college football TV schedule

It’s all uphill from here – Week 9 College Football TV Schedule

uphill-struggle

Let’s be honest: from here on out, every week becomes more important than the previous one now in college football.  Even, and I can’t believe I am saying this, the week before American Thanksgiving when most of the schedule is garbage.  There’s always a few games in there that are supremely important to the conference races and the College Football Playoff itself.  This week is no exception.  So let’s just dive in to the important stuff shall we?

Thursday

US Canada
#25 Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh 7:00 PM ESPN SP
Ohio at Toledo (Rogers & Fibe) 7:30 PM CBSSN CBSSN
Appalachian State at Georgia Southern 7:30 PM ESPNU SP
California at USC 10:30 PM ESPN SP

Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech face off in what should be an ACC Coastal elimination game.  Loser will have no chance to get to the ACC Championship.  The winner will still need some help to get there though.  Two Sun Belt powers collide and for your late night snack, California (who is better than many thought they would be) faces USC (who is worse than many thought they would be.

Friday

US Canada
#22 Navy at USF 7:00 PM ESPN2 SP
San Diego State at Utah State (Rogers & Fibe) 8:00 PM CBSSN CBSSN
Air Force at Fresno State 10:30 PM ESPN2 SP

Kind of a blah night although USF could cause some interesting issues in the AAC if they can beat Navy at home.

Saturday Early

US Canada
#5 Louisville at Virginia 12:00 PM ABC/ESPN2 TSN4
#24 Penn State at Purdue 12:00 PM ABC/ESPN2 ABC
Minnesota at Illinois (Rogers) 12:00 PM BTN BTN
Kent State at Central Michigan (Rogers & Fibe) 12:00 PM CBSSN CBSSN
#2 Michigan at Michigan State 12:00 PM ESPN TSN2
UCF at Houston 12:00 PM ESPNU SP
#10 West Virginia at Oklahoma State 12:00 PM FOX FOX
Kentucky at Missouri 12:00 PM SEC Network SP
Boston College at NC State 12:30 PM ACC Network WSBK/SP

At one point, Michigan-Michigan State looked like a potential Game of the Year candidate.  Now, um, no.  Michigan State has been so surprisingly bad that this game was “relegated” to the Noon slot.  At least TSN was smart enough to air it since there are a lot of Michigan and Michigan State fans in Canada (at least as a percentage of all college football fans).

West Virginia travelling to Stillwater to face the Cowboys is now the game of the timeslot.  FOX wisely moved this game to Noon and didn’t use their normal timeslot of 3:30 or 4:00 since a) this is the Big XII so the game will probably go long and b) there is no way the World Series would move to FOX Sports One until a college football game ended.

We have some reverse mirror fun at Noon.  And by fun, I usually mean it’s a shitshow.  All Canadians (except ones in BC) get Penn State-Purdue on ABC meaning UL-UVA would go to the specialty pack.  Instead, the Louisville-Virginia game will be shown on TSN4.  As of right now, I see indications that PSU-PU is on both ABC and the specialty pack and that will probably be changed to Boston College-NC State since they like to put the ACC Network game of the week on the specialty pack as well for some unknown reason.

UPDATE: PSU-PU now only on ABC.  BC-NCSU still not on specialty pack.

Saturday Afternoon

US Canada
#8 Baylor at Texas 3:30 PM ABC ABC
Pittsburg State at Northwest Missouri State 3:30 PM ASN MyTV
#14 Florida vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville) 3:30 PM CBS CBS
Cincinnati at Temple 3:30 PM CBSSN CBSSN
Northwestern at #6 Ohio State 3:30 PM ESPN SP
Texas Tech at TCU 3:30 PM ESPN2 SP
Maryland at Indiana 3:30 PM ESPNU SP
Miami at Notre Dame 3:30 PM NBC NBC
Samford at Mississippi State 3:30 PM SEC Network SP

A few huge games in this timeslot and none of them feature Miami or Notre Dame.  Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) would have figured that this game would have had some importance for at least one of the teams.  Even if Miami won their remaining games, their chances at the New Year’s Six are pretty much nil.  What Miami can do is almost drive a nail in the Fighting Irish coffin for this season with a win.

As for the important games, Baylor goes to Texas hoping to continue their undefeated season.  Let’s be honest here: they win out, they go to the College Football Playoff no matter what.  Even with their horrific high school-esque non-conference schedule they would be in.  One loss may kill that chance though so they can’t slip up.  Also, Charlie Strong may be fired after the game so there’s always that for excitement (if you’re excited by those things: and if so you may be a sick bastard).

