Sunday, September 26, 2021

CFB TV Guesses for 2021 Week 6 (10/9/21)

Here are the games already set for television and/or webcast. Here are the known available telecast windows. 

I have done my best to list what TV windows are out there. Every listing service has a little different schedule for these networks. It is also possible that a window could be eliminated or the time of a window could shift slightly to accommodate a network's needs.

Some considerations you may want to be aware of

* ESPN has preselected the following games but not slotted their network and/or start time:
  • Oklahoma vs. Texas (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2)
  • Notre Dame at Virginia Tech (ACC Network)
* FOX Sports has preselected the following games but not slotted their network and/or start time:
  • Utah at USC (FOX or FS1)
  • San Jose State at Colorado State (FOX, FS1 or FS2)
  • New Mexico vs. San Diego State (FOX, FS1 or FS2)
* The following Big Ten games have already had their start times set as homecoming games:
  • Maryland at Ohio State (12pm)
  • Michigan State at Rutgers (12pm)
  • Wisconsin at Illinois (3:30pm or 4pm)
* CBS has a SEC doubleheader with a primetime game.  When this occurs, ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU cannot air any primetime SEC games.  Only SEC Network can.
* Speaking of the SEC doubleheader - some TV stations and publications may have given away the games they chose, which aren't surprising choices at all.
* BTN will not have a primetime game as they have women's volleyball scheduled.
* Both ESPN2 and FS1 are carrying the prelim bouts for the Tyson Fury-Deonte Wilder card from 7-9pm ET as it is a joint Top Rank-PBC promoted card, meaning that ESPN and FOX Sports are jointly producing and promoting the PPV card.
* FOX has three Saturday broadcast network windows for the first time since Labor Day Weekend.  They have no MLB postseason commitments on this day as the ALDS has a travel day scheduled.
* When FOX locked in Penn State-Iowa for their mid-afternoon game, it made for interesting slotting of the Maryland-Ohio State, Oklahoma-Texas and West Virginia-Baylor.  An alternative to what I have listed is to have Oklahoma-Texas at 12pm on ABC, Maryland-Ohio State on FOX at 12pm and West Virginia-Baylor on ABC at 3:30pm.  That alternative could also swap WVU-Baylor to ABC's primetime slot with Michigan-Nebraska going to mid-afternoon on ABC.
* FS2 isn't listing any windows, so I slipped both Mountain West games into openings on FS1.
* The top picks from the Big 12 (ESPN), Big Ten (FOX) and Pac-12 (FOX) seemed to be done in advance.

Some early trends to consider:

Big Ten
* ESPN appears to have had the top Saturday selection just once (9/18, Auburn at Penn State), so I would expect them to go on a run of top selections.
* Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin needs to appear once on BTN against another Big Ten opponent.  In the case of Minnesota, it is once more against a Big Ten school as they did not have any non-conference games on BTN.
* Counting future selections
  • ESPN Networks: 11
    • Four in primetime (including weeknights) with a minimum of six
  • FOX Sports: 16
    • Six in primetime (including weeknights) with a max of nine.
Big 12
* More of an even split in terms of top Saturday choice
  • ESPN Networks: 9/11, 9/25, 10/9
  • FOX Sports: 9/4, 9/18, 10/2
* ESPN Networks has used 13 of their 23 selections.
* At least 15 games have been earmarked for ABC, FOX, ESPN or FS1 out of a minimum of 25 games.

* In terms of Saturday top choice, I think this is the following split, though the Pac-12's use of priority selections where both ESPN and FOX can choose a game in advance of the weekly draft order skews this somewhat
  • ESPN Networks:  9/25, 10/2
  • FOX Sports: 9/4, 9/11, 9/18, 10/9
* ESPN Networks has used 10 of their 22 selections and must air one more game on ABC that is in primetime on the east coast.
* FOX Sports has used 12 of their 22 selections.  Four more games must air on FOX and of those four, at least two must air in primetime on the east coast.

