Horning Highlighted in ‘The Scheduling Game’

Today, College Sports Television’s website posted an interesting article that features NC State’s Associate Athletics Director, David Horning and UNC-CH’s Steve Kirschner commenting on “The Scheduling Game”. You’ll probably need to read it before going through my comments on the story tomorrow.

Quotes from the article will be shown in italics in this entry.

For the most part…I think that Horning and Kirschner do a fine job of representing a well constructed thesis for sound reasoning behind their scheduling philosophies. I particularly like Kirschner’s comments, “It’s all about finding the right balance. You want your fans to be excited about who you’re playing and you want TV to be interested in the matchups, but you don’t want to overschedule. You can have the most attractive schedule to everybody in the world, except your coach.”

In the article, Horning & Kirschner list considerations that go into each of their decisions and strategies regarding football scheduling. I do not know if the interviews used to write the article happened simultaneously in the presence of both Horning and Kirschner…or if the author interviewed each individually and compiled them in the article.

According to Horning, the following are the primary reasons why NC State makes certain scheduling decisions. The order in which these reasons are cited in the article are as follows

(1) Positioning for the Postseason
“We build our schedule around what we can do to help our chances for the postseason…You’ve got to construct a non-conference schedule that’s compatible with your conference schedule,” Horning says.

(2) Style of Opponent
“You look to see who the head coach of another school is, and what kind of offense and defense they run,” Horning says. “For example, we scheduled Texas Tech, who obviously poses a different type of offense than, say, a Big Ten team would. They’re more pass oriented and it forces to you come up with different defensive schemes, more nickel and dime packages. It’s something we need to consider.”

(3) Recruiting
“One of the reasons we like to go into Florida is because we like to recruit there,” Horning says. “We also like to go into New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

(4) Television
“Television is important, whether it’s a Texas Tech or a Pitt or a Temple; because if you can find an extra opportunity to be on television, that can only help you with exposure.”

(5) Keeping Revenue “Within the System”
“If you have the opportunity to play a North Carolina game against a team that’s in your school system, why not do that and keep the revenue within the system?” Horning says. “You look nationally if you need to, then you look locally. Give a team like Appalachian State or Western Carolina or Eastern Carolina a chance, before you go and play Ohio University.”

(6) National Appeal
“We need to consider: Does our non-conference schedule our schedule look appealing?” Horning says. “We had Syracuse a few years ago. We had Texas Tech and Indiana. You try to add some appeal to your schedule.”

Take a good look at these and let them soak in a little. I’ll follow up tomorrow with some indvidual thoughts of what is here.