Wednesday, September 21, 2016

CFB Selection Notes for 10/1/16

Full schedule for Week Five

* Regarding the Sun Belt, I have no idea it took so long to finalize their selections.  Most of them showed up around 9pm ET Monday, and that could have been for a number of reasons that the rest of us deal with in our daily lives.

ESPN had an open ESPNEWS slot that they moved to later in the day.  I'll admit to overthinking on the point I'm about to make: UAB used to like to try to have their home games not in conflict with Alabama & Auburn games due to the two SEC schools' wide appeal in the state.  I can't speak to the fanbase of South Alabama though and how their allegiances lie though.  But it did surprise me to see South Alabama play at the same time as Alabama, though if ESPNEWS at 4pm was the other choice, they would have conflicted with Auburn at 3:30pm.

I also wonder if ESPN and American Sports Network were haggling over either the selection order or if South Alabama really didn't want a pre-noon start.  San Diego St., current owners of the nation's longest winning streak, would have been a good get for ASN too.

* It doesn't surprise me much to see six games set for ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, three each at 12pm and 3:30pm ET, with the television outlet to be set after games on 9/24.  It is early in the season and there's a relative amount of unknown with several teams.  It also allows ESPN to preserve "real" six day holds for later in the year, when there may be a decision to be made about whether a game should air at 3:30pm or 8pm on ABC, for example.  In other words, when there's going to be a massive difference in the start time of the game.

* Interesting strategy that ESPN used to have a game on standby for ESPN2 in the event the World Cup of Hockey championship rounds ends in a 2-0 sweep.  I believe Memphis at Ole Miss & Cincinnati at USF are flexible between ESPN2 and ESPNU, but if there is a World Cup of Hockey deciding game, Cincinnati at USF will be on ESPNU and Memphis at Ole Miss on SEC Network's alternate.  To allow for the alternate channel to have some extra leeway for the potential of an extra game, UL-Monroe at Auburn starts at 3:30pm instead of the customary 4pm start for the middle window.

* For Pac-12 selections, the way I read it is that FOX requested the six day hold, which probably seems obvious as the broadcast network of the three Pac-12 openings available (8:30pm FOX, 9:30pm Pac-12, 10:30pm ESPN).  Since the Pac-12 Networks window starts after 6pm local time as all three options are on Pacific time, there's no concern I guess on the shorter overlap even though FOX's late window starts later than usual.  That could be where Pac-12 Networks changed the evening window's initially scheduled time of 9pm ET to 9:30pm ET, which allowed the early window to start an hour later (2:30pm ET instead of 1:30pm ET) with no gaps between games.

* The 7:30pm slot for the ACC RSNs made sense to be Marshall at Pittsburgh.  I consider the 7:30pm start time to be intentional because it allows for an MLB telecast window on a regional sports network at 4pm ET plus 30 minutes of postgame.   The Pirates have a telecast scheduled for ROOT Sports that day starting at 4pm and while ROOT does have an alternate channel that pops up on occasion, I'm unclear as to how many providers carry this extra feed, so it would have been tough for Marshall at Pittsburgh to be carried at 3:30pm ET.

As a side note - I'm a bit curious as to how weeknight selections are slotted on a given week vs. Saturday.  Stanford at Washington on Friday 9/30 on ESPN is arguably the best looking Pac-12 game if it were available as a Saturday selection, so I'm curious how that affects where ESPN selections are slotted on Saturday evening.  Would the Pac-12 Networks selection be ahead or behind them?  Guess we'll find out on Sunday.  Same goes for Kansas at Texas Tech on FS1, which isn't the same stature as the Pac-12 game mentioned above, but does it get "slotted" against Big 12 selections on Saturdays, or are those done independently?

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