Could college football teams get an extra bye week in the near future?
The Division I Football Oversight Committee said on Friday that it would look at adding a 14th week to the regular season — among other things — in the coming months. A recommendation would be made in October.
The regular season is currently 13 weeks, which gives teams one bye week in a 12-game regular season schedule. The 14th week is the weekend of conference championship games. Before the Big 12 went back to a conference championship game in 2017, it had some regular season games in Week 14, meaning its teams had two weeks off.
But teams in leagues with a title game currently just have one bye week.
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The committee is also going to evaluate “possible changes” to preseason practice timelines as teams gear up for the first preseason without two-a-days. From the release:
The elimination of two-a-day practices beginning with the 2017 season is playing a role in those discussion. As schools evaluate the effect of that change on their preseason schedules, a waiver is in place to permit schools to start their preseason practices up to seven days earlier than the rule allows. For some schools, that could mean having football teams reporting to preseason practice during the last few days of July.
The committee acknowledged that a waiver for the 2017 preseason was a way to help the membership adapt to a preseason practice model that does not permit two-a-day practices. However, the committee agreed with feedback from the membership that a new playing season model that returns the start of preseason practice to August is preferred.
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The committee will also look at a proposal that would change the way eligibility is calculated. Currently, a player who plays in just one game in a season would use a year of playing eligibility unless he or she is granted a waiver for a medical redshirt.
A concept presented to the committee by the American Football Coaches Association suggests allowing a football student to compete in a limited number of football games throughout the season without using a season of competition.
The release also said that members of the committee would “continue to review” the facets of staff size. The size of programs’ support staffs has been a discussion — and one Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t a fan of.
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