As I indicated, love this league, was a participant in the first two seasons also. I just know that the first season died in the playoffs for similar issues after a promising start. The 2nd season made it through, but it got slow at times also.
First some background:
I run another league that started in Madden 10. Using this scheduling model, we got through 5 seasons and actually played our last Super Bowl days before Madden 11 came out. The last two seasons we played 3 games a week. I'm not here to recruit people for my league. I love this league and want to see it work.
We've done two games a week on a Wednesday Sunday advance schedule. We've also done three games a week on a M-W-Sat advance schedule. The glue that makes it work in my opinion is letting everyone know what the minimum requirements for scheduling games are and making it clear how you will decide who gets to play the CPU.
Let's say you guys wanna play 2 games a week and advance on Wednesdays and Sundays. Basically, each person would need to post their availability times 24 hours before the day you want to advance.
The other bonus about doing it this way is you don't have to wait online all night looking for your opponent. Both of you post availability, post the agreed upon time and then you only have to be on for that time.
Here is a cut and paste from the rules we use:
Boot deadline - The deadline to post your availability. If you do not post your availability by this time, I reserve the right to boot you without warning so your opponent can play the CPU before the sim deadline. (You will receive an immediate re-invite) The way to avoid getting booted is to post your availability every week, real simple.
Sim deadline - The deadline for all games to be played. All games not played by this deadline will be simmed.
Who gets booted?
Here are the three scenarios:
1. If one player posts availability and the other one doesn't, the player who doesn't post availability gets booted. Real simple. The only thing I go by in determining who was available is this website. Don't want to hear that you contacted someone on Xbox live or via text message. Post here first, then go the extra mile. (the reason for this is posting here is the only way to verify that a person tried to schedule a game. Otherwise you got two people telling you second hand what they did to contact the other person and all you have to go on is their word)
2. If neither player posts availability, neither gets booted and the players have until the Sim deadline to play their game or it gets simmed. No exceptions, one of you should have posted.
3. If both players post availability, neither player gets booted. I'm going to need to hear from both players as to why the game wasn't played and I will decide who gets to play the CPU based on posted availability. (e.g., the player who was more available is probably going to play the CPU)
Feel free to schedule your games after the boot deadline, but you HAVE to post before it to avoid the boot. The only way I won't boot you is if the other user tells me you have agreed to play. Its real simple, but people pretend not to know the rules every year. POST HERE FIRST, then go the extra mile and you will be straight.