-12 has no such requirement of its members at this time), although exceptions are made. Utah State, as a member of the Mountain West Conference, would not satisfy that requirement for the Big Ten, but the Spartans already have a road game against Arizona State (Pac-12) on the schedule in 2018. Michigan State and Arizona State will play again in 2019 in East Lansing. Michigan State also has future power conference matchups with Notre Dame (2017, 2026, 2027) and Miami (2020, 2021). Michigan State will also play BYU in 2020 in Provo.
Washington has future power conference matchups with Rutgers (2017), Auburn (2018, in Atlanta), and Michigan (2020, 2021). The Huskies will also face Mountain West Competition from Fresno State (2017), Hawaii (2019), and Nevada (2027).
Utah State will face power conference opponents on the road in 2017 (Wisconsin, Wake Forest), 2018 (Michigan State), 2019 (Wake Forest, LSU), 2020 (Washington), and 2021 (Washington State). Utah State will also host Washington State in 2020 as part of a home-and-home deal. Utah State also has an annual series against BYU running through 2020.
Some fans of the Old Dominion football program may be getting a little impatient with the progress (or lack of) in the development of the football stadium, but Old Dominion athletic director Wood Selig says things are coming along nicely and progress will start to be seen soon enough.
“Once we get the architects engaged, we’ll figure out what $55 million will buy in 2019 dollars,” Selig said, according to The Virginian-Pilot. “Then we’ll have an idea for how much additional money needs to be raised to support the project.”
Old Dominion is planning on tearing down Foreman Field at the end of the 2018 season and rebuild it with modern seating and amenities. The $55 million project remained on the books in the Virginia budget in February, allowing the university to move ahead with their plans. The first step is finding an architect to take on the job.
Because Old Dominion’s football stadium is among the smallest in the nation and will remain so even after the rebuild and renovations, the entire project is expected to move fairly swiftly once the work actually begins. Old Dominion isn’t building a grand football palace, so any concerns over the lack of updates on the stadium should be calmed.
If nothing else, the concerns raised about the lack of updates on the stadium renovations may just mean Old Dominion has some eager fans excited about the future of the program.