Now to the guesses.  All times Eastern:

12pm ABC: Maryland at Ohio State
12pm FOX: West Virginia at Baylor
12pm ESPN: Arkansas at Ole Miss
12pm ESPN2: Vanderbilt at Florida
12pm FS1: TCU at Texas Tech
12pm ESPNU: Miami (OH) at Eastern Michigan
12pm SECN: North Texas at Missouri
12pm BTN: Michigan State at Rutgers
12pm ACCN: Notre Dame at Virginia Tech
12:30pm ACC RSN: Wake Forest at Syracuse
3:30pm ABC: Oklahoma vs. Texas
3:30pm CBS: Georgia at Auburn
3:30pm ESPN: Boise State at BYU
3:30pm ESPN2: ECU at UCF
3:30pm FS1: San Jose State at Colorado State
3:30pm ESPNU: Middle Tennessee at Liberty
3:30pm BTN: Wisconsin at Illinois
4pm SECN: South Carolina at Tennessee
4pm ACCN: Virginia at Louisville
6pm Pac-12: Oregon State at Washington State
7pm ESPN: Florida State at North Carolina
7pm ESPNU: South Alabama at Texas State
7:30pm ABC: Michigan at Nebraska
7:30pm SECN: LSU at Kentucky
7:30pm ACCN: Georgia Tech at Duke
8pm CBS: Alabama at Texas A&M
8pm FOX: Utah at USC
9pm ESPN2: Memphis at Tulsa
9pm FS1: New Mexico vs. San Diego State
10:30pm ESPN: UCLA at Arizona

Georgia Southern at Troy
Georgia State at ULM
Akron at Bowling Green
Ball State at Western Michigan
Buffalo at Kent State
Central Michigan at Ohio


daniel anderson said...

It's a good thing both Fox and ABC have three windows, because ESPN2 and FS1 are carrying the prelim bouts for the Tyson Fury-Deonte Wilder card from 7-9pm ET. And i wonder if the ALDS having a travel day is because of the fight too.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Yeah, I mentioned the boxing PPV above. I think it's coincidence that the ALDS travel day hit on Saturday as if it didn't, they may have sent a game over to MLB Network anyways.

Schmolik said...

My main question about FOX scheduling Penn State-Iowa at 4pm rather than noon (Big Noon Saturday) would be why would they move it to make West Virginia-Baylor their Big Noon Saturday game? Their philosophy is their best game is at noon and PSU/Iowa is way better than WV/Bay. Maybe to keep it away from Maryland/Ohio State but that's ABC's problem, not FOX's. Maybe the Big 10 wanted the two games away from each other. It might make more sense for FOX to keep Penn State-Iowa away from Oklahoma/Texas if they knew ABC was airing that game at noon but not if ABC was airing it at 3:30pm. Also, I'd be surprised to see Oklahoma/Texas not air at noon. It doesn't air out of that slot that often.

If FOX had the rights to Maryland/Ohio State, then moving Penn State/Iowa to 4pm does make sense for them. Md/OSU is locked into a noon slot and if PSU/Iowa is at noon on FOX, Md/OSU has to be on FS1 and FOX would have the two games competing with each other for viewers on their own networks. Then it would make all the sense in the world for FOX to move Penn State/Iowa to 4pm and give Maryland/Ohio State Big Noon Saturday (might not be FOX's strongest game but still decent ratings and ABC will likely air OU/UT anyway).

Darrell McKown said...

Which Big 12 game are you thinking was the top selection (by ESPN) on Sept 4? I assumed FOX had the first pick and took Texas-Louisiana. I also assumed Texas Tech-Houston was an American game and thus went to ESPN through their American contract.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

I messed up the top Big 12 selections, Darrell. Fixing them now. Thanks for checking.

Anonymous said...

Do you think they'll be a six-day hold for the CBS doubleheader? Obviously, CBS picked this day for their primetime game hoping for an Alabama-Texas A&M showdown. But with A&M losing this past weekend, and Alabama having a matchup with a very good Ole Miss, the CBS primetime-worthy match-up is no longer a sure thing.

Imagine if Ole Miss and Arkansas pull off the upsets this week. That would be crazy! Is there a universe where the CBS primetime game ends up being Arkansas-Ole Miss?

Also, there is a scenario where Auburn-Georgia isn't the obvious #2 game, since Arkansas-Ole Miss is suddenly tantalizing and Auburn may lose to LSU.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

I really don't think so. I think they want Alabama in primetime. CBS knows what draws for them and I have a feeling they aren't deviating from the plan.

FisheriesDawg said...

I'm betting CBS saves the 6-day hold for the 12/3:30 doubleheader the following week. There are no clear choices. The lineup is:

Alabama @ Mississippi State
Auburn @ Arkansas
Florida @ LSU
Kentucky @ Georgia
Ole Miss @ Tennessee
A&M @ Missouri
Vandy @ South Carolina

The last two are the only ones that definitely are not a CBS pick. Georgia has homecoming that day, so the school will be pushing hard to get one of the CBS slots or SECN at noon/4.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

I would agree with that. Have seen it used more often in those weeks.