Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thinking scheduling for 2012

First off, I was able to complete the programming changeover to the website.  Should run a little faster.  If you have any old links to specific seasons or have trouble with the site, please go to the main page ( and refresh that page as it should update any cached links you have on your laptop/PC/tablet/phone, etc.

To other scheduling related items, looking over the ACC and its possible Labor Day matchups, five ACC teams may be available to open the season that day in conference games (Boston College, Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia Tech & Wake Forest).  Now that Florida St. has also lost the WV game, I could see them moving the Murray St. opener and being available.  I don't think its out of the question that Miami & Florida St. could find each other on Labor Day.

Now to the Big East & Big 12.  The Big 12 did submit a schedule to ABC & FOX that included "ten teams" which seems to mean West Virginia will be there.  Coupled with the news that WVU dropped Florida St., they are on the way.  What does that mean for the Big East?  I suspect they will continue to work the legal system.  For the other schools, it remains to be seen whether the Big East will release a schedule with WVU on it (some schools did release their out of conference schedules noting that WVU would be a home or road game).  If WVU is allowed to leave and I think they will be moving on, WVU may be on the hook to find a replacement game for each Big East school (possibly Florida St. too).  The Big East schools could also go with an 11 game regular season if the schools cannot find a 12th game at a late date.  Depending on how many home games each team already has, the 12th game has often been the "extra revenue" game, so the situation may not be ideal.  That scenario may also result in a temporary drop in revenue from ESPN if there are not enough games for ESPN to choose from.

As noted in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's address to the media on Friday, the NFL Network will have a package of weekly Thursday games with the exception of the opening night of the season and Thanksgiving night which remain NBC's property.  At the end of the day, ESPN is affected on multiple fronts.  First, on the NFL front, they don't have a direct competitor on the cable television front who picked up these games (Turner, NBC Sports Network, F/X, etc.).  NFL Network isn't in enough homes, so they remain the premier network for the NFL on cable.  As for how to counter program the NFL, I don't think they'll do anything different.  The Big Ten and/or SEC likely will have their Thursday night games with little NFL competition (South Carolina-Vanderbilt is before the NFL season starts), so the schedule will be the ACC, Big East & Pac-12 plus whatever FOX elects to license to ESPN from their Big 12 inventory.   I can't get too worked up about this competition unless the NFL puts marquee games on Thursdays and the indication is that the expansion of the Thursday night package is to get each team a primetime game no matter what their record is, not Patriots vs. Steelers-like matchups.

1 comment:

Mark Falzone said...

I agree on WVU to Big 12 for this year. I just can't see a court forcing WVU to stay in Big East. At the end of the day, the courts have limited power of enforcement. Short of the military showing up on campus to demand they stay in Big East, not sure anybody can really stop WVU. If they simply don't send their teams, what can court really do, other than levy damages? WVU must have decided that WHATEVER the damages a court will levy are better than staying in Big East even 1 more year.