Friday, December 18, 2009

Random Thoughts

Haven't posted a blog entry in almost a month, so I owe one.
  • The SEC's new TV contract has been a resounding success so far for out-of-market coverage of the conference. So many more markets received the SEC Network football games and the games available on FSN and CSS were available to many markets outside of the southeastern US. Every game in HD was the cherry on top, minus the ESPN Classic games. Now that basketball season has started, we've seen many of the FSN games get that extra coverage too. Have to see what happens with the SEC Network games.
  • The ACC and C-USA rights negotiations should be heating up soon. A report on Bleacher Report says that FOX has been involved, and that doesn't surprise me. I've heard of a joint FOX/Comcast bid could be in the cards, but we'll have to wait and see what the ACC decides.
  • NBC and Comcast appear to be heading towards a merger. Will be interesting to see what sports NBC and Comcast and leverage. Versus and Golf Channel have NHL and PGA rights that can be worked into NBC Sports existing coverage of these two properties. The Olympics or Notre Dame football on Versus? Could they also bid on the upcoming pay TV rights for the ACC, Big 12 or PAC-10?
  • ESPN and ESPN2 have done a great job getting a ton of early season college basketball in HD. Same with ESPNU, though I wouldn't know that DirecTV is still dragging its feet on offering ESPNU in HD.
  • Speaking of DirecTV, they are now in the regional sports network business, now as the owners of three FSN affiliates (Pittsburgh, Rocky Mountain/Utah and Northwest). Question becomes whether these will end back in FOX Cable Networks hands once again, be sold off to someone like Comcast who has large cable clusters in these areas or stay in-house.
  • DirecTV & Comcast, part II: Versus is still off DirecTV but the two sides have been in negotiations according to Sports Business Journal. Meanwhile, two Comcast RSNs have been on DirecTV without contract for a few months and another two will expire at the end of the year. There haven't been rumblings about removing these stations from DirecTV, but they could be part of a larger deal between the two entities. And no, don't expect CSN Philadelphia to be part of that deal.
  • Finally, the Big Ten announced that they are going to collectively begin considering expansion. Couple schools came out with statements that they were happy with their existing status (Notre Dame & Rutgers), while Missouri's statement was definitely non-committal towards the Big 12 and that they would listen if offered. I'm not convinced that the Big Ten will expand and their statement notes that they may decide not to consider any schools. At least they appear to be doing things above board and more transparent than the ACC was when they offered membership to Miami (FL), Virginia Tech and later Boston College.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bowl Predictions

Since we have one full regular season week left, plus the conference championship weekend, lets make the following assumptions:
  • Cincinnati, Oregon, Texas, Georgia Tech and Florida win their respective conferences
  • Army does not make a bowl, leaving the EagleBank to use a C-USA rep
  • Notre Dame loses to Stanford, leaving them at 6-6
  • Wyoming and UConn get to 6 wins
  • Kansas loses to Missouri, is not bowl eligible
  • TCU, Oklahoma St., Alabama and Boise St. are the BCS at-large
Here's my crack at the bowl lineup

New Mexico: Wyoming vs. Nevada
St. Petersburg: UConn vs. UCF
New Orleans: East Carolina vs. Troy
Las Vegas: Utah vs. Oregon St.
Poinsettia: BYU vs. California
Hawai'i: SMU vs. Fresno St.
Little Caesar's: Michigan St. vs. Temple
Meineke: North Carolina vs. Rutgers
Emerald: Boston College vs. Stanford
Music City: Georgia vs. Florida St.
Independence: Kentucky vs. Iowa St.
EagleBank: Marshall vs. Ohio
Champs Sports: Miami (FL) vs. Northwestern
Humanitarian: Idaho vs. Bowling Green
Holiday: Missouri vs. USC
Armed Forces: Southern Miss vs. Air Force
Sun: Oklahoma vs. Arizona
Texas: Navy vs. UCLA
Insight: Texas A&M vs. Minnesota
Chick-Fil-A: Clemson vs. Auburn
Outback: Penn St. vs. Tennessee
Capital One: Iowa vs. Ole Miss
Gator: Pittsburgh vs. Virginia Tech
Cotton: Nebraska vs. LSU
International: West Virginia vs. Northern Illinois South Carolina vs. USF
Liberty: Arkansas vs. Houston
Alamo: Texas Tech vs. Wisconsin
GMAC: Central Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee

Rose: Ohio St. vs. Oregon
Sugar: Alabama vs. Cincinnati
Orange: Georgia Tech vs. Boise St.
Fiesta: TCU vs. Oklahoma St.
BCS: Florida vs. Texas

Why is Notre Dame, at 6-6, not in any bowl? I had the following bowls as at-large

EagleBank (one slot filled with C-USA backup)

The GMAC was a fourth, but they have an agreement with the Sun Belt to provide a team if they have one at 7-5 or better. Middle Tennessee fills that spot. Ohio at 7+ wins would then fill another slot, likely the EagleBank.

So that leaves Humanitarian or Texas. Since Texas has Navy preslotted, the Irish are not interested in a rematch and that leaves the Humanitarian vs. Idaho and the Irish simply say "no thanks".

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Final Weekend TV Selections Announced

The Big East and ESPN announced the game times and telecasts of their three games and it also sets the C-USA Championship game time.

12pm ABC: Cincinnati at Pitt
12pm ESPN/ESPN2: West Virginia at Rutgers
12pm ESPN/ESPN2: C-USA Championship Game
8pm ESPN2: USF at Connecticut

Friday, November 13, 2009

Week 13 TV Guesses & Selections

Decided to combine the thread since the Big Ten is finished for the year and the Big 12 and PAC-10 finished their selections. Will mark a selection as confirmed when known

All selections are now confirmed.

Florida St. at Florida, 3:30pm

Friday 12pm: Illinois at Cincinnati
Friday 3:30pm: Nebraska at Colorado
Saturday: Missouri vs. Kansas, Arizona at Arizona St. and Miami (FL) at USF, 3:30pm
Saturday: Notre Dame at Stanford and Georgia at Georgia Tech, 8pm

Notre Dame-Stanford and Georgia-Georgia Tech will be reverse mirrored to ESPN2. Whichever game you see on ABC, the other game will be on ESPN2.

12pm: Clemson at South Carolina
3:30pm: Virginia Tech at Virginia
7pm: Arkansas at LSU

Friday 11am: Rutgers at Louisville
Friday 7pm: Pittsburgh at West Virginia
Friday 10:15pm: Nevada at Boise St.
Saturday 12pm: North Carolina at NC State

FSN (all Saturday)
Oklahoma St. at Oklahoma, 12:30pm
Texas Tech vs. Baylor, 6pm
USC at UCLA, 10pm

Friday 11am: Temple at Ohio
Saturday 12pm: NCAA Playoff Game
Saturday 3:30pm: Boston College at Maryland
Saturday 7pm: Tennessee at Kentucky

CBS College Sports
Southern Miss at East Carolina, 1:30pm

Friday: Northern Illinois at Central, 1pm ESPN360
Saturday: Ole Miss at Mississippi St., 12pm SEC Network
Saturday: Wake Forest at Duke, 12pm Raycom
Saturday: Connecticut at Syracuse, 12pm Big East
Saturday: Washington at Washington St., 6:30pm FSN Northwest

Monday, November 9, 2009

College Basketball Opening Day

Opening day on the hardcourts. Very little has changed with respect to TV coverage but there are some changes

SEC - SEC coverage will be wider in many areas of the country. The SEC games that ESPN has sublicensed to FSN and CSS won't be seen just in the southeast, but virtually any FSN region that decides they want to clear the game. No idea how blackouts will go, but if football is any indication, these games should be more viewable too those out of market using satellite sports packages than the old FSN package.

The conference will also have a new home for its championship, with the semifinals and final moving to ABC.

WAC - The WAC now has games on ESPNU and will have a consistent time slot on ESPN2 during the conference portion of the schedule, usually on Wednesday nights at 11pm ET.

Atlantic 10 - After having its conference championship game shifted to ESPN2 to make room for the Big 12 championship, the conference revamped its tournament format and will now finish on Sunday, in the slot vacated by the SEC. The semifinals will also be nationally televised on CBS College Sports.

Horizon League - The conference appears that it will have a syndicated game of the week and many of those games will be on ESPN Full Court

HD - Supposedly a fair amount of the SEC Network and Big 12 Network games produced by ESPN Regional will be in HD. Don't know if that extends to the Big East Network games. CBS College Sports is also supposed to deliver more games in HD.

UPDATE: Some Big East games will be in HD on a regional basis.

ABC - ABC has virtually abandoned college basketball, choosing only to air the SEC semifinals and championship. No regular season games whatsover.

Week 12 Network Selections

This is the final week where all six BCS conferences will have selections as the Big Ten ends their schedule on 11/21. A 12pm ABC window is virtually certain to be Ohio St.-Michigan.

Duke at Miami (FL), 12pm ESPN2/ESPNU

All other games are on six day selections

Big 12
Oklahoma at Texas Tech, 12:30pm or 3pm FSN
Kansas at Texas, 3:30pm or 8pm ABC
Kansas St. at Nebraska, 7:45pm ESPN/ESPN2

Big East
Louisville at USF, 12pm Big East
Rutgers at Syracuse, 3:30pm ESPN360

Big Ten
Ohio St. at Michigan, 12pm ABC
Minnesota at Iowa, 12pm ESPN/ESPN2
Penn St. at Michigan St., 3:30pm ABC/ESPN
Purdue at Indiana, 3:30pm Big Ten
Wisconsin at Northwestern, 3:30pm Big Ten


Oregon at Arizona, 3:30pm or 8pm ABC
Arizona St. at UCLA, 4pm FSN (they say this is a finalized time, which means the OU-TT time should stay at 12:30pm)
California at Stanford, 7:30pm Versus

Chattanooga at Alabama, 12pm SEC Network
Mississippi St. at Arkansas, 12pm SEC Network
LSU at Ole Miss, 3:30pm CBS
Vanderbilt at Tennessee, 7pm ESPNU
Kentucky at Georgia, 7:45pm ESPN/ESPN2

Nevada at New Mexico St., 10:30pm ESPNU

Also, the Big 12 decided to take care of its selections for 11/28. They are as follows:

Oklahoma St. at Oklahoma, 12:30pm FSN
Missouri vs. Kansas (at Kansas City), 3:30pm ABC
Texas Tech vs. Baylor (at Arlington), 6pm FSN

FSN moved the start time of TT-Baylor, presumably to give themselves some buffer before the 10pm start of USC-UCLA on the same evening.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week 12 TV Predictions

Because Alabama used up its PPV option against Florida International, the game against Chattanooga has to be televised on ESPN Networks. CSS has a college basketball telecast in the evening, so I think that there could be a split SEC Network 12pm telecast.

