Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Postscript on 10/6 CFB TV selections

Confirmations for 10/6

This one is light.  Couldn't think of enough to write about.  Sorry.

* FOX deviated with a pair of selections from listings on their RSN sites and from leaked schedules
  • UCLA at Cal - Leaked schedules had it as the early game of the FOX broadcast doubleheader.  Instead its the late game on Pac-12 Network.  Closer inspection notes that the other three games available in the Pac-12 all have ranked teams and this one no longer does thanks to UCLA's loss to Oregon St.
  • Boise St. at Southern Miss - FOX RSN schedules had a listing for "Conference USA on FOX / FX Replay" for 10/6 and also listed a pair of Big 12 games at 12pm & 3:30pm on FSN.  What changed? Boise St.'s play has been inconsistent & Southern Miss is 0-3 right now.  Now tack on Kansas St.'s upset of Oklahoma and the Sunflower State matchup with Kansas has a top ten team.
* I'm scratching my head on how Arkansas at Auburn is on ESPN or ESPN2 at 12pm.  Granted, SEC fans don't like the early starts when they can be avoided, plus they tend to have the connotation that the early game is the game no TV partner wants.  I suppose that ESPN has to fill their extra SEC games and this is one way to do it.  If it were me, I'd swap UConn at Rutgers or Mississippi St. at Kentucky with this one. At least you'd have a ranked team, with both Rutgers and Mississippi St. on bye next week.

* I think we'll see ABC and ESPN play around with the 3:30pm slot when they have the flexibility to do so.  NASCAR Nationwide Series is off on 10/6 so ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 were in play.  It sounds like their will be a reverse mirror of either Oklahoma at Texas Tech or Georgia Tech at Clemson.

* It would not surprise me if the ABC 8pm window ends up being a reverse mirror between Ohio St. at Nebraska & Florida St. at NC State.  Sounds like ABC is covering its bases in the event of any of the teams losing, particularly Florida St.

1 comment:

Julian said...

ESPN does not seem to want to put Saturday conference matchups from the Big East on a network above ESPNU before Thanksgiving. Much of the available inventory before Thanksgiving gets scheduled for Wednesday (none this year), Thursday (already done for this year), and Friday (four of the next seven). Then, one game has to be available for the Big East "Game of the Week." On top of that, there is the ESPNU quota to meet. Factor in strategically-placed bye weeks, too. Much like with basketball, ESPN must have somewhat of a hand with scheduling.

During the current contract (since 2008), listed below are all of the times that ESPN has put a Big East vs. Big East football game on ESPN, ESPN2, or ABC on a Saturday before Thanksgiving, where the game did NOT involve West Virginia University (as gathered from the blog author's site:

- 20 November 2010: University of Pittsburgh at University of South Florida -- 12 pm ET, ESPN2. (This was the Saturday before Thanksgiving.)

- 7 November 2009: University of Connecticut at University of Cincinnati -- 8 pm ET, ABC. (To date, this three-way split-national broadcast is still the only BE vs. BE football game to ever appear on ABC Saturday Night Football. This game had lots of story lines, too -- on both sides.)

- 10 October 2009: University of Connecticut at University of Pittsburgh -- 3:30 pm ET, ABC/ESPN. (Each team entered the game with one overall loss -- non-conference.)

- 22 November 2008: University of Pittsburgh at University of Cincinnati -- 7:15 pm ET, ESPN2. (Another one right before Thanksgiving.)

In just the final year of the previous contract (2007) alone, there were just as many such games (four). If one adds back in appearances by the Mountaineers from 2008-2011, the number in that period doubles (to eight). For another bit of history, consider 1996-2000, when the Big East was on CBS. IIRC, every Big East football broadcast on CBS involved a current or soon-to-be future member of the ACC.

The annual rivalry game between the Huskies and the Scarlet Knights is the only matchup (not just rivalry, but *period*) that will remain from the pre-expansion (prior to 2005) Big East after this academic year. (I am not counting Temple.) They have played every year as conference foes since 2004. The only other strong rivalry game that will remain from the pre-*explosion* Big East (prior to next year) will be the Keg of Nails. That game had been contested every year (except for a three-year lapse prior to the formation of Conference USA) for over forty years. The only other school that will be left in the Big East from the pre-flight era (before 2012) will be USF, who has no strong conference rivalry games.

ESPN has never given either game a "prime" spot on its family of networks since the games have been Big East contests. Lots of Fridays, Sundays (2006), post-Thanksgivings (including a Thanksgiving morning matchup at Rutgers in 2004, which I attended), and relegations to ESPNU. I hope that NBC will give much better treatment to the best regular conference matchups the Big East has to offer when they (hopefully) get the next contract.

All of that, to explain why I am not at all surprised that I will be watching my Huskies on ESPNU in their biggest rivalry game. Honestly, I was quite surprised ESPN did not let it drop to GOTW, just because.