OSU sees most Big 12 teams off big breaks
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Saturday, February 23, 2013
2/23/13 at 7:39 AM
STILLWATER - Here's a scheduling quirk: One-third of Oklahoma State's conference slate features matchups with teams that haven't played a Big 12 game in more than four days.
The Cowboys' sixth and final such game arrives Saturday against West Virginia, which has been off since a Monday loss against Kansas State.
"Every team we play on Saturday seems to have played on Big Monday or had the week off," coach Travis Ford said. "I could (understand) if it happened once or twice, but it's been quite a few times."
OSU has played the most Big 12 games against teams with an extended break, followed by Texas with five. Conference co-leader Kansas is one of four teams that has had four, slightly above the league average of 3.4.
Teams with the fewest are Oklahoma and Iowa State, each with one.
The breaks in schedules often follow Big Monday games, which are dictated by ESPN. In that case, a team usually has to cope with a short turnaround (Saturday to Monday) and then doesn't play again until Saturday.
"There could be a perceived negative for the team they play the following Saturday," said Tim Allen, the Big 12's senior associate commissioner who oversees scheduling, "but there's also a perceived negative about playing on one day's rest."
OSU has played in one Big Monday game, a Jan. 21 loss at Baylor. Kansas' schedule includes four Big Monday games, while some teams have none.
Other breaks of more than four days occur because of bye weeks, when once a season a team has a full week off. The Cowboys' bye week was after its Jan. 12 loss at Oklahoma, and they bounced back to rout Texas Tech.
The Big 12 works to ensure no one has to play a team coming off a bye more than twice in a season but doesn't consider the Monday-Saturday break a bye, Allen said.
Occasionally, games are played on Tuesday, giving the teams an additional day off before Saturday, as will be the case when Kansas State visits Stillwater in the regular-season finale.
While most conference scheduling is computer-generated, some parameters are followed:
Of their games against teams coming off a bye or a Monday game, the Cowboys lost two, including the first Bedlam meeting after OU had been off for a week.
- Two of a team's first four games and two of the team's last four games must be at home.
- Teams can't play more than two straight road games.
- A road game on Big Monday must be preceded by a Saturday home game.
- Two teams can't play each other twice within a 10-day period.
OSU also stumbled at Baylor when the Bears hadn't played a league game in a week and were coming off a 69-point victory against Division III Hardin-Simmons.
The extra rest doesn't always help. OSU notched big wins at Kansas and at home against Oklahoma when both opponents played the previous Monday and had two more days to prepare.
"I'm not complaining about (the scheduling)," Ford said. "It's just strange how it turned out. It is what it is."
Said Allen: "When we get to the coaches meeting in the spring, if Oklahoma State has raised this as an issue that they would like to discuss, we're going to more than thrilled to discuss it with them and see if there's anything we can do to take a look at that."
1 p.m. Saturday
WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, W.Va.
Radio: KFAQ am1170
A break from the Big 12
Number of Big 12 opponents with more than four days since a conference game
Original Print Headline: OSU gets teams off most big breaks
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