The Cocktail Party and Northwestern-Ohio State are the other two big ones here.  I think the SEC is kind of praying Florida loses at least one more game before their game against LSU so that the rescheduled game becomes much less important.  This is what happens when you don’t make quick decisions in college football: you end up looking like shit.

Saturday Primetime

US Canada
#13 Boise State at Wyoming 7:00 PM CBSSN CBSSN
#7 Nebraska at #11 Wisconsin 7:00 PM ESPN SP
#18 Tennessee at South Carolina 7:15 PM ESPN2 SP
#15 Auburn at Ole Miss 7:15 PM SEC Network SP
New Mexico State at #9 Texas A&M 7:30 PM ESPNU SP
#3 Clemson at #12 Florida State 8:00 PM ABC ABC

Nebraska-Wisconsin is the end point of B1G Saturday on ESPN.  And it’s huge.  This is where Nebraska has to put their money where their mouth is.  If they win, they look like a serious contender for the College Football Playoff.  If they lose, then they may fall back to Pelini levels….meaning four losses.

Clemson-FSU is obviously big as the Noles could put a huge wrench in any ACC CFP plans.  Also, Auburn tries to keep the Gus Bus going as they travel to Oxford to face the Rebels.

Saturday Late Night

US Canada
UNLV at San Jose State 10:30 PM CBSSN CBSSN
Washington State at Oregon State 10:45 PM ESPN2 SP

Nothing much here.  Washington State will throw for a million yards on Oregon State I assume.

Simply the Best

Best games of the week I mean.

#3 Clemson at #12 Florida State (8:00, ABC) – Remember, this game is in Tallahassee.  If it was in Death Valley I would have given the Tigers the easy nod here.  This won’t be easy for the Fighting Dabos.  However, if they do win this they have a pretty easy stretch to finish the regular season and would almost be assured at least a New Year’s Six spot, regardless of what happens in the ACC Championship.

#7 Nebraska at #11 Wisconsin (7:00, specialty pack) – There are many, I assume, that wish TSN would do a primetime game.  Considering what they schedule at night on Saturdays they probably could do it but that’s only my opinion.  This is the de facto Big Ten West Championship.  Nebraska clinches before Halloween with a win (barring a complete collapse) and is in play for a CFP berth.  Even Wisconsin, with two conference losses, would have a great shot at the division title if it won out from here.

#4 Washington at #17 Utah (3:30, FOX Sports One so we don’t get it) – I can’t remember the last time the third-best game of the week is a game none of us can watch.  Most of this has to do with the World Series and FOX having to move their main broadcast window for college football back to Noon.  Putting a game on at 10:00 am local would be absurd (although I still believe they should move the first game back to 11:30 in the morning but that’s just me).  It’s unfortunate but don’t worry: the rematch will happen in six weeks in the Pac-12 Championship.  I can almost guarantee that.

Northwestern at #6 Ohio State (3:30, specialty pack) – tOSU looks to rebound from their stunning loss to Penn State.  Meanwhile, Northwestern has quietly turned their season around.  A Northwestern win here might make my point about UNL-UW earlier being the B1G West Title game completely wrong as the Wildcats would then have the opportunity (albeit slim) to get to the Big Ten Championship.

#10 West Virginia at Oklahoma State (Noon, FOX) – Early FOX college football.  I wish they did this every week, except for weeks they have playoff baseball which is almost none now.  Anyway, WVU is a lot like Baylor: if they win out, they go to the CFP no questions asked.  But one loss will derail almost everything.  And this could be it if they aren’t careful.  I assume this game will end around 4:45.

#14 Florida vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville) (3:30, CBS) – The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party invades Jacksonville again.  This time it is the Gators trying to hang on to their tenuous SEC East lead over…um, am I seeing this right?  Kentucky?  Geez.  Anyway, a Georgia win puts the entire division into chaos.  We could actually get Kentucky in the SEC Championship game.  I, for one, would think that would be great…not for CBS though.

Mah choices

I am seriously thinking of devising a new way of picking these games.  Maybe rent a chicken for an hour and put down two trays of feed and see which one it goes to.  I might actually improve then?  Knowing my luck the chicken would walk away and I would have to declare it a tie.  Here are my (probably mediocre) picks of the week:

Florida State over Clemson (yep, starting with the upset)

Wisconsin over Nebraska (TWO!  TWO upsets!  Ah, ah, ah)

Washington over Utah (not doing three in a row)

Ohio State over Northwestern

Oklahoma State over West Virginia (yet another upset)

Georgia over Florida (no I am not drunk picking all these upsets)

Boise State over Wyoming

USF over Navy

Pittsburgh over Virginia Tech

Louisville over Virginia

I am either going to look like a genius or a moron with these picks.