LSU at Ole Miss, 3:30pm

Ohio St. at Michigan, 12pm
Oklahoma at Texas Tech, Oregon at Arizona, Penn St. at Michigan St., North Carolina at Boston College 3:30pm
Kansas at Texas, 8pm

Iowa at Minnesota, 12pm
Kansas St. at Nebraska, 7:45pm

Duke at Miami (FL), 12pm
Kentucky at Georgia, 7:30pm

Baylor at Texas A&M, 12:30pm
Arizona St. at UCLA, 6:30pm

California at Stanford, 10pm

Maryland at Florida St., 12pm
Louisville at USF, 3:30pm
Chattanooga at Alabama, 7pm

Big Ten
Purdue at Indiana & Wisconsin at Northwestern, 3:30pm

Arkansas at Mississippi St., 12pm SEC
Vanderbilt at Tennessee, 12pm SEC
Virginia at Clemson, 12pm Raycom
Rutgers at Syracuse, 12pm Big East
Iowa St. at Missouri, 12:30pm Fox College Sports
NC State at Virginia Tech, 1:30pm ESPN360
Oregon St. at Washington St., 6:30pm FSN NW

Tulsa at Southern Miss has already been confirmed as CBS College Sports C-USA flex pick

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

C-USA and Big 12 announce bowl agreements

C-USA announced seven total bowl agreements, with a consistent six tie-ins per season, from 2010-13. The conference will partner with the following bowls each season, unless specified:

New Orleans
Armed Forces
St. Petersburg
Dallas (2011, 2013)
EagleBank (2010, 2012)

The Big 12 also announced it will partner with the Dallas bowl game in 2010 & 2012 and the EagleBank bowl in 2013. It will also back up both the Dallas and EagleBank bowls in 2011 in the event that a tie-in cannot be met.

Monday, November 2, 2009

NBC, Comcast and Notre Dame football

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal wrote an excellent article on the sports entities of both NBC and Comcast that are needed to make it successful on the sports side.

(As a plug, if you are a sports fan and have any interest in business, economics, etc., SBJ is a must read along with its companion Sports Business Daily.)

John notes that Notre Dame football, currently with NBC until 2015, could have games moved to cable under the contract. Right now, NBC requests that the Irish provide eight games per season and the schedule as of late has been finding more teams from non-AQ conferences on it than in the past (San Diego St. in 2008, Nevada in 2009, Utah and Western Michigan in 2010).

Typically Notre Dame schedules the same five teams each year, arguably these are the Irish's "conference" games:

Michigan (though they are taking a two year break in a couple years so the Irish can do a home-home with Oklahoma)
Michigan St.

The Irish also regularly schedules Pittsburgh, Boston College and Stanford. In most years it leaves the Irish with five games to sprinkle about the country. They're supposed to play Big East teams on a regular basis, supposedly three per year, but I've yet to see that put into practice.

Putting the cart way before the horse, I think its entirely possible that if Versus got a chance to pick up ND football, it would get probably two games per year. Likely a one-off game vs. a non-BCS team (like WMU), plus another game where the opponent's record is less than stellar or the opponent is not well known nationally (this year's example might be UConn). I believe NBC would want to retain the neutral site "home" game each year as NBC has stated it would likely use that game as a primetime ND game every year, regardless of the stature of the opponent.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Week 11 Network Selections

Selections got started on Sunday evening with the Big Ten. All other BCS conferences will have selections, the MAC should also announce who is filling their ESPNU Thursday slot and C-USA may announce a selection for 11/21 during the week.

Virginia Tech at Maryland, 1pm ESPN360
Boston College at Virginia, 3:30pm ESPN360

The other four games are held for a six day pick. Raycom 12pm, ESPN/ESPN2 at 12pm, ESPNU at 12pm and ABC at 3:30pm are options for Georgia Tech at Duke, Miami (FL) at North Carolina, Clemson at NC State and Florida St. at Wake Forest.

Big 12
Texas at Baylor, 12pm FSN
Missouri at Kansas St., 12:30pm Versus
Nebraska at Kansas, 3:30pm ABC
Texas A&M at Oklahoma, 7pm FSN
Texas Tech at Oklahoma St., 8pm ABC

Big East
Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, 8pm ABC

Big Ten
Northwestern at Illinois, 12pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN Classic
Michigan St. at Purdue, 12pm ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN Classic
Indiana at Penn St., 12pm Big Ten
Michigan at Wisconsin, 12pm Big Ten
South Dakota St. at Minnesota, 12pm Big Ten
Iowa at Ohio St., 3:30pm ABC/ESPN

11/12: Ball St. at Northern Illinois, 6pm ESPNU
11/12: Bowling Green at Miami (OH), 7:30pm ESPN360
11/18: Buffalo at Miami (OH), 6pm ESPNU
11/18: Central Michigan at Ball St, 8pm ESPN2

Tennessee at Ole Miss, 12pm CBS
Kentucky at Vanderbilt, 12pm SEC Network
Florida at South Carolina, 3:30pm CBS
Alabama at Mississippi St., 7pm ESPN/ESPN2
Auburn at Georgia, 7pm ESPN/ESPN2
Louisiana Tech at LSU, 7:00pm ESPNU
Troy at Arkansas, 7:30pm SEC/CSS

Stanford at USC, 3:30pm FSN
UCLA at Washington St., TBA Fox College Sports

The PAC-10 appears to have had their TV windows flipped. ABC originally had a window at 3:30pm and FSN at 10:15pm. Now FSN has 3:30pm and ESPN has a window at 10:15pm. The remaining PAC-10 games are on a six day selection.

Week 11 TV Predictions

Auburn at Georgia, 12pm
Florida at South Carolina, 3:30pm

Iowa at Ohio St. (RM), Texas A&M at Oklahoma (RM), Arizona St. at Oregon, Georgia Tech at Duke 3:30pm
Texas Tech at Oklahoma St. and Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, 8pm

Michigan at Wisconsin, 12pm
Alabama at Mississippi St., 7:45pm

Northwestern at Illinois, 12pm
Tennessee at Ole Miss, 7:30pm

Missouri at Kansas St., 12:30pm
Texas at Baylor, 7pm
Stanford at USC, 10:15pm

Nebraska at Kansas, 12:30pm
Arizona at California, 7pm

Virginia Tech at Maryland, 12pm
Idaho at Boise St., 3:30pm (confirmed)
Louisiana Tech at LSU, 7pm

Indiana at Penn St., South Dakota st. at Minnesota and Michigan St. at Purdue, 12pm

Clemson at NC State, 12pm
Boston College at Virginia, 1pm
Florida St. at Wake Forest, 3:30pm

Kentucky at Vanderbilt, 12pm SEC Network
Miami (FL) at North Carolina, 12pm Raycom
Washington at Oregon St., 6:30pm FSN NW
Troy at Arkansas, 7:30pm SEC/CSS

Friday, October 30, 2009

Week 10 TV Selections

Finally recovered from vacation and travel. Here's week 10's TV selections, done on 10/26.

Duke at North Carolina, 3pm ESPN360

The other four games are on a six day selection. The slots that are available include Raycom at 12pm, ESPNU at 12pm, ABC at 3:30pm and 8pm and ESPN/ESPN2 at 7:15pm

UPDATE (11/1/09)
Virginia at Miami (FL), 12pm Raycom
Maryland at NC State, 1pm ESPN360
Wake Forest at Georgia Tech, 3:30pm ABC/ESPN2
Duke at North Carolina, 3:30pm ESPNU (change from original announcement)
Florida St. at Clemson, 7:45pm ESPN

Big 12
UCF at Texas, 12pm FSN
Texas A&M at Colorado. 1:30pm Fox College Sports

Three other telecasts will be selected for TV: Oklahoma St. at Iowa St., Kansas at Kansas St. and Oklahoma at Nebraska. Two will be selected by ABC, one at 3:30pm and one at 8pm. The other will be on Versus at 12:30pm.

UPDATE (11/1/09)
Kansas at Kansas St., 12:30pm Versus
Oklahoma St. at Iowa St., 3:30pm ABC
Oklahoma at Nebraska, 8pm ABC

Big East
Syracuse at Pittsburgh, 12pm ESPNU
Louisville at West Virginia, 12pm Big East Network

Connecticut at Cincinnati is on a six day selection for either ABC at either 3:30pm or 8pm or ESPN/ESPN2 in primetime.

UPDATE: Connecticut at Cincinnati, 8pm ABC

Big Ten
Northeastern at Iowa, 12pm ESPN
Wisconsin at Indiana, 12pm Big Ten
Illinois at Minnesota, 12pm Big Ten
Western Michigan at Michigan St., 12pm Big Ten
Purdue at Michigan, 12pm Big Ten
Ohio St. at Penn St., 3:30 ABC/ESPN

MAC (Thursday 11/5)
Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois, 7:30pm ESPNU
Miami (OH) at Temple, 7:30pm ESPN360

Oregon at Stanford, 3:30pm FSN
Washington at UCLA, 3:30pm FSN Regional
Washington St. at Arizona, 3:30pm Fox College Sports
Oregon St. at California, 7pm FSN
USC at Arizona St., 8pm ABC (time previously confirmed)

South Carolina at Arkansas, 12pm SEC Network
Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky, 1pm PPV
LSU at Alabama, 3:30pm CBS
Memphis at Tennessee, 7pm ESPNU
Vanderbilt at Florida, 7:15pm ESPN/ESPN2
Northern Arizona at Ole Miss, 7:30pm SEC/CSS HD

UPDATE: Vanderbilt at Florida will be on ESPN2.

Two other telecast confirmations were made this week for 11/14: Houston at UCF, 12pm on CBS College Sports and Idaho at Boise St., 3:30pm on ESPNU.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

MWC Makes Bowl Deals

The Mountain West Conference announced three bowl deals today with one of those deals with a bowl they were not previously affiliated with. For the 2010-13 bowl cycle, the Independence Bowl will match MWC #3 vs. ACC #7. The New Mexico and Armed Forces bowl games were also renewed. These two bowl games will make a mutual decision to invite the most appropriate team based on the markets where those bowl games reside.

