Monday, November 28, 2011

Here's the deal

I apologize.  I thought I had mentioned before that I was considering stepping back from the site.  Here's the deal.

1) My workload at my day job, which is not this site, has increased exponentially.  Granted in football season the updates come once a week, maybe twice, but I like to have the info on site as soon as it gets released.  Don't always have the ability to do so.  I get cranky about that, and sometimes you guys do to.  That I can understand.  Its why you've also seen less weekly blog articles.

2) I'm enjoying it less and less.  Probably watched less CFB this year than any other year.  Realignment and other legal crap has kinda sucked the enjoyment right out of it.  I'm not naive to the fact that college athletics has become a business, but at least it didn't feel as blatant as it was this past year.  That doesn't include some of the seedy stuff that has been off-field related.

3) Never been about money either.  Hosting is cheap.

4) The site over the past couple years has been more about me staying current in my profession (computer programming).  I know, if you look at the site, you might not think that.  Extremely plain.  My plan was a rewrite of the site for the 2012 football season to take advantage of new skills learned (MVC, google it, its not a college sports conference).  I'm not sure of my direction on it or if I want to spend the time, or if I can even keep the site in roughly the same format.

5) I do enjoy conversing with just about everyone, but I get the feeling that I'm "on demand" with some items.  I realize that sounds extremely whiny.  This past year, I've done site updates from Siesta Key (early season CFB selections) and Las Vegas (week 2 of CFB) while on vacation.  Via a smartphone and SQL updates to the database.   It was not fun.

The domain name will be paid for on 1/1 for the entire year of 2012.  MBK season goes on as planned.  This batteries should recharge.  But that's where my head is at.  Sorry for the alarm.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bowl me over with projections

Bowl eligibility and game list

Keeping it short and sweet.  Here's the list of bowl eligible teams as of tonight.   Based on records & remaining games, I also am assuming that NC State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, UTEP, Marshall, Air Force, Mississippi St., Tennessee and Utah St. will be bowl eligible.

Conference champion assumptions made:

  • Oklahoma St. = Big 12
  • West Virginia = Big East
  • Clemson = ACC
  • Wisconsin = Big Ten
  • LSU = SEC
  • Oregon = Pac-12
  • Houston will be a non-AQ top 12 team
After the slots filled by conference champs lost to the bowl games, the selection order is Fiesta, Sugar, Orange

BCS Championship: Alabama vs. LSU
Rose: Wisconsin vs. Oregon
Fiesta: Oklahoma St. vs. Stanford
Orange: Clemson vs. West Virginia
Sugar: Michigan St. vs. Houston

Now the rest:

New Mexico: San Diego St. vs. Ohio
Idaho: Temple vs. Utah St.
New Orleans: UL-Lafayette (confirmed) vs. UTEP
St. Petersburg: Pittsburgh vs. Marshall
Poinsettia: Boise St. vs. Louisiana Tech
Las Vegas: TCU vs. UCLA
Hawai'i: Tulsa vs. Nevada
Independence: NC State vs. Wyoming
Little Caesar's: Illinois vs. Toledo
Belk: North Carolina vs. Cincinnati
Military: Wake Forest vs. Iowa St.
Holiday: Texas A&M vs. Utah
Champs Sports: Virginia vs. Notre Dame
Alamo: Baylor vs. Washington
Armed Forces: BYU (confirmed) vs. SMU
Pinstripe: Missouri vs. Rutgers
Music City: Georgia Tech vs. Mississippi St.
Insight: Kansas St. vs. Ohio St.
Texas: Texas vs. Northwestern
Sun: Florida St. vs. Arizona St.
Liberty: Louisville vs. Tennessee
Kraft: California vs. Purdue
Chick-Fil-A: Virginia Tech vs. Auburn
Ticket City: Penn St. vs. Air Force
Outback: South Carolina vs. Michigan
Capital One: Nebraska vs. Georgia
Gator: Iowa vs. Florida
Cotton: Oklahoma vs. Arkansas
BBVA Compass: Southern Miss vs. FIU  Arkansas St. (confirmed) vs. Northern Illinois


  • The Champs Sports Bowl will exercise its 1-in-4 option with Notre Dame.
  • The Liberty Bowl will exercise its 1-in-4 option to choose a Big East team to assure the Big East an SEC opponent in a bowl game
  • New Mexico will fill its Pac-12 slot with a MAC team
  • BBVA Compass will fill its matchup as Sun Belt vs. C-USA
  • Kraft Fights Hunger fills its WAC slot with an at-large team (Purdue)
  • Ticket City fills its C-USA slot with an at-large team (Air Force)

Monday, November 14, 2011

As football season winds down...

