Sunday, April 25, 2010

Final Predictions on 1st Three Weeks for CFB

Now that the Big Ten picked its night games and the PAC-10 ABC selections should be announced either at the end of the week or next Monday, here's my final guesses on the 1st three weeks of the season.

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

Week 3 College Football Guesses, Final Version

More straightforward than other weeks. I moved Nebraska at Washington into the ABC slot instead of the Iowa-Arizona game because of Arizona's preference to play nighttime games early in the season, so I have it airing in the late slot on FSN.

Arizona St. at Wisconsin, 12pm ESPN
Alabama at Duke, 12pm ESPN2
Iowa St. vs. Kansas St., 12pm FSN
East Carolina at Virginia Tech, 12pm ESPNU
North Texas at Army, 12pm CBS College (confirmed)
Northern Illinois at Illinois, 12pm Big Ten
Massachusetts at Michigan, 12pm Big Ten
Ohio at Ohio St., 12pm Big Ten
Kent St. at Penn St., 12pm Big Ten
Ball St. at Purdue, 12pm Big Ten
Georgia Tech at North Carolina, 12pm Raycom
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss, 12:21pm SEC Network
Florida at Tennessee, 3:30pm CBS (confirmed)
BYU at Florida St., 3:30pm ABC/ESPN
USc at Minnesota, 3:30pm ABC/ESPN
Nebraska at Washington, 3:30pm ABC
Maryland at West Virginia, 3:30pm ESPNU
Air Force at Oklahoma, 3:30pm FSN
Washington St. at SMU, 3:30pm CBS College (confirmed)
Hawai'i at Colorado, 3:30pm Fox College Sports
Baylor at TCU, 4:30pm Versus (confirmed)
Louisville at Oregon St., 6:30pm FSN Northwest
Houston at UCLA, 6;30pm Prime Ticket
Portland St. at Oregon, 6:30pm Oregon Sports Network
Arkansas at Georgia, 7pm ESPN2
Clemson at Auburn, 7pm ESPNU
Akron at Kentucky, 7pm SEC/FSRegional
San Diego St. at Missouri, 7pm Fox Sports PPV
Maine at Syracuse, 7pm Time Warner Sports
Connecticut at Temple, 7pm
Mississippi St. at LSU, 7:45pm ESPN
Notre Dame at Michigan St., 8pm ABC (confirmed)
Texas at Texas Tech, 8pm ABC (time confirmed)
Boise St. at Wyoming, 8pm CBS College (confirmed)
Utah at New Mexico, 8pm mtn. (confirmed)
Iowa at Arizona, 10:15pm FSN
UNLV at Idaho, 10:30pm ESPNU

Week 2 College Football Guesses, Final Version

Since ESPN has the Miami (FL)-Ohio St. game, there likely won't be a Big Ten game on ABC for the 1st two weeks of the season. And because an early evening window likely gets used for Oregon-Tennessee, the two ABC games won't get reverse mirrored.

Georgia at South Carolina, 12pm ESPN
Iowa St. at Iowa, 12pm ESPN2
Michigan St. vs. Florida Atlantic, 12pm ESPNU
Hawai'i at Army, 12pm CBS College (confirmed)
South Dakota at Minnesota, 12pm Big Ten
Illinois St. at Northwestern, 12pm Big Ten
Western Illinois at Purdue, 12pm Big Ten
San Jose St. at Wisconsin, 12pm Big Ten
Duke at Wake Forest, 12pm Raycom
LSU at Vanderbilt, 12:21pm SEC Network
Wyoming at Texas, 12:30pm FSN
Georgia Tech at Kansas, 12:30pm Versus
James Madison at Virginia Tech, 1:30pm
Kent St. at Boston College, 2pm
Michigan at Notre Dame, 3:30pm NBC (confirmed)
Florida St. at Oklahoma, 3:30pm ABC
Stanford at UCLA, 3:30pm ABC
UL-Monroe at Arkansas, 3:30pm ESPNU
Georgia Southern at Navy, 3:30pm CBS College (confirmed)
Miami (FL) at Ohio St., 3:40pm ESPN (confirmed)
BYU at Air Force, 4pm Versus (confirmed)
UNLV at Utah, 4pm mtn. (confirmed)
Arkansas St. at UL-Lafayette, 4pm Sun Belt
Oregon at Tennessee, 5:30pm ESPN2
Colorado at California, 6:30pm FSN
Syracuse at Washington, 6:30pm FSN Northwest
USF at Florida, 7pm ESPNU
Western Kentucky at Kentucky, 7pm SEC/FSRegional
Idaho at Nebraska, 7pm Fox Sports PPV
Rutgers at FIU, 7pm
NC State at UCF, 7:30pm CBS College (confirmed)
Southern Illinois at Illinois, 7:30pm Big Ten (confirmed)
Penn St. at Alabama, 8pm ESPN
Texas Tech at New Mexico, 8pm mtn (confirmed)
Ole Miss at Tulane, 9pm ESPN2 (time confirmed)
Virginia at USC, 10pm FSN

