Mailbag Feb.27: Does UConn Intend To Play 2014 Non-Conference Schedule?

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Q: Does UCONN intend to play any non games in 2014, whats up with the schedule – Jeff, Torrington

A: I believe UConn intends to play a 2014 non-conference schedule. I really do. I also think there is so much movement in college football, so much going on, with a new athletic director just coming aboard in the past year, a new AD trying to get the best non-conference games for the program that are good, make sense, it cant be easy . He’s a quiet negotiator too so you’re not going to get speculation out of him and you’re not going to get anything out of him until a deal is done. That’s frustrating for fans yes but it makes good business sense. I would say when something happens with the 2014 schedule, deals are finalized, we’ll know. For now, can I suggest that there are enough story lines to talk about with regard to the 2013 schedule which is done and coming up in just a few months and happens to be one of the best regular season schedules the program has ever had… Thanks Jeff…

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43 thoughts on “Mailbag Feb.27: Does UConn Intend To Play 2014 Non-Conference Schedule?

  1. Scott

    You think ticket sales fell from 2007 to 2013 just wait until 2014 with no 2014 non conf teams on ink and the C-USA coming into town. The Rent is already running in debt Wade better step up.

  2. Ryan

    Great now it looks like we need to come up with a new conference name….

    this may be best though just move on and start from scratch and once the Big 12 goes back to 12 or big ten decides to expand again then maybe we get a chance e to get in to one of the established “super conferences” everything ive heard is a lot of these teams may be stopping at 14 so they can have 7 team sub conference and play 6 game schedule with 2 or 3 overlapping sub conference games

      1. Ryan

        agreed if reports are true this is happening next year. I was not paying attention much in the 80’s (only had to worry about what toy to play with) but looking back there was a lot of change back then as well.

  3. Jay

    If the AD announced We will play Alabama in 2020 there would be many complaints he is not concentrating on the current needs of the job while dreaming too far into the future. AD cant win with this crowd.

    1. dconner Post author

      @Jay…I think that’s about the size of it. I think when it’s all said and done a couple people are going to feel kinda, well, they’ll learn they’re not an AD and should stay in their lane when it comes to questioning what someone else is doing or should be doing. Ill refer back to today’s conversations when the schedule is released and we’ll see what’s up.. I predict crickets…lol…Easy Jay

      1. Ryan

        well that’s as long as the AD does a good job! trust me and I’m sure you have seen this there are a lot of questionable at best AD’s out there (not saying Warde is one I am still hholding out until I judge) in the college athletics world. What in the world was Sacred Heart thinking hiring Bobby Valentine besides maybe a media attention grab?!?! That is going to be a train wreck just imagine the first time he thinks he knows better than the NCAA and disregards some rules because they are “stupid” – which by the way there are plenty of dumb rules but the NCAA tends to not like when you tell them that and disregard rules established. I’d hate to be the compliance people there right now……

    2. Artie A...

      Jay I would have to agree with your statement and the position Dez has on this. Having said that I would also point out the announcement you suggest would be dumb on any AD’s part without a schedule for “14” first. I do realize the point you are trying to make.

      There are a few factors here nobody is touching on. First here and on other sites it is only a handful complaining. This is their right and what brings us all here, simply our vested interest. We are all worried about the road ahead but hammering the new guy through the door is going to solve nothing.

      Obviously a few fake pressers from Warde (we are in negotiations with so and so) would help a few climb in off the ledge but then make a liar out of him down the road. The silence is killing us but we have to suck it up.

      Warde is faced with a daunting task. Folks are comparing other schools advanced schedules which may seem fair to them but those schools are in a stable conference and can predict their future. How many of them are going to break contracts to play us?

      What Warde is facing for at least the next couple of years is trying to schedule up out of conference to make up for our now weaker conference. This with very few options as most schools with open dates as close as 14 would do nothing to help our SOS. They have been left behind like us.

      We can only hope down the road some of the schools that we have played over the last several years in conference would like to do so again out of it. This in itself may not be easy as I see our talent level going up, thus making us a trap game for a lot of teams.
      Warde has his work cut out, we can not expect him to get satin from burlap overnight but a little 50/50 cotton polyester blend sometime soon would help….

