Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Absolutely random thoughts

BYU, Independence and TV
BYU is going have roughly four games on ESPN networks and we know of eleven of the Cougars twelve (or thirteen) games going in to 2011

UCF (Friday)
Utah St. (Friday)
New Mexico St.
San Jose St.

Based on the UCF game being on a Friday, my sense is that ESPN/ESPN2 will pick up that game, plus the Utah game. After that, pickings are slim. The four WAC teams are more suited for BYUtv or ESPNU. ESPN could be working with the Cougars to secure a decent opponent to give ESPN a third worthwhile game to pick up.

BYU also has a game at Hawai'i and they can pick up a 13th game if they choose. That game must be a home game.

As for the road games (Louisiana Tech, Hawai'i, Texas, Oregon St., Ole Miss), I expect at least three of those games to be available for telecast (Texas, Ole Miss and Hawai'i).

As for BYUtv, I've read a great deal about the HD truck they have. As of this time, I'm not sure if BYUtv has televised anything in HD. DirecTV does not carry an HD feed. Also, BYUtv is a public interest channel and, to my knowledge, receives no carriage fees from cable/satellite companies as carrying the channel, as a PI channel, fills a requirement for these systems. BYU will make more money per season, we know that. We also know they'll get some form of monetary compensation from the WCC deal, whatever amount that is.

Conference USA

Still no word on an ESPN contract, though the conference, as of 9:50am ET on 11/30, seems pretty stable. Then again, the TCU announcement hit around this time with a press conference mere hours later.

C-USA still has a championship game to offer, but ESPN may be waiting for a UCF, Houston or SMU domino to fall before making any offers to the conference. There's been talk of a C-USA/MWC type agreement, but what that agreement entails between the two conferences is unclear. They are both joined at the hip with CBS College Sports as a TV partner.

WAC Redux

When the MWC split from the WAC in 1999, they left a conference that could, at least, try to get TV deal with Fox Sports Net, even if it was a profit-sharing deal that from some accounts made the conference no money at all. After rising up from that low point, they got to a place where they had $4 million per year coming in from ESPN and committments for more football and basketball.

Feels like we're at the same place. The WAC, this time, is being picked clean and the reinforcements are having to come from the championship subdivision. This one is going to be much harder to survive and some schools might need some convincing to hold this thing together. The remaining WAC members might as well be Sun Belt West and outside of San Jose St., some of these schools participated in the SBC (Idaho, Utah St., New Mexico St., La. Tech, incoming member Denver is currently a SBC member).

The thought of those four joining up with the Sun Belt has crossed my mind. At least Louisiana Tech, Utah St. and Denver. Would give them twelve football members once South Alabama football comes into the fold. Fourteen basketball members too. But with the Sun Belt, a conference with a tiny budget compared to the Big East, geography matters more.

Either way, the WAC is going to suffer from a TV perspective, both monitarily and getting on TV, in 2012.

NCAA Tournament

Great summary done on the NCAA tournament by SportsVideo.org. They've detailed key items on how Turner and CBS will coexist with respect to showing scores, directing viewers to close games, look-n-feel type items like graphics and how Turner is going to expand on March Madness On Demand with web-based programming and the celebration of National Bracket Day.

Monday, November 29, 2010

TCU to Big East thoughts

Jumping around a little:

How does TCU help long term?

For football, the Big East schools can schedule one less OOC game going forward. I don't believe that it will result in an increase in the number of ESPN telecasts, even though it will result in more Big East conference games that are part of the ESPN contract from 28 to 36. There will be more Big East games available on Saturdays too as I don't expect games to be moved to weeknights without TV.

Men's basketball is a weaker sport for TCU. They'll get a few more nationally televised games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. As it has been explained to me, the conference will continue to play 18 conference games, but instead of having three repeat matchups, each school will have two repeat games and TCU will be slotted in to the schedule.

In terms of travel and game times, there shouldn't be a major difference. TCU won't have the late evening games that they could have on the mtn. or CBS College if they travel to UNLV, San Diego St., and New Mexico, not to mention future MWC members Fresno St., Nevada and Boise St. In terms of distances, travel to Boise or Fresno isn't much different than travelling to New Jersey.

Can the BCS scores that TCU has earned help the Big East?