For 2009, the MWC has an agreement with the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, ID. There has been no announcement whether the MWC was interested in extending that agreement now that they are involved with the I-Bowl.

MWC Bowls
#1 Las Vegas
#2 Pointsettia
#3 Independence
#4 New Mexico or Armed Forces
#5 New Mexico or Armed Forces

Monday, October 19, 2009

Week 9 Network Selections

Here's a placeholder for the telecast selections for games to kick off on 10/31. I will be flying back to Cleveland from Florida most of the morning and early afternoon, so this post may stay empty for longer than it normally would.

Also, there are no Big Ten selections to be made today, but there will be selections from the other five AQ conferences.

NC State at Florida St., Raycom 12pm
Coastal Carolina at Clemson, ESPN360 1:30pm
Central Michigan at Boston College, ESPNU 3:30pm
Duke at Virginia, ESPN360 3:30pm
Miami at Wake Forest, ABC 3:30pm

Big 12
Missouri at Colorado, FSN 1:30pm
Nebraska at Baylor, Versus 12:30pm
Kansas at Texas Tech, ABC 3:30pm
Texas at Oklahoma St., ABC/ESPN2 OR ESPN2 only 8pm
Oklahoma at Kansas St., FSN 7pm

Big East
Cincinnati at Syracuse, ESPNU 12pm
Rutgers at UConn, Big East Network 12pm

California at Arizona St., ABC 3:30pm

USC at Oregon will also have its television assignment decided next week, either on ABC and reverse mirrored on ESPN2 or completely on ABC.

Ole Miss at Auburn, SEC Network 12pm
Eastern Michigan at Arkansas, ESPNU 7pm
Mississippi St. at Kentucky, SEC/FSN 7pm
Georgia Tech at Vanderbilt, SEC/CSS 7:30pm
South Carolina at Tennessee, ESPN 7:45pm
Tulane at LSU, TigerVision PPV 8pm

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 9 TV Guesses

Big Ten is already confirmed for time and TV, SEC had its top game chosen before the season started and two ACC games had at least time confirmed and the times seem to point to ESPN360.

I'm guessing USC at Oregon moves to ESPN which would get both that game and the Texas-Oklahoma St. game wider coverage. According to the Sun Sports TV schedule, FSN added one regional SEC telecast at 7pm which opens up that possibility.

Florida vs. Georgia (confirmed), 3:30pm

Michigan at Illinois (rm, confirmed), Miami (FL) at Wake Forest (rm), Kansas at Texas Tech, UCLA at Oregon St., 3:30pm
Texas at Oklahoma St., 8pm

Indiana at Iowa, 12pm (time confirmed)
Penn St. at Northwestern, 4:30pm (confirmed)
USC at Oregon, 8pm

Purdue at Wisconsin, 12pm (time confirmed)
ABC Reverse Mirror, 3:30pm
Ole Miss at Auburn, 8pm

NC State at Florida St., 12pm
Rutgers at UConn, 3:30pm
South Carolina at Tennessee, 7pm

Nebraska at Baylor, 12:30pm
Missouri at Colorado, 7pm

Iowa St. at Texas A&M, 12:30pm

Big Ten
New Mexico St. at Ohio St., 12pm (confirmed)
Michigan St. at Minnesota, 8pm (confirmed)

Mississippi St. at Kentucky, 12pm SEC Network
Duke at Virginia, 12pm Raycom
Cincinnati at Syracuse, 12pm Big East
Central Michigan at Boston College, 1pm ESPN360 (time confirmed)
Coastal Carolina at Clemson, 1:30pm ESPN360 (confirmed)
Eastern Michigan at Arkansas, 7pm ESPN Classic
Georgia Tech at Vanderbilt, SEC/FSN Regional
Tulane at LSU, 7:30pm SEC/CSS <--- Note that Cox/CST carries the SEC games from CSS
California at Arizona St., 10pm FSAZ/CSN Bay Area

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Updated 2010-2013 Bowl Affiliations

Since both the Big 12 and Big Ten announced their agreeements yesterday here's an updated bowl lineup at the non-BCS bowl level:

Las Vegas: PAC-10 No. 5 vs. MWC No. 1
Pointsettia: MWC No. 2 vs. WAC, Army or Navy (depending on the year)
Hawai'i: WAC vs. C-USA No. 2
Little Caesar's: MAC vs. Big Ten No. 8
Emerald: PAC-10 No. 6 vs. WAC, Army or Navy (depending on the year)
Champs Sports: Big East No. 2 vs. ACC No. 3
Holiday: PAC-10 No.4 vs. Big 12 No. 5
Texas: Big 12 No. 6 vs. Big Ten No. 6
Insight: Big 12 No. 4 vs. Big Ten No. 4/5
Outback: Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC No. TBA
Gator: Big Ten No. 4/5 vs. SEC No. TBA
Cotton: Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC No. TBA
Alamo: PAC-10 No. 3 vs. Big 12 No. 3

New bowls
Dallas (at Cotton Bowl Stadium): Big Ten No. 7 vs. C-USA
New York City (at Yankee Stadium): Big 12 No. 7 vs. Big East No. 4

Big 12 Bowl Lineup Set

The Big 12 announced its bowl lineup for the 2010-2013 postseasons with a couple changes. The new lineup is the following:

1. Fiesta vs. BCS
2. Cotton vs. SEC
3. Alamo vs. PAC-10
4. Insight vs. Big Ten
5. Holiday vs. PAC-10
6. Texas vs. Big Ten
7. NY Yankees vs. Big East (pending certifications)

Apparently the Big 12 could be a conditional partner in the Dallas Football Classic game that the Big Ten and C-USA will be a part of.

In short, the Insight moved up, the Holiday moved down and both the Independence and Sun bowl games will disappear from the Big 12's lineup.

Week Seven Viewers Guide

Took last week off due to some traveling down to the Orlando area. Still in FL on the west coast so I'm catching up on what I missed this weekend. Here's what to watch

Cincinnati at USF, 7:30pm (ESPN HD) - I'm planning on being in attendance for this one. Tony Pike is slowly getting some Heisman pub and this game could go a long way towards getting him in the mix. Cincy is ranking #6 in passing yards per game where USF is #9 against the pass, so something has to give. BJ Daniels is continuing to get his feet wet, but the Bearcats are more susceptible to the pass, which gives this game a little bit of a shootout feeling. Hope I'm right.

Pittsburgh at Rutgers, 8pm (ESPN HD) - Pitt has looked very sharp offensively each week. Its been the defense that has been hit or miss. The Scarlet Knights have had a very slow start to their season and are really an unknown quantity with two wins vs. FCS compeition and Florida International on the schedule. Rutgers run defense is top 10, but against far lesser competition and the offense has been quite stagnant at times with inexperienced QB play from both Savage and Natale.

Oklahoma vs. Texas, 12pm (ABC HD) - No Saturday night football, so you get your main course at noon ET. Let's be honest, this game doesn't have the cache that it would if Sam Bradford hadn't been hurt and the Sooners lost a pair of games. I don't know if the Sooners have it. Rumor has it that most of the seats on Stubhub for this game are in the OU sections, so their fans are skeptical too. Texas is No. 4 in overall defense (No. 1 against the run) so the Sooners will need Bradford to be at his best. With the line play that's been shown so far, that's not a gimme.

Iowa at Wisconsin, 12pm (ESPN HD) - Big Ten also provides a nice early game, mostly because Penn St. decided that their homecoming game would be this weekend at 3:30pm, so ABC picked it up. Both teams are rather average on offense and defense, though the ground attack for Wisconsin could prove to be the difference.

USC at Notre Dame, 3:30pm (NBC HD) - Clearly not the USC offensive team of the past couple years, whereas Notre Dame's games have had much more drama. Jimmy Claussen contiues to get the Heisman hype and a win over USC would do wonders for his candidacy. USC's defense is still stout though they may bend more than they have the previous few weeks.

Hawai'i at Idaho, 5pm (ESPN GamePlan/ - Idaho is the story to watch here. The Vandals have managed to get to a 5-1 start after being a doormat of the WAC since their arrival four years ago. With a win over the Warriors, the Vandals could be bowl eligible for the first time in a decade. The Vandals, like many WAC teams, are all offense and no defense, so this one, like the games the rest of the way, could be a shootout.

Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, 6pm (ESPN2 HD) - Winner goes to the front of the line in the Coastal Division. Neither team is built to throw the ball around the yard, though Tyrod Taylor seems to be developing into a capable, efficient passer that could give the Hokies that extra dimension. Both teams have top 20 rushing attacks, but the Hokies might have those extras to get over the hump.

South Carolina at Alabama, 7:45pm (ESPN HD) - The Ol' Ball Coach has flipped the script with a top 15 defense (right at #15 nationally) and a mediocre offense, complete with a rushing offense ranked slightly higher than the passing offense. 'Bama is no slouch at #2 defensively. Remember that 3-2 Auburn-Mississippi St. barnburner from 2008? It might be quite similar. Stephen Garcia's QB play for the 'Cocks should be the difference maker.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Big Ten Bowl Lineup

The Big Ten will announce its bowl lineup for the 2010-2013 postseasons today with a special on the Big Ten Network. According to ESPN's Adam Ritterberg, the lineuip will look like this.

1. Rose vs. PAC-10/BCS
2. Capital One vs. SEC
3. Outback vs. SEC
4 or 5. Gator vs. SEC
4 or 5. Insight vs. Big 12
6. Texas vs. Big 12
7. New Bowl - Played at Cotton Bowl Stadium vs. Big 12 or C-USA
8. Little Caesar's vs. MAC

The new bowl game should be announced any day now and like the Yankee Bowl matchup between the Big 12 and Big East is also pending certification.

The Gator and Texas bowls are new tie-ins, replacing the Champs Sports and Alamo bowls.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Week 8 Network Selections

Here's a placeholder for the kickoff times for October 24th which will be announced today.

