The Big 12 heads to a round-robin schedule next season in a 10-team league and released its future conference schedules on Thursday morning.
Teams who play neutral-site games will be protected from playing just three home games, but the Big 12's Senior Associate Commissioner, Tim Allen, a.k.a. the man in charge of scheduling, answered a few questions from Wendell Barnhouse on the Big 12's website.
A few selections from Allen's comments:
On determining the home-away balance:
Our familiarity with the mindset of the institutions over the course of 15-plus years provided a solid point of reference from which to start. We recommended that each institution have multiple games per year in the state of Texas, a balance in the number of the longest charter flights each year, some competitive equity combined with financial impact related to gate and an effort to minimize the number of repeat games at the same site from the final year of the 12-team league to the first year of the 10-team conference.
On other parameters of the schedule process:
We tried to eliminate all schedules where any team played four-of-five games on the road, but factored neutral sites into the equation as well. While the landscape is subject to change, we did try to minimize the number schedules whereby teams played opponents that many would consider traditional powers back-to-back weeks. We desperately wanted to avoid having teams start or finish with two road games, but we were not able to accomplish that. The good news is that those instances are flipped annually, so if a team starts off road-road one year, it starts off home-home the next.
On the hardest part of the process:
Emotions. Schedulers typically look at 100 to 200 schedules and find one that maybe fits perfectly, only to discover one school has four straight games against teams that have been highly ranked over the last 10 years and you go, "Oh no…don't want to do that to them". But then you notice another school faces that situation, then another and you go "this is a pretty tough conference" and you realize there are no easy outs. A lot of coaches and administrators over the years have said, "Well, we have to play them all" but that is a hard mindset when trying to pull the trigger on picking the final schedules for presentation to the athletics directors.
Happy with your team's draw? Again, here's the full schedule.
You can see the schedule for the next two years, as well as what it will look like in odd and even years moving forward.