"I really don't know" should be a recurring phrase from me.
* If I were to guess, and that's a really bad idea, Big Ten Media Days on July 25 & 26 would be an ideal time to announce the conference's rights deals for the upcoming seasons. Jim Delany hinted to a series of summertime announcements.
* ESPN released brackets for several early season men's basketball tournaments that air on their networks over the past few days, with the exception of the Maui Invitation, which per Andy Katz will be announced next Tuesday. Here's a few things I noticed from the schedules (see weeks 2, 3 and 7) with respect to other football and basketball items
- On Thursday, November 17, I would expect both the Providence at Ohio St. and Seton Hall at Iowa games to air on BTN. ESPN has Louisville at Houston in college football, ESPN2 has college basketball from Charleston and either Puerto Rico or MSG through 11:30pm ET and ESPNU has college basketball from Puerto Rico & either Charleston or MSG, followed by Arkansas St. at Troy football starting at 9:30pm ET. ESPNEWS is an option, but I think its very unlikely.
- With Arkansas St. at Troy on ESPNU at 9:30pm ET, the Marquette vs. Michigan 2K Sports Classic game should air on ESPN2.
- St. John's at Minnesota also appears destined for BTN on Friday, November 18th. ESPN2 and ESPNU have college basketball most of the afternoon with ESPNU continuing into the evening while ESPN2 has UNLV at Boise St. in football in the evening. ESPN likely will have the NBA.
- The start time of the Legends Classic 3rd Place game could be in the early afternoon, like 3:30pm ET on ESPNU, as a MAC football telecast window is currently scheduled for 7pm ET on Tuesday, November 22.
- Looking over Black Friday (Friday, November 25th), ESPN potentially has the following college football telecast windows, besides the two games already scheduled for ESPN:
- 12pm ESPN, provided the Battle 4 Atlantis 3rd Place game airs on ESPN2 in between the Advocare Invitation Semifinal #1 & the NIT Tip-Off Championship. This would place ESPN's first men's basketball game that day at 3:30pm and allow for the following
- 12pm College Football
- 3:30pm Battle 4 Atlantis Final
- 6pm Baylor vs. Texas Tech
- 9:30pm Arizona St. vs. Arizona
- 5pm & 8:30pm ESPNU
- It would appear that ESPN2 would be wall-to-wall with college basketball.
* Some CBS, CBS Sports Network & FOX Sports notes:
- Expect the Great Alaska Shootout semifinals to either air delayed in sequential order or to air semifinal #2 live followed by semifinal #1 delayed on Friday, November 25th. The Emerald Coast Classic semifinals will air live on Black Friday after either an American Athletic Conference or MAC football game, followed by Boise St. at Air Force in football.
- With the Memphis at Cincinnati football game to start at 8pm ET on November 18th, the Paradise Jam bracket could change, as it has in previous years, to showcase more well known schools. Using previous years as a guide, the Oral Roberts vs. Ole Miss and Montana vs. NC State games would be televised while the Loyola (Chicago) vs. St. Joseph's and Washington St. vs. Creighton games would be webcasts.
- If FS1 were to air any college basketball on Friday, November 11 or Friday, November 18th, it would likely air before the NASCAR Truck Series races. At the moment, only three Big East games were confirmed for 11/11, so FSN, FOX College Sports and/or FS2 may be used instead.
- Expect Big East games scheduled for 11/12 (4 games), 11/19 (2 games), 11/26 (4 games) to air on FS2 or FSN due to college football commitments on FS1. 12/3 also has two college football games on FS1 and three Big East games, so there may be a need to use FS2 again.
- Rutgers at Seton Hall on 12/23 could lead into the Las Vegas Classic 3rd Place & Championship games.
- At the moment, no Big East games are scheduled for 12/22. Keep hope alive that they'll televise the DePaul vs. Wyoming and USC vs. Missouri St. games will be on FS1.
- Other potential FS2 dates for Big East games, once the schedule is finalized, due to NASCAR:
- February 18th (Sprint Unlimited, ARCA(?) & Daytona 500 practice)
- February 25th (Xfinity Series from Daytona, Sprint Cup practice)
- March 4th (NASCAR Trucks & Xfinity Series, Sprint Cup practice)
- Without putting a great deal of thought into it, here's some non-conference Big East games on Saturdays that could end up on FOX broadcast network or CBS:
- Cincinnati at Butler (12/10)
- Utah at Xavier (12/10)
- Wisconsin at Marquette (12/10)
- Connecticut at Georgetown (1/14/17)
- Saturday of NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend
- Virginia at Villanova (1/29/17)
- Sunday between the NFL Conference Championship weekend & the Super Bowl