Gameplanning Without a Schedule
This Wednesday the ACC announced the official plans to move all ACC schools to a near conference-only schedule. Each program received its new list of opponents, expect for the addition of a ‘plus one’ game that will be out-of-conference.
This means that UNC’s schedule shifted the following ways: Auburn, UCF, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, James Madison, and UConn have been removed. Notre Dame, Syracuse, Wake Forest, and Florida State have been added.
Carolina Head Coach Mack Brown says that at this time there are no dates for any of the games, and that has made it difficult to begin game planning.
“We’re also not really sure when our first game will be,” said Brown.
“Rick Steinbacher is working hard to figure out when the plus one is. Because we don’t have a plus one yet.”
Brown says that he has no clue who the ‘plus one’ game will be against. Not even the options are known to him at this time. All that is decided is that the game must be held in North Carolina. He also said that he did not get a heads-up about the details of the schedule.
“The schedule’s exciting … we got it when you got it.”
Brown said that the three games that they have not yet been able to prepare for are Notre Dame, FSU, and Syracuse. The Tar Heels are more recently familiar with the Demon Deacons, as they lost in a comeback effort last season in Winston-Salem.
The UNC coach went to say that timing is something that he is very focused on. Given the uncertainty of a start date, or even a location or opponent, he is preparing for multiple start days. He is trying to take into account just how a delay might change things.
“If you have three extra weeks of practice, I mean you could wear your team out. So, normally you have 25 practices available before your first game. The NCAA’s still giving you that. If it’s moved back, they’re going to give us those 25 practice opportunities in those first four weeks. But then we have to figure out how we’re going to do game week if we play the twelfth when we’re supposed to play the fourth,” said Brown.
He said that his staff, the players, and all their families will be a lot happier when they get times. Not only does he have to worry about game plans, he’s considering the families that want to see their kids and plan trips.
Brown has made sure that everyone involved is aware and up to date with the scheduling conflicts. He says there are three main versions of the schedule at this time and that he has shown each of them to his players.
There are so many unanswered questions at this time, and Brown admitted that is causing a bit of anxiety. However, he also said that the most important thing to him and his staff is safety and that they’ll do whatever they can to make sure this season is handled correctly.