  • Normally I would start compiling things for the 2012 football season, but that is virtually impossible to do at this point.  Several conferences who normally have their schedules firmed up are reconfiguring due to impending changes in membership, whether they occur in July or another year.  Lawsuits being fired back and forth will also set the official announcements back.  That also doesn't take into account schools having to cancel/move non-conference games as they move.
  • Sent an email to Duane Lindberg of the Pac-12 with some questions regarding the new contracts the conference will begin with FOX and ESPN starting next year.  What I learned:
    • In football, FOX will have some exclusivity in their time slot.  There will be some overlap, presumably during the 2nd half of games where ESPN and Pac-12 Network can kick off their games.
    • Some early football selections will continue to be locked in by all TV partners, but games will continue to be determined on a twelve and six day basis during the year.
    • A team can appear no more than nine times combined in the FOX and ABC/ESPN football packages. So those entities could pick a team's entire conference schedule, but by doing that they might lose out on a decent home non-conference game.  To me, this protects the Pac-12 Network, specifically for USC in the years they host Notre Dame, to make sure that USC (and Stanford too) wouldn't be shut out of appearing on the network.
    • Of the 22 football games that ABC/ESPN has, I didn't realize that ESPNU will have the ability to show Pac-12 games, but it will be up to four of 22 games.
  • Curious to know what C-USA fans thought of the change from ESPN to FSN.  I'm sure there was some grumbling because some regions did opt out of games at times, including one bad moment early in the season where SportSouth dumped the UCLA-Houston game late to start a Braves telecast on time.

    But the FOX deal showed more C-USA football than any other season and the schools were able to move away from nights like Tuesdays and Wednesdays that they considered undesirable.  Let me know.
  • The Pac-12 will complete their final season of games on FSN on 11/26 with the UCLA-USC game.  The conference had 14 games on FSN this year.  Expect some of those slots to be picked up by the Big 12 and C-USA, presumably in better timeslots for both conferences.  Could see a return to games starting at 12:30pm ET in the Big 12 and C-USA, who prefer night games, to stay out of the 12pm slot when possible.  All depends on what these conferences look like.
  • Don't expect any games from the MWC side of the CUSA-MWC football partnership on FOX networks.  Those will remain with CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Network, unless plans change with the ownership of the mtn. by Comcast (Don't see that happening right now).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rest of regular season CFB selections

The Pac-12 and Big 12 are finished with their selection process for the season, plus CBS has already made its SEC selection, so it leaves very little to predict for both 11/26 and 12/3.

11am ESPN2 - Louisville at USF
11am ESPNU - Toledo at Ball St.
2pm ESPN3 - Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois
7pm ESPN - Pittsburgh at West Virginia


  • UCLA at USC will be the last national Pac-12 telecast on FSN as the new contract that takes effect next year has all FOX Sports games on either local FOX stations or F/X.
  • FOX made some adjustments to their schedule (surprise, surprise), moving the F/X game to 12pm and shifting the other Big 12 games back a time slot.  Should free up Rice-SMU to be shown nationally on FSN.
  • I think there's a chance, if Virginia Tech-Virginia ends up deciding the ACC Coastal that the game, along with Virginia Tech-Virginia, could be reverse mirrored on ABC and ESPN2.
  • Thought about the SEC slate after the Iron Bowl and the Palmetto State game, and its a dog.  Figured I'd put two games on ESPNU instead of a 2nd night game on ESPN2.
  • There's a chance that an FCS playoff game could go into one of the ESPNU slots.  

