Thursday, March 2, 2017

Notes from BYU, MAC, Mountain West, Notre Dame & Sun Belt Schedule Releases

* It does look like Notre Dame can do two night games at home in three consecutive seasons and, as I suspected, the Georgia game is the second night game.  Didn't see the Miami (OH) game on NBCSN though, nor with the unique start time of 5pm ET.  There is a Xfnity Series race telecast preceding the Miami game at 3pm that day.  NBC & Golf channel are listed as carrying the Presidents Cup event over this weekend, so NBC may be occupied most of the day, hence the move to NBCSN.

* With the move of Virgina at Boise St. to Friday, September 22nd, that may signal FS1 picking up Utah at Arizona which is scheduled for the same evening.  FS1 is scheduled to carry an ARCA race that evening but could move that event to FS2, which they did last year when picking up USC at Utah last year.

As for Boise St. at BYU moving to a Friday, October 6th, expect the preceding Memphis at Connecticut game to start at 7pm ET based on the start time for the BYU game being announced as 10:15pm ET.

* New Mexico at Boise St. was scheduled for September 16th, which I thought was a remote possibility.  Since ESPN controls the rights to all Boise St. home games, with the exception of being able to trade one game to CBS Sports Network for one of Boise St.'s Mountain West road games, it is still possible to be doubleheadered with Illinois at USF.

* It appears that both CBS Sports Network and ESPNU will have weeknight doubleheaders involving MAC schools.  On Friday, September 1st, Boston College at Northern Illinois was selected to air on CBS Sports Network.  Fordham at Army was also scheduled for this date and the two games could end up as a doubleheader, maybe starting at 6pm ET with Fordham-Army followed by the NIU game at 9:30pm ET / 8:30pm local time in DeKalb.

On Thursday, November 2nd, one MAC game, either Northern Illinois at Toledo or Ball St. at Eastern Michigan, will be doubleheadered with Idaho at Troy on ESPNU.  My expectation is the MAC game will start at 6pm ET with Idaho at Troy at 9:15pm or 9:30pm ET / 8:15pm or 8:30pm local time.

* I'm a bit unclear why the MAC Championship game is not yet set for a specific date and assume that it is dependent on network schedules.  The Lions would be playing a home Thursday game the week before, so I don't think they would be playing back-to-back Thursday games, though it is certainly possible.  At this point, I imagine ESPN is trying to figure out the best date for the game.  In 2017, they'll have championship games from the ACC, American, C-USA, Mountain West and Pac-12.  Since the Sun Belt is the only conference playing regular season games that Saturday, ESPN could elect to either air the best available Sun Belt game, move the MAC Championship to Saturday to have a full day of championship games or Thursday as they game was played on Thursday nights for several years, or end up keeping it on Friday.

* Seven of CBS Sports Network's maximum 12 MAC games will air on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Since the conference has virtually eliminated any Saturday games after October 28, expect the conference to have its five other CBSSN games on Saturdays from September 9th - October 28th.  I don't think they'll take UAB at Ball St. on September 9th either, so expect five Saturday MAC games on CBSSN over seven weeks.  Same for ASN who may end up taking a game a week over nine weeks to get to close to their ten game maximum.


potts316 said...

Last few years the NFL scheduled 2 of the 6 teams that played on Thanksgiving to play the following Thursday, allowing them to play on regular rest. The Lions played back to back Thursdays at home in 2015, with the second of those games a loss to Green Bay on an Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary.

Mark Falzone said...

Do you think both the BC and Army games stay on 9/1? Or do you think one moves back to 8/31?

CBS Sports Network just seems to have slim pickings on 8/31. Maybe UL-Monroe at Memphis? Or something other than college football?

Matt Sarzyniak said...

I think both Army & NIU games stay on that date. Army has done the Friday home opener recently to allow the cadets a longer weekend. If the NIU game was going back to 9/2, I would have thought that it would have occurred with the schedule release.

CBSSN has options within C-USA, including Houston-UTSA, Kentucky-USM, Navy-FAU and Vandy-MT, along with FIU-UCF. ULM-Memphis on Thursday could be an option to start the season. I don't understand how ESPN goes about sending a Boise St. home game to CBSSN, but the Troy game would be one to send over if CBSSN has other plans re: the MW for another week.

Mark Falzone said...

Thanks for your analysis.

I agree that they'll probably do Army at 6pm and NIU at 9:30 ET. But when do you think they'll make an announcement on that?

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Army's agreement with CBSSN seems to require start time to be set no later than May 1st with some exceptions. I realize this article is from '09 but I believe it has carried forward to the most recent negotiation a couple years ago.

The MAC time could be June, but figure if they set the Army start time, that's a guideline for the NIU game.