Georgia Tech at Virginia, 12pm Raycom
Maryland at Duke, 1:30pm ESPN360
Clemson at Miami (FL), ABC 3:30pm or 8pm

Big 12
Iowa St. at Nebraska, 12:30pm FSN
Oklahoma St. at Baylor, 12:30pm Versus
Oklahoma at Kansas, ABC TBA
Texas at Missouri, ABC TBA

Big East
UConn at West Virginia, 12pm ESPNU
USF at Pittsburgh, 12pm Big East
Louisville at Cincinnati, 3:30pm ESPNU

Big Ten
Minnesota at Ohio St., 12pm ESPN/ESPN2
Illinois at Purdue, 12pm ESPN/ESPN2
Indiana at Northwestern, 12pm Big Ten HD
Penn St. at Michigan, 3:30pm ABC/ESPN

Oregon at Washington, 3:30pm ABC
UCLA at Arizona, 6:30pm FSN Regional (Prime Ticket and FS Arizona)

Arkansas at Ole Miss, 12pm SEC Network
Tennessee at Alabama, 3:30pm CBS
Vanderbilt at South Carolina, 7pm ESPNU
UL-Monroe at Kentucky, 7pm SEC/FSN Regional
Auburn at LSU, 7:30pm ESPN/ESPN2
Florida at Mississippi St., 7:30pm ESPN/ESPN2

Fresno St. at New Mexico St., 10:30pm ESPNU

Friday, October 9, 2009

Week 8 TV Guesses

Tennessee at Alabama, 3:30pm

Clemson at Miami (FL) (RM), Oklahoma at Kansas, Oregon at Washington, Penn St. at Michigan (RM) 3:30pm
Texas at Missouri & Oregon St. at USC (2nd game confirmed), 8pm

Minnesota at Ohio St., 12pm
Florida at Mississippi St., 7:45pm

Louisville at Cincinnati, 12pm
Auburn at LSU, 8pm

Akron at Syracuse, 12pm
USF at Pittsburgh, 3:30pm
Vanderbilt at South Carolina, 7pm

Iowa St. at Nebraska, 12:30pm
Arizona St. at Stanford, 10:15pm (confirmed)

Texas A&M at Texas Tech, 12:30pm

Big Ten
Indiana at Northwestern & Illinois at Purdue, 12pm
Iowa at Michigan St., 7pm

Arkansas at Ole Miss, 12pm SEC Network
Connecticut at West Virginia, 12pm Big East
Georgia Tech at Virginia, 12pm Raycom
Maryland at Duke, 3:30pm ESPN360
Oklahoma St. at Baylor, 7pm FSN Regional/Fox College Sports
UL-Monroe at Kentucky, 7pm SEC/FSN
Washington St. at California, 6:30pm CSN California/FSN NW
UCLA at Arizona, 6:30pm FSAZ/Prime Ticket

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bowl News

Two bowls made conference announcements in the past two weeks
  • Yankee Stadium will host a bowl game, pending certification, starting in 2010. The Big East and the Big 12 are the conferences tied to the bowl with the Big East providing its 3rd non-BCS selection (2nd when Notre Dame goes to the Champs Sports Bowl) and the Big 12 providing its 6th non-BCS selection. No date or television partner has been announced.

    The bowl is rumored to pay more than the Meineke Car Care Bowl, but that is also taking into account that it will cost teams more to travel to New York City around the holidays.
  • The Champs Sports Bowl filled the other half of their tie-in with the ACC's 2nd non-BCS choice. The bowl is now the same as the Gator Bowl tie-in when the Big East is the ACC's opponent.

    It also appears that the Gator will be announced as an SEC v. Big Ten bowl and it could be moving from CBS to ESPN.

Here's a list of the bowl tie-ins to start next year (confirmed tie-ins only):

Las Vegas: MWC No. 1 vs. PAC-10 No. 5
Pointsettia: MWC No. 2 vs. Navy (2010, WAC backup), WAC (2011 & 2012), Army (2013, WAC backup)
Hawai'i: WAC vs. C-USA No. 2
Little Caesar's: MAC No. 1 or 2 vs. TBA
Emerald: PAC-10 No. 6 vs. WAC (2010 & 2013), Army (2011), Navy (2012)
Champs Sports: Big East No. 2/Notre Dame vs. ACC No. 3
Rose: BCS/Big Ten No. 1 vs. BCS/PAC-10 No. 1
Sugar: BCS/SEC No. 1 vs. TBA
Orange: BCS/ACC No. 1 vs. TBA
Fiesta: BCS/Big 12 No. 1 vs. TBA
International: MAC No. 3 vs. TBA
Alamo: PAC-10 No. 2 vs. TBA
GMAC: MAC No. 1 or No. 2 vs. TBA

Monday, October 5, 2009

Week 7 TV Selections

Late, but here's the selections. Note that the Sun Belt was able to take advantage of being part of the 12 day selection process for the 1st time.

Wake Forest at Clemson, Raycom, noon
NC State at Boston College, ABC, 3:30 pm
Virginia at Maryland, ESPNU, 4 pm
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, ESPN2, 6 pm

Big Ten
Iowa at Wisconsin, ESPN/ESPN2, 12pm
Northwestern at Michigan State, ESPN/ESPN2, 12pm
Ohio State at Purdue, Big Ten Network, 12pm
Delaware State at Michigan, Big Ten Network, 12pm

Big 12
Texas Tech at Nebraska, ABC/ESPN, 3:30pm <- Reverse Mirror
Kansas at Colorado, FSN, 7pm
Missouri at Oklahoma St., ESPN2, 9:15pm

California at UCLA, ABC, 3:30pm
Stanford at Arizona, Versus, 7:30pm

Georgia at Vanderbilt, SEC Network, 12pm
UAB at Ole Miss, SEC/FSN, 7pm
Kentucky at Auburn, ESPNU, 7:30pm

The South Carolina-Alabama & Arkansas-Florida games are being held for a six-day pick. One game will air on CBS at 3:30pm, the other will air on ESPN at 7:45pm.

Sun Belt
Mississippi St. at Middle Tennessee, ESPNU, 12:30pm

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week 7 TV Guesses

I think its very possible that any of these things could occur:
  1. The SEC could again go on a six day pick, particularly for the cable windows
  2. The Big 12 could shift their TV windows around, like they did last year for because of the Red River Shootout. Possibly a pair of evening games on ESPN/ESPN2 and no 2nd game on ABC, giving FSN the 3:30pm slot. Particularly because there are only four ACC games to choose and only one is an above average matchup.
Sticking with what we know (except I did give the Big 12 two games at night on ESPN)

South Carolina at Alabama, 3:30pm

Oklahoma vs. Texas, 12pm (confirmed)
Minnesota at Penn St. (confirmed, RM), Stanford at Arizona, Texas Tech at Nebraska, Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (RM), 3:30pm

Iowa at Wisconsin, 12pm
ABC Reverse Mirror, 3:30pm
Kansas at Colorado, 7:45pm

Ohio St. at Purdue, 12pm
Kentucky at Auburn, 6pm
Texas A&M at Kansas St., 9:15pm

Wake Forest at Clemson, 12pm
Virginia at Maryland, 3:30pm
Arkansas at Florida, 7pm

Missouri at Oklahoma St., 7pm
Washington at Arizona St., 10:15pm (confirmed)

California at UCLA, 7:30pm

Big Ten
Northwestern at Michigan St. & Delaware St. at Michigan, 12pm
Indiana at Illinois, 7pm (confirmed)

Georgia at Vanderbilt, 12pm SEC Network
NC State at Boston College, 12pm Raycom
Louisville at Connecticut, 12pm Big East
UAB at Ole Miss, 7pm SEC/FSN
Baylor at Iowa St., 7pm Fox College Sports

Friday, October 2, 2009

Week Five Viewers Guide

Week five got off to a start already with the weeknight games. Didn’t have much to say about them since I thought they had outcomes that were relatively not in doubt, though West Virginia sure attempted to keep Colorado in the game.

All games Saturday

UCLA at Stanford (3:30pm, ABC) – Stanford has shown real progress over Jim Harbaugh’s tenure and UCLA has been able grind out their victories so far with mediocre offense. The Cardinal have the offensive stars in this game with RB Toby Gerhart and QB Andrew Luck and will have to be controlled for UCLA to have a chance.

Air Force at Navy (3:30pm, CBS College) – 1st matchup in the Commander-in-Chief series for 2009. Should be a quick game in the sense that neither team prefers to run the ball. On a per game basis, Air Force leads the nation and Navy is 6th.

William & Mary at Villanova (3:30pm, Versus) – An FCS matchup makes it here because it’s a CAA matchup between two top 5 teams. Both teams are fairly balanced run/pass on offense and both are among the CAA teams to notch wins over FBS competition (‘Nova over Temple, W&M over Virginia). The QBs are the key with ‘Nova’s Chris Whitney a dual threat with the arm and his legs where Tribe QB RJ Archer moves the ball down the field more methodically.

Both of the next two games would have been a lot more interesting a week ago

USC at California (8pm, ABC) – Jahvid Best had the Heisman roughly at the quarter pole of this season until he came up short, along with the rest of his teammates vs. Oregon. USC is ripe for the picking this season with the way Ohio St. played against them at the line of scrimmage and the lack of solid QB play. Don’t kid yourselves, the Trojans are really 1-1 because the Washington St. and San Jose St. games were essentially scrimmages.

Oklahoma at Miami (FL) (8pm, ABC) – Folks expect that the Sooners are OK because they won their last two games via shutout and put up at least 45 points in both games. But don’t kid yourself; those were against Idaho St. and Tulsa, competition that hasn’t been quite on the level as the Sooners. Miami (FL) has stepped up in class each week with three ACC opponents and all three ranked at the time of the game, no small feat. If you were the Hurricanes, would you be happy with 3-1 or 2-2, with one ACC loss, if your opponents to start the year were Florida St., Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pointsettia Bowl, WAC announce agreement

The WAC and the Pointsettia Bowl announce an agree to face a MWC representative in 2011 and 2012. This fills in the blanks where the WAC will fill the Emerald Bowl slot in 2010 and 2013 as Army and Navy will be there the other two years.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week 6 Network Selections

Here's the network selections for games to kick off on 10/10. The Big Ten and PAC-10 announced their selections on Sunday.

Boston College at Virginia Tech, 12pm Raycom
Indiana at Virginia, 3:30pm ESPN360
Georgia Southern at North Carolina, 3:30pm ESPN360
Duke at NC State, 4pm ESPNU
Maryland at Wake Forest, 6:30pm ESPN360
Florida A&M at Miami (FL) , 7pm ESPN360
Georgia Tech at Florida St., 8pm ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 (Network TBA on 10/4).

