Thursday, August 28, 2008

ESPN Thursday nights and college football programs

I've been thinking of this for some time now....What programs would NEVER play on Thursday nights? Now some kind of old tradition doesn't play into this question (an old Thanksgiving tradition game for example). I'm talking about what teams would laugh at ESPN and never give in to be a Thursday night ESPN game. Recruiting...don't need it! Extra exposure...don't want it! But coach, we are slipping as a program...don't care!

100% sure:

Ohio State

All others I can honestly say I'm just not sure. The teams that would probably never do it are Alabama, Michigan, Penn State and Florida (although if CUM thought he could get Aaron Murray by doing it...). I just can't put those with Tennessee, Georgia and OSU with 100% certainty. No matter how good or bad things are for each individual program, I just don't ever see it happening. There is just a tad bit of doubt for me with Bama, Mich, PSU and Fla for some reason.

All Big East and ACC teams are out. They all have or will do it. I think all PAC 10's would under certain circumstances (even USC)....Maybe I'm wrong there though.

The two teams I can't decide on, therefore can't put them on the list are Texas and Oklahoma. Maybe it's just an old SWC thing that keeps me from pulling the trigger on naming them. For instance, when you are at a road game at Arkansas and you occasionally think to yourself "can't put my finger on it, but something here is just a little bit different."

This is the crap that goes through my mind while sitting in a deer stand or fishing a farm pond, and yesterday a good buddy and I started discussing it. Anyhow...any thoughts? Who am I missing or wrong about?


JJ said...

This is a great topic, and a discussion that I have actually had on many occasions.

I think you nailed the list for the most part, and I would include Texas in there as one that wouldn't. Oklahoma played a game on a Friday night either last year or the year before, so chances are they'd do it if asked or "mandated." I also think Alabama goes in the "no" column.

Pac-10 and extreme west coast teams are probably out of the discussion for the most part, because you have to start the game at 4:30 PM on a Thursday afternoon to get it on ESPN at the right time, but even if that wasn't a factor, I can't see Southern Cal doing it. For some reason I remember ESPN has done a late game before on a Thursday with a 10 PM start.

I'm betting that the new ESPN/SEC contract is going to test the resolve of even UGA and Tennessee. Not saying it will happen in the very near future, but I wouldn't at all be surprised to hear that ESPN is pushing us to play a game on a Thursday night. If they are paying $2.25 billion they probably expect to be able to dictate scheduling somehow. I don't think it will happen, and we may not even know about it when those discussions take place, but I imagine ESPN would love to get UGA vs one of our roaming SEC West opponents on a Thurs night. Probably would be a non-traditional rival from the conference.

Anonymous said...

Didnt USC play ASU on Thursday night last year? Or was that a holiday or something?

I cant remember...

Hunker Down said...

I don't think Michigan would do it, but RichRod at WVU took up permanent residence on Thursday night games.

Mackie said...

Notre Dame maybe? I don't really know. All I can think of is how sad it would be if UGA ever had to rival a Tech game for coverage on a Thursday sad.

Bop said...

hunker down... Michigan was the hardest not to put on the list for me. The reason came down to one thing which was exactly what you mentioned - Rich Rod

Mack... I just don't know how to begin to guess what that former power with a joke of a coach who happens to be the biggest fraud in all sports would react to non-traditional games. The NBC contract probably does come into play here though. And look, in defense of Weis, the Patriots and Tom Brady have really struggled since he left them.

JJ... Only one thing kept me from putting Bama at 100% and that is their psyche after losing 6 straight to auburn. Run that streak to 7 or 8 and that state will implode. I mean if UGA was to lose half a dozen in a row to tech sometime soon, I'm sure we would do and try anything.

Bop said...

Also JJ... You bring up a good point about the ESPN/SEC contract. Who really knows what will happen. I think you are right that there will be a LOT of pressure sometime soon for all our schools in the SEC to do it. Does road game vs home game play into the mix? Just not sure.

Anonymous said...

Love the topic Bop, What is sad is that not only are teams proliferating the Thursday night game (which I love watchin, just wouldn't want to be a part of it with the Dawgs), but pantywaist teams like Louisville are playing on Wednesdays and Fridays. I looked at UL's schedule and they play Kansas State on a Wednesday this year. What the crap is that all about. Well, its Louisville, whose stadium is named after a second rate Pizza company. Thursday night is why South Carolina will NEVER, and I mean Never win the big one. Those posers play tonite against $hitty NCState and then again next Thursday night against Crappy Vanderbilt. Carolina is so paranoid to try to beat Georgia every year they have to have Thursday night games each year to give them a couple of extra days to gameplan. Georgia is their biggest rival other than Clempson and they rank probably 5th on our list. But SCar has the best QB/Kicker name combo in Smelly and Succup.

Anonymous said...

In 2011 Georgia plays Louisville at home and in 2012 plays Louisville at their crappy cheese bread stadium. Be aware, so far they are both tetatively scheduled for Saturdays, but don't be surprised if ESPN and the Pizza Cardinals try and get that moved, especially for the 2012 game. Remember about 5 years ago when in the rain Louisville upset then top ranked FSU on their home field on a Thursday night? Catfish and Cornbread might want to go ahead and start a petition to preserve Georgia's dignity to not play that series at all. Has anyone ever stopped to think how much they hate Louisville? Have you seen Brian Brohm throw a pass for Green Bay this year? He really sucks.