Alabama at Auburn, 3:30pm (confirmed)

Ohio St. at Michigan, 12pm
Oregon St. at Oregon, 3:30pm (confirmed)
Michigan St. at Northwestern, 3:30pm
Notre Dame at Stanford, 8pm (confirmed)

Cincinnati at Syracuse, 12pm
ABC Reverse Mirror, 3:30pm
Clemson at South Carolina, 7:45pm


Penn St. at Wisconsin, 12pm
Georgia at Georgia Tech, 3:30pm
Virginia Tech at Virginia, 7:45pm


Tennessee at Kentucky, 12pm
Maryland at NC State, 3:30pm
Florida St. at Florida, 7pm

FOX Sports

Iowa St. at Oklahoma, 12pm F/X (confirmed)
Rice at SMU, 12pm FSN (semi-confirmed)
Kansas vs. Missouri, 3:30pm FSN (confirmed)
Vanderbilt at Wake Forest, 3:30pm ACC RSNs
Texas Tech vs. Baylor, 7pm FSN (confirmed)
UCLA at USC, 10pm FSN (confirmed)

Washington St. at Washington, 7:30pm (confirmed)

Purdue at Indiana, 12pm
Illinois at Minnesota, 3:30pm

Regional and Syndication

Ole Miss at Mississippi St., 12pm SEC Network
Rutgers at Connecticut, 12pm Big East Network
Duke at North Carolina, 12:30pm ACC Network
UL-Lafayette at Arizona, 7pm
FIU at Middle Tennessee, 7:30pm Sun Belt Network


I'll be honest: the Big East slate that day is not worth it, unless Cincy has to win to close out a BCS berth, which is entirely possible.  But, if Southern Miss-Houston ends up being the C-USA title game and Houston remains undefeated, it deserves ABC treatment over either of those two games.  Even though ESPN put out a press release saying the C-USA title game would be on ESPN2 at 12pm, plans change and this is worth it.

ABC 12pm - Conference USA Championship
ESPN 12pm - Connecticut at Cincinnati
ESPN2 12pm - Syracuse at Pittsburgh
ABC 3:30pm - Texas at Baylor
CBS 4pm - SEC Championship (confirmed)
Sun Belt 4:30pm - Troy at Arkansas St.
ESPN2 7:30pm - BYU at Hawai'i (confirmed)
ABC 8pm - Oklahoma at Oklahoma St.
FOX 8pm - Big Ten Championship (confirmed)
ESPN 8pm - ACC Championship: TBA vs. Clemson (confirmed)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

11/19 12 Day Selection Guesses

Note that ESPNU will not have a mid-afternoon game as they'll be televising college basketball instead.

11/19 will be the final week of selections for the Big 12.  11/26 and 12/3 had their television selections completed before the season started.

I'm assuming that Longhorn Network games count towards the ABC selection count for the Big 12.  That's why Kansas St.-Texas ends up on F/X.

There could be some six day picks for this week too.  Possibly w/Cincy-Rutgers.

LSU at Ole Miss, 3:30pm

Nebraska at Michigan, 3:30pm (RM)
Clemson at NC State, 3:30pm
Texas Tech at Missouri, 3:30pm
California at Stanford, 3:30pm (RM)
Oklahoma at Baylor, 8pm
USC at Oregon, 8pm (confirmed)

Penn St. at Ohio St., 12pm
ESPN Reverse Mirror, 3:30pm
Mississippi St. at Arkansas, 7pm

Wisconsin at Illinois, 12pm
Virginia at Florida St., 7:30pm

Cincinnati at Rutgers, 12pm
Miami (FL) at USF, 3:30pm
Kentucky at Georgia, 7pm

FOX Sports
Kansas St. at Texas, 12pm F/X
Kansas at Texas A&M, 12pm FSN
Maryland at Wake Forest, 3pm ACC RSNs
SMU at Houston, 3:30pm FSN
UCF at East Carolina, 7pm FSN

Washington at Oregon St., 7:30pm

Iowa at Purdue, 12pm
Indiana at Michigan St., 12pm
Minnesota at Northwestern, 3:30pm

Regional, Internet and Syndication
Tennessee at Vanderbilt, 12pm SEC Network
Louisville at Connecticut, 12pm Big East Network
The Citadel at South Carolina, 12pm Gamecocks PPV (confirmed)
Georgia Tech at Duke, 12:30pm ACC Network
Furman at Florida, 1pm Sun Sports PPV (confirmed)
Samford at Auburn, 1pm CSS PPV (confirmed)
Georgia Southern at Alabama, 2pm Crimson Tide PPV (confirmed)
Arizona at Arizona St., 7pm FSAZ
Colorado at UCLA, 7pm Prime/FCS
Utah at Washington St., 7pm ROOT NW/KJZZ
Western Kentucky at North Texas, 7:30pm Sun Belt Network

Friday, November 4, 2011

Changes in College Basketball TV for 2011-12

The season starts Monday.  Not as many changes when compared to prior years.  Here's what has changed

ACC: Everywhere - As part of the ACC's new deal with ESPN, many more ACC telecasts will appear on ESPN and the Full Court package.  ESPNU will now air Sunday night basketball games, a slot that FSN previously carried.  The regional cable package of games that aired on NESN, FOX and Comcast RSNs will continue to do so, but now air in the ESPN Full Court package as well.  Also, a large number of non-conference games will air exclusively through ESPN3.