        1. Navin R. Johnson

          DC…I think we as fans want to see some movement from Warde. Some positive steps forward. This hasn’t happened yet…agree or am I still better than this statement too?

  4. RST

    Personally, I do not mind the Buffalo’s and WMU’s of the world on the schedule until UConn shows that they are no longer up to their level of play. So far that has not happened. UMass I don’t mind as long as it is a home game until they become competitive. That would fall into the category of fostering an eventual arch-rival relationship. If it looks like they are not improving or they refuse unless it is home-home, then drop them. That leaves what, two or three games hopefully from the ACC, B1G, or B12.

    1. SillyBoy

      Great….more Buffalo and directional Michigans…nobody cares and nobody will come to see…have a bigger appetite please…

    2. Navin R. Johnson

      I do without Buffalo as Connecticut has played them far too often recently. I do enjoy the MAC games…just need a break from Buffalo.

  5. Andy

    Hey des – you put words in my mouth that I didn’t say first. It’s only fair that I get a chance to do it too. Where the tipping point is, where faith is no longer enough for fans to maintain confidence in the AD’s ability to schedule properly for the future of the program,is a good question.

    Be well.

    1. Ryan

      Just to add to the Dez/Andy discussion – I work in College Athletics (not at UConn) and the fact that UConn currently has no one on 2014 out of conference schedule (at least that we know of it takes time sometimes to work out details on what money is exchanging hands/home and home/etc.) should for a large part fall on Edsall, former AD’s, and to a extent Coach PP as he has been around long enough to hold some of the blame. Personally I think several people dropped the ball as this is a fairly significant woops with such little time and flexibility left.

      The current AD has walked in to a bleep storm with a conference falling apart and out of conference schedules for a entire playing season not complete (and this season is only 2 years away….). We have not seen any positive results yet which I among many other fans make us very nervous/anxious/angry/etc. I have no problem with the current AD if his style is behind the scenes get it done and then let us know but with that style if the results do not come then fans continue with the negative feedback. I think we need to give him a little more time and not rush judgment to much because both these major issues existed before his time but Warde Manual could help himself out a little by releasing some of the 2014 out of conference schedule as he secures games individually rather than all at once (which I think is fairly common anyway) to help calm people’s emotions. We do have a little time with the schedule issue and unfortunately the conference issue we are most likely waiting for more chips to fall (lawsuit results, etc.) and the next 1-3 years will be a critical time I think for UConn which again is another reason why I see why UConn fans right now are very anxious because if things go as they are currently going (which is not great) we could potentially be starting from scratch and have to build up with the conference we are currently in which can take potentially a long time and may never reach what other conferences are already at.

      Just to add on scheduling front – Lot of people look at the schedule and say hey this team has a opening this week and so on but it really is much more complicated than that. Many times the lower level schools traveling to “UConn Home game only” tend to receive a decent paycheck from the home team to travel and cover expenses – those are probably a little easier to schedule and UConn probably could just add 2-3 of these schools to fill out 2014 schedule fairly quickly and may eventually have to as a fall back giving us a pretty week home schedule for the year. The tougher games to schedule are the better schools getting them to agree to the home and home first (which first year in 2014 may be on road), but then find that open date that works for both schools so UConn I can see may be holding off on adding some of the lower level schools in 2014 while reaching for the moon to land some of those higher profile games and until that area is settled I do not see the 2014 schedule filling out to quickly. Because so many moving parts that is why usually you are working on your schedule 2-10 years out.

      I would be fine with us adding a away only game to a high profile team, try and get 1-2 decent teams around are level to a home and home, and add 1-2 of the lower level to round out home schedule. I know people will complain if we agree to a away only game but at this point 2014 is coming fast and we need to do what we need to do.

      Hopefully that sheds some light and what I put above is not to confusing

      1. dconner Post author

        @Ryan you’re a better man than me going that deep into how scheduling works and pointing out who dropped balls although Im not sure how PP bears any responsibility. that one youll have to explain but I think youre on point the rest of the way…Anyway, my main problem is I take for granted people who come here know all what you just wrote but am constantly reminded, constantly, that I should not do that…

        1. Ryan

          and I’m thinking Andy probabaly will not even see the long post explaining all the behind the scenes stuff!

