In this country, countless plans revolve around the college football schedule.
But it's hard to plan when the college football schedule remains a mystery.
With only 172 days before the season begins, the Big 12 is yet to release an updated conference schedule. The whos and wheres are set. Just not the whens, which is beginning to put a strain on Big 12 football fans anxious to plan their autumn itineraries.
Fans like Karen Petitt. Her daughter, Kristen, is having a small August wedding in Breckenridge, Colo., but Petitt wants to throw her a reception later in the fall when OU and OSU aren't playing or are out of town.
“We are looking for a date in September or October, but can't do anything until we have the football schedule,” said Petitt, an OSU grad married to an OU fan with season tickets. Kristen too is an OSU alum.
“We're just trying to pick a weekend that people won't say, ‘Don't you look at the football schedule?' We don't want to be those people.”
But the Petitts say they need to pick a date soon so they can reserve a venue and so family and friends can begin to make plans.
Said Petitt: “We're just kind of waiting, but we need to get it planned.”
Other events are on hold.
Graduates from Anadarko High School's class of 1959 want to hold a collective party to celebrate their 70th birthdays. But they too have delayed in setting a date.
“We would like to have it on a weekend when OU is not playing at home,” Lonnie Henderson wrote in an e-mail.
Others are beginning to feel frustrated.
Lubbock resident Charlie Stegal, a Texas Tech season-ticket holder, often has friends and family fly in for Red Raider home games.
“By now, we know when the home games are,” Stegal said, “and we've got everything booked.”
Sooner fans like Greg Davis and John Healey, who live outside Big 12 country, are wanting to reserve flights and hotel rooms as soon as possible.
“We've never been to Norman, and this year we're going to Norman,” said Healey, of Nampa, Idaho, who got hooked on Sooner football as a kid because of a schoolteacher who was an OU alum. “We've got to get tickets, get a hotel. We're going to fly to San Antonio and make it a road trip to OU. That's a lot of planning.”
And the closer it gets to the season, the more challenging — and expensive — the planning becomes.
“Everything is going up in price. ... the longer you wait, the higher the plane tickets get,” said Davis, an OU season-ticket holder who lives in Destin, Fla., and tries to go to every Sooner football game, home and away. “I do well, but I'm not a wealthy guy. Some people have a fancy house, or a boat. My thing is going to football games.
“It's not critical yet. ... but it's getting there.”