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Kirk Ferentz says 10-game conference schedules are coming

Kirk Ferentz

Every change in college football over the last few years has been about expanding and growth. That philosophy could be shifting to the length of a conference schedule. Forget about the debates over eight-game conference schedules or nine-game conference schedules. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz says 10-game conference schedules are coming, at least in the Big Ten.

While making his way through the ESPN car wash on Thursday, Ferentz was asked about conference scheduling when he dropped that thought for all to ponder. Via Brett McMurphy’s Twitter feed;

The Big Ten will be using a nine-game conference schedule, similar to the Pac-12 and Big 12. The ACC and SEC are sticking with eight-game conference schedules but adding a non-conference scheduling requirement for all members to add one game against another power conference opponent each season. The hypothetical 10-game conference schedule format would seem to solve a number of scheduling concerns for any conference with more than 12 teams, such as the ACC, SEC and Big Ten. With a two division format, six games are reserved for division games, leaving just two (ACC, SEC) or three (Big Ten) spots for cross division games. If a conference has locked crossover games (the SEC has paired crossover match-ups, the Big Ten scrapped them with its new division alignment), that reduces the number of opportunities to schedule other teams from the other division while rotating through the conference. The cross division scheduling may not be a major concern in the Big Ten, but it has been a topic of concern in the ACC and SEC.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said at this week’s Big Ten media day the Big Ten will stop playing FCS teams while discussing future plans to increase the strength of schedule for the entire conference. Moving to a 10-game schedule would likely have a positive effect on overall conference strength of schedule, but it also makes it more difficult for top contenders to get out of the regular season without a scratch. That could be something that comes back to haunt a Big Ten champion in the College Football Playoff era as well.

Are 10-game conference schedules a realistic possibility? Yes, although the question may be if that leads to the extension of the regular season from 12 games to 13 or 14. More games means more TV money, which means it is very much a realistic possibility.

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12 Responses to “Kirk Ferentz says 10-game conference schedules are coming”
  1. drummerhoff says: Jul 31, 2014 9:43 PM

    I like what Saban said, play all 12 against big 5 schools.

    As for Frentz’s comment, 10 conference games means 16 conference members, but you can’t be overt about future expansion.

  2. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 31, 2014 10:03 PM

    Only reason the Little 10 aka the Little 14 is going to 10 game conference schedules is to boost their sos becuz MAC teams aren’t gonna help. And they know they aren’t getting in playing 9 adding scrubs like Rutgers and Maryland. It still won’t help because the conference is awful.

  3. manik56 says: Aug 1, 2014 12:44 AM

    I am all for 10 conference games. I would think the boost in the TV revenue from doing this would make up for the lost home games.

  4. justanobserver says: Aug 1, 2014 12:50 AM

    This conversation points up once again how ridiculously preoccupied far too many in our nation have become with matters of little import — particularly college football and other entertainment and/or recreational pursuits. Give me about five minutes and I probably can name some 300 things that are far more important in the grand scheme of things than how many college football games each school will be playing next season or any other season.

    Instead of engaging in this kind of nonsense, how about we get our collective heads out of our rears and do something meaningful about the decline of our country and a system that has made it possible for us to put so much emphasis on the trivial in life.

    It seems today far too many in our nation are devoted only to which luxury, gadget or material thing we have or can pursue; which playground, movie or sporting event we can go to next; or which gluttonous behavior we can indulge.

    Indeed, if people in this country spent half as much time concerned about issues that really matter instead of blathering on about various and sundry sports we’d all be much better off.

  5. longborer69 says: Aug 1, 2014 2:40 AM


    Maybe, just maybe, some people spend far more time on issues that really matter, but enjoy sports as a break, a release of stress, that helps them return to the important things more focused and rested.

    Someone said, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It also makes Jack a tired boy and a less effective boy in his work.

    Sure, this is all just play, and lots of times play can be out of perspective. People can talk about how many games are played as if it really matters, and that is dumb. But if someone is talking about it as part of their entertainment in a stress-release environment, well, it seems to me that some people find rather damaging ways to release their stress and this isn’t that.

    And even people who do this for their job, like our friendly bloggers here, perhaps they personally can get caught up in it too much because they have to spend a lot of time at it, but they also provide a service for people like me, who like to spend maybe 15-30 minutes out of my day talking about / thinking about sports. It’s a welcome break from multiple responsibilities I have on things that I suspect you would call important — I certainly do.