  6. Scott

    8 year season ticket holder here and I have to agree with Andy. After this season I see nothing to intice me to Renew my season tickets. With a conference that has turned into C-USA and No non conference games in ink for 2014 the future of Uconn Football looks blek and dull.

    1. dconner Post author

      @Scott … I hear ya… It’s better to be depressed now about something in the future you have no idea about than to be ecstatic about something right in your face today. I get it. Easier to be critical, bleak and depressed than happy and excited for something that’s only a few months away. Eight-year season ticket holder so I know you haven’t seen a schedule like the 2013 before…I guess the excitement has run out on that one before it even started…maybe UConn football is taking 2013 off and someone forgot to tell me…

      1. Scott

        Never said anything about 2013.I said AFTER this year.Dez I grew up in the 561 man Some Highschool games in Glades hade were better then what we would see out of the Big East in 2014 IJS!!

    2. Andy

      I’m going to renew Scott, in February 2014, because I always do,and I always go to see UCONN, and not who they’re lining up against, but I also know that there aren’t really that many like me yet – certainly not 40k. I’m fine with an old C-USA lineup of conference opponents, actually. I think we damn well better be able to win titles with this new conference. But, to say that the non-conference schedule doesn’t matter, is simply wrong. It matters now, more than ever.

  7. Andy

    Des – not what I said at all. I said there’s nothing measurable for fans to see after almost a year in the office. I didn’t say that he’s not doing anything. I know you don’t like when people put words in your mouth, so please don’t do it to me!! THere is nothing, for a fan, right now, like me – regular season ticket buying fan – to look forward to beyond this year, except faith and a revamped C-USA schedule. You really think that us ticket buyers, that have been buying for years aren’t excited about 2013? – hell yes we are. But you always have one eye on the future as well. Now, faith is a great thing, and I’m going to be going to see UCONN no matter what. I have faith. THe only glimpse of anything being done though, was a discussion about a neutral site Notre Dame game. If that’s the level we’re going for in opponents, in scheduling, that’s a good thing. But there is simply no info now, from the past year that Manueal has been in the AD office, other than that rumor of a Notre Dame game. Manuel might like to business that way, but it makes it hard, for a guy like me, to talk to my friends, and generate new ticket buyers, when the schedules are empty. I have generated a lot of people that have bought tickets, and are ticket buyers this year, over the past 3 years, because of the schedule we’ve got for 2013. Can’t do that right now for the future though, and how are those people going to be interested in renewing? If you’ve got more info, please share. I don’t know about anybody else, but my patience is getting thin, and I would love nothing more than to insert my foot into my mouth, when the future opponents that we’re going to play at Rentschler are released. NOthing more I want, other than to win the conference again, and win more titles, than when I’m gearing up for the games, is that when everybody’s getting psyched for back to back weekends of Maryland, and Michigan, that I can tell them – well enjoy it now, and get your season tickets because next year we’re getting……….

    1. dconner Post author

      @Andy lol – fair enough Andy. Fair enough. I always say I understand the fans pain on this and I do and I’m sorry but you and others do understand that it just isn’t something that is going to be done easily? Yes, pretty much all the major conferences schedules are done. Do you know why? They’re not done a year before they’re played. They’re done years in advance Andy. Does Jeff Hathaway not bear some responsibility? Warde became AD last February. It’s Feb. 28 and you’re telling me the 2014 schedule is important today. I can’t buy that one Andy Im sorry. You know, I’m not a good psychiatrist so I should stop trying to be one, lol. Seriously, if you or others want to freak out about the 14 sked, some saying the guy hasn’t done anything since he’s been here, that’s fine, go ahead. I’ve pushed back because I know thats not the case and it’s not my job. All I can tell you factually is the AD is working on the 2014 schedule and beyond but really until you hear names, dates, times and networks in black and white nothing I say is going to make a difference. So until I, the school or somebody else has something to report on the 14 sked, ill bud out and watch the comments as others will. Be good.

