The Norman Transcript

National Sports

March 5, 2013

The Fall ball experiment

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Stricklin said if fall games could count in the RPI, he would consider scheduling them.

“I can’t say I’m 100 percent for it,” he said, “but I’m not going to say I’m 100 percent against it.”

North Carolina coach Mike Fox said a lot of logistics would have to be worked out and that he has difficulty envisioning a season that could be split between fall and spring.

Vanderbilt’s Tim Corbin, a New Hampshire native who played at Ohio Wesleyan, said he understands the plight of the northern coaches. But he said the teams that would play games that count in the fall, and thus have fewer games remaining when the season picks up, could gain a competitive advantage because of reduced stress on pitchers in the spring.

Indiana’s Smith, in response to Corbin, said warm-weather schools already have a huge advantage because many of them are able play twice as many home games.

Smith said he knows the proposal will be hard to sell to college baseball’s power brokers in the South and West. He said it’s a step in the right direction toward a semblance of competitive balance.

Minnesota coach John Anderson last year proposed that the Big Ten and other northern conferences break away from the traditional NCAA spring season, play a full summer schedule and crown a “northern champion” each August. That idea was quickly dismissed.

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