Time for the ABC schedule predictions which I will say are more difficult than the CBS or FOX predictions. I don’t say that so that when I inevitably get one wrong I can use that as an excuse but it is difficult. Multiple conferences, three timeslots every Saturday. That’s a lot of football! And usually a lot of good football as Disney/ESPN still likes to put quite a few marquee matchups on ABC.
As for the title of this post, as you may or may not know, Mike Tirico has moved over to NBC. This started a domino effect that affected ABC/ESPN the most. Sean McDonough has moved to Monday Night Football to replace Tirico. And then, in an unrelated note, CBS decided to move fast to get Verne Lundquist’s replacement by signing Brad Nessler away. So now the four-letter network is down two play-by-play guys. Chances are this won’t affect the ABC broadcasts as I am sure they will put their next best people on at those times (think Joe Tessitore, Bob Wischusen, Mark Jones). Or they get Big Game Brent Musburger to come back and call games on ABC. The bigger issue will be replacing them at ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU. As long as we don’t get someone as awful as Pam Ward calling games then it won’t be too bad but you have to wonder who they will “call up” to the main roster so to speak.
Alright, here are my predictions for the ABC schedule this season followed by the airing of grievances (*denotes time is confirmed):
|September-03-16||Houston vs. Oklahoma (in NRG Stadium)*||12:00 PM|
|September-03-16||LSU vs. Wisconsin (in Green Bay)*||3:30 PM|
|September-03-16||Alabama vs. USC (in Arlington)*||8:00 PM|
|September-04-16||Notre Dame at Texas*||7:30 PM|
|September-10-16||UCF at Michigan*||12:00 PM|
|September-10-16||Tulsa at Ohio State*||3:30 PM|
|September-10-16||Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech (in Bristol)*||8:00 PM|
|September-17-16||Florida State at Louisville*||12:00 PM|
|September-17-16||Oregon at Nebraska*||3:30 PM|
|September-17-16||USC at Stanford*||8:00 PM|
|September-24-16||Penn State at Michigan||12:00 PM|
|September-24-16||Wisconsin at Michigan State||3:30 PM|
|September-24-16||Stanford at UCLA||8:00 PM|
|October-01-16||Rutgers at Ohio State||12:00 PM|
|October-01-16||Purdue at Maryland||3:30 PM|
|October-01-16||Oklahoma at TCU||8:00 PM|
|October-08-16||Maryland at Penn State||12:00 PM|
|October-08-16||Florida State at Miami||3:30 PM|
|October-08-16||Michigan at Rutgers||8:00 PM|
|October-15-16||Iowa at Purdue||12:00 PM|
|October-15-16||Northwestern at Michigan State||3:30 PM|
|October-15-16||Ohio State at Wisconsin||8:00 PM|
|October-22-16||Rutgers at Minnesota||12:00 PM|
|October-22-16||Illinois at Michigan||3:30 PM|
|October-22-16||Ohio State at Penn State||8:00 PM|
|October-29-16||Minnesota at Illinois||12:00 PM|
|October-29-16||Clemson at Florida State||3:30 PM|
|October-29-16||Michigan at Michigan State||8:00 PM|
|November-05-16||Virginia Tech at Duke||12:00 PM|
|November-05-16||Florida State at NC State||3:30 PM|
|November-05-16||Nebraska at Ohio State||8:00 PM|
|November-12-16||Penn State at Indiana||12:00 PM|
|November-12-16||Illinois at Wisconsin||3:30 PM|
|November-12-16||Michigan at Iowa||8:00 PM|
|November-19-16||Indiana at Michigan||12:00 PM|
|November-19-16||Ohio State at Michigan State||3:30 PM|
|November-19-16||USC at UCLA||8:00 PM|
|November-25-16||NC State at North Carolina||12:00 PM|
|November-25-16||Nebraska at Iowa||3:30 PM|
|November-26-16||Michigan at Ohio State||12:00 PM|
|November-26-16||Florida at Florida State||3:30 PM|
|November-26-16||Notre Dame at USC||8:00 PM|
|December-03-16||AAC Championship Game||12:00 PM|
|December-03-16||ACC Championship Game||8:00 PM|
|December-17-16||Celebration Bowl*||12:00 PM|
|December-17-16||Las Vegas Bowl*||3:30 PM|
|December-28-16||Pinstripe Bowl*||2:00 PM|
|December-31-16||Citrus Bowl*||11:00 AM|
|January-02-17||Outback Bowl*||1:00 PM|
Airing of Grievances
- A special Sunday night ABC game during week one! Talk about a smart move on ABC/ESPN’s part. Knowing that the top 10 games of week one are the best set of week one games in a long time meant that some would be pushed down the list a ways. To capitalize on that, Notre Dame-Texas gets its own national audience on Sunday. Why don’t other networks do that? They could easily have two or three games with no competition from the NFL. Do I need to figure all these things out for them?
- For the second straight season, it looks like the Noon/3:30/8:00 set of timeslots will be used every week except for conference championship week. Smart move not to go up against the SEC Championship so they avoid the late afternoon timeslot that week.
- Some of the ABC games will also be televised on TSN networks (as far as I know). I plan on doing a TSN schedule (why not right?) next week some time. I don’t know how long ABC games will continue to also be broadcast on TSN networks because of simsubbing rule changes (that may have gone into effect already).
- Black Friday will have the normal Noon and 3:30 games although it seems like this year the annual Farmageddon matchup between Iowa and Nebraska may be moved to the late afternoon spot.
- The first three weeks are confirmed along with the bowl game schedule. The conference championship games are pretty much set (AAC at Noon, ACC at 8:00) but not fully confirmed yet. The rest is a complete crapshoot.
- The conference breakdown is as follows: Big Ten (48 appearances), ACC (16), Pac-12 (9), Big XII (4), SEC (4), American (3), Notre Dame (2). Yes it is heavy on Big Ten appearances. Remember, this is based on ACC in this area (so basically out of Buffalo or Detroit). So people farther west (say, west of Ontario or even west of Sudbury) would get more Pac-12 and Big XII contests and less Big Ten and ACC matchups. Usually that is what happens with the ABC/ESPN2 reverse mirror is that there is an east coast and west coast game and what you get is fully based on where you live.
- Four bowl games appear on ABC (five if you include the Celebration Bowl). I wish there were more bowls on network TV. I also wish most of the bowls wouldn’t overlap in terms of time but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
We are getting closer to conference prediction time. Damn, that means I am going to have to do my conference predictions then. Better get on that. Next post will be a combo post with schedules for the SEC Network (Bell/Telus viewers who get the specialty pack), NBC (Notre Dame), BTN (for Rogers/Eastlink viewers) and TSN. TSN will easily be the toughest bunch of them all and will be based purely on speculation and what happened last year since that’s the only bit I can go off of.