I don't know and we need clarification to that point. Stewart Mandel from Sports Illustrated noted that BCS administrator Bill Hancock said they would go towards the Big East's numbers, but Mandel correctly noted that these scores would be determined based on membership as of 2011. TCU isn't joining until 2012.

Where does this leave the MWC

For next season, this doesn't change a thing. BYU, Utah and Boise St.'s moves affect television for 2011. The MWC lost its biggest television market. No way to get around that. A nine team MWC in 2012 looks like this:

Air Force
Boise St.
Colorado St.
Fresno St.
San Diego St.
New Mexico

Looking at that, TV markets are slim. Denver is the largest market remaining. Even if the addition of Hawai'i as a football member doesn't help, and it adds Hawai'i as a time zone and drops the Central time zone. Parts of Dallas/Fort Worth didn't pick up the mtn., so they don't need to worry about going forward with trying to market the channel there. The significant change in membership is something that all TV partners will look at.

Where does this leave the possibility of a Big East Network as a 24/7 channel?

I could be swayed on this one. Many of the larger markets of the conference are not football members. It now has more football games to offer as content, and even more basketball games. I do struggle as to whether there would be enough interest in this network from the markets as content for a network would be taken away from local carriers and regional networks like SNY and MASN.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Bowl Predictions

Made a few assumptions
  • Both Washington and Middle Tennessee would win next week
  • Stanford will be in the top four and clinch a BCS at-large spot
  • Ohio St. and Arkansas will be the two at-large teams who are freely chosen by the bowls
  • Notre Dame at 7-5 takes the Champs Sports Bowl
    becomes an at-large
  • West Virginia beats Rutgers, end 9-3, two wins ahead of Notre Dame
  • Connecticut wins the Big East
I tried to take into account travel and to avoid regular season rematches. I rematched Miami (FL) and Pitt because the Pac-10 would not have enough teams to fill this slot and I did not believe that the Sun Bowl would take a MAC team, nor that it would match up two ACC teams.

The teams with *** are teams filling bowls as an at-large. In the cases of Middle Tennessee and Army, they have backup agreements with these bowls

Humanitarian: Toledo vs. Nevada
New Mexico: BYU vs. Fresno St.
New Orleans: UTEP vs. FIU
St. Petersburg: Louisville vs. Southern Miss
Las Vegas: Utah vs. Ohio***
Poinsettia: Navy vs. San Diego St.
Hawai'i: Hawai'i vs. Tulsa
Little Caesar's: Northern Illinois vs. Middle Tennessee***
Independence: Boston College vs. Air Force
Champs Sports: NC State vs. Notre Dame West Virginia
Insight: Missouri vs. Penn St.
Military: Clemson vs. East Carolina
Texas: Texas Tech vs. Northwestern
Alamo: Oklahoma St. vs. Arizona
Armed Forces: SMU vs. Army***
Pinstripe: Kansas St. vs. Syracuse
Music City: Maryland vs. Tennessee
Holiday: Texas A&M vs. Washington
Meineke: North Carolina vs. West Virginia USF
Sun: Miami (FL) vs. Pittsburgh Notre Dame***
Liberty: UCF vs. Georgia
Chick-Fil-A: Florida St. vs. Mississippi St.
Ticket City: Baylor vs. Illinois
Outback: Iowa vs. Alabama
Capital One: Michigan St. vs. South Carolina
Gator: Michigan vs. Florida
GoDaddy.com: Miami (OH) vs. Troy
Cotton: Nebraska vs. LSU
BBVA Compass: USF Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky
Kraft Fights Hunger: Boise St. vs. Georgia Tech***

Rose: Wisconsin vs. TCU
Sugar: Ohio St. vs. Arkansas
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. Connecticut
Orange: Virginia Tech vs. Stanford
BCS Championship: Auburn vs. Oregon

Under this scenario, Temple and Western Michigan would not play in bowls. There are reports that 6-6 teams can jump ahead of 7+ win teams, so a Georgia Tech team can jump a Temple team.

Any thoughts? What games look good to you?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What to watch, Week 13

Final full week of the seasons. Divisions to be decided. Plenty of teams to still get bowl eligible and bowls need some 6-6 teams as there are only 64 eligible teams for 70 slots.

Because of the sheer number of important games, we're going with quick hitters.