Week 1 College Football Guesses, Final Version

I'm guessing that ABC may abandon the 3:30pm slot completely this day and use the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic to start its coverage this season. Now that the Big Ten has slightly stretched out its schedule, they can pass on the Big Ten a couple times if they desire and UConn-Michigan just doesn't warrant wasting an ABC window, in my opinion.

Also think FSN will pass on a PAC-10 window for this week. The available games do not warrant it either.

Connecticut at Michigan, 12pm ESPN
Kentucky at Louisville, 12pm ESPN2
UCLA at Kansas St., 12pm FSN
Northwestern at Vanderbilt, 12pm ESPNU
Eastern Illinois at Iowa, 12pm Big Ten
Youngstown St. at Penn St., 12pm Big Ten
Western Michigan at Michigan St., 12pm Big Ten
San Jose St. at Alabama, 12:21pm SEC Network
North Texas at Clemson, 1pm
Colorado vs. Colorado St., 2pm mtn. (confirmed)
Illinois vs. Missouri, 3:15pm FSN
Purdue at Notre Dame, 3:30pm NBC (confirmed)
Texas vs. Rice, 3:30pm ESPN (confirmed)
UL-Lafayette at Georgia, 3:30pm ESPNU
Coastal Carolina at West Virginia, 3:30pm Big East
New Mexico at Oregon, 3:30pm Oregon Sports Network
UC-Davis at California, 5pm CSN California
Samford at Florida St., 6pm
Miami (OH) at Florida, 7pm ESPNU
Washington at BYU, 7pm CBS College (confirmed)
Memphis at Mississippi St., SEC/FSRegional
Western Kentucky at Nebraska, 7pm Fox Sports PPV
Utah St. at Oklahoma, 7pm Fox Sports PPV
Tennessee Tech at Arkansas, 7pm ARSN PPV
Jacksonville St. at Ole Miss, 7pm CSS/Ole Miss PPV
UT-Martin at Tennessee, 7pm Vol Network PPV
Arkansas St. at Auburn, 7:30pm SEC/CSS
Stony Brook at USF, 7:30pm Big East
TCU vs. Oregon St., 7:45pm ESPN (confirmed)
LSU vs. North Carolina, 8pm ABC (confirmed)
Cincinnati at Fresno St., 10pm ESPN2 (confirmed)
Wisconsin at UNLV, 11pm Versus (confirmed)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

An Expanded Tournament Finds Its Partners?

While the NCAA denies anything about negotiations and the size of future NCAA tournaments, Sports Business Journal has reported that a joint bid by CBS and Turner is substantially higher than the bid that ESPN has made by about $40 million and ESPN will not increase its bid.

Nothing has been brought up as to how the entities would share the tournament, though the analysis speculates that CBS and Turner will alternate the Final Four. TNT, TBS and TruTV, the channel formerly known as CourtTV, will be likely destinations for these games. Coupled with CBS as an outlet, that should spell the end to DirecTV's run of their Mega March Madness package.

Items to be ironed out include who will have games on what days. Presumably CBS College Sports will not be involved if Turner is going to be the primary cable partner. If CBSC were included, I could see CBS ceding all weekday coverage of the tournament to cable and staying on as the weekend carrier. Another thing that will be discussed is the digital strategy of the games. CBS has done very well with their ad-supported model of streaming the tournament online and the NCAA has supposedly been receptive to Turner's web strategy with both and A strong web presence was vital to any new bid and the NCAA is concerned about that branding of that presence, which would be more ESPN-branded using the service.

At the end of the day, the NCAA will get their money, CBS may end up losing less money on the tournament and Turner will get some great sports content that they can sell excellent ad time for. The question is now whether the audience, already bemoaning the possibility of a 96 team tournament, will still be as transfixed for these games.

Media Notes, 4/17

  • Still waiting on the SEC to finalize its schedule. Chris Low of, in a recent chat, felt that the schedule should be finalized by the end of April and that Alabama should have some of their complaints alleviated, likely two of the six opponents with bye before 'Bama would have their schedule changed.

  • The Paradise Jam has come out with its pairings for the 2010 event in late November. Three 2009 NCAA tournament teams will be part of the field, including Sweet 16 team Xavier. Fox College Sports will again televise the semifinal games and FSN will have the 3rd place game and the championship.

  • The DC Examiner's Jim Williams has an excellent interview with Versus president Jamie Davis. The article mostly discusses Versus and the NHL playoffs, but at the end Davis notes that they will have seven PAC-10 football games next season, up from the five they've sublicensed from FSN. I'm trying to find out from the PAC-10 if sold those games directly to Versus or if FSN has sublicensed more games.

  • Bowl dates are still being announced. Several bowls have had dates and times announced. You can view the schedule here as it stands. Many bowls will be waiting for the NFL schedule to be announced on April 20th to determine what date their game can be played. This year's schedule will extend from December 18th through to January 10th.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Can a Tournamant of 96 Hurt Conference Pocketbooks?

I posed this question on Twitter Friday...

With the possibility of the 96 team tournament coming to fruition next year, a pair of conferences are in the process of negotiating their media rights for the upcoming season, the ACC and Conference-USA. While the ACC and Conference-USA rights will continue to have a massive gap between the two, could the value of the basketball components change.

There's a general belief that the regular season for a power conference will mean even less and the conference tournament will become a glorified exhibition. In the case of the ACC, they generally have 5-7 NCAA tournament teams and another three in the NIT, so anywhere from 8-10 tournament teams in a 96 team tournament. So if 75% of a conference makes the tournament and are really only playing the regular season for seeding at the end, should a company like Raycom, who owns those rights, offer any increase when the regular season now matters for the teams at the bottom? And in the case of a company like Raycom who then sublicenses games to various entities, can they get a substantial amount of money back?

On the flipside is Conference USA. C-USA has only sent two total teams to the past four NITs. Now that could be due to the auto-bid requirements on the NIT for regular season conference champions, as they sent two teams each to the CBI and CIT tournaments over the past three seasons. Let's say they become a regular 2-3 bid league. Their regular season and conference tournament should have value as the conference doesn't send the majority to the NCAAs. They'll have bubble teams in the upper half of the conference standings. Like this year where Memphis and UAB both lost in the 1st round of the conference tournament, playing well in the conference tournament will matter still for C-USA.

Now lets be clear, football will drive television revenues for both conferences and just because we go to 96 teams doesn't mean that either conference will get a substantial increase in the number of basketball games on national television. C-USA has not yet finished bowl season with a team in either the USA Today or AP polls. The ACC hasn't quite lived up to the expectations that they and the media set for the conference when it expanded. And both conferences have different agendas and the television partners they are negotiating with.

