<
>

NFL considers UB research on schedule-making

Nearly two years ago, the Buffalo Bills took to their official website to express concerns about the NFL's schedule-making process, which left the Bills facing six teams on extra rest in the 2013 season.

Researchers at the University at Buffalo dug deeper on the subject and presented a paper at the MIT Sloan Sports and Analytics Conference in February about how the NFL could create a fairer scheduling process.

One of the NFL's main schedule-makers, Mike North, has since spoken with the researchers about their findings.

The NFL won't change how they make their 2015 schedule, which is set to be completed and released as soon as next week. But ESPN's Kevin Seifert writes Thursday that the researchers could collaborate with the NFL in future years.

The league pointed out one main issue that the UB researchers are overlooking: television.

"[The research] does not, for example, take into consideration television ratings and other matters," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement provided to ESPN.com. "We have always said that we look for the right balance between competitive issues and other considerations such as television. The idea of creating schedules that are supposedly 'fair' to all teams but don't give consideration to television ramifications and other matters, such as stadium conflicts, is unrealistic."