Weeknight (games without a day are on Friday)
  • Temple-Miami (OH) (7pm Tuesday, ESPN2). If the Redhawks win, they force Ohio to win vs. Kent St. (11am, ESPNU).
  • Texas A&M at Texas (8pm Thursday, ESPN). A win gives Texas A&m slim hopes for a share of the Big 12 South. Texas needs a win to be bowl eligibile. Big drop for last year's championship game runner-up.
  • Louisville at Rutgers (11am ESPN2). Winner stays alive & for Louisville, they will go bowling.
  • West Virginia at Pittsburgh (12pm ABC). If Pitt wins, the continue to control destiny into final weekend for Big East title.
  • SMU at East Carolina (2pm, CBS College). If SMU wins, they win C-USA West. Otherwise Southern Miss at Tulsa will determine it (6:30pm, CBS College).
  • Auburn at Alabama (2:30pm, CBS) could be Auburn's biggest remaining test compared to the SEC championship vs. South Carolina.
  • Colorado at Nebraska (3:30pm, ABC) ends its run as both teams move on to new conferences. CU can finish with bowl eligibility and a 3-0 mark under interim coach Brian Cabral. Nebraska can clinch the Big 12 North.
  • UCLA at Arizona St. (3:30pm, FSN) has meaning only for UCLA as they need to win out to finish bowl eligible.
  • Arizona at Oregon (7pm, ESPN). Oregon can clinch the Pac-10 title with a win. Also gives Oregon a slight strength of schedule boost with a win.
  • Boise St. at Nevada (10:15pm, ESPN). Last major test for both teams. Both teams control their own destiny for WAC title, but Boise St. has BCS dreams.


  • The Big Ten title will be decided through Michigan at Ohio St. (12pm, ABC), Michigan St. at Penn St. (12pm, ESPN2) and Northwestern at Wisconsin (3:30pm, ABC/ESPN). Too many scenarios to go over, but remember that if Wisconsin, Ohio St. and Michigan St. all win, the BCS rankings will be involved for sending a team to the Rose Bowl.
  • The ACC Atlantic is also at stake based on the result of NC State's visit to Maryland (3:30pm, ESPN2). NC State controls its own destiny. Win and in. Otherwise, it belongs to Florida St.
  • Last big game is Bedlam between Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. (8pm, ABC). Depending on the result of the Texas-Texas A&M game on Thursday, this could be a winner takes all game. The simplest path for any team is for Oklahoma St. Win and in.

The remainder of the games that matter and why:

  • UCF at Memphis (12pm, CSS) - UCF can win C-USA East outright and host the C-USA title game.
  • Cincinnati at Connecticut (12pm, Big East) - Connecticut can keep pace if Pittsburgh stumbles in the Big East race. Cincy must win to have a chance to be bowl eligible.
  • Kansas vs. Missouri (12:30pm, FSN) - If Nebraska loses, Missouri can win and win the Big 12.
  • LSU at Arkansas (3:30pm, CBS) - A win positions LSU as the top at-large team from an AQ conference.
  • BYU at Utah (3:30pm, The mtn./CBS College) - Matters not towards the BCS or MWC standings. Matters as the last MWC game for both teams as they move on.
  • TCU at New Mexico (4pm, Versus) - Frogs have the MWC title, but can win it outright. Become the leader in the clubhouse for the BCS title game.

Games deciding bowl eligibility

  • Kentucky at Tennessee (12pm, SEC Network) - Tennesse wins and can be bowl eligible
  • Washington at California (3:30pm, CSN California/FSN Northwest) - Cal's final game determines their bowl eligibility. If UW wins, they must also win the Apple Cup next week.
  • Arkansas St. at FIU - FIU can become eligible and clinch a share of the Sun Belt title
  • Georgia Tech at Georgia - Georgia must win to be bowl eligible

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What to Watch, Week 12

Whiffed on mentioning the importance of the Ohio-Temple game last night. Temple's loss looms large as they must beat Miami (OH) next week to win the MAC East.

As we head into the week, there are 54 bowl eligible teams to fill 70 slots. One more is likely to be filled by Texas Tech, who at five wins has a game with FCS member Weber St. BYU likely needs to win this week vs. New Mexico to get win #6 as their final game is against Utah, which looks less stronger by the week. Notre Dame can also get win #6 vs. Army this week, putting all three independent teams in the eligible column. And at some point, a Sun Belt team will be bowl eligible. Might not be this week as Troy, the Sun Belt's only team with five wins, visits South Carolina. Let's not forget that USC is not eligible for any bowls despite seven wins.
Running down the schedule, I do not see any matchups of five win teams, so I don't see any situations where the winner goes bowling and the loser needs a win. I suppose we'll see some of those next week.

I do wonder though if a school like Virginia or Arizona St. could get to 6-6 with two wins against FCS teams and go bowling because they are needed to fill a slot.

Here's the rest of the week:

Only game worth mentioning is Fresno St.'s visit to Boise St. on Friday night (ESPN2, 9:30pm). The Broncos may have pushed themselves into the driver's seat should Oregon or Auburn stumble. The Bulldogs gave Nevada all they could handle late last Saturday, holding the Wolf Pack to 150 total yards below their average offense output coming into the game. Boise has only been slowed down twice this year, and what I mean with "slowed down" is that they were held under 40 points.

Wisconsin at Michigan seems like it might be a shootout of sorts (ESPN, 12pm), or at least somewhat one-side. Badgers coach Bret Bielema is still be criticized for a perceived lack of compassion for Indiana by dropping 83 on them, including passing late in the game. Michigan's defense is ripe for the pickings and it wouldn't surprise me to see the Badgers do it again. And I agree with Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel as to why you might run up the score. Fact is, margin of victory isn't in the BCS formula, so the only way you can get style points is with the human voters and scoring is one way to do so. I do believe though that 83 was about 20 too many.

Keep an eye on the two Big East games at 12pm (Pitt vs. USF on ESPN2, WVU at Louisville on Big East/Gameplan) because someone has to win that conference. NC State's visit to Chapel Hill (ACC Network, 12pm) critical for the Wolfpack's chances at the ACC as they control their destiny in the ACC Atlantic. Tune in briefly for Oklahoma St. at Kansas (FSN, 12pm) just in case the Jayhawks show up. Otherwise its likely Bedlam for the Big 12 South title.

Now for a brief foray into the land of the FCS as this week is their final regular season week before their newly expanded playoffs start. The Northeast and Big South conferences now have an automatic bid and the at-large bids have also increased by two, making this a 20 team field. Villanova at Delaware (Comcast Sports, 12pm) could determine whether Villanova has a shot at an at-large bid to defend their championship. Montana St.'s visit to Montana (KPAX/Altitude 2, 2pm) will have some bearing on the Big Sky's auto bid. Chattanooga at Wofford (SportSouth, 3pm) will help determine the SoCon's auto bid and whether the Mocs are worthy of an at-large berth. And it's win-and-in for Stephen F. Austin and the Southland's auto bid if they can get past Northwestern St. (Southland TV, 3pm).

Back to the FBS, Ohio St. at Iowa is the marquee mid-afternoon contest (ABC, 3:30pm). The Hawkeyes need a ton of help to climb back in the Big Ten race and even then, a shot at the Rose Bowl is slim. But they can play spoiler to the Buckeyes, who let Penn St. hang around for about 2 1/2 quarters before flipping the switch. Buckeyes will need four quarters of concentration or Michigan St. could end up in the driver's seat for the Big Ten title.
Virginia Tech at Miami (FL) (ESPN, 3:30pm) has a simple prize for the Hokies: Win and punch the ticket for Charlotte. Lose and prepare for a Virginia team that has nothing to lose. Jacory Harris is not cleared to return to action yet, so expect Stephen Morris to continue as the starter. And expect the Hokies defense to turn up the heat.

Catch the novelty of a pair of games being played at MLB stadiums. Tune into ESPNU at 3:30pm to catch the novelty of a college football game at Wrigley Field as Northwestern hosts Illinois. Illinois could get bowl eligible too. And Notre Dame "hosts" Army at Yankee Stadium (NBC, 7pm).

To start the evening, check in on a pair of games. One, Arkansas at Mississippi St. (ESPN, 7pm), is strictly for bowl positioning as the winner has a line of the Cotton Bowl berth. But its also a matchup of two Top 25 teams, something that can't go unnoticed. The Connecticut-Syracuse game (ESPNU, 7pm) also figures in to the Big East race. SU can finish 5-2 in conference and would likely be locked into a finish no worse than 2nd and a chance at the Champs Sports or Meineke Car Care bowl games. UConn, like virtually every team in the conference, has a shot to win out and grab the BCS berth. Every game from here on out in the Big East is an elimination game.

Two games in the Big 12 with a direct correlation are both at 8pm. Nebraska can clinch the Big 12 North with a win at Texas A&M (ABC, 8pm) and, if Oklahoma beats Baylor (ESPN2, 8pm), the Bedlam game would determine the Big 12 South. If the Cowboys win and Oklahoma loses, Oklahoma St. wins the Big 12 South. And for the death scenario: If A&M wins out, Oklahoma beats Baylor and Oklahoma St., assuming OK State beats Kansas, we go back to the dreaded tiebreaker system that was used to determine the Big 12 South a few years ago. Heaven forbid that it would fall to who is highest in the BCS standings.

Florida St. visits College Park and both FSU and Maryland have a shot at the ACC Atlantic (ABC, 8pm). FSU is in the driver's seat right now, ahead in the win column, but doesn't control its own destiny; Maryland and NC State do. If the 'Noles win, they'll need the Terps to bounce back vs. NC State the following week. A 'Noles loss makes the NC State-Maryland game a winner-takes-all contest in the Coastal.

Final game to peek in on is Utah visiting San Diego St. (The mtn., 10pm). Utah has looked dreadful the past two weeks, while San Diego St. is continuing to impress and could be 9-1 instead of 7-3 if it weren't for a late TD loss at Missouri and replay issues at BYU regarding a lost fumble that was called incorrectly. SDSU didn't lie down vs. TCU and has a great chance at playing at home in the Poinsettia Bowl if they win out. Utah needs to get itself together fast. A free fall from 8-0 to 8-3 is never good, particularly with a trip to BYU coming in the final matchup between those two schools as members of the same conference.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 13 Twelve Day Guesses

Games on Friday and Saturday have to be decided. Many games could remain idle until November 21st when a six day pick is possible. All the Big Ten games plus Oklahoma St.-Oklahoma could wait until that date. ACC has had all its six day picks used, so even though there is a lot to be decided, its expected that those games, along with the SEC games now that their championship game is decided.

11am Louisville at Rutgers ESPN2
11am Ohio at Kent St. ESPNU
12pm West Virginia at Pittsburgh ABC
2pm Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan ESPN3.com
2pm Buffalo at Akron SportsTime Ohio (confirmed)
2:30pm Auburn at Alabama CBS (confirmed)
3:30pm Colorado at Nebraska ABC (confirmed)
3:30pm UCLA at Arizona St. FSN (confirmed)
7pm Arizona at Oregon ESPN (confirmed)
10:15pm Boise St. at Nevada ESPN (confirmed)

12pm Michigan at Ohio St. ABC (time confirmed)
12pm Michigan St. at Penn St. ESPN
12pm South Carolina at Clemson ESPN2
12pm Boston College at Syracuse ESPNU
12pm Indiana at Purdue Big Ten
12pm Kentucky at Tennessee SEC
12pm North Carolina at Duke ACCNet split
12pm USF at Miami (FL) ACCNet split
12pm Cincinnati at Connecticut Big East (confirmed)
12:30pm Kansas vs. Missouri FSN (confirmed)
3:30pm LSU at Arkansas CBS
3:30pm Northwestern at Wisconsin ABC/ESPN
3:30pm Florida at Florida St. ABC/ESPN
3:30pm Virginia at Virginia Tech ESPN2
3:30pm Iowa at Minnesota Big Ten
3:30pm NCAA Division I playoffs ESPNU (confirmed)
3:30pm Washington at California CSNCA (confirmed)
3:30pm Western Kentucky at Troy Sun Belt
7pm Mississippi St. at Ole Miss ESPNU
7:30pm Oregon St. at Stanford Versus (confirmed)
7:30pm Wake Forest at Vanderbilt CSS
8pm Oklahoma St. at Oklahoma ABC (network confirmed)
8pm NC State at Maryland ABC
8pm Notre Dame at USC ESPN (time confirmed)
8pm Georgia Tech at Georgia ESPN2
8pm Houston at Texas Tech FSN Regional HD (confirmed)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What to Watch, Week 11

Missed on two important MAC games or they'd be listed here. If you are curious, 70 bowl slots are available. So far 48 teams are eligible. No teams yet from the Big East or Sun Belt. Going to concentrate on Saturday since the remainder of the weeknight games aren't quite memorable, though Pitt could get bowl eligible. More of a quick hitters article too.

Iowa at Northwestern (12pm, ESPN) - What's at stake: Iowa keeps itself alive for the Big Ten title. They'll need help along the way. Northwestern blowing a 21 point lead doesn't help its cause. Both teams can get the job done offensively, but Iowa's defense will be the difference.

UCF at Southern Miss (12pm, CBS College) - What's at stake: UCF could clinch its spot in the C-USA title game (if ECU loses Thursday night), possibly clinch home field too. C-USA West could also be clearer by the end of the evening after Tulsa at Houston.

Kansas St. at Missouri (12:30pm, FSN) - What's at stake: For Missouri, its a last gasp to stay in the Big 12 North race. Nebraska would have to lose out and either of these teams would need to win out to have a chance at the Big 12 North. A Mizzou win allows them to stay close to the Huskers, even if they need a couple Nebraska losses.

Wofford at Appalachian St. (3pm, SportSouth) - What's at stake: SoCon championship. A BCS-like matchup at the FCS level as #3 Appalachian St. hosts #4 Wofford. Wofford is a 1/2 game ahead and can clinch the SoCon outright with a win. Might even vault them towards the top of the FCS polls. A win, for either team, here likely means home field through most of the FCS playoffs.

Virginia Tech at North Carolina (3:30pm, ABC/ESPN) - What's at stake: Virginia Tech can clinch a share of the ACC Coastal with a win, and if things fall right in the Georgia Tech-Miami game, VT can clinch outright. UNC needs a lot of help to get win the division and a win here is a must.

San Diego St at TCU (4pm, Versus) - What's at stake: TCU's BCS championship game hopes. TCU is going to be going for statement victories from here on out. Luckily for them, San Diego St. comes in bowl eligible at 7-2 and has played Air Force and BYU tough. A win here gives TCU a share of the MWC title, and they have New Mexico as their final game.

Baylor at Texas A&M (7pm, FSN) - What's at stake: Baylor slim hopes to remain in the Big 12 South race. A statement game for both teams of sorts. Baylor has been bowl eliglble and A&M got eligible last week with a win over Oklahoma. Seems there's a clear pecking order in the Big 12 South and these two teams might be fighting for 3rd place, but it means a lot when it could be a berth in the Texas Bowl vs. being shipped to New York City for the Pinstripe Bowl.

South Carolina at Florida (7:15pm, ESPN) - What's at stake: Winner takes all in the SEC East, gets a shot to tussle with a top ten team on December 4th. No bigger prize than that. Old Ball Coach would love to establish himself as the 1st coach to win a conference championship at South Carolina since Paul Dietzel led the Gamecocks to a 7-4 record (7-3 regular season, 6-0 ACC) as ACC champs in 1969. The team then lost the Peach Bowl to independent West Virginia.

Clemson at Florida St. (8pm, ABC) - What's at stake: Pecking order in the ACC Atlantic. Nothing is clear here and 5-3 could win the division. Maryland, NC State, Clemson and Florida St. all have their shots.

Tulsa at Houston (8pm, CBS College) - What's at stake: Maybe a clearer picture of who is on top in C-USA West. Maybe. Houston needs these next two weeks vs. Tulsa and Southern Miss. Otherwise SMU could get themselves into the picture. Very possible that the winner of C-USA West wil have a total W-L record of 7-5 entering the conference championship game.

Nevada at Fresno St. (10:30pm, ESPN) - What's at stake: For Nevada, the chance to unseat Boise St. in a few weeks. Can't look ahead of the Bulldogs as Pat Hill's teams tend to thrive on games where they should be counted out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week Twelve 12 Day Guesses & Remaining Week 11 Games

Remaining Week 11 games:

Iowa at Northwestern 12pm ESPN
Indiana at Wisconsin 12pm ESPN2
Texas Tech at Oklahoma 3:30pm ABC
South Carolina at Florida 7:15pm ESPN
Mississippi St. at Alabama 7:15pm ESPN2
Oklahoma St. at Texas 8pm ABC
Nevada at Fresno St. 10:30pm ESPNU

Considerations for week 12:
  • Counting week 13, Big 12 has committed to 18 ABC windows, including the Big 12 title game. The Texas-Texas A&M game on ESPN also gets counted here. So ABC at most can have a single window on 11/20
  • Big 12 has an ESPN sublicense window
  • Big East has all teams playing conference games. They also need one more game to fulfill their game requirement on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2. They have 16 game slots, counting weeks 13 & 14. They need to fill 17. They've hit their ABC minimum of three slots.
  • C-USA has a flex slot on CBS College Sports at 8pm
  • The Big Ten has spoiled our fun, setting their game times for this week.
12pm Wisconsin at Michigan ESPN (confirmed)
12pm Pittsburgh at USF ESPN2
12pm Oklahoma St. at Kansas FSN
12pm West Virginia at Louisville ESPNU
12pm Penn St. vs. Indiana Big Ten (confirmed)
12pm Purdue at Michigan St. Big Ten (confirmed)
12pm Tennessee at Vanderbilt SECNet
12pm UConn at Syracuse Big East
12pm NC State at UNC ACCNet
12:30pm Appalachian St. at Florida PPV (confirmed)
1pm Duke at Georgia Tech ESPN3.com
2pm Virginia at Boston College ESPN3.com
3pm Wofford at Chattanooga SportSouth
3pm Stephen F. Austin at McNeese St. Southland TV
3:30pm Ole Miss at LSU CBS
3:30pm Ohio St. at Iowa ABC (RM) (confirmed)
3:30pm Florida St. at Maryland ABC (RM)
3:30pm California at Stanford FSN (confirmed)
3:30pm Illinois vs. Northwestern ESPNU (confirmed)
3:30pm Rutgers at Cincinnati ESPN3.com
3:30pm Clemson at Wake Forest ESPN3.com
4:15pm FIU at UL-Lafayette Sun Belt
7pm Missouri at Iowa St. FSN
7pm Arkansas at Mississippi St. ESPNU
7pm Florida Atlantic at Texas FSN PPV (semiconfirmed)
7:30pm Troy at South Carolina CSS
8pm Nebraska at Texas A&M ABC
8pm Virginia Tech at Miami (FL) ABC
8pm Oklahoma at Baylor ESPN
8pm USC at Oregon St. ESPN2 (time confirmed)
8pm UTEP at Tulsa CBS College

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tentative 2011 CFB Schedule Spreadsheet

Wanted to get this in place since this season only has one month left and 2011 will have a boatload of changes.

Tentative 2011 College Football Schedule

Note that it may seem like some schools have slots open for an OOC game or two, but in many cases a school has a contract with another school which allows them to be open-ended with the game date so that television partners can fit it in with the conference schedule. This is where ESPN is so powerful as a game broker.

Couple examples
  • Maryland and West Virginia have a series that has no game dates attached to it, allowing ESPN to work it in.

  • Most WAC teams have five OOC games because the conference has made a two year agreement with BYU to provide the newly independent school a set of opponents in 2011 and 2012.
On the flip side, most MWC schools are in need of a 5th OOC game. Boise St. happened to fill their schedule with former (and future) conference mates Nevada and Fresno St.

The Big 12 schedules will mirror the Pac-12 schedules in that both conferences will utilize a nine game conference schedule.

I found many of the game dates on the official athletic department websites of these schools and also leaned on other web resources to cross check the information as much as I could. For the SEC schedules, some schools have published schedules, some have not and I used process of elimination when it came to the dates of some of the games.

Please let me know if something is not right. I'll do my best to correct this and I'll place a link to it on the right hand side of the blog as it gets updated in the offseason.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What to Watch, Week 11


Not much here. With some help on Saturday, Virginia Tech could earn a share of the ACC Coastal crown vs. Georgia Tech (Thursday 7:30pm, ESPN). And UCF at Houston (Friday 8pm, ESPN2) will be a matchup between the leaders of both divisions (co-leader in Houston's case) in Conference USA. This game could carry extra significance if these two teams happen to meet again in C-USA's championship game as the winner here would host the game.


For Maryland at Miami (FL) (12pm, ESPNU), both teams need a win to stay in touch of the division leader. Maryland is one game back in the win column from NC State, while Miami (FL) is two back and needs help from Georgia Tech to get back in the race. Miami QB Jacory Harris's status is unknown due to a concussion he suffered in the loss at Virginia.

Air Force at Army (12pm, CBS College) is the 2nd leg of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy and it can be won here by Air Force as the Falcons already dispatched Navy earlier this year in Colorado Springs. Army is 5-3 with three chances remaining to get bowl eligible (Air Force, at Kent St., vs. Notre Dame in NYC). As I understand it, Army must be bowl eligible before the Navy game. Sounds like bowl committees were not thrilled with holding a conditional bowl invite for the Black Knights due to the decision to move the Army-Navy game a week past Championship Saturday.