Alright so we have four games tonight and three tomorrow night then the fun starts Saturday.  Again, I will be live-tweeting pretty much all day Saturday and feel sorry for it on Sunday.  We are now in a stretch of games every damn day between now and November 22nd.  It is glorious and the time of year when being a football fan feels oh so good.  Enjoy the games everyone!

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12 thoughts on “It’s all uphill from here – Week 9 College Football TV Schedule

  1. Maybe we will see more Noon hour College Football on Fox starting next season when they start broadcasting games from the Big Ten Conference. By that same token, hopefully TSN will make a deal to show games from Fox Sports One in the new year. It would be nice to have more choice when the game ABC is showing turns out to be a one sided blowout.

    I see what you are saying when it comes to the television schedule on Saturday nights for TSN. Unfortunately, they have the Lions @ Roughriders game on at 7. They have shown the NFL on 1,3,4 & 5 with a CFL game on TSN2. I cannot understand why they can’t remove BC-SSK from 4 or 5 and replace it with a college football game. It’s something that you will have to ask them.

  2. Yeah we will see about that. FOX definitely has the space to do it every week (except when the World Series is on) but they only do it four or five times a season. I can’t see TSN broadcasting FS1 games. I wish Sportsnet wouldn’t put NHL games on so early on Saturday. Nobody watches them. Get a CFB game on at Noon and then an NHL game to start at 3:30. They still get the half hour preview show at 6:30, leading into HNIC. Easy.

    Yeah the CFL, I thought, was contractually obligated to be on all the TSNs except TSN2 when a game is broadcast. I don’t know if that’s still the case but from what I can see they still do that pretty much every game. I don’t remember seeing a CFL game on TSN2 but it has probably happened. If they were smart they would show as many different live sports as they can. Live sports bring the eyeballs as we all know.

  3. I think FOX is being far more Machiavellian than you are giving them credit for. They need to drive subscriptions up and as a result are relegating lots of premiere events there. The NLCS was on FS1 (on my recent trip to ND and GB my hotel room did not have FS1) and, think about this – the Red River Shootout was shown there; this week Washington-Utah is being shown there; the Apple Cup is being televised there. These are premier events being relegated to FS1 and I think the explanation is that they are trying to drive subscriptions up. I wouldn’t care if I lived in the USA – I would just pay for FS1. But for us up here this is nothing but bad news. Unless something changes fast I think we are going to start missing more and more good Big 12 and Pac 12 games. Not good.

    These next two weeks will show us if Nebraska is for real. I tend to agree with Sagarin who has them at 24 but we are gonna know for sure before the US election is over.

    1. Oh I know FOX is pushing more events to FS1. That’s obvious. Just look at the MLB playoffs. And you’re right, it is bad news for us here. I still don’t think the Apple Cup will end up on FS1. FOX has a choice of either that or TCU-Texas and unless both Washington and Wazzu collapse, FOX will go with the Apple Cup. Also, we have to add Big Ten games to your list, since at least one per week will go to FS1 as well starting next season. It could start to get real bad again for college football fans up here.

      1. The test will be the Apple Cup (assuming neither Washington school craters between now and then). I’m not buying the World Series explanation for Huskies-Utes. Chances of a game starting at 3:30 going past 8 pm are very remote. yeah-yeah, I know – Georgia-Tennessee. The exception that proves the rule. Even it was over before 810 if I recall correctly. Anyway, I don’t like it and fear the worst as us Canadian college football fans must always do.

        I have never liked the Big Ten so don’t care about the prospect losing those games. Plus I think we’re heading back to the 70s with Michigan and Ohio State towering over the rest of the conference (although at least now, Michigan and Ohio State are likely to be legit national contenders unlike the complete frauds they were back in those days). Anyway, my point is that the only Big Ten game I am likely to really care about seeing moving forward is Michigan-Ohio State and my (perhaps misguided haha) sense is that we always be able to see that game.

  4. Remember, the pre-game show starts at 7:30. Even that would take precedence over college football. So Washington-Utah would have four hours at most. If anything happens that causes a delay it would cause problems. I also don’t think FOX has the protocol that ESPN has with moving games to ESPNEWS or ESPN3 for this very reason. Part of me does wonder if FOX is actually choosing to put this one on FOX Sports One due to the amount of Pac-12 games they can put on the main network and on FS1. If they are down to very few games they can move there, they may be taking a chance with this game, knowing that the Apple Cup would basically headline Black Friday. ESPN did that earlier this season by allowing BTN to select Wisconsin-Michigan State. At the time many wondered whey they got a game of that calibre on BTN but it turned out to be a smart move by ESPN as Michigan State has been awful and now Wisconsin is still just outside the Top 10.

