Posted: April 23, 2013
College Football Quest has released our 2013 schedule. This year we will be going to Oregon, Syracuse, Mississippi, Central Florida, and South Florida. Let me provide some insight into how our Quest schedule for 2013 came to be made. And if you are thinking that this is like learning how sausage is made, you are not very far off.
First, I await the Southeastern Conference to release its schedule so that I can look at the Gator schedule and determine which weekends are primary travel weekends. These consist of the Florida Gator bye weeks and the weeks they play directional schools. Then I look at some of the lesser conference games to determine the “if I have to” travel weekends. I give the SEC a lot of credit and normally they have the conference schedule mapped out years ahead. But due to expansion and the debate over the philosophy of the conference slate, it is now year by year, but they are still one of the first.
The two trips high on the list for this year were Ole Miss, since we had to postpone the trip from last year, and Oregon, a trip I have wanted to do since the inception of the Quest but either never worked for scheduling reasons or Al’s proclivities. So I tore right into those schedules to see if there was alignment with what the Gator schedule would allow for travel. There were a number of possibilities this year. A shout out must go to FB Schedules, which is our go to site for looking at team schedules.
Then it is a waiting game. Conference and team schedules are then released slowly over the winter and early spring. We generally wait until all schedules are announced before making plans. This year, the Mountain West just could not get their s*** together and we got tired of waiting, so in mid March, I began to look at what possibilities existed for other games ignoring the Mountain West. The first look is for weekday games that allow for a doubleheader Thursday/Saturday or Friday/Saturday. A few possibilities existed this year, which meant that this year, more than most, we had options.
We then decided which Oregon and Ole Miss games we wanted to go to. A lot of debate went into that as there were many possibilities, but finally reached agreement. Then due to spacing of games and double header possibilities the schedule fell into place with Oregon, Ole Miss and the UCF, & USF double header. Because of the spacing of the games on 9/28, 10/26, 11/21 & 11/23 and it being only 3 trips, we had the opportunity to convince the wives to allow a fourth trip, fifth game on opening day weekend. Due to expected travel costs of the planned games, it had to be a one night driving distance game. Ok, Syracuse was home against Penn State to open the season on 8/31. And thus our 2013 football schedule was finalized.
Due to 8/31 being a long weekend, it being driving distance, and the kids school will not have started yet, we decided to make that a kids trip as well. Fast forward a few days and after getting the kids all excited, I realize that the 8/31 game is not in Syracuse but rather a neutral site game at MetLife Stadium. Cue scramble mode. We had to find a game where the kids could go to avoid a meltdown of epic proportions. Due to this massive error on my part, I had to sacrifice a previously blocked out Gator weekend (vs Arkansas) to make it work. Enter the 10/5 Clemson @ Syracuse game. This also means 3 weekend trips in a row, but since one was me taking both my kids, my wife ok’d it. I have no idea how Al sold it.
Finally, a final schedule.
Saturday, September 21, 2013 – Tennessee Volunteers @ Florida Gators
Saturday, September 28, 2013 – California Golden Bears @ Oregon Ducks
Saturday, October 5, 2013 – Clemson Tigers @ Syracuse Orange
Saturday, October 26, 2013 – Idaho Vandals @ Mississippi Rebels
Thursday, November 21, 2013 – Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ Central Florida Knights
Saturday, November 23, 2013 – SMU Mustangs @ South Florida Bulls
Due to memory issues in my head, a lot of specific details of scheduling were lost as I composed this post. Next year, I will post a more thorough review of our thought processes (taking notes along the way) and difficulties in planning our schedule to give a little better insight as to just how difficult it is for us to put the pieces of our schedule together and what we are thinking at the time.