2014 Schedule: Growth

Published on February 24, 2014 10:16 PM by dbo.

The CFL released the 2014 schedule Feb. 12th. An average release date, and considering new stadiums online in Ottawa and Hamilton this year, an early date. 2014’s schedule is also a return to traditions in many ways as well as a new era.

Schedule Summary

  • The pre-season begins Monday, June 9th and concludes Friday, June 20th, played over 3 weeks to accommodate the extra game played.
  • Three pre-season games are to be played in secondary stadiums: Hamilton hosting Montreal at Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton, Toronto hosting Hamilton at Varsity Stadium in Toronto and Ottawa playing their pre-season home game in Regina at Mosaic Stadium.
  • Pre-season features all in-division matchups, except Toronto who crosses over to play Winnipeg and the aforementioned Saskatchewan at Ottawa in Regina.
  • The regular season opens Thursday, June 26th with Toronto visiting Winnipeg.
  • The total schedule is 95 games (9 pre-season, 81 regular season, 5 playoffs) and increase of 10 games over 8 team years in case you were wondering.
  • Two bye weeks are provide to each team, with one team receiving the bye each week, except Week 8, in which there is no bye and Toronto plays twice (at home). Toronto receives an extra bye for this, in Week 7.
  • There are no special third-party site games this year. Last year’s schedule release day was likely largely in part to confirming details on the 2013 Touchdown Atlantic.
  • Labour Day weekend returns to the (real) traditional matches. Ottawa visits Montreal on Friday. Winnipeg at Saskatchewan on Sunday and Toronto at Hamilton followed by Edmonton at Calgary on Monday.
  • Thanksgiving features Saskatchewan at Montreal and Winnipeg at Edmonton on October 13th.
  • At the time of this writing, the CFL has not indicated any special weeks, such as the Hall of Fame Game nor the CFL Pink weeks to bring awareness and support for the battle against women’s cancer.
  • There are 25 double-headers (9 Fridays, 11 Saturdays, 3 Sundays, 2 Holiday Mondays), up by nine from 2013.
  • The television schedule is not released as of yet, and while TSN will carry all regular season games, whether any pre-season games will be carried on TSN or TSN2 is not known.

Reviews

Reviews of the 2014 schedule are positive.

While I think you should look forward to all the games, here are ten games that have been singled out.

Schedule Analysis

Looking at the weekday breakdown, Fri/Sat games remains the prime real estate for the league, receiving over 70% of the games, an increase over previous years. The big win this year has to be Toronto’s schedule, with the Argos only contributing one Tuesday game and no Thursday games, though they still do have 3 and 4 week road swings along with a 4 week home stand. Winnipeg contributes 4 Thursday night games, though I believe that is largely due to TV scheduling requirements.

Table 1: CFL 2014 Regular Season Home Games by Team and Day of the Week
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Stat*
BC 4 4 1
Calgary 3 5 1
Edmonton 1 4 3 1
Hamilton 1 1 5 1 1
Montreal 5 3 1
Ottawa 7 1 1
Saskatchewan 1 4 4
Toronto 1 2 5 1
Winnipeg 4 1 3 1
Total 1 6 28 30 12 4

* – Four games occur on Stat Holiday Mondays (Labour Day and Thanksgiving)

Game times remain inconsistent across the league and for some teams. The BC Lions and Hamilton Tiger-Cats lead the pack with three different game times. Calgary trails everyone with seven different times across nine games. The big change here is Toronto going from 2 different game times to 5 thanks to 6 games on Saturdays or Sundays.

Table 2: CFL 2014 Regular Season Game Unique Start Times by Team
Unique Times Mode (Local) Freq Count
BC 3 7:00 PM 5
Hamilton 3 7:00 PM 5
Montreal 4 7:00 PM 4
Ottawa 4 7:00 PM 4
Saskatchewan 4 2:00 PM 3
Winnipeg 4 7:30 PM 5
Edmonton 5 8:00 PM 3
Toronto 5 4:00 PM 3
Calgary 7 7:30 PM, 8:00 PM 2


The average number of days between games remains fair and consistent for all teams. The league strives to make the schedule as fair as possible, and the days between games is the key metric for this.

Table 3: CFL 2014 Regular Season Days Between Games by Team
Min Avg Max
BC 6 days 00:00 7 days 18:38 13 days 21:00
Calgary 5 days 02:30 7 days 18:49 14 days 21:00
Edmonton 5 days 02:30 7 days 19:52 14 days 22:00
Hamilton 5 days 00:00 7 days 18:14 15 days 22:00
Montreal 5 days 03:00 7 days 19:52 16 days 18:00
Ottawa 5 days 03:00 7 days 11:15 15 days 20:30
Saskatchewan 5 days 01:30 7 days 18:24 14 days 22:30
Toronto 5 days 00:00 7 days 21:08 14 days 18:00
Winnipeg 4 days 23:00 7 days 12:26 13 days 20:30


Individual bye weeks return this season, opposed to the two weeks where all teams were granted their single bye week in past seasons. This table examines when teams receive their bye weeks and the distance between the weeks. I don’t know if the analysis of these values is flawed or if the numbers hold any statistical value.

Table 4: CFL 2014 Regular Season Bye Weeks by Team
Weeks to 1st Bye (From Start of Season) Weeks to 2nd Bye Weeks to Last Bye (From End of Season) Distance Between Byes Total
BC 9 3 7 19
Calgary 1 4 13 18
Edmonton 5 2 12 19
Hamilton 2 11 6 19
Montreal 4 5 10 19
Ottawa 0 8 11 19
Saskatchewan 3 1 15 19
Toronto 6 4 6 3.5 (Avg) 19.5
Winnipeg 12 0 7 19

Growth

The CFL has grown its schedule this year, returning to Ottawa and adding 9 regular season games. A new team and new match ups will bring variety to the league. The Labour Day game in Hamilton returns. While Toronto must face long stretches on the road again, they get more weekend games that should be favourable to fans.

Making schedules is a difficult task just to ensure all teams play their games when their home stadiums are available, satisfying TV requirements and circumstances that force long periods home or away (stadium construction and availability). Add into the mix opposition requirements and avoiding scheduling glitches like long home or road swings when not necessary, back to back games and many others it can be impossible to create a schedule satisfactory and fair to all. The CFL does an excellent job at meeting the needs of its partners, teams and fans. Scheduling is not performed by amateurs and there is serious analysis that goes into developing a schedule that works and is fair.

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2014 Schedule: Growth was published on February 24, 2014 10:16 PM by dbo.

1,465 words.

This article is categorized under League and tagged with schedules.