William and Mary's 2013 football schedule includes 12 regular-season games for the first time in 80 years and six home games for only the second time in 25 years.
The Tribe opens Aug. 31 at West Virginia, its annual game against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent, and hosts Hampton in a non-conference game Sept. 7 at Zable Stadium.
William and Mary also has non-conference games against Lafayette and Penn, and hosts CAA opponents Rhode Island, James Madison, New Hampshire and Towson. The Tribe does not face either of the CAA's newest, football-only members, Stony Brook or Albany.
FCS teams are permitted to play 12 games next season and in 2014 because of the calendar. There's an extra Saturday between Labor Day weekend and Thanksgiving weekend, the first round of the FCS playoffs.
However, the Tribe traditionally has chosen to play only 11 games, even when the calendar permits a 12th game, as occurred in 2008 and '02.
The decision to play 12 games next season stems from 2008. That year, the Tribe finished 7-4 and 5-3 in the CAA and did not make the FCS playoff field. However, Maine chose to play 12 games and finished 8-4, 5-3, but made the playoffs.
The sticking point for Tribe advocates was that W&M and Maine were tied in conference play. W&M defeated No. 4 New Hampshire on the road, while Maine lost to UNH and still went to postseason.
"We asked if playing 11 or 12 games would have any impact on our ability to make the NCAA playoffs," W&M athletic director Terry Driscoll recalled. "We were told at CAA meetings, by a member of the NCAA committee, that it didn't.
"It became apparent that if you don't play 12, you're potentially impacting your possibility of making the playoffs. By playing 12, you're giving yourself the possibility of winning one more game. Eight wins are more attractive than seven wins, so you're pretty much compelled to play 12."
William and Mary last played a 12-game schedule in 1932. The last time W&M played six home games was 2008, and before that in 1988.
W&M will receive $325,000 from West Virginia for next season's game. The Tribe also will play 12 regular-season games in 2014, with six home games, as well. W&M will play non-conference road games at Virginia Tech and Hampton, and home games against Norfolk State and Lafayette.
W&M also will not play consecutive road games in 2013 for the first time in the modern era. Kickoff times will be determined at a later date.
Aug. 31, at West Virginia; Sept. 7, Hampton; Sept. 14, at Lafayette; Sept. 21, Rhode Island; Oct. 5, at Villanova; Oct. 12, Penn; Oct. 19, at Maine; Oct. 26, James Madison; Nov. 2, New Hampshire; Nov. 9, at Delaware; Nov. 16, Towson; Nov. 23, at Richmond.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun