OK it took enough time but the bowl TV schedules are finally up and for people without the special college football TV packages, it’s a bit underwhelming. More games this year have shifted to the specialty packs and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for most of them. The worrisome part is TSN in all of this. Their involvement in broadcasting bowl games has diminished from last year and with Sportsnet probably showing very little college football next season, TSN is the one place many of us would expect to step up. This could be in part of their extended coverage of the World Juniors (isn’t it extended enough?) so that could be their reasoning for all this. We will find out sometime in the summer how this will all shake down.
For now, the bowl television schedule (for this schedule, SP means the specialty pack channels):
|December 21, 2013||Saturday||New Mexico Bowl (Washington State vs. Colorado State)||2:00 PM||TSN2|
|December 21, 2013||Saturday||Las Vegas Bowl (Fresno State vs. USC)||3:30 PM||ABC|
|December 21, 2013||Saturday||Idaho Potato Bowl (Buffalo vs. San Diego State)||5:30 PM||TSN2|
|December 21, 2013||Saturday||New Orleans Bowl (Tulane vs. UL-Lafayette)||9:00 PM||TSN2|
|December 23, 2013||Monday||Beef O’Brady’s Bowl (East Carolina vs. Ohio)||2:00 PM||TSN2|
|December 24, 2013||Tuesday||Hawaii Bowl (Boise State vs. Oregon State)||8:00 PM||TSN2|
|December 26, 2013||Thursday||Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl (Bowling Green vs. Pittsburgh)||6:00 PM||SN360|
|December 26, 2013||Thursday||Poinsettia Bowl (Northern Illinois vs. Utah State)||9:30 PM||SN360|
|December 27, 2013||Friday||Military Bowl (Marshall vs. Maryland)||2:30 PM||TSN2|
|December 27, 2013||Friday||Texas Bowl (Minnesota vs. Syracuse)||6:00 PM||SP|
|December 27, 2013||Friday||Fight Hunger Bowl (BYU vs. Washington)||9:30 PM||SP|
|December 28, 2013||Saturday||Pinstripe Bowl (Notre Dame vs. Rutgers)||12:00 PM||SN360|
|December 28, 2013||Saturday||Belk Bowl (Cincinnati vs. North Carolina)||3:20 PM||SN360|
|December 28, 2013||Saturday||Russell Athletic Bowl (Louisville vs. Miami)||6:45 PM||SP|
|December 28, 2013||Saturday||Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Kansas State vs. Michigan)||10:15 PM||SN360|
|December 30, 2013||Monday||Armed Forces Bowl (Middle Tennessee vs. Navy)||11:45 AM||SN360|
|December 30, 2013||Monday||Music City Bowl (Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss)||3:15 PM||SN360|
|December 30, 2013||Monday||Alamo Bowl (Oregon vs. Texas)||6:45 PM||SP|
|December 30, 2013||Monday||Holiday Bowl (Arizona State vs. Texas Tech)||10:15 PM||SP|
|December 31, 2013||Tuesday||AdvoCare V100 Bowl (Arizona vs. Boston College)||12:30 PM||SN360|
|December 31, 2013||Tuesday||Sun Bowl (UCLA vs. Virginia Tech)||2:00 PM||CBS|
|December 31, 2013||Tuesday||Liberty Bowl (Mississippi State vs. Rice)||4:00 PM||SN360|
|December 31, 2013||Tuesday||Chick-fil-A Bowl (Duke vs. Texas A&M)||8:00 PM||SN360|
|January 1, 2014||Wednesday||Gator Bowl (Georgia vs. Nebraska)||12:00 PM||SN360|
|January 1, 2014||Wednesday||Heart of Dallas Bowl (North Texas vs. UNLV)||12:00 PM||SP|
|January 1, 2014||Wednesday||Capital One Bowl (South Carolina vs. Wisconsin)||1:00 PM||ABC|
|January 1, 2014||Wednesday||Outback Bowl (Iowa vs. LSU)||1:00 PM||TSN2|
|January 1, 2014||Wednesday||Rose Bowl (Michigan State vs. Stanford)||5:00 PM||TSN2|
|January 1, 2014||Wednesday||Fiesta Bowl (Baylor vs. UCF)||8:30 PM||TSN2|
|January 2, 2014||Thursday||Sugar Bowl (Alabama vs. Oklahoma)||8:30 PM||TSN2|
|January 3, 2014||Friday||Cotton Bowl (Oklahoma State vs. Missouri)||7:30 PM||FOX/SN1|
|January 3, 2014||Friday||Orange Bowl (Clemson vs. Ohio State)||8:30 PM||TSN2|
|January 4, 2014||Saturday||BBVA Compass Bowl (Houston vs. Vanderbilt)||1:00 PM||TSN2|
|January 5, 2014||Sunday||GoDaddy Bowl (Arkansas State vs. Ball State)||9:00 PM||SN360|
|January 6, 2014||Monday||BCS National Championship (Florida State vs. Auburn)||8:00 PM||TSN|
Yes, you see it right. Six games on the specialty packs. Out of 35. Nearly 20% of the games. Not a good sign of things to come me thinks.
Some points from the schedule:
- Nice to see ABC pick up the Las Vegas Bowl this year. To be honest, it would have been nice to see ABC pick up a couple more games as well but I know this was due to a time issue and ESPN’s insistence that most of the games end up on the main network (not the Deuce, not the U, and definitely not the News).
- I will say it again, six games on the specialty packs. I don’t mind since I have the thing but for most others it is a pain in the ass. It becomes much worse when you see the calibre of games on there and that most people will miss (Oregon vs. Texas stands out here). Really inexcusable on the part of either Sportsnet or TSN (or both) not to include as many games as possible.
- CBS only has one bowl, the Sun Bowl. And it features no SEC teams. This makes absolutely no sense. I actually long for the days when more bowls were on the main four networks (three back then). I’m not saying most of them should be on there, but more than one for CBS, two for ABC, and one for FOX (none for NBC).
- Expect next year to be quite different when it comes to scheduling. I can see Sportsnet not having as many bowl games so as to not conflict with any NHL games. The Big Four won’t be showing any more games so it will be up to TSN to pick up the slack. Unfortunately, this could mean upwards of a dozen games go to the specialty pack (which with that alone, could boost the price over $100). We seem to be going backwards with college football coverage in Canada.
Finally, for people that do have the sports packs, there is some lower division football to catch as well. First, the FCS semi-finals are this weekend. Friday night at 8:00, New Hampsire travels to North Dakota State to take on the runaway freight train known as the Bison (still waiting for the news that this school will move up to the FBS…I’m sure it will happen within the next five years). Then, Saturday afternoon at 2:00, the surprising Towson Tigers travel to the northwest to face Eastern Washington. The two winners will face off January 4 for the FCS title in a game that should also be on the specialty pack. The Division III Championship is Friday night as Mount Union faces off against UW-Whitewater starting at 7:00. The next afternoon, the Division II Championship is on at Noon when Northwest Missouri State plays Lenoir-Rhyne for the title. Both of these games on the specialty pack (for those who want to watch them).
I will give my analysis of the first set of bowl games (oh I forgot…CAPITAL ONE BOWL WEEK! or whatever the hell else it’s called) just after Christmas. I hope to do analysis every couple days but we will see how busy I get with the holiday season.