      1. Andy

        I’ve got a pretty good grasp on how football scheduling works Desmond, where we were with it and where we are now, and I’m pretty familiar with the UCONN football program in general, thanks. I appreciate your dedication to reporting the facts, and I know you’ve been doing it for a long, long time. My opinion, is that out of conference scheduling, is hugely important to the health of this program moving forward, adn I’m surprised that you don’t. Because as long as you’ve been covering this program, yo should know that in the past 10-12 years, every time we’ve begun to build somethign resembling a rivalry for fans to gear up about at this level of competition, and look forward to year in and year out on the schedules, and for the schedulign to anchor important fall weekends around, those programs seem to up and leave for different conferences. Maybe they’re all afraid of losing to us. I hope not, because I’d like to see them all on the future schedules,balanced out with the others that we can regularly beat the crap out of on our way to more titles. The 2014 schedule matters, I’ve been asked about it, more than a few times, and I’ve got nothing to say. I guess I’m not that much different than the AD, except it’s not my job to actually fill the schedule.

        1. dconner Post author

          @Andy, you trying to call me out Andy? Are you trying to say I don’t think the out of conference 2014 schedule is important for fans to know? Is that what I said? Or did I say today was Feb. 28 2013 and there’s plenty of time, the AD is working on it, I know that and don’t trip? The record affirms the latter not the former. As I mentioned in my previous post to you. I’m not a psychiatrist and I never should have attempted to be one. That’s said, I think you should go with your opinions/feelings that the AD isn’t doing anything with the schedule, oh, Im sorry anything measurable, ride it out and I guess time will tell if if it was right. Time will tell if it was wrong as well. The latter is the one I always worry about with the folks but I need to stop that as well…

          1. Andy

            Oh boy. Facts and opinions. The facts are that there is nobody on the 2014 schedule out of conference schedule. Beyond that, the schedule continues to be barren. Nobody is disputing this Des. Not me. My opinion, is that it’s pretty darn important for the health of the program in the future, and scheduling, is not about who you are playing THIS fall, and this discussion is not about THIS fall. I also said I’m surprised, that you don’t hold the same opinion, regarding the importance of out of conference scheduling for the UCONN football program. Fans want to know about the future schedules Des, we want to know. that’s all.

          2. dconner Post author

            @Andy oh boy is right. I said the 2014 schedule wasn’t important? I said that? Wow…Ok. When there’s something on the schedule, if I have it, I’ll report it here. Enjoy the rest of your day

  8. Andy

    The lack of any future scheduling announcements is a big deal. There are plenty of reasons (excuses?) as to why Manuel has had nothing to announce with future football scheduling since his arrival when? Last March? About a year ago already? The one that we all keep reading from Desmond, is that Warde Manuel likes to keep things quiet I suppose, until things are final on paper – or whatever. It’s a convenient way to deflect. THe only hint, that anything substantial is being done, was some kind of rumor that floated last fall about a game with Notre Dame at Fenway. It seemed it was exactly that – a rumor. But it is a HUGE deal. THe traditional opponents, or more accurately, the opponents we all though we were going to get, in conference are all gone. THe fact is, that since we’ve joined the Big East conference about what 9 years ago? Our conference opponents on the schedule have changed almost on a yearly basis, and that again will be the case next year. We have not been in a stable conference, at any point in our BCS existence. Therefore, the opponents we can schedule out of conference, are extremely important to generating fan interest, because we have not had the opportunity to generate any traditional rivalry type opponents in football in the past decade. At the same time, you need to balance the schedule competitively, so that you are giving yourself the best opportunity to advance to a bowl game. The Army, Buffalo’s, UMass’ of the world, will help in that regard, but aren’t going to draw the national attention, viewership on TV, and generate ticket demand at the stadium, the way the Michigans, Tennessee’s, etc. will. As of now, Warde has done nothing measurable for the future of our football program when it comes to scheduling, and it is indeed frustrating, even for patient fans.

