Scheduling, scheduling, scheduling! If I had a dime for every time a Huskie fan or a member of the media has mentioned that topic to me since my arrival at NIU a year ago, there would be a lot of new shoes in the Frazier house!
That’s why I’m so happy to kick off this week’s “Huskie Football SchedulePalooza” with this special Frazier’s Corner.
Beginning Tuesday, we will be announcing one new home-and-home series every day this week. SchedulePalooza is more than just a catchy name. It’s the result of a year of nose-to-the-grindstone work.
Throughout the past year, I kept assuring everyone that scheduling for football was foremost in my mind. That wasn’t lip service. Since I arrived on campus last August, Deputy Athletics Director Christian Spears and I have met, discussed, made countless calls and worked on our future football schedules on a weekly – if not daily – basis!
Conservatively speaking, we have probably reached out to 50 different schools from every FBS league in the country. And that doesn’t even count the schools I’ve called out on Twitter!
In this new era of the College Football Playoff, when one (1) team from what has been dubbed the “Group of 5” will receive access to one of the host bowls each year, scheduling has become even more critical. We have had two primary goals in mind while putting together the series that we will announce this week:
- Arranging home-and-home games against national programs in order to bring quality opponents to Huskie Stadium.
- Putting NIU in the best position to succeed in the new College Football Playoff system.
We want to play the best teams from our fellow Group of 5 leagues – that includes the Mountain West, the American Athletic Conference and Conference USA. Going forward, we must have a quality non-conference schedule to be attractive to the College Football Playoff Committee.
In addition to the Group of 5 opponents, we have aggressively pursued series with teams in the “Power 5” leagues. Some of those teams have taken our calls, some have not, and that’s OK. I assure you, there are national names and Power 5 teams involved in this week’s SchedulePalooza.
One more note – SchedulePalooza does not signal the end of our scheduling efforts. The process is ongoing. There are more contracts to be inked and dates to be filled as we move forward. As more series are finalized, you will hear about them!
Some people have used our non-conference schedule as an excuse not to buy season tickets. I believe SchedulePalooza, and future scheduling announcements, should make those excuses a thing of the past. I am excited about our direction and about Huskie Football.
Now is the time to get on board and support this program. There is no reason to wait until 2016 or 2018 or 2021 when we play … whoever. The time is now. Commit2NIU!
Sean T. Frazier
Associate Vice-President & Director of Athletics