No matter how you feel about the NCAA, their objective is supposed to be the protection of student athletes. Their latest rule proposal should do just that.
According to USA Today’s Dan Wolken, the NCAA’s Legislative Division I Council is likely to propose a new rule that will give every football team two bye weeks.
D-1 council is recommending a mandatory 14-week football season. In other words, everyone will get two bye weeks.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 18, 2017
While the change hasn’t officially been proposed yet, Wolken tweeted that it sounds like it will be a priority. That would be huge for college football. Here’s why ...
Right now, schools play a “13 game schedule” meaning 12 games plus a bye week. For teams whose bye comes early in the season, that can mean a season where they have to play 6 or more straight games without a break. That is, unless you’re the SEC, who schedules a “bye week” game (FCS) late in the season. That’s hard on players and even on a coaching staff.
A second bye week can mean injured players returning during the regular season, which is something that benefited Oklahoma State this year. The team’s second bye week fell the week before Bedlam, as it has a few times now. It allowed the Cowboys to get three players back on the field; Michael Wilson, Chad Whitener, and Jordan Burton. Whitener and Burton combined for 15 tackles, half a sack and a forced fumble in that game.
While OSU didn’t win the game, those are impactful performances that might not have happened without a second week to recover. Imagine how bad it might had been if OSU hadn’t had those three guys against OU.
Look, bye weeks don’t guarantee wins (unless you’re Andy Reid). Big 12 teams are 21-23 after a second bye week. Oklahoma State is one of only four teams with a winning record in those games at 3-2. It should be noted that in two years, OSU had three bye weeks (2013, 2014), and went 1-1 the week after those.
A second bye week for teams would be good news to all college football fans, coaches, players, and parents. Not only does it mean your team has a chance to get healthy during the season, it also means the season lasts longer. No it’s not an extra game, but it does mean there is one less week without college football in our lives.
College football fans should be all-in on this development.