    1. dconner Post author

      @Andy I think you meant to say, ill add it, “i don’t think Warde has done anything” I can tell you your 2 million percent wrong about that one my friend. I can say say that is factually incorrect. I know it’s no longer important here and most especially in the world but we really do need to get away from spewing our opinion as fact. I mean, when that schedule is released…what do you say? Ah I was just blowing off steam? What do you call those sudden shifts when even opinions are proven wrong? With this comment you consider your patient? Sounds like that basketball game, awesome game best in the league this year, re-amped the fragile state some lay in regarding conference realignment – but that’s just me. Andy, I would just say I wouldn’t marry up with Warde not doing anything with the schedule. I wouldn’t but you’re not me…good luck with it.

  9. TheJerk

    this is slowly becomeing the new version of “The Question”

    For those who dont remember or are new to the blog “The Question” was people asking what is going on with the games against Notre Dame

  10. Jesse

    I don’t understand why everyone is up in arms about not having a 2014 non-conference schedule. We aren’t even two months into 2013 with barely yet. Maybe we should worry about 2013 before we look ahead to 2014.

    1. UCFBFan

      College football schedules years in advance. If you sit around and wait the opponents are not available. So this lack of an OOC schedule for 2014 is an issue.

      1. dconner Post author

        @UCFBFan Good point. Now, can you answer this one, of course using your logic: who exactly was it that just sat around and waited to do the schedules? And remember UConn began playing I-A football before Feb. 2012 and Jan. 2011 so the answer shouldnt be that difficult…I disagree by the way that it’s an issue. Because you don’t know what it is doesnt mean its an issue. Thanks in advance…

        1. Navin R. Johnson

          So should we look at Jeff Hathaway for the lack of OOC games? WM hasn’t signed any long term OOC games since he has arrived. It should be a concern for fans and th university.

          1. dconner Post author

            @Navin – Of course not. Warde should have had the 14, 15 and 16 schedule done while Hathaway was here and he was still the AD at Buffalo. Relax man. Just but the schedule isn’t out yet doesn’t mean UConn isnt playing football in 2014. Give the guy a chance to do his job. You’re looking at the best schedule the program has had coming up in a few months. Will you allow yourself to be satisfied with that for now? Or no? It’s another concern for those who don’t have any confidence in UConn or the AD, the skeptical and to some degree, fragile, not to mention the few who were going to be critical of Warde just for waking up and going to work and refusing now to acknowledge all he walked into when he arrived? yes I agree with that.

          2. Navin R. Johnson

            It’s a little hard to be positive when the conference your in is sinking and with conference realignment happening and Connecticut is always passed over. Would you agree? I get that 2013 is the best OCC Connecticut has had in a long time if not ever.

            It’s just hard to see/take all of the positive momentum of the program building over the last 10 years and now the uncertainty that combined with two bad seasons when they should have at minimum gotten 6 wins. I’m sure you would agree…

          3. dconner Post author

            @Navin You’re better than this. I would expect this from a certain few others but not you. These are the kinds of comments other message boards copy and use to make fun of UConn and its fans. Also, I think you know re-trying the past two seasons is not going to change anything on anything. You can vent that I guess but….and if you think your position is just about football, again, I say, you have not been paying attention to what’s been happening with regards to realignment. At the very least we’re repeating, well, you’re repeating the same concerns you had four or five months ago. What’s that tell you man? You have no control, me either. Ready for these dirty words? Here they come: Relax, support your team and trust the people whose job it is to deal with this stuff.

          4. Navin R. Johnson

            DC can you tell me how many OOC game Ward has scheduled since he’s gotten here? Just curious.

            Also not too sure what you mean as benign better than this. Just voicing some frustration and concerns over a program I support and will continue to support in 2013 and beyond.

      2. Jesse

        Just because nothing has been announced doesn’t mean that Manuel is just sitting around. I’m sure he is, just relax. Remember the last few years haven’t exactly been killer non conference schedules. Yes there was Michigan, NC State and Maryland. And really only beating Michigan would have looked good. The other two teams are just middle to bottom of the pack ACC and we all know the ACC is FSU and Clemson when it comes to football.

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