Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ESPN's Thursday night schedule still needs work

The ESPN Thursday night schedule is less set than the Friday night schedule.  Some of this has to do with the forthcoming switch by FOX to FOX Sports 1, who will have the option to select some of these Pac-12 & Big 12 games listed below.

8/29: North Carolina at South Carolina & Ole Miss at Vanderbilt (SEC)
9/12:  TCU at Texas Tech or TBA (likely Big 12)
9/19: Clemson at NC State (ACC)
9/26: Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (ACC)
10/3: Texas at Iowa St. OR UCLA at Utah (Big 12 or Pac-12)
10/10: Rutgers at Louisville (American)
10/17: Miami (FL) at North Carolina (ACC)
10/24: Kentucky at Mississippi St. (SEC)
10/31: USF at Houston (American)
11/7: Oklahoma at Baylor OR Oregon at Stanford (Big 12 or Pac-12)
11/14: Georgia Tech at Clemson (ACC)
11/21: Rutgers at UCF (American)
11/28: Ole Miss at Mississippi St. (SEC)
12/5: Louisville at Cincinnati (American)

ESPNU also has five Thursday night games.  Four from the Sun Belt and one from the MWC.  There will also be some MEAC and SWAC games in the mix to fill out that channel's Thursday schedule.

I don't think you'll see any doubleheaders on ESPN on Thursdays besides the opening weekend, so the Arizona St. at Washington St. game on 10/31 will probably end up on FOX Sports 1.  The same goes for the Thanksgiving game involving Texas Tech & Texas.

So who ends up on 9/5?  I thought Houston at Temple was likely because there was no NFL schedule announcement until last week.  It also happens to be the opening night of the NFL season, so it could be a night ESPN is trying to stay away from, though they are scheduling against the Thanksgiving night NFL game along with all the other Thursday night NFL games.  I don't think its going to be the Sacramento St.-Arizona St. game.  Then again, F/X ended up televising Portland St. at Washington last year early in the year.  Maybe ESPN gets stuck with it and puts it on ESPNU.

The only other conference I would consider targeting for 9/5 is the Big Ten, but they did move a couple games to 8/30, presumably at least one or both to air on BTN.

So who do you think ends up on 9/5?  Your choices are here.

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