Thursday, December 18, 2008

There's something happening here

JSU administrators appear to be making the moves necessary to make their non-conference schedule more appealing to the folks who sit in the NCAA playoff selection committee. What those moves are, you'll have to wait until they decide they're good and ready to give it to you.

It takes an Act of Congress (or at least the State Attorney General) to get any substantial insight into the athletic program, so don't look for your hot stove to ever get really hot. If the Gamecocks have any more midyear football signings other than independently confirmed commitments of Mississippi JUCO running back Jamal Young and former Auburn punter Patrick Tatum, school publicists say they aren't likely to release them until around Christmas. Other teams make those announcements when they happen.

By the time the official word gets out, you've forgotten there were signees. Or the newcomers have been on campus for a while and already made the acquaintance of fans and fellow students. So who's being served here?

What's all this have to do with future football schedules? Well, JSU athletics director Oval Jaynes said Wednesday night the Gamecocks have football games scheduled "through 2013, 2014," but he wasn't prepared to make any announcement or drop any hints to stoke the interest until the contracts were signed. School publicists are were the same way.

This is what we do know.

1. The Gamecocks' entourage to the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame ceremonies in New York last week engaged in numerous conversations with their peers about the possibility of playing games. It would be only a guess to say some were successful.

"We've got some opportunities," Jaynes said.

2. One thing those future schedules won't have are non-Division I games. "We're not playing any Division II or Division II teams on the schedule," Jaynes said.

That's a clear shot at the two non-DI games that prevented UT Martin from any serious playoff consideration and a veiled shot at the weak non-conference schedule of Maine, the team that bumped JSU from the last playoff spot.

3. The Gamecocks have guarantee games still with Georgia Tech (next year) and Ole Miss (in 2010), but you already knew that.

4. There will be no Chattanooga game next year because of a scheduling conflict, but there will be games in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Jaynes said. So the Gamecocks are looking for a game for 2009 and they're not immediately prepared to say who's under consideration.

"We tried every way we could to work with Chattanooga (for 2009)," Jaynes said, but noted an unnamed OVC team didn't want to change to accommodate the move.

Could there be a Maine in the Gamecocks' future? Now wouldn't that be interesting, a year after the fact. The Gamecocks did start a home-and-home with Furman the year after they played in the playoffs.

1 comment:

cockydiablo said...

I have heard that Coach Crowe is trying to get a game with Maine. I believe that this game would create a buzz in Jacksonville just as the Furman series did.