Louisville at Syracuse (12pm, Big East/GamePlan) holds some significance as both teams were at the bottom of the Big East last year, and now both are trending upward. Syracuse can clinch bowl eligibility for the 1st time since 2004, Paul Pasqualoni's final year. The Orange have been lucky and good at times this year and the right mix of both has helped them in their wins, particularly when turning over the opposition. The offense does just enough and capitalizes on opportunities. I see a lot of the UConn squads from prior seasons in this SU team, with far less talent getting the job done.

Baylor at Oklahoma St. (12:30pm, FSN) is for the lead in the Big 12 South. And no, Oklahoma St. isn't the leader. Baylor is assured of a Big 12 bowl tie in for the 1st time since the conference was formed (last bowl bid for the Bears was as a SWC member). Defenses need not apply here, and I don't expect this to be some 10-7 snoozefest. Justin Blackmon will return to the Cowboy lineup after serving a one-game suspension for a DUI. Robert Griffin's season has been excellent (20 TDs through the air, another seven on the ground) and he looks like exactly what Baylor needed to get over the hump. If Baylor can pull out this one with Griffin playing well, does he start to get some Heisman pub?

Alabama at LSU (3:30pm, CBS) is actually the undercard game of the mid-afternoon. Hard to say that when both teams reside in the top 10 of the BCS standings but its true. The Tide are the darling of the one loss teams and most media pundits believe they'll slide their way into the SEC Championship and national championship game by winning out. And you'll get no argument from me. LSU, in my opinion, did step it up vs. Auburn and play better than I expected. Or maybe Auburn played down to LSU's level. But LSU should be a great test for the Tide due to their stout defense (7th in the nation). LSU needs to just keep themselves in the game to have a shot. No turnovers, no dumb timeouts or headscratchers with clock management. And this game is the undercard because....

...TCU at Utah is your game of the day (3:30pm, CBS College). Already heard one national writer (Matt Hayes, Sporting News) completely not understand the MWC's TV deal on Dan Patrick's radio show, so according to him, you'll need a tinfoil hat to tune in the game. Seriously, CBS College is on free preview this week, check your local listings and cable/satellite co. to find the channel. Now that the plug is out of the way, Utah comes into this game very underrated and this one, statistically, is an even bigger defensive battle (TCU #1, Utah #6). Last year, it wasn't pretty and the Frogs jumped on the Utes early and often. Jordan Wynn will need to find a way to be efficient through the air as neither team is giving an inch, and the Frogs are one of three teams to have the opponent's completion percentage under 50% on the season.

Another game to watch at 3:30pm is Hawai'i at Boise St (3:30pm, ESPNU/ESPN 3D). Boise gets nothing for style points and we know that. Hawai'i, Fresno St. and Nevada are three of the next four games, so as long as those schools keep winning, the Broncos might have a shot to gain a small amount of strength-of-schedule. Note that I said small, because this isn't like playing LSU, Mississippi St. and Auburn in three of the final four games. Hawai'i had a great game plan for defeating Nevada earlier this year: a plain ride to Hawai'i. Sadly, for the Warriors, they'll be the one flying the friendly skies to the mainland.

And since its November, games in the FCS take importance. You know, the part of Division I that actually settles a championship with a playoff. Novel concept. A single matchup this week at the bottom of the top 25 between CAA members Richmond & James Madison (3:30pm, Comcast Sports). I then looked at the records and realized that both teams are 4-4. A 4-4 team wouldn't even sniff the rankings in the FBS, but the CAA is the FCS version of the SEC. Maybe the FCS folks have crappy pollsters too...

Last one to stay glued to is Arizona visiting Stanford (8pm, ABC/GamePlan). Arizona can make a serious jump in the BCS over the next few weeks provided that they keep winning as Stanford, USC and Oregon are all on the schedule. Can't look ahead though and the Cardinal have Andrew Luck and he gives the Cardinal an edge at the QB position regardless of who starts for Arizona, though Nick Foles is closer to returning as the starter. Either way, to slow down Stanford is to slow down the running game. Arizona needs to be above average in this phase of the game to have a shot.