Sunday, October 10, 2021

CFB TV Guesses for 2021 Week 8 (10/23/21)

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 no late evening window due to a Top Rank boxing card.
* CBS Sports Network has a mid-afternoon MAC game.
* FOX Sports has preselected the following games: 
  • Nevada at Fresno State
* ESPN Networks has preselected the following games
  • Cincinnati at Navy
    • This game has also been set for a 12pm start time.
* The following Big Ten games have had their start times set as homecoming games
  • Illinois at Penn State
* My understanding is that FOX is planning for the possibility for both the broadcast network and FS1 to carry a potential Game 7 of the ALCS.  I'm not expecting either network to carry games at night.
* BTN has two volleyball matches scheduled for 10/23 and I believe both are intended to air live. Volleyball is typically put in a two hour window, so airing both matches live world be a four hour programming commitment. Because of that, I think there will a possibility of just one CFB window on BTN.

Some early trends to consider:

Big Ten
* Not as even of a split in terms of top choice right now:
  • ESPN Networks: 9/18, 10/16
  • FOX Sports: 9/4, 9/11, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9
* Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and Penn State 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: 14
    • Five in primetime (including weeknights) with a minimum of six
  • FOX Sports: 18
    • Six in primetime (including weeknights) with a maximum of nine.
Big 12
* More of an even split in terms of top Saturday choice
  • ESPN Networks: 9/11, 9/25, 10/9, 10/16
  • FOX Sports: 9/4, 9/18, 10/2
* I'm making an assumption that TCU-Oklahoma was the 1st choice on 10/16 due to Oklahoma's win over Texas
* ESPN Networks has used 18 of their 23 selections.
* At least 21 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. I did have FOX Sports with the 10/9 selection top choice and I think its safe to question whether that was correct with Stanford at Oregon on ABC, so I'm going to move 10/9 over to the ESPN side 
  • ESPN Networks:  9/25, 10/2, 10/9
  • FOX Sports: 9/4, 9/11, 9/18, 10/16
* ESPN Networks has used 12 of their 22 selections and must air one more game on ABC that is in primetime on the east coast.
* FOX Sports has used 13 of their 22 selections.  Two more games must air on FOX and there is no restriction as to which TV window must be used.

Now to the guesses.  All times Eastern:

12pm ABC: Illinois at Penn State
12pm FOX: Oklahoma at Kansas
12pm ESPN: Cincinnati at Navy
12pm ESPN2: Wisconsin at Purdue
12pm FS1: West Virginia at TCU
12pm ESPNU: Western Michigan at Toledo
12pm SECN: UAPB at Arkansas
12pm BTN: Northwestern at Michigan
12pm ACCN: UMass at Florida State
12:30pm ACC RSN: Georgia Tech at Virginia
3pm Pac-12: Colorado at California
3:30pm ABC: Oregon at UCLA
3:30pm CBS: LSU at Ole Miss
3:30pm FOX: Oklahoma State at Iowa State
3:30pm ESPN: Clemson at Pitt
3:30pm ESPN2: Maryland at Minnesota
3:30pm FS1: Kansas State at Texas Tech
3:30pm ESPNU: ECU at Houston
3:30pm CBSSN: Northern Illinois at Central Michigan
3:30pm ACCN: Boston College at Louisville
4pm SECN: Mississippi State at Vanderbilt
7pm ESPN: Tennessee at Alabama
7pm ESPN2: NC State at Miami (FL)
7pm FS2: Nevada at Fresno State
7pm ESPNU: South Alabama at ULM
7:30pm ABC: Ohio State at Indiana
7:30pm SECN: South Carolina at Texas A&M
7:30pm ACCN: Syracuse at Virginia Tech
10pm Pac-12: BYU at Washington State
10:30pm ESPN2: Utah at Oregon State

Temple at USF
Buffalo at Akron
Eastern Michigan at Bowling Green
Kent State at Ohio
Miami (OH) at Ball State
Texas State at Georgia State

* Since Arkansas had the Rice game air on ESPN+/SEC+, it cannot have a 2nd game air there, hence the need for it to take up a SEC Network slot.
* With CBS choosing three Alabama games already, I wanted to keep the network's options open for the Arkansas and Auburn games later in November, so I put LSU at Ole Miss in the CBS slot.
* I have the top Big Ten selection with ESPN, top Big 12 with FOX Sports and top Pac-12 with ESPN
* With ESPN setting aside 18 of their 23 Big 12 selections already, I am assuming ESPN will forego Big 12 selections this week.  Conversely, with only five game windows available and one earmarked for the Mountain West, I think FOX will skip on the Big Ten and possibly the Pac-12 too.  I could see ESPN and FOX swapping one Pac-12 and one Big 12 game.
* If BTN does have two unique TV windows, I think you could drop the 10:30pm ESPN2 window and move up one of the Pac-12 games into a window where the Big Ten resides.


SN said...

4 Big 12 games on FOX/FS1 seems a bit excessive.

Schmolik said...

ABC has two Big 10 games, FOX has two Big 12? Wouldn't it make more sense to give each network one of each? I also think Michigan would make more sense as the 2nd Big 10 game as they're undefeated and we don't know if Sean Clifford will play. Northwestern is a ratings nightmare but Illinois isn't much better to justify PSU over NW.

If ESPN/ABC does have Oregon/UCLA, it wouldn't be a bad idea for them to use it as their prime time game. I don't think they'll get a better game the rest of the year unless they have the rights to Notre Dame/Stanford.

As for CBS, I'd go with the hot hand of Texas A&M having just beating Alabama and the huge state of Texas behind them over a three loss LSU and a small state Mississippi.

I'd rather give Nevada and Fresno State a chance on FOX Broadcast than show Kansas football. Yeah I know it's Oklahoma. That game will be over by the first quarter.

Schmolik said...

I meant PSU over Michigan, not PSU over NW.

William said...

For CBS, Tennessee vs. Alabama would make the most sense, given that Alabama has played very well all year (except for the hiccup last night) and Tennessee is a vastly improved team since the beginning of the season. LSU-Ole Miss would be decent due to the very intense rivalry between these schools. CBS's choice seems to be a tossup for this week; a 6-day hold may be warranted for the week of 10/23.

In terms of ABC getting Oregon/UCLA, the 3:30 PM ET/12:30 PM PT time slot is the best one, since USC plays at Notre Dame in a prime time game on NBC at 7:30 PM ET/4:30 PM PT. The Pac-12 historically has not liked overlapping games on broadcast TV in prime time. There could be an exception here. Looking into the future, the only games that have the potential to be a better game than Oregon/UCLA for ABC's prime time slot are Notre Dame/Stanford on 11/27 (provided both teams have 3 or fewer losses going into the game-Stanford more than likely will not meet this criteria) or Oregon/Utah on 11/20 (provided that Utah goes undefeated between now and then and Oregon keeps winning). Seeing a prime time game in Salt Lake City in mid-to-late November would be quite intense, especially if both teams are highly ranked at this time.

I agree with the comment about putting the Oklahoma-Kansas game on Fox. The game will be very lopsided, and viewers will lose interest by halftime. In this case, Fox may be good to place the Oklahoma State-Iowa State game as the early game with a Mountain West Conference game in the afternoon.

For ABC's early game, Clemson-Pitt will be much more competitive than Illinois-Penn State or Northwestern-Michigan.

Unknown said...

Yikes hopefully Oklahoma at Kansas doesn't get to be part of the big noon spotlight :(

daniel anderson said...

I'd expect ESPN to load up on Big Ten with BTN having two volleyball matches scheduled.