Big 12
Oklahoma St. at Texas A&M, 12:30pm FSN
Iowa St. at Kansas, 12:30pm Versus
Baylor at Oklahoma, 3:30pm ABC
Colorado at Texas, 7:15pm ESPN/ESPN2

Big East
Connecticut at Pittsburgh OR West Virginia at Syracuse, 12pm Big East (six day pick)
Connecticut at Pittsburgh OR West Virginia at Syracuse, 12pm Big East (six day pick) Southern Miss at Louisville, 7:30pm ESPNU

Big Ten
Purdue at Minnesota, 12pm ESPN/ESPN2
Eastern Illinois at Penn St., 12pm ESPN Classic
Michigan St. at Illinois, 12pm Big Ten
Miami (OH) at Northwestern, 12pm Big Ten
Wisconsin at Ohio St., 3:30pm ABC/ESPN
Michigan at Iowa, 8pm ABC or ESPN

Oregon at UCLA, 3:30pm ABC
Stanford at Oregon St., 7pm FSN
Arizona at Washington, 10pm FSN NW

Florida at LSU, 8pm CBS
Kentucky at South Carolina, 12:30pm SEC/FSN

The other four slots (3:30pm CBS, 12pm ESPN/ESPN2, 12pm SEC Network, 12:30pm ESPNU) are being held for a six day pick. The games in question are Houston at Mississippi St., Alabama at Ole Miss, Auburn at Arkansas and Georgia at Tennessee

Friday, September 25, 2009

Week 6 TV Guesses

Here's my guesses for the TV selections for 10/10. Looks like a Big 12/Versus window was added sometime recently at 12:30pm ET.

Note that CBS has exclusivity in the primetime window this week, so ESPN's SEC windows have moved up to 12pm.

Alabama at Ole Miss, 3:30pm
Florida at LSU, 8pm

Colorado at Texas, Boston College at Virginia Tech, Wisconsin at Ohio St., Oregon at UCLA 3:30pm
Michigan at Iowa, 8pm

Purdue at Minnesota, 12pm
Oklahoma St. at Texas A&M, 7:45pm


Auburn at Arkansas, 12pm
Georgia Tech at Florida St., 7:30pm

Baylor at Oklahoma, 12:30pm
Stanford at Oregon St., 7pm

Kansas St. at Texas Tech, 12:30pm

Houston at Mississippi St., 12pm
Duke at NC State, 3:30pm
Pittsburgh at Connecticut, 7pm

ESPN Classic
Michigan St. at Illinois, 12pm

Big Ten (all at 12pm)
Miami (OH) at Northwestern and Eastern Illinois at Penn St.

Kentucky at South Carolina, 12pm SEC/FSN
Georgia at Tennessee, 12pm SEC Network
West Virginia at Syracuse, 12pm Big East
Maryland at Wake Forest, 12pm Raycom
Indiana at Virginia, 3:30pm ESPN360
Southern Miss at Louisville, 3:30pm ESPN360
Iowa St. at Kansas, 7pm Fox College Sports
Arizona at Washington, 10:15pm FSN NW/FS AZ

I think there's a small chance ABC could again bypass a Big 12 game, though it doesn't seem likely. If that did happen, assume that ESPN at 7:45pm is the 1st choice:

Colorado at Texas, ESPN 7:45pm
Oklahoma St. at Texas A&M, 3:30pm FSN (FSN can move their early window to 3:30pm if ABC does not use the telecast window)
Baylor at Oklahoma, 12:30pm Versus
Kansas St. at Texas Tech, 7pm Fox College Sports

Iowa St. at Kansas could then go untelevised unless either a "regional window" opened for the Big 12 at 12pm or FSN opted to have two national Big 12 windows.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Week 4 Viewers Guide

Week three didn't disappoint. Great finishes in Washington and Syracuse wins, a collapse by Nebraska in Blacksburg and another big finish involving Notre Dame. Each week feels like a game of "Can You Top This?". So can week four top week three?

I'm bypassing the weeknight games this week. Nothing in my opinion that brings a lot of viewers, though a top ten SEC team is usually worth watching (Ole Miss).

USF at Florida St., 12pm (ESPNU HD) - It's a shame that Matt Grothe's career at USF would end before getting his shot at two of Florida's big three schools (this week at USF, 11/28 vs. Miami (FL)). BJ Daniels will get the start and gets a nice nine game run through those two and the seven Big East games. Florida St. awoke from a lackluster effort against Jacksonville St. to whitewash BYU and will be coming home to reestablish itself. No better way to do that then win in-state.

North Carolina at Georgia Tech, 12pm (Raycom HD/Game Plan) - TJ Yates efficiency has been the key to UNC's victories over UConn and East Carolina. Georgia Tech has been hit and miss with their pass defense, on vs. Clemson and completely off vs. Miami (FL). They'll need to be on to keep UNC in check.

Miami (FL) at Virginia Tech, 3:30pm (ABC HD/ESPN) - Lots of ACC so far, but both of these teams have been involved in some great games so far and Miami (FL) could have the look of an ACC champion, at least early. If I were Randy Shannon, I'd be thrilled with a 2-2 or 3-1 start if I had Florida St., Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma as my 1st four games for a season. Get to 3-0 and you can really play with house money against the Sooners. But don't look ahead. Virginia Tech is always ready.

Texas Tech at Houston, 9:15pm (ESPN2 HD) - The 1st matchup between these two former SWC schools was also Texas Tech's final SWC game (Houston and Rice played each other the following week). Houston has quietly made a name for itself with a high octane offense and may have the most impressive non-AQ win with the win at Oklahoma St. Texas Tech, like Houston, also ranks in the top 20 in offense. Should be a wild night with lots of points in front of the largest crowd to watch a game at Robertson Stadium.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Week 5 TV Selections

Placeholder for the ACC, Big Ten, PAC-10 and SEC selections for games to be contested on October 3rd. I am not expecting any Big 12 or Big East games to be selected or have kickoff times changed.

Come back here for updates.

Clemson at Maryland, 12pm ESPNU
Virginia at North Carolina, 12pm Raycom
Virginia Tech at Duke, 12pm
NC State at Wake Forest, 3:30pm ESPNU

Oklahoma at Miami (FL) is a six day pick for ABC at either 3:30pm or 8pm.
Florida St. at Boston College is a six day pick for ESPN/ESPN2 at 12pm or ABC at 3:30pm

Big Ten
Wisconsin at Minnesota, 12pm ESPN/ESPN2
Arkansas St. at Iowa, 12pm ESPN2/ESPN Classic
Michigan at Michigan St., 12pm Big Ten
Purdue at Northwestern, 12pm Big Ten
Penn St. at Illinois, 3:30pm ABC/ESPN

UCLA at Stanford, 3:30pm ABC
Oregon St. at Arizona St., 7pm Versus

Alabama at Kentucky, 12pm SEC Network
LSU at Georgia, 3:30pm CBS
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, 7pm ESPNU
South Carolina St. at South Carolina, 7pm ESPN Classic
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas, 7:30pm ESPN2
Georgia Tech at Mississippi, 7:30pm CSS
Auburn at Tennessee, 7:45pm ESPN

Colorado St. at Idaho, 10:30pm ESPNU (moved from a 5pm ET kick on Altitude2)

Penn at Dartmouth, 12pm Versus
William & Mary at Villanova, 3:30pm Versus <--- Possibly a simulcast of Comcast Network

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week 5 TV Guesses

Here's my guesses for the Week Five TV selections. The ACC, PAC-10, Big Ten and SEC are the conferences having game times announced. The Big East only has one Saturday game and it is earmarked for their syndication package and the Big 12 had their selections for this date done prior to the season starting.

Note that there are two open TV windows for this date on ESPN Classic. I'm guessing one will be an SEC game.

I think it is possible that we could see the ACC's TV partners invoke a six day selection for their games.

LSU at Georgia, 3:30pm

Florida St. at Boston College (RM), Michigan St. at Michigan (RM) and UCLA at Stanford, 3:30pm
Oklahoma at Miami (FL) and USC at California (confirmed), 8pm

Penn St. at Illinois, 12pm
ABC Reverse Mirror, 3:30pm
Alabama at Kentucky, 7:45pm

Virginia at North Carolina, 12pm
Texas A&M at Arkansas, 7:30pm

Texas Tech at New Mexico. 3:30pm (confirmed)

Virginia Tech at Duke, 12pm
NC State at Wake Forest, 3:30pm
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, 7pm
UNLV at Nevada, 10:30pm

ESPN Classic
Wisconsin at Minnesota, 12pm
South Carolina St. at South Carolina, 7pm

Big Ten
Arkansas St. at Iowa & Northwestern at Purdue, 12pm
Ohio St. at Indiana, 7pm (confirmed)

Oregon St. at Arizona St., 7:30pm

Auburn at Tennessee, 12pm SEC Network
Clemson at Maryland, 12pm Raycom
USF at Syracuse, 12pm Big East (confirmed)
Cincinnati at Miami (OH), 1pm ESPN360 (confirmed)
Kansas St. vs. Iowa St., 3pm Fox College Sports (confirmed)
Georgia Tech at Mississippi St., 7:30pm CSS
Washington St. at Oregon, 9:15pm Oregon Sports/FSN Northwest (semi-confirmed)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


A few small items worth discussing:

  • A reader sent in that Bright House Sports will also show the SEC package of games that CSS originally signed up for. Coupled with the recent announcement from Cox Sports in Louisiana, the CSS package should reach the entire footprint, excluding satellite.
  • After probably a lot of backroom negotiation, the Stanford-Washington game on 9/26 will be televised by Fox College Sports. Earlier this week, UW issued a press release which seemed to blame Stanford for the reason why the game would not be on TV.
  • Right around the same time Washington issued their release about their game originally not being televised, Nevada also issued a "broadcast information" release about their road game at Colorado St. In the release, Nevada simply says the game would not be on TV because the MWC's TV partners decided not to pick it up AND they would not grant a waiver to allow a local broadcast back to Reno. I believe this is the 2nd time Nevada has been denied a local broadcast by a MWC since CBS College Sports/CSTV purchased the MWC's TV rights. A few years ago they denied the right for Nevada to do a local broadcast of a Nevada-UNLV game. Different circumstances though as the mtn. did televise the game, but the mtn. did not have carriage in Reno.
  • In other PAC-10 related TV news, Oregon took a somewhat unusual step to announce the kickoff time of their home game vs. Washington St. in the event it would not be televised on ABC or Versus on 10/3. Me thinks that the poor shape of the Cougars has already eliminated this game from television coverage.
  • Sports Business Journal did a great followup article on the demise of the Arizona Wildcats Sports Network, which really never did get off the ground. According to SBJ, neither IMG nor the Wildcats athletic department ever checked with the conference regarding the parameters involved in a local broadcast deal. The real problem was when the partners announced affiliates across the nation, which put them in violation of the deals the conference struck with ABC and FSN.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Washington not happy about Stanford game time?

