The 12th Game

With the NCAA approving a new 12-game schedule, one wonders what affect that will have on the Heisman race.

Obviously, statistics will improve as another game is added. Players from teams who play in a league with a conference title game will be able to put up better numbers, on the surface anyway, since they’ll have 13 games under their belt. One result will be a further cheapening of the 2,000-yard rushing mark, no doubt, as well as other single-season and career records.

On the other hand, there will also be more chances for a player to prove himself–or screw up–before the voters begin voting.

With the packed schedule, expect last year’s move toward internet Heisman voting–and we’ll have those full stats for you soon–to continue. More voters will now hold off as long as possible before casting their ballots.

On another note, one wonders if some teams that currently now play as many as seven home games in an 11 game season will up that ante to an almost-unfair eight. If a team has eight home games, is it really so impressive if they go 9-3 on the season?

As much as we hate the NFL, at least there is some uniformity that reigns when it comes to scheduling.

In the meantime, 12 games means the Pac-10 will play a full round robin schedule, writes Bud Withers of the Seattle Times.

As discussed here in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, SEC coaches are caviling at the changes, which could cause the usually gun-shy league to schedule more out-of-conference games with BCS opponents than is now the case.

“You’d like have one high-level opponent on the schedule every year, but you also have to be reasonable,” LSU Athletic Director Skip Bertman said. “It’s great to talk about playing the Florida States or Oklahomas. But with the SEC schedule we play and when one loss can knock you out of the national championship race, you don’t want two games against someone like a Miami or a USC.”

Just ask Auburn. They replaced USC and Georgia Tech in 2003 with The Citadel and Louisiana-Monroe in 2004. The result? An undefeated season.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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