    My issue with losing any games is that I want to get the best games in this area. Would I be devastated if I didn’t get MACtion or Mountain West late night games anymore? I wouldn’t be happy but in the end it wouldn’t be that big of an issue (as long as I wasn’t paying for games I wasn’t getting). But to lose more and more Power Five conference games isn’t good nor is the trend that the amount of games we are getting up here is going down. It will never be down to the point it was in the 80s and 90s but to pay the same amount for less games is something I am not too pleased about. And it doesn’t look like it will change any time soon.

    1. I don’t think anyone gives a rat’s ass about pre-game shows. And tomorrow FOX has no problem showing Green Bay-Atlanta nationally starting at 4 pm. So I think this is simply them driving business to FS1. There is at least a 90+% chance the Huskies-Utes game is over by 730 which still gives the yammering heads over 30 minutes to drone on. Ultimately of course the reasoning doesn’t matter – what matters is we can’t see it ,end of story.

      I hear ya on losing games – ideally we want everything. And I’m with you on MACtion and late night Mountain West games. But assuming I can’t have everything the Big Ten would be my first choice to lose – certainly among the Power 5 – and it is not even close. I have a pathological contempt for the Big Ten dating back to the 70s and 80s when the college football landscape was barren and I was seeing far too much of what (in my mind at least) was a hideously over-rated and boring conference. Thankfully it is now rare that I am being force fed the Big Ten instead of other games of much greater interest to me. But if the worm is turning and we are going to start losing access I want it to be the Big Ten I lose.

      But to each their own – I know I could be on an island here with my Big Ten contempt. 🙂

      Enjoy the games today.

      1. Comparing the NFL to college football is probably a futile exercise. I’m sure they would show the NFL over anything sports-related, no matter how important. These networks won’t take chances with overlapping live programming unless they have an alternative (which ESPN does). They could care less about having 60 Minutes start 40 minutes late (which happens often). I do agree that they are trying to move more to FS1 in hopes of it being available in as many households as the ESPN networks. Whether that will happen, who knows. But I hope that at some point we get some agreement up here so that we can see FS1 games or otherwise we will be paying just as much (or more) for less games.
        I don’t think you are on as much of an island as you think. After nearly 30 years of getting mostly Big Ten and Notre Dame games in this area (southern Ontario), there probably are a lot of fans that are sick of seeing the Big Ten and Notre Dame.

  5. Maybe the best thing that could happen if TSN won’t swing a deal (because we know Sportsnet WON’T show any NCAA games) is any Fox Sports One games go on the Rogers Super Sports & Bell College Sports packages. Rogers carried selected games from FS1 on their Sports Pack during the 2011 season. Why can’t (won’t) they do that again?

    It looks awful bad if we are missing Ohio State & Michigan games here in Ontario. Not good either if we are missing late night Friday night Mountain West games (especially when Boise State is involved) or if it’s a MAC game between two very good teams.

    1. It would be nice if Rogers and Bell included both in their specialty packs. We shall see what happens in the offseason.
      I could see FOX pushing VERY HARD for tOSU-UM next season. It would end up on FOX so we would probably be fine but still.

  6. How does this first half of Big Ten Media Rights (Fox/FS1) and second half (ESPN Inc.) work? Is it based upon first, second, third & so on pick of games and would ABC still get to broadcast a certain amount of Big Ten games or would it just be ESPN/ESPN2 on their end of the contract?

    Maybe we should tweet and/or email both companies as well as their respective Sportsnet & TSN divisions and see what they will come up with.

    1. It looks like it will work as such:
      – FOX will get the first pick of Big Ten games (most of the time). This game can go to FOX or FS1. It means it’s almost a certainty that tOSU-UM will be on FOX next year.
      – ESPN/ABC will get the next pick (most of the time). Still a good chance this game goes to primetime on ABC.
      – There will be times that FOX allows ESPN/ABC to select the first game of the week. This will happen if a) the B1G schedule is weak that week or b) there are at least two other Big XII or Pac-12 games that FOX wants to air.
      – Beyond that the games will be shared between FOX, ESPN/ABC, and the Big Ten Network. Expect the Big Ten to almost never appear on ESPNU anymore except for perhaps early on in the season with all the non-conference games.
      I don’t know the maximum or minimum amount of games FOX or ESPN/ABC would get. That hasn’t been disclosed yet.
      I plan to inquire (in the off-season) about including FS1 games in the specialty pack and how TSN will deal with airing games (since now they are almost exclusively doing Noon games).

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