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.
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.
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.
* – 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.
|Unique Times||Mode (Local)||Freq Count|
|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.
|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.
|Weeks to 1st Bye (From Start of Season)||Weeks to 2nd Bye||Weeks to Last Bye (From End of Season)||Distance Between Byes||Total|
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.