Washington issued a press release late Monday, noting that their consecutive televised game streak would end at 29 games after this week's game vs. USC. And it kinda sounds like they are placing the blame completely on Stanford.

The Cardinal athletic department elected not to move off its standard game time of 6 p.m. and make a request for a league waiver for a local telecast - which would have provided the UW's partner, FSN Northwest, the rights to televise the game. The home team for all Pac-10 games controls the kickoff time when the game is not picked-up for a league television appearance.

FSN Northwest owns the UW's exclusive television rights, after the Pac-10 makes its weekly television selections. The network has the contractual obligation to televise every Husky game, provided the game time can be moved into a window that does not have a head-to-head conflict with a Pac-10 telecast.

The article notes that the last untelevised game was also against Stanford. Stanford themselves announced the 6pm PT start well before the season started and appeared to take themselves out of the TV selection process.

Week 4 Network Selections

This is a placeholder for selections for week four from the ACC, Big Ten, SEC and PAC-10. The Big 12's selections were done before the season but there may be a selection for Fox College Sports. The Big East also does not have any games to choose for national networks but the Rhode Island-Connecticut game may be done as a local game through Big East Network syndication.

Stop back here as the selections are made today.

USF at Florida St., 12pm ESPNU
North Carolina at Georgia Tech, 12pm Raycom
TCU at Clemson, 1pm ESPN360
Wake Forest at Boston College, 2pm ESPN360
Miami (FL) at Virginia Tech, 3:30pm ABC/ESPN
Rutgers at Maryland, 3:30pm ESPN360

Big East
Rhode Island at Connecticut, 12pm ESPN360

Big Ten
Wisconsin-MSU 12pm on ESPN/ESPN2
Indiana-Michigan 12pm on ESPN/ESPN2
Illinois-OSU 3:30pm on ABC/ESPN
Iowa-Penn St. 8pm on ABC
Notre Dame-Purdue 8pm on ESPN

Arizona at Oregon St., 7:30pm Versus
Washington St. at USC, 10:15pm FSN

LSU at Mississippi St., 12pm SEC Network
Arkansas at Alabama, 3:30pm CBS
Florida at Kentucky, 6pm ESPN2
Arizona St. at Georgia, 7pm ESPNU
Ball St. at Auburn, 7pm SEC/FSN

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What to Watch: Week 3

Houston stepped up big against Oklahoma St., Fresno St. lost at Wisconsin but gave the Badgers a big scare, Central Michigan took one from the Spartans, Purdue lost on a two point conversion, Ohio St. and USC played a defensive struggle, Notre Dame and Michigan played a whale of a game...

Week two was a lot better than it was advertised. Let's see if week three can match it.

Georgia Tech at Miami (FL) (ESPN HD, 7:45pm) - Georgia Tech escaped with the win against Clemson after starting fast and letting Clemson back into the game. Miami's game with Florida St. was exciting and Jacory Harris' accuracy will be the key to this game. If Clemson had any good QB play early in the game it may not have been the runaway game it started out as.

Nebraska at Virginia Tech (ABC HD/ESPN2 HD, 3:30pm) - Nebraska has taken out their two opponents in short order, while Virginia Tech had a very good showing against Alabama in Atlanta and ran through Marshall. Nebraska has yet to test itself outside of the Sun Belt opponents it has started out with and this will likely be a litmus test for where Nebraska resides in the Big 12 pecking order once conference play begins.

Utah at Oregon (ESPN HD, 3:30pm) - Utah has played a pair of WAC opponents likely closer than they would have in 2008, but still came away with wins. The rush defense of the Utes improved from 221 allowed vs. Utah St. to 22 vs. San Jose St., but Oregon has yet to establish a real offensive identity under new coach Chip Kelly (yes, I know Chip was the offensive coordinator). Will definitely be a battle of the line of scrimmage and whomever controls it.

Tulsa at Oklahoma (FSN HD, 3:30pm) - Oklahoma got a nice breather again FCS team Idaho St. A chance to work out the kinks for Landry Jones and get some confidence for the offensive line. Tulsa will give them a chance to step back up in class before starting Big 12 play. TU has played well against Tulane and New Mexico and QB G.J. Kinne is the team's leading offensive player, both with his arm and his feet. The Sooners already know they can't team a non-AQ team lightly and would be wise to remember their in-state rival's loss to Houston this past weekend.

Cincinnati at Oregon St. (FSN HD, 6:45pm) - The 1st of two opportunities for the Big East to gain some respect on the national stage. Two years ago the Beavers came to Cincy and were pasted 34-3 turning the ball over seven times (six INTs). Same old Bearcats since then with an attacking defense and an efficient passing offense. The Beavers didn't have Jacquizz Rodgers back then (Yverson Bernard wasn't bad though) and the quarterbacks (Canfield and Moevao) have both grown up through playing time.

West Virginia at Auburn (ESPN HD, 7:45pm) - Auburn has looked extremely stout defensively against both Louisiana Tech and Mississippi St., allowing under 300 yards of total offense to both opponents. Neither one has the talent of West Virginia and the Mountaineers seemed to be gearing themselves more towards the passing game in their spread attack, possibly to keep Noel Devine fresh early in the season (36 carries in the two games). It will be interesting to see whether Devine becomes a bigger factor in a game like this where his speed can be a difference.

Week 4 TV Guesses

Since we know the available TV windows for the following week, here's my guess where each game fits:

EDIT 11:14am: Forgot Pitt-NC State was preselected for ESPNU at 3:30pm. Moved TCU-Clemson to 12pm on ESPNU and Rutgers-Maryland to ESPN360 exclusive at 3:30pm

Arkansas at Alabama, 3:30pm

California at Oregon (confirmed), North Carolina at Georgia Tech and Michigan St. at Wisconsin, 3:30pm
Iowa at Penn St. (time confirmed) and Miami (FL) at Virginia Tech, 8pm

USF at Florida St., 12pm
ABC Reverse Mirror, 3:30pm
Notre Dame at Purdue (time confirmed), 8pm

Indiana at Michigan, 12pm
Arizona St. at Georgia, 6pm
Texas Tech at Houston (confirmed), 9:15pm

TCU at Clemson, 12pm
Pitt at NC State (confirmed), 3:30pm
Florida at Kentucky, 7pm

Southern Miss at Kansas (confirmed), 12pm
UTEP at Texas (confirmed), 3:30pm
Arizona at Oregon St., 10:15pm

Washington St. at USC, 7:30pm

Big Ten
Minnesota at Northwestern & Illinois at Ohio St., 12pm

Wake Forest at Boston College (Raycom), 12pm
LSU at Mississippi St. (SEC Network), 12pm
Ohio at Tennessee (PPV, confirmed), 7pm
Ball St. at Auburn (SEC/FSN, semi-confirmed), 7pm
Rutgers at Maryland (ESPN360), 3:30pm

The possibility exists for a Big 12-Fox College Sports game at 7pm.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bowl News and Versus

Two news items in a slow week
  • The Emerald Bowl has signed up its matchups for the 2010-2013 seasons. The PAC-10 will always be tied to the bowl with its 6th representative. The opponent will vary, with the WAC the representative in 2010 and 2013, with Army the primary in 2011 and Navy in 2012.

    This means that the ACC will move east. Over the past two seasons the ACC has declined to return to its two western bowls (Humanitarian and Emerald).

  • DirecTV and Versus are still at their stalemate and there have been no hints of compromise on either side. Texas is making fans aware of the situation, point them to a place where they can find a channel provider with Versus.

    Based on this information, I wouldn't expect any legal webstreaming options for this game. And Texas has appeared as part of the Big 12 set of games on Versus, back in 2007 vs. Baylor.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Week 2 Viewers Guide

Week one had some great surprises. BYU winning in Arlington vs. Oklahoma will get discounted by some national media because of Sam Bradford's injury, but they were holding their own while he was in there, plus OU's defense wasn't injured. BYU had to score, and they got just enough. Notre Dame and Michigan also began to re-assert themselves as top programs in the midwest and look who happens to play each other this week...

Two programs that hit rock bottom also appeared to pick themselves up off the mat with good showings in defeat were Syracuse and Washington. Washington had one too many turnovers again LSU and Syracuse had one unfortunate turnover in OT against Minnesota, but neither one appears to be the pushover they've been in prior seasons.

The schedule itself is a little bit lighter like other Week Two schedules from past seasons.


Clemson at Georgia Tech (ESPN HD, 7:30pm) - 1st ACC conference game to be played this year and both schools. Georgia Tech's run attack was in full force against Jacksonville St. but one concern could be the lack of work Johnathan Dwyer got in the game as he sat out the 2nd half and only had seven carries for 95 yards, 74 of that coming on the 1st play of the game. Clemson's CJ Spiller also sat out much of the game vs. Middle Tennessee, but because he was dinged up. No word on his status.


There isn't much to whet the appetite early in the afternoon. Syracuse at Penn St. (12pm, Big Ten HD) provides some intrigue for me, but I'm not naive to think that the Nittany Lions should be highly favored. Stanford at Wake Forest (12pm, Raycom HD) and Pittsburgh at Buffalo (12pm, ESPN+) also bear watching, but not with great detail.

Notre Dame at Michigan (ABC HD, 3:30pm) – National telecast here and both teams came out on fire against lesser opponents. Both Casey Clausen and Tate Forcier were efficient, Clausen also providing the downfield element to the ND offense. Michigan got a lot of mileage out of their ground attack too and maybe Rich Rodriguez's offense is rapidly taking hold in season #2.

Houston at Oklahoma St. (FSN HD, 3:30pm) – The Cowboys got a huge win vs. Georgia in the game where Boone Pickens Stadium was rededicated. Houston may not provide the defensive punch that the Bulldogs did to Dez Bryant and Zac Robinson, but they'll bring the passing game. Could be a wild shootout.

South Carolina at Georgia (ESPN2 HD, 7pm) – Should be a physical SEC matchup. South Carolina and Georgia brough the lumber to NC State and Oklahoma St., respectively. Steve Spurrier let everyone know that there would be more attention paid to the SC ground game and Stephen Garcia was more caretaker than ball slinger, even if the ground game didn't pile up yards. Georgia was run over by OK State and will need to provide better defense to not get behind the Gamecocks in conference.