    Just something to consider.

    (That is not to say that sports are not often way out of balance. They are. But you’d have been better to choose a thread about someone poisoning trees or getting in a fight at a football game to make the point. This is a relatively minor conversation that a few people will talk about for a day or two, and then drop it. Nobody is going to focus their life on this particular topic. Probably no one will spend as much time on the topic itself as you and I have on its worthwhileness. :) )

  6. brownsmakemecrazy says: Aug 1, 2014 6:54 AM


    When the politicians start voting for the betterment of the country instead of being bribed by special interests, maybe this country wouldn’t be in the shape it is.

    When the joke of a legal system and crooked judges start using their brains instead of their bribes, then maybe this country will take a turn for the better.

    When justice is served instead of being bought, then maybe this country will correct itself.

    that good enough for you?

    When common sense takes precedence over the idiotic laws in this country, then maybe this country will get back on the right track. When fairness starts taking precedence over greed and corruption, then the country will turn around.

    best country in the world but it can be so much greater.

    make sense?

    As far as college football, it’s a great game, too bad the people running it are greedy, corrupt, and see other points above.

  7. drummerhoff says: Aug 1, 2014 9:03 AM

    Maybe people who spend ‘far too much time’ writing a 4 paragraph rant telling other people what they should or shouldn’t be doing should take their own advice.

    The world is full of hypocrites and jackasses who think they can run it.

  8. justanobserver says: Aug 1, 2014 12:14 PM


    You make my point. In a word, it’s all about balance. You sound as though you have achieved such balance.

    My criticism is of those who seem to let games, trivia, etc., become the dominant focus in their lives and I happen to think there are far too many of those in our country. I’m merely suggesting that we would all be better off if more people focused on the serious side of life than the trivial — and understood the difference between the two.

    I never suggested that one should be all work and no play. Far from it. But there is a time for work and a time for play and I fear that people in our country have grown far too focused on the latter at the expense of the former.

  9. justanobserver says: Aug 1, 2014 12:47 PM


    And you too, help make my point.

    I agree with a large part of what you say about our politicians, governmental bodies and courts. At the end of the day, however, they belong to us. We elect them; we establish them, but then we seem to take the approach, “We’ve done our jobs. Let’s go play.”

    Indeed, if we put more work into it maybe we just might wind up with better politicians, governmental bodies and legal systems. Maybe even, when time allows, we can work on developing better sports organizations.

    In the final analysis, I’m not attacking you or anyone else. I’m simply making the observation that I believe as a society we have gotten our priorities out of whack. And part of the answer to addressing the problem is that we all focus a little more intensity on getting the important details in order before we go off to play.

  10. justanobserver says: Aug 1, 2014 1:40 PM


    Speaking of rants — hypocrite, jackass, world ruler.

    Hey, suffice it to say, I’m just a person who sees a need to make an observation every now-and-then on what I see in the world around me. I don’t call people names, but I do confess that from time-to-time I like to call out the dummerhoffs of the world who don’t know the difference between an observation and a rant — or who believe ascribing “pet family names” to others is cool.

    My beef is not with you or anyone else commenting on this blog. I simply made the personal observation that stories of this type regarding college football schedules was just one more example of far too much attention being focused in our society on the trivial.

    Some people like to write about college football. I like to write about what I see as being the condition of our country.

  11. bigthymie93 says: Aug 1, 2014 4:59 PM

    With the new playoff system, teams will need to play one or two large conference teams to be considered contenders for a national championship. Playing ur conference simply will no longer be acceptable

  12. longborer69 says: Aug 2, 2014 4:48 AM

    “This conversation points up once again how ridiculously preoccupied far too many in our nation have become with matters of little import…”

    Sorry, I don’t see how I’ve helped make your point that it is all about balance. You singled out this particular conversation and used the word “preoccupied.” There have been four brief comments replying to the actual topic of the post (the rest dealt with the side conversation you started).

    “This conversation” doesn’t show any preoccupation. It shows a few people commenting briefly on a matter of little import. It’s not an example of preoccupation at all. Given the relatively few thumbs up/down, compared to other threads on this site, most readers aren’t even reading it….

    I don’t even dispute your larger point, this just seems like a really bizarre place to put it, and your claim about this conversation somewhat discredits the larger point.

    Back to life…

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