Blog Entry

Pac-10 starting games earlier? Yes, please

Posted on: October 6, 2010 2:26 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

I watch a lot of college football every year.  Some people have always liked to use their Saturdays to go outside or spend time with their families, but I've always preferred watching college kids beat each other up on the gridiron.  I live in Chicago, after all, and it gets cold outside in the fall, I don't want to go out there.

I prefer the comforts of my recliner and the television.  It's because of all this college football that I watch that I'm comfortable saying that I know quite a bit about teams from all over the country, but I'll openly admit that I know less about the teams on the west coast of the country than I do teams in the east, midwest and south.  Some would tell you that this is because of the east-coast bias that exists in the media that largely ignores the other side of the country.

I've no doubt that this plays a part of it, but there's always been a bigger reason for me.  On any given Saturday I'll watch 12 hours of college football, starting at 11am local time through the end of the primetime games at 11pm.  Unfortunately for me, though I would be interested in watching more Pac-10 games, by the time those games kick off I'm a bit worn down.

LaMichael James is hard enough to keep your eyes on while he's flying down the field, when you're eyes are half-closed and glazed over, it's nearly impossible.

Which is why I'm so happy to hear that the Pac-10 is considering earlier start times for their games, which will allow the rest of the country to tune in a bit more.  Last weekend's game between Oregon and Stanford was originally scheduled to start at 8pm PST but was moved up three hours so ABC could feature it as it's primetime game of the week.

Because of the decision, a lot of people who ordinarily wouldn't have had a chance to see either team were able to tune in and see an Oregon offense that is, as Will Brinson put it, like crack on meth.  You'll notice that on Sunday Oregon had leapt Boise State in both the AP and Coaches poll to move in to the top three.

Don't think for a second that having this game seen by the entire country didn't play a role in that.  Before Saturday's game, most people on the east coast had seen Boise State play more often than they had Oregon.

Moving game times to earlier in the day would help the Pac-10 in a lot of areas.  It would give the conference greater exposure throughout the country, which would not only help in possible revenue once the conference launches its own network, but it'll also help the programs expand their recruiting bases to states they don't normally have any access to.

Not to mention that having more games seen nationally would also help get more BCS bowl bids, which in turn lead to more cash money.

Also, there's really no disadvantage to the Pac-10 to do this.  It's not like moving games to noon local time would affect attendance at the home stadiums.  Noon start times work just fine on the east coast, as do 11 am starts throughout the central time zone.

There is a lot of good football being played in the Pac-10 right now, something folks on the west coast already know, but it's about time the rest of the country was given a chance to figure this out as well.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: October 6, 2010 3:37 pm

Pac-10 starting games earlier? Yes, please

Boise, Utah, and BYU are all nonBCS schools, and BYU has won a national championship; even though they clearly did not deserve it.  That is proof that the BCS works, as BYU played a 6-5 Michigan team for their title.  Boise also gets an awful lot of media love, as indicated by their ranking.  Gerhardt not winning the Heisman is proof of nothing other than Bama was the better team.  I personally would have voted for Toby, but typical of individual awards, they go to the best player on the best team.  If Stanford would have been in the NC game, Toby would have a Heisman.  If Bama would have been going to the Independence Bowl, Ingram would not have the award, even if he would have run for more yards and scored more TD's. 

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2010 3:07 pm

Pac-10 starting games earlier? Yes, please

No west coast team is consistently good...Okay, Boise isn't exactly coastal, but is in the western time zone.  Utah and BYU have had great records too.  The Bias does exist. Gerhardt not winning Heisman is proof of that. 

Since: Feb 7, 2008
Posted on: October 6, 2010 2:51 pm

Pac-10 starting games earlier? Yes, please

I'm a Arizona Wildcat Football season ticket holder here in bright and sunny Tucson. I agree that moving the game times earlier would certainly give more exposure to those of you on the East Coast and Midwest, but there's a problem with your logic... we live in a desert! The beginning of the college football season is particularly brutal with temps easily reaching over 100 and rarely dropping below 80 at night. Several years ago, Arizona began scheduling their games later after fans began complaing about sitting in the melanoma inducing, flash-frying skillet known as the Arizona Wildcat Stadium, (we aren't lucky enough, or prestigious enough, to warrant a dome). It's more than a comfort issue though, it's downright dangerous, especially for players giving their all in 100+ heat. Heat stroke is a very real danger. Yes, games can be played in this blast furnace I call home, but it just makes sense to schedule games after that fiery ball has set behind the mountains of the west. As a compromise, I think that as the temps drop later in the season there should be more games scheduled earlier, which is really the best time to do it as the BCS starts heating up, (pun intended)!

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: October 6, 2010 2:40 pm

Pac-10 starting games earlier? Yes, please

No team got more media love over the past decade than USC.  Amazingly enough, they are on the west coast.  All of this talk about east coast bias is just nonsense.  USC is the only team from the west coast that was consistantly good all of this past decade.  There was not another consistant team out west during this period.  Oregon and Stanford both appear to be programs on the rise, and that in itself will bring more attention to the west coast. 

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