More on MSU - Michigan Game Time Scenarios The Enlightened Spartan: More on MSU - Michigan Game Time Scenarios

Friday, September 11, 2009

More on MSU - Michigan Game Time Scenarios

Let's look at the schedule for Oct. 3. Right now the Big Ten Network has two games scheduled, and ABC has one Pac 10 prime-time game scheduled:

12 pm. NW at Purdue (BTN)
7 pm. OSU at Indiana (BTN)
8 pm. Southern Cal at Cal (ABC)

Other Big Ten games that weekend: Michigan at MSU, JoePa at Illinois, Wisconsin at Minnesota, Arkansas State at Iowa.

So, essentially, we have lots of regional and national spots to fill on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 at this point in time. ABC/ESPN has tv contracts with the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Big East, and Pac 10. Depending on what happens throughout the season, ABC/ESPN will defer to the best-rated matchups in a pair, or trio, of broadcast games across these conferences. We're talking basically seven open slots for 12 noon (national, 2 regional), 3:30 pm (national, 2 regional), and one slot for the Prime Time 8 pm matchup (ESPN Game Day). It's possible they may run more football - but methinks that the bigwings would prefer some diversity and show bowling or ice skating or gandy dancing or something.

The ES looked at the first week and saw some bad performances, and from that considered the following games as top games on Oct. 3 in other conferences, likely in consideration by ABC/ESPN in national or regional TV. NOTE (Washington is at Notre Dame, on NBC). Thusly, the ES argues these as the best Potential ESPN Game Days (8 pm):

* Big Ten - Michigan at MSU; Wisconsin at Minnesota (new stadium);
* Big 12/ACC - Oklahoma at Miami; Arkansas at Texas A&M;
* Pac 10 - UCLA at Stanford; Oregon St and Arizona St;

Let's prognosticate:

1. If either Michigan or MSU take a nose dive (either losing to ND for instance), it likely blows a chance for MSU-Michigan Game Day.
2. If Wisky and Minny go undefeated, with a new stadium, they might get it (Wisconsin plays MSU and Minny at Northwestern the week prior; Minny also hosts Cal next week).
3. If Oklahoma and Miami win out from this point forward, ESPN loves a top-tiered non-conference matchup, reminscent of Barry Switzer vs. Jimmy Johnson, and with the "return of Sam Bradford" looming large (Oklahoma has creampuffs scheduled, Miami plays Ga Tech and Va Tech).
4. If UCLA and Stanford win out (this weekend, Stanford plays Wake Forest, UCLA at Tennessee then hosts Kansas State), they make a good case...
5. as does undefeated Oregon State and Arizona State (Oregon State plays Cinci and Arizona, Arizona State plays at Georgia)... though two Pac 10 prime time games on the same network will be difficult to believe.
6. Arkansas won't go undefeated (they have to play Georgia and Alabama), but Texas A&M likely will (creampuffs). If Arkansas does, then the intrigue for this game goes sky high, as both would likely be undefeated.

But, bottom line... this leaves LOTS OF ROOM FOR ERROR AND PREDICTION. Don't believe Rexrode, or anyone other than the ABC/ESPN Gods, for a few weeks until things shake out.

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