The December signing period is happening, and we now have one example of the ripple effect this change will have on college football.
The Football Bowl Association on Wednesday released its 2017-18 schedule, which once again includes 40 games packed between the third Saturday in December and the second Monday in January. This calendar, of course, includes the Dec. 20-22 signing period.
Three games are in the direct crosshairs of the new signing period:
Thursday, Dec. 21: St. Petersburg Bowl (8 p.m. ET/ESPN)
Friday, Dec. 22: Bahamas Bowl (12:30 p.m. ET/ESPN)/Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (4 p.m. ET/ESPN)
There really aren’t any bad guys here, it’s just one of those unfortunate circumstances where separate agencies with understandable agendas and schedules happen to contradict each other, which will leave six as-yet-unknown programs looking to juggle two tasks never asked of any college football programs before.
Thankfully, no games are scheduled on the first day of the December signing period, though the six teams slated for these games — and the eight more playing in the two days immediately following the Dec. 20-22 signing period — will be in full bowl prep and at their bowl sites while most likely looking to lock down a large portion of their signing class.
How big a deal is this, you ask? Well, Gus Malzahn admitted in a podcast this week he sleeps with his cell phone on his chest each Signing Day eve. Now consider the coaches playing in the above bowl games will be from Group of 5 programs, and thus looking to protect their players from Power 5 poachers as well as their conference foes, all while getting ready to play a game.