But men's basketball is definitely a driver for these conferences, more so with the ACC and whatever gains it could have in NCAA units from an expanded tournament could offset the possible lack of revenue increases. And as this continues to loom over the NCAA and its member conferences, those conferences with upcoming negotiations will have those same discussions with their rightsholders.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

CBS College Sports FB Schedule for 2010

CBS College Sports has pieced together its Division I football schedule of Army, Navy, Conference USA and Mountain West games. There may be a few windows to be filled.

All times Eastern

Saturday 9/4 - Washington at BYU, 7pm
Saturday 9/11 - Hawai'i at Army 12pm, Georgia Southern at Navy 3:30pm, NC State at UCF 7:30pm
Saturday 9/18 - North Texas at Army 12pm, Washington St. at SMU 3:30pm, Boise St. at Wyoming 8pm
Saturday 9/25 - Tulane at Houston 3:30pm, Baylor at Rice 8pm
Saturday 10/2 - Temple at Army 12pm, Marshall at Southern Miss 8pm
Saturday 10/9 - Wyoming at TCU 3:30pm, Mississippi St. at Houston 8pm
Saturday 10/16 - NC State at East Carolina 12pm, SMU at Navy 3:30pm, Air Force at San Diego St. 8pm
Saturday 10/23 - Houston at SMU 3:30pm, Air Force at TCU 8pm
Saturday 10/30 - VMI at Army 12pm, Duke at Navy 3:30pm, Utah at Air Force 7:30pm, TCU at UNLV 11pm
Saturday 11/6 - Air Force at Army 12pm, TCU at Utah 3:30pm, Tennessee at Memphis 8pm
Thursday 11/11 - East Carolina at UAB 8pm
Saturday 11/13 - Southern Miss at UCF 12pm, Central Michigan at Navy 3:30pm, Tulsa at Houston 8pm
Thursday 11/18 - Air Force at UNLV 10pm
Saturday 11/20 - Arkansas St. at Navy 3:30pm, C-USA 12 Day Pick 8pm
Friday 11/26 - SMU at East Carolina 2pm, Southern Miss at Tulsa 6:30pm
Saturday 11/27 - Tulane at Marshall 12pm, BYU at Utah 3:30pm (mtn simulcast)

  • The 3:30pm window on 10/2 has not been filled by anyone yet. With the rumors of massive schedule overhauls, this could still be filled by C-USA.
  • Several press releases state that C-USA will have a 12 day pick on 11/20. All home teams on that day are in the central time zone, so I'm guessing the 8pm time slot will be in use here.
  • Nothing has been stated about a 12 day pick on 11/27, but there are only two games in play (UAB-Rice, UCF-Memphis)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What are we waiting for?

Now that the MWC released its schedule on Monday, there's only a few loose ends to be tied up to start determining the 2010 television selections for college football. One of these is a big deal:

  • The SEC technically hasn't released its schedule. Yes, virtually every team has posted their tentative schedules but Alabama has raised concerns, genuine in many cases, that half their SEC opponents will play the Tide after coming off a bye week. Don't know how successful the SEC will be in changing the schedule, but two of those games include the Iron Bowl vs. Auburn and the annual matchup with Tennessee.
  • ESPN still has an open Thursday night slot on 11/18. Originally it might have been a Boise St. window, but they're the kings of Friday night. The Big East might be targeted since this is one of the few Saturdays where all eight teams play each other in conference games.
  • Syracuse still has an open slot. As an Orangemen fan (I refuse to call them the singular Orange), this really ticks me off. Having to play two FCS teams in a season after rarely, if ever, playing one before Dr. Daryl Gross became AD kinda sucks. I can understand that virtually every team has one FCS on the schedule now that the game can count towards bowl eligibility, but it would be nice to find out what the schedule is.
  • A few bowl tie-ins are still being finalized. The Bowl confirmed that they would swap the No. 8 and No. 9 SEC picks with the Liberty Bowl. This likely will keep the game tied to the Big East's No. 5 pick. Bowls tend to fall all over themselves to get tied in with the SEC, but it generally is good for ticket sales and even the No. 9 team is worth it.

With the SEC scheduling mess, a ton of games/opponents could change over the next few weeks. Will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.