Thursday, April 24, 2014

"We got a shortlist of opponents for next year": Kokoa Hoto

"We got a shortlist of opponents for next year": Kokoa Hoto

By Wendy Marvell
The Daily Magi
December 24, 2068

As college football, and in the process, gridiron football, gets slated to celebrate its bicentennial next year, Tatsuya Kaname's Mitakihara Magi are planning to bring in a number of historic programs for the 2069 season. The Madoka Touchdown Scheduling Team is an volunteer ad hoc committee comprised of five sophomores, 10 juniors and 10 seniors that meet monthly from November through March. They are responsible for choosing the nonconference opponents. 

Since 2011, the nonconference opponents for the Magi football team have always been chosen by the students. In fact, the football team is the only team that is given the privilege of having its nonconference schedule determined by its fans. As they are an Division I FBS Independent, the Scheduling Team gets the honor of picking the football team's poison. But, the process is a lengthy one, according to outgoing Scheduling Team Chair Kokoa Hoto, a sophomore sociology major from Tokyo, Japan and the wife of Magi left end Lex Hasegawa.

"It's a pretty lengthy process," said Hoto via phone interview. "First, we have to determine which teams are available in what weeks. Then we have to determine if the team is ranked or not. We need at least five or six teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 in order to get a schedule rating of an A+. We got a shortlist of opponents for next year. This coming season, we are looking at scheduling teams that have contributed to the game in the early years and in the 20th century.

"That means we need to look at teams such as Michigan, Notre Dame (a perennial opponent of ours, of course), Army, Navy, Rutgers, Texas, USC, Oklahoma, Alabama...essentially teams that have had massive longevity and are brand names while winning national championships along the way. We have Rutgers penciled in as our Homecoming opponent, as they played the first-ever game of football with Princeton (who we are not scheduling due to conference strength purposes), and we have Notre Dame as our Magia Day opponent, pending availability.

"We want to get as many historical powerhouses as possible for this season. If we can do that, then the fans who come out for the games will want to fill the Sakura Bowl for the bicentennial of gridiron football. The final step is ensuring that our opponents agree to face us on the specific date and week, which generally happens by rule. We've never had an opponent turn down an invitation, which is impressive in and of itself.

"I think the fans, the students, everyone that bleeds Rose, Pink and White will come out to the games next season. We understand that we need to finish this season first, but everyone is hyped up for next year to begin. As a sophomore, I plan to be on this Scheduling Team for a couple more years so I can help mold the next two schedules for our guys."

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