USC at Ohio St. (ESPN HD, 8pm) – USC appeared to be going through the motions early on against San Jose St. before turning it on late. Navy is a unique team to prepare for in that the blocking schemes they use, coupled with the one-sided slant towards running the football can leave a team using personnel groupings that they normally would not rely on for a game. But Navy's ability to pass and run on Ohio St. has to be troubling. Yes, OSU struggled with Ohio last year before the USC game in LA last year, but they can't afford to repeat the same result in Columbus. USC's reliance on Joe McKnight and at least three other RBs to take the pressure off Matt Barkley will be the difference as to whether Ohio St. can hang with the Trojans.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Conference TV Contract: The WAC

The WAC brand has meant a lot of different things over the past ten years. A league of western transplants. Teams left behind from the MWC split and a near collapse. A conference that started completely over but has been able to place teams in the top 25 and in the BCS bowls. Its reward? A gradual increase in the number of exposures over the past decade to a level similar to other non-AQ conferences.

The WAC signed a new seven year contract with ESPN Networks with increases in the number of games available for ESPN/ESPN2 to select, plus games available for ESPNU. The contract starts with the 2010-11 athletic year and includes increased exposure for other sports. The ESPNU component of the contract started immediately when it was signed. Under the final year of the current deal, ESPN/ESPN2 has the rights to at least eight football games (they usually televise more than that) and under the new deal the minimum will increase to ten games. ABC could also pick up WAC games if it desires to. Many of the ESPN/ESPN2 games appear on weeknights.

ESPNU is a new component to the deal. The WAC placed some games on ESPNU when it started but backed off of that once ESPN said they would not compensate the conference for the ESPNU games. Under the new deal, ESPNU will have at least six games. For now, they can select games as available.

ESPN Regional is the regional rightsholder and can choose up to five games to syndicate across the conference footprint. This amount will not change going into the new contract. Unlike other deals that ESPN has done, cannot choose games for exclusive webstreaming, though they can simulcast any ESPN/ESPN2, ABC or game appearing on ESPN GamePlan. For the games not chosen by these entities, the schools retain the right to televise games locally. Many schools provide telecasts only for road games, some provide them for all games not selected by ESPN/ESPN2 and Hawai'i goes with a very lucrative PPV contract.

Most ESPN/ESPN2 games are selected before the season starts. Depending on the available telecasts later in the season and the available teams, WAC games have been added to the schedule as the season progresses. The ESPNU games generally will be Saturday games. If they involve Hawai'i they must be on Saturdays due to travel. A requirement that must be met each season is that every team makes at least one appearance on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC or ESPNU as part of the WAC contract.

The WAC has changed in membership and size over the past decade. Members have come and gone. Exposure has increased, from a small package on Fox Sports Net, a return to ESPN and increases in exposure with the last two contracts. BCS appearances by Hawai'i and Boise St. have raised the profile of the conference and the media side of the house is in in great shape. Now it needs for the bottom of the conference to, as the WAC says, "Play Up" and get better.

Conference TV Contract: The Sun Belt

The Sun Belt is the youngest D-I football conference, beginning play in 2001 as a response to the Big West dropping sponsorship of football. Several schools played in the Big West as football only members and the Sun Belt made sense as a new home.

The Sun Belt has a three year contract with ESPN, starting with the 2009 serason. It provides for at least two televised games per year on ESPN/ESPN2. The contract requests that the conference provides these games at ESPN's request and that they may be weeknight games. A new component not available in the original ESPN contract was for games to appear on ESPNU on Saturdays and that the Sun Belt would be available to provide games on a 12 day basis.

ESPN Regional has the right to select up to five Sun Belt games per year as well. Previously ESPN Regional was the primary regional rightsholder for the conference. That now appears to below to a pair of regional sports networks. Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) and Cox Sports TV (CST) jointly own the regional rights, calling the broadcasts the Sun Belt Network. The Sun Belt Network games are part of a larger, all-sports contract that these two entities run.

Any games not selected for TV revert back to the schools to sell. Some schools do sell some non-conference games to local stations and can also choose games during the year. Many schools partner up with their website host to stream home games.

The Sun Belt has gradually improved as a conference and are taking steps to get more games on campus and play fewer money games. By doing this, they can get more fans in the stands and get more opportunities for national television. Also, by not locking themselves into longer term deals, they can quickly react to the marketplace and strike the best deal.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Week 1 Channel Surfing

We'll try to do one of these each week, going from channel to channel on the DirecTV here. I'll have this as a running entry for Saturday and, for this week, Sunday and Monday.

Please be aware, I might leave the house, take a nap, have a life...

  • They talk about how Husky Stadium will often noticeably shake when the crowd is really hot there and with an opening score against LSU, its no different. Lot of LSU fans in Seattle too.
  • Just showed Nick Holt on TV. Holt had an interesting set of job changes in 2006, resigning as Idaho's head coach to take an assistant coaching job with the St. Louis Rams on 2/6/06, then resigned from the Rams a day later (no signed contract) to take the defensive coordinator job at USC.

  • SEC regional cable telecasts debuted and both entities that broadcast these games (Fox Sports regional and CSS) are using the ESPN look and feel instead of using the FSN and CSS graphics. The FSN game was branded as SEC College Football Saturday, similar to FSN's other franchises, Big 12 College Football Saturday and PAC-10 College Football Saturday.
  • I really wish Florida would have found a better FCS team than Charleston Southern.
  • Unexpected surprise: The national telecast of Alabama - Va. Tech is on which I didn't see noted on other listings.
  • Never noticed the Cougar helmet stickers for BYU.
  • Nice touch for HBCU fans. Prairie View A&M - Texas Southern is airing live on where it will be aired on delay on ESPNU.

  • Took the afternoon off for a nap. Either way, I'm not quite buying the HD that FSN Northwest was selling for the Stanford-WSU game. Portland St.-Oregon St. looked like HD, this looks like widescreen, kinda.
  • Couple nice finishes in the Big Ten: Navy - Ohio St. game where you had to figure the Mids would bring it and they did. Then Northern Iowa with the wacky finish when they had their game winning FG blocked but recovered it behind the line, so it remained UNI ball. Took about seven minutes to finally rule. And...they blocked another kick.
  • Doug Marrone coached in the pros and he has to know prevent defense prevents wins.

  • Flipped on the FSN Northwest pregame show for their doubleheader. Looks like both games in HD as the pregame show appears to be in HD, or at least in widescreen. Looks like we'll see a fair amount of regional FSN games in HD.

  • SEC Network looks sharp. Looks like ESPN, sounds like Raycom, at least with Dave Neal at the mic.
  • While it isn't appearing on their own website, is reporting that New Orleans' based RSN Cox Sports TV (CST) will also air the Western Carolina-Vandy game tonight.

  • ECU finally appears on MASN, with a telecast that so far has no PxP. Feels like the scoreboard feed. But then after commercial we get announcers and a welcome regarding the MASN telecast.

  • ECU fans outside of the WITN broadcast area must be wondering where their MASN telecast is. MASN hasn't even put up a courtesy crawl in the event there is a problem providing MASN the game
  • Taking the SEC pregame show must be an option. Doesn't look like MSG picked it up but Fox Sports Detroit did.
  • Primary game on the tube is the Minnesota-Syracuse game, which seems to be taking a long time. At least the dome seems to be into it.
  • My 1st extended use of since I moved to a house that was able to get AT&T DSL. I like it, even if it seems to be about 5 seconds behind live action. Nice to quickly switch between games.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Arizona goes back to Fox Sports

Late this afternoon, Arizona announced a renewal of their partnership with Fox Sports Arizona for Wildcat football and basketball games. The deal was not completed in time to allow for a live airing of the Central Michigan game on Saturday outside of Arizona, so that game will be aired on KWBA-Tuscon and KAZT-Phoenix live and delayed on Fox Sports Arizona.

KWBA/KGUN in Tuscon will remain "affiliates" for these games and Fox Sports AZ will televise the games to the rest of the state, with the telecasts available on Fox College Sports.

No word was given as to why the change was made to go back to Fox Sports, but the GM of IMG College, UA's local media rightsholder, unexpectedly resigned last week. Brent Seebohm, the executive who resigned, was quoted as saying the network would cost at least $800,000 to run and that cost could be made up in advertising.

Arizona, AWSN update

Looks like Fox Sports Arizona will remain in the game to show Arizona athletics outside of the Tuscon area. Sounds like Comcast could be out as a distributor.

No idea what they are going to do for the CMU game but I'm guessing it will be live in Tuscon and delayed on Fox Sports Arizona.

Personally, I'm thinking that this could be the PAC-10 and FSN slapping the hand of the Wildcats and reminding them of the TV agreements in place. The AWSN's original affiliate list included Altitude and several Comcast SportsNet affiliates and had the feel of UA creating its own national network to compete with FSN. My guess is that FSN reminded them that there were certain regional rights that they had to adhere to and that AWSN with the out-of-market affiliates violated those rights.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fox College Sports Games

Fox College Sports has published its schedule of games for 2009. Still missing is the CMU-Arizona game so I'm still trying to find out what channel that game will appear on. The rest of the listings are on my site.

As with any list that I've encountered with FCS, it tends to change quite a bit as the season so consider it tentative on a week by week basis.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Conference TV Contract: The SEC

The SEC is the 800 lb gorilla of college football. A conference steeped in tradition, rivalry and pagaentry and one that is consistently the cream of the crop when it comes to the product on the field. And thanks to new contracts with CBS and ESPN, you won't be able to escape watching the conference on Saturdays.

The SEC's new TV deals are the Rolls-Royce of television contracts. Starting with the CBS contract, the SEC will have 14 regular season games on CBS and the conference championship game. Under the previous contract, ESPN was allowed to select ahead of CBS a few times per year. That is no longer the case and CBS will have the top pick from the SEC every week. The contract with CBS runs for 15 years. The CBS windows are exclusive windows so that no other SEC telecast can occur at the same time.

ESPN's contract with the SEC is even more expansive. Previously ESPN/ESPN2 had the rights to 18 games, with the rest of the selections going to Raycom Sports, back to the schools for PPV or games just went untelevised. No games on ESPNU either. Now ESPN Networks owns the rights to all games not selected by CBS. ESPN/ESPN2 now has the rights to 20 games and ESPNU has a primetime window for the SEC every week (at least 13 games). So the SEC has drastically increased its number of national telecasts. ESPN Classic will also have the option to select games if there is a surplus of games available. ESPN windows are not exclusive, allowing for other regional telecasts to occur at the same time

ESPN Regional Television then created the SEC Network, replacing the Raycom Sports component of the TV deal. Unlike Raycom who concentrated their efforts in SEC states, ERT has ramped up something close to a national network of affiliates to carry these games, mixing regional sports networks and over the air stations, several from markets which did not carry the Raycom telecasts in the past. The SEC Network games will kick off at 12:21pm ET and the telecast window starts off with a brief pregame show.

