clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Why 2019’s calendar is going to make it easier for college football to avoid severe weather

The calendar will allow for greater flexibility with rescheduling in 2019 ... but don’t get used to it.

Minnesota v Michigan Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

With safety as the paramount concern, college football has seen an uptick in cancelled and postponed games due to severe weather lately. When that happens, one of the first contingencies in place is to simply reschedule the game for a later date in the season.

But that typically is tough to do because college teams only have one bye week most of the time. But not in 2019, because the calendar breaks the right way — instead of 13 Saturdays between Labor Day weekend and the Saturday after Thanksgiving, there are 14.

Here’s a look at the Big Ten’s schedule grid for 2019 conference games that shows the number of Saturdays in the column on the left.

While full schedules haven’t been released for the other Power 5 leagues yet, the SEC announced complete schedules for its 14 teams with the two byes built in.

The lack of a common bye is typically the biggest sticking point in reschedule negotiations. A second bye week means there’s greater wiggle room with rescheduling and that benefits most importantly the local economy of businesses in college towns who depend on the revenue that home games can generate. A second bye is also a bit better from a player safety standpoint as well.

But this is not the norm. It only happens when the calendar breaks right and we get an extra Saturday, but the NCAA is at least open to the idea. The Division I oversight committee has looked into expanding the season to 14 weeks as recently as 2017.