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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 11, 2009 at 6:55 PM

July answers, volume five

Scheduling and TV questions dominate this entry. …
Q: Ever since I moved out here from the east 15 years ago, I’ve been trying to figure out why the Pac-10 has these scheduling head-scratchers that let one conference team repeatedly get home field against another. In recent years, for example, UW-Oregon has been played almost exclusively down there. And I’m sure there have been times when it’s been exactly the opposite. I vaguely remember Gas addressing this issue on the air a few years back, and saying that the conference claims it balances out every 17 years, or something equally screwy. Can you — or anyone — explain what the problem would be with simply alternating home field each year, the way other conferences do?
A: Actually, you are right that this used to be an issue. But it isn’t anymore after the Pac-10 went to a round-robin schedule in 2006. That was one of the benefits of the round-robin schedule that it finally got rid of some of those scheduling anamolies. I wrote this story a few years ago explaining the history of the scheduling issues. And you are also right that this was something that impacted everyone. It seemed to particularly frost UW fans since it meant the Huskies had to go to Oregon three straight years. But during that span, OSU came to Seattle three straight years, Oregon went to WSU three straight years, etc. It did seem like they should have just been able to switch a couple of those games to even the schedule out. But Pac-10 officials said it wasn’t that simple, that changing one game would create a domino effect and create further complications. But thankfully, it isn’t a problem anymore and now, if you play at one school one year, you will host them the next.
Q: Everyone I know is very interested in attending the Oaks Christian vs. Skyline game this year. However, with it being held at a high school stadium we all know that seating will be at a premium. Has there been any discussion with UW or Qwest to move the game to another location to support the possability of a larger than expected audience?
A: Simply put, no. One of the reasons the game was scheduled for Skyline High is that ESPN wanted a high-school type environment rather than playing it in what would almost certainly be a half-empty stadium, even if more people than expected would be interested now in attending — the game is set for broadcast on ESPNU and the network did the Bothell-Skyline game at Skyline last year. So the game is staying where it is. By the way, you can find ticket information here. As the link states, there will be 4,400 tickets available to the general public beginning Sept. 1.
Q: If a Husky home game doesn’t have a start time yet and gets selected for TV on game week, does that mean it’s probably going to be a late start or night game? I’m wondering if they already have the 12:30 games scheduled? What do you think of the late starts? I’m thinking the Apple Cup and Oregon game will probably be televised.
A: The answer to your first question is no. As for the rest of it, TV questions always require a lot of explaining so I’ll just try to lay it out. First off, UW has six games already scheduled for TV this year with kickoff times set. The other six have no TV set yet, and hence the kickoff time is also still uncertain. All of the games not yet scheduled will be selected for TV either 12 or six days prior to kickoff. Here is the Pac-10 TV schedule released earlier this June when some early selections were made which shows where there are openings. As you can see, there are openings on various weekends for each of the 12:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. time slots, so not being selected yet isn’t necessarily a sign that a game is destined for any particular time slot. And adding to the confusion is that FSN-NW can apply for and sometimes get exemptions to show a UW game locally that would run at the same time as a national or other regional game. I agree completely that the Oregon and WSU games will get on TV, and in fact I would be surprised if every game doesn’t end up on TV eventually. UW has had every game televised since the Stanford game in 2006 as the new deal with FSN-NW has seemed to pay off in greater TV coverage. Since there are so many variables, your best bet is to just stay flexible on the weekend of whatever game it is you are thinking of attending until it is announced. With TV money being so important to the budgets of athletic departments these days, schools aren’t in much position to say no when networks request to change kickoff times. That’s why you see schools doing these days what UW is — simply not assigning a kickoff time until they know the TV situation unlike the old days, when they would assign a TV time and then change it later. As for late games, they make my life difficult due to deadlines and all that. But I like the atmosphere of some of them, and when UW plays a night game it also means I get to watch games on TV all day long, which I enjoy. But I also think there can be too many night games. I think the best way is to have a variety of all of the time slots since each seems to have its own atmosphere.
All for now.

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