Besides FSN (nationally), the only other place you won't see ACC games is CBS.  ESPN as the rightsholder no longer has to sublicense games and elected not to sell any to CBS.

C-USA on FSN - By leaving ESPN, C-USA earned a small increase in telecasts on FSN.  The games will typically air on Saturday afternoons as a lead in to Pac-12 games.  FOX also owns the rights to the conference championship and will continue to license it to CBS.

Pac-12 on Sundays - FSN gained 10 games for this year as part of the Pac-12 football championship game deal with FOX for 2011.  14 Pac-12 games will air on Sundays this season, a temporary replacement for the loss of the ACC package.

New deals - The MAAC, MVC, Patriot League and WCC completed new deals with their rightsholders.  The WCC will see an increase in appears on ESPN, mostly in non-conference play and a couple extra games in the conference tournament.  The MVC won't see an increase on ESPN, but the regional package that has aired on FOX Sports Midwest and CSN Chicago will reappear in the FOX College Sports suite of channels and air as part as ESPN Full Court.  The MVC final has been retained by ESPN as well, but will continue to be licensed to CBS.

The MAAC's new deal retains the existing ESPN television numbers, but the regional game of the week package that aired on MSG, including most of the conference tournament, will now air exclusively on ESPN3.  The Patriot League's deal in basketball doesn't look much different that prior years, but the championship game is now part of the deal.  It will air on CBS Sports Network and move to a Wednesday evening.

Minor changes with the Big Ten - With the addition of Nebraska, the Big Ten worked out changes to the Big Ten Network (BTN) and how it coexists with other TV partners.  In football we've seen where ABC and BTN can show games at the same time.  In football, we'll see ESPN and BTN overlap in games.  ESPNU will also carry a small number of conference games, where it previously only carried non-conference games.

Big East, Incoming Members and TV

With the Big East in flux and an upcoming football TV negotiation, let's assume they bring in all six members they intend to (Air Force, Boise St., Houston, Navy, SMU, UCF) for football.  Some of negotiating points for contracts that would start with the 2014 season are:

1) Membership size - Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia would be out, but the new configuration would be eleven members.  Not enough for a football championship game.  Someone else needs to be added to do one.  Could be BYU, Temple, Army or someone not mentioned or stay at eleven and maximize the number of weeks and games they can schedule for television.

2) Possible partners - ESPN might be more favorable to the new members.  All of these new members have had games with CBS Sports Network which has only about 60% of the draw of ESPNU, its direct competitor.  Boise St. made a name for itself on Friday nights on ESPN and ESPN2.  Pockets of UCF fans along with existing members don't seem to mind either and a 2nd AQ conference, the Pac-12, will be a regular fixture on Friday nights on ESPN/ESPN2 as their new contract starts.  Further, possible 12th football member BYU had a very public spat with Comcast over the MWC television contract and was an catalyst for their move to football independence and the WCC.  The flexibility of their ESPN deal, particularly the replay rights and BYUtv, might easily be folded into a new Big East football TV deal.

On the other hand, Army & Navy have preferences for Saturday afternoon kickoffs and joining the Big East could mean losing those television opportunities.  Comcast is the cable provider in several areas where the Big East football and all sports membership call home and may sway some members.

I wouldn't expect FOX to be anywhere near this.  Turner could be a dark horse.

3) Notre Dame - No, this isn't about whether they need to be a football member of this conference.  They don't.  They never will.  Don't even bother.

But they know NBC.  May not know everyone in place now that Comcast is running much of the ship over at NBC Sports, but they did make a deal to have their home hockey games on NBC Sports Network as they move to Hockey East. They'll likely have a football game each season on NBCSN through the end of their TV deal.  They might speak on behalf of Comcast for others who have doubts.