A second regional component was carved out when ESPN sublicensed games to a pair of regional broadcasters in the southeast, Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) and the Fox Sports Net regional networks covering the SEC states (FSSouth, FSSouthwest and Sun Sports). FSN has access to seven games and CSS has access to at least six games. These games are typically in the evening, but must occur outside of the CBS telecast window.

Anything that isn't picked up by the entities revert back to the schools for them to produce PPV telecasts. Under the new deal, schools may not produce more than one PPV game per season. Judging by the sheer number of telecast options available, that should not be an issue. The PPVs, on the surface, appear to be mostly non-conference games.

The SEC also has some unique schedule quirks. For example, several games are played on a specific Saturday every season, like Tennessee-Alabama and Florida-Georgia. In addition to the specific date for Florida-Georgia, because it is consistently played off campus in Jacksonville, FL, the schools also have requested that the game be a day game every year, which means that it is likely that the game will always be selected by CBS for telecast.

The final splash that the SEC made was to regain their copyright. Not a lot was made of this important detail and no one could really explain what it meant, but the SEC will now be able to make money off of classic games and sublicense these games to video providers on television and the Internet and be able to receive an additional revenue stream.

The SEC, previously the best in football with one of the lousiest TV deals in terms of national telecasts and PPV, now gets to have its cake and eat it too. Conferences are now scurrying to find out whether they can get something comparable to the SEC in terms of coverage since they likely won't match them in revenue. Won't be able to escape them this fall or any fall for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 Redesign and Regaining Copyright

Just in time for the upcoming foootball season, has been given a facelift. The site appears to be a joint venture between XOS Technologies and did the layout of the site, while XOS will be involved in the digital media aspects of the site, including the SEC Digital Network.

The digital network's creation was part of the SEC's agreements with ESPN and where the SEC regained their copyright from those two entities. Viewing content could be free or cost a nominal fee. Folks who want that content available via offline means like a DVD or having the media permanent available on their hard drive are expected to pay an additional cost.

The Big Ten also regained copyright of their games in their latest TV contract and used it for their Big Ten Network's Big Ten Greatest Games series that airs on the network with older episodes now available on

Versus disappears from DirecTV

EDIT: Sports Business Journal has Versus at 27-29 cents per sub, higher than what I put in the original entry.

Versus has indeed disappeared from DirecTV due to an ongoing contract dispute. Not sure what each side is expecting to pay or receive from the other (Versus gets around 27 to 29 cents per subscriber) but at this moment, there is no effect to those of us following college football or fans of two other major Versus properties, the IRL (next race September 19th) and the NHL (season starts in October).

Versus's college football schedule starts on 9/12 with a mix of Big 12, Ivy League, MWC and PAC-10 games.

All times ET (Bold indicates game involving a preseason ranked team in either AP or Coaches Poll)
9/12 Texas at Wyoming 3:30pm
9/19 Duke at Kansas 12pm
9/19 Florida St. at BYU 7pm
9/26 Cornell at Yale 12pm
9/26 PAC-10 Game 7:30pm (Wash. St.-USC or AZ-OR St.)
10/3 PAC-10 Game 7pm (OR St.-AZ St., UCLA-Stanford or Wash St.-Oregon)
10/17 Princeton at Brown 12:30pm
10/17 Colorado St. at TCU 4pm
10/17 PAC-10 Game 7:30pm (Stanford-AZ, Cal-UCLA or OR St.-Wash. St.)
10/24 Big 12 Game 12:30pm
10/24 Air Force at Utah 4pm
10/24 TCU at BYU 7:30pm
10/31 Big 12 Game 12:30pm
10/31 UNLV at TCU 4pm
11/7 Big 12 Game 12:30pm
11/7 TCU at San Diego St. 4pm
11/14 Big 12 Game 12:30pm
11/14 PAC-10 Game 7pm (Five Games Available)
11/21 Harvard at Yale 12pm
11/21 San Diego St. at Utah 4pm
11/21 PAC-10 Game, 7:30pm or 10pm (Oregon-AZ, AZ St.-UCLA or Cal-Stanford)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bowl News

Two items:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Week 1 Viewers Guide

Labor Day weekend is the start of the college football season. Its a mixed bag like in prior years where there are some decent games but a glut of FCS-FBS matchups.

All times Eastern

Really, there is only one good game of note and you should stay up for it.

Oregon at Boise St. (ESPN HD, 10:15pm) - Chip Kelly's 1st game running the ship for the Ducks vs. a juggernaut in Boise St. Kellen Moore needs to avoid any form of the sophomore jinx to give the Broncos a marquee win as they attempt to again represent the non-AQ conferences in a BCS bowl.

Minnesota at Syracuse (ESPN2 HD, 12pm) - Minnesota is coming off a two season stretch where they improved by six wins from 2007 to 2008. Doug Marrone, in his 1st season at SU, is hoping to make a similar leap with the Orange, his alma mater. Plenty of press for the Orange, from the culture changes at practice (more focus on conditioning) and who will be the QB (former Duke point guard Greg Paulus).

Georgia at Oklahoma St. (ABC HD/ESPN2 HD, 3:30pm) - An early season matchup of upper tier Big 12 and SEC teams and a rematch of a 2007 matchup than ended in a 35-14 victory for the Dogs in Athens. Oklahoma St. has made some marked improvements since then, but like a fair amount of the Big 12, it is more known for its offensive firepower than its defensive work. Georgia's balance could be the difference, but they'll need someone to step up to replace both Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno at QB and RB, respectively.

BYU vs. Oklahoma (ESPN HD, 7pm) - This one will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington as part of an agreement between the Big 12, ESPN and the Cowboys to play an opening Big 12 non-conference game there every season. BYU's Max Hall vs. defending Heisman winner Sam Bradford is the QB battle and OU may be the most complete team in the nation, but BYU will not be a cakewalk as coach Bronco Mendenhall will have his team prepared, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

Alabama vs. Virginia Tech (ABC HD, 8pm) - Another neutral site game and the game of the day involving two teams involved in BCS bowls last year. Virginia Tech's top RB had his year cut short and the Hokies will need to control the ground game to keep themselves within reach of the Tide. A blocked punt or two couldn't hurt.

Cincinnati at Rutgers (ESPN HD, 4pm) - Important conference game to start off the Big East season. Rutgers finished strong last year, winning their last seven including their bowl against NC State. Cincy won the Big East for the 1st time but lost the Orange Bowl to Virginia Tech. The key will be the Bearcats defense, which is almost entirely turned over at the starter level.

Friday, August 28, 2009

SU game times announced

I wrote the other day that I took them down and now I have a good reason. They are not being televised (yet) on Time Warner Cable, but they will be webcasted on

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Conference TV Contract: The PAC-10

The PAC-10 has always taken flak for its TV deals, usually from those of us on the east coast. From games that start too late (not for me, but for others), broadcasting entities that some portions of the media will tell you that they can't find to a general lack of televised games available. Will these change over time or are the conference presidents and officers generally happy with the coverage.

The PAC-10 has a contract with ABC for over-the-air coverage with some games on ESPN. The contract calls for 20 telecast windows and 6-8 of those windows can be national telecasts on ESPN. By allowing games on ESPN, the conference can have a few games scheduled on Thursday nights or part of Labor Day or Thanksgiving Friday coverage if it desires. When ABC televises a game at 3:30pm it is exclusive and no other PAC-10 game is available for telecast at that time. The PAC-10 contract with ABC is a five year contract and will end after the 2011 football season. ABC and ESPN can concurrently televise games, but this is the only scenario where ABC can coexist with a PAC-10 cable broadcaster. ABC also televises a fair number of PAC-10 games in their 8pm ET/5pm PT telecast slot, often on split telecast windows.

FSN is the pay-tv rightsholder for the conference and has national rights to 18 telecast windows. FSN sells off five telecast windows per season to Versus and keeps thirteen windows. In the early part of the decade, the five games that FSN has sold off to Versus belonged to TBS and before that they were syndicated on over-the-air networks in the PAC-10 footprint.

The games not chosen for national telecast revert back to the individual schoold to sell for regional telecast. Many of the regional rights holders are affiliates of FSN, but some are not:
  • FSN Northwest: Oregon St., Washington St., Washington
  • Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket: UCLA and USC
  • Fox Sports Arizona: Arizona St.
  • CSN Bay Area/California: California and Stanford
  • Oregon Sports Network: Oregon
  • Arizona Wildcasts Sports Network: Arizona
Since ABC, Versus and FSN do have exclusivity, the conference does hold specific local telecast windows open during the year. FSN/Versus exclusivity can be waived if a regional broadcaster requests for it to be waived for a particular game. Still this often can lead to at least 1-2 PAC-10 games per week not being televised.

One item missing from the PAC-10, particularly with the FSN and Versus games, is an accompanying webstream of the game. The ABC/ESPN games are often accompanied by an ESPN360 stream. Accoring to the FSN contract press release, FSN has new media rights, but it is unclear whether they can stream games live.

One of the interesting things about the PAC-10 is that they often have at least 50% of their ABC/ESPN and FSN/Versus telecasts chosen before mid-June. ABC/ESPN has to provide the conference the games the will televise and telecast windows where there will be a 6-12 day window selection by May 1st before the forthcoming season. FSN and Versus must then choose their game telecasts and selection windows before June 1st.

FSN also appears to have the ability to select specific games ahead of ABC. For example, the USC-UCLA game can be locked in for an FSN telecast one time every four seasons and was locked in for 2009.

As their contract is now at the halfway point, questions have risen as to where the PAC-10 should go next. The FSN portion of the television side continues to be derided and new commissioner Larry Scott, formerly of the WTA tour, has been given the charge of raising the conference profile. Rumors have come out about the conference partnering with the ACC to create some form of east coast-west coast network to try to increase the number of national telecasts. Others want to move more telecasts from FSN over to ESPN.

Whatever the PAC-10 decides to do, it will be interesting if it does indeed raise the profile of the conference east of the Mississippi beyond late night telecasts and the perception of USC and nine other schools.