Scheduling Page 1


Article from Idaho Statesman Newpaper  1-16-2010
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne has offered Boise State a 2-for-1 scheduling proposal, he said Friday on the Idaho Sports Talk with Caves and Prater radio show on KTIK. The proposal calls for two games in Lincoln, Neb., and one in Bronco Stadium, with the series starting in 2015, Osborne said. Boise State officials were not available for comment late Friday afternoon.

LINK TO STORY (no longer active)


Omaha World Herald
Published Wednesday September 8, 2010

Shatel: Where’s the beef? Future NU schedules

There’s been some bold talk this week out of the Boise State camp of supporters. Nobody in a big-boy conference will play Boise. You think that you can beat the Broncos? Give them a call. We dare you.

Nebraska  called. Nebraska tried.

In the past year, NU tried to put together a series with BSU; two-for-one, home-and-home, one-way trip to Lincoln. Whatever. It ended up fizzling out. Why?

Because, according to NU Assistant Athletic Director Jeff Jamrog, Boise wanted a minimum $1 million to play in Lincoln.

Geez, no wonder the Broncos can’t get anyone to play them. Pay Boise State $1 million to come to your town? Sorry, don’t want it that bad.



 Here are parts of a couple of newspaper articles and links to former NU Athletic Director Bill Byrne who had a Q/A page on NUs site.  He was AD from 1992-2003.  The links are no longer active.  I don't think his replacement Steve Pederson did as good a job in scheduling and NU did play some 1AA teams.  New AD Tom Osborne has said he would like to avoid playing any 1AA teams.

Grand Rapids Press (Michigan)
       Sept. 23, 2000 section C, page 1, continued page 4 by David Mayo

      "More than a year ago, former Michigan athletic director Tom Goss squelched a contracted home-and-home series with Nebraska"


TOM SHATEL   WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER  (fall of 2000) few lines from a longer article.

He's (Byrne) also talking to Ohio State about a home-and-home, and maybe Georgia, too.

But why wouldn't Nebraska bite the economic bullet and play two non-conference road games in one year, as some have done? The answer was succinct. Got a calculator? "Take $35 times 70,000," says Byrne, referring to NU's home attendance and average ticket price. "That's $2.1 million (actually $2.45 million). Add $200,000 to $300,000 for concessions. That's $2.5 million. Then you pay $400,000 for someone to come in here, which leaves you with $2 million to keep. If you go on the road, the most you're going to get is $400,000. And no TV money. With the agreement all the schools have now, the home team keeps all the TV money. "That's why you really don't want to give up home games."

Don't be fooled. They all do it. When NU had that 1997 opening, Byrne said, he and Ohio State couldn't get together because each wanted a home game to fill its opening. NU got Akron instead.

Meanwhile, here's a list - he keeps track of such things in his schedule book for moments like these - of schools that have said "no" to playing Nebraska: Stanford, Oregon, Maryland, San Diego State, Wisconsin, Illinois, LSU, Alabama and, yes, Michigan.

"Michigan has no intention of playing us," Byrne said.


Published Thursday    August 14, 2008
Tom Shatel: Huskers looking to land lunkers

Earlier this summer, on a slow news and football day, I happened to stop by the office of Jeff Jamrog, Nebraska's assistant athletic director for football. He asked me in.

"I want to show you something," Jamrog said. "What do you think?"

He showed me a list of college football schools. Most of them were Bowl Championship Series members, some were from the Mountain West or Mid-American conferences. Some were highlighted. Some were crossed out.

Jamrog has been fishing for future NU nonconference opponents. This was his pool. I was somewhat stunned when he asked me to grab a fishing rod.

"Who would you like to see us play?" he asked.

Where to start? The obvious one: Bo Pelini vs. Ohio State. Or Bo vs. LSU. Florida. Michigan.

Wait. What about Wisconsin? That's a natural. Can't Tom Osborne and former Husker Barry Alvarez make that happen?

"Interesting," Jamrog said.

The obvious one is Miami. Yes, the power formerly known as the Hurricanes. The green and orange, in downtown Lincoln. Finally, after all these years.

"We're working on it," Jamrog said. "It's a possibility."

Holy Ibis, Batman. What in the wide world of sports is going on here?

Nebraska is taking on all comers. Pelini's Huskers have yet to take a snap or send a blitz, but the new sheriff is already sending a message out to the college football world: Bring 'em on. Bring 'em all on.

There's irony here. The Pelini Era is all about swagger. But the new guy will get his brass knuckles out for Western Michigan, San Jose State and New Mexico State.

Pelini, Jamrog and Osborne want to change that. They don't necessarily like the nonconference schedules they've inherited from Steve Pederson and Bill Callahan, which include Florida Atlantic, Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State in 2009 and Western Kentucky, Idaho and Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) South Dakota State in 2010.

"It looks like they wanted to schedule a bunch of wins," Jamrog said. "We can't do anything about it. We can't do anything about the guarantees that were set, unless you want to cancel the contracts. But we aren't interested in doing that."

What they can do is no longer schedule Championship Subdivision teams. Jamrog said Osborne and Pelini no longer want to go that route, if possible.

That's the problem.

Swagger is one thing. Reality is another. That's reality, as in money, as in finding seven home games a year to feed all of the mouths in the athletic department.

"Bo, Coach Osborne and myself are in agreement that we want to play the best schedule possible," Jamrog said. "We also want to have seven home games a year, to support the program. There aren't many away games if you want seven home games."

Here's the given: To schedule a fellow BCS team, you have to agree to a home-and-home. My place this year, your place next year. That's not new.

What's new is that schools in the Mountain West, WAC and MAC suddenly have attitudes.

It used to be easier to get Wyoming or TCU to come to Lincoln for a one-time game. Now, they want Nebraska to return the trip. If NU already has a home-and-home with a BCS-level team, you run the risk of two nonconference road games (and six home games) in a season.

"There are some non-BCS teams that I've contacted that want home and home," Jamrog said. "One is BYU."

Another is Wyoming. Jamrog thought he had a three-year deal with Wyoming set, with the Cowboys coming to Lincoln twice and Wyoming "hosting" the Huskers at Invesco Field in Denver (three hours from Laramie, Wyo.). But Wyoming has since decided that it wants NU to come to Laramie. So Jamrog is working on a longer contract with Wyoming, to get more home games out of the deal.

Why the attitude? Economics. The non-BCS teams are in hot demand by BCS teams that all want seven home games. So the BYUs and Wyomings can command a deal because there's going to be a BCS team desperate enough to give it.

Then there are the outlandish guarantees. The current NU football brass is not happy that Pederson offered an average guarantee to nonconference opponents of more than $700,000, which led the Big 12. But that seems to be the price of doing business these days. Ohio State is paying Navy $1.4 million to come to Columbus. Wisconsin will write Northern Illinois a check for just less than $1 million to visit Madison.

The prices don't figure to come down anytime soon. Blame it on the BCS. When the strength-of-schedule component was taken out of the formula to pick the BCS rankings, that gave the BCS contenders license to lighten their load. The loser is the fan, who will see fewer blockbuster games like the Ohio State-USC game set for next month.

"That's what the fans want to see," Pelini said. "That's the shame of the BCS. Fans aren't seeing the games they used to see in September. We want to play those games. I don't want to shy away from anyone."

It's good news that Pelini wants to land some big fish. But he and Osborne had better load up on the bait.