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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

May 25, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Wednesday afternoon notes — Scott says again Pac-12 could play on Sunday or Monday this year

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has said several times in the last month or so that the conference would consider moving a few games to Sunday or Monday this fall if the NFL lockout continues.

Everytime he says it, it makes a little bit of news — as has happened again today after Scott gave this interview to ESPN.

If you listen to the entire interview, though, Scott also makes clear there hasn’t been a lot of real work done on this so far. He says several times in the interview that he expects the NFL to play this season, and mostly that the Pac-12 is laying a little groundwork to be ready to capitalize if there are some opportunities that suddenly arise.

Scott said that the conference “may play some, probably not a lot” on days other than Saturday if the lockout were to continue.

One thing to consider is how moves would impact a team’s entire schedule. No coach is going to want to move a game to a Monday night if that means two fewer preparation/recovery days for a game the following Saturday.

When UW and UCLA moved their game last year to Thursday, recall that each team had a bye that week so it was easy to make such a move and not disrupt anything down the road (the game was originally set for Nov. 13 and each was off on Nov. 20 and they ended up moving the game to Nov. 18).

I bring that up in part to indicate that there are always a few more complications to some of this stuff than may be apparent in just reading a headline (when I first asked someone knowledgable about moving games to Sundays or Mondays this year, the first thing said was how coaches would chafe at losing any preparation/recovery time unless the team they were playing next was doing the same).

So especially for conference games, you’d likely have to find situations where teams had byes either before or after to make it work much (and most teams have one fewer bye now with the schedule compressed a week to fit in the conference title game the first weekend of December).

UW’s only bye this year comes on Oct. 8, after it plays at Utah and before a home game with Colorado. Colorado and Utah, however, have conference games on Oct. 8 as well as the weekends before and after, so not a lot of flexibililty there.

Realistically, what might be most apt to happen is that the conference could move a few early-season non-conference games when teams might be willing to give up a few preparation/recovery days depending on who they play the following week.

But no doubt, Scott’s comments indicate again that the Pac-12 is in a new mode of being aggressive about trying to take advantage of whatever opportunities it has to increase visibility.

As Scott notes in the interview, the Pac-12 has already agreed to play four games a year on Thursday and Friday nights beginning in 2012 as part of its new TV deal agreed to a few weeks ago.

UW athletic director Scott Woodward said the Huskies would be amenable to playing in some of those games but that the general hope is that its participation could come in the early weeks of the season, before school begins, to lessen disruption on campus.

Another key point made by Larry Scott in that interview is that the Pac-12 will continue to encourage its schools to be as flexible as possible about changing start times to ensure that it can get the best games to the widest possible TV audience each week.

I get a lot of e-mails from UW fans wondering when certain games are going to be played so they can start making hotel reservations, etc. Scott’s comment today is only more evidence that you’d better be increasingly prepared to be flexible yourselves.

At the moment, UW has kickoff times set for two games in 2011. A few more will come in early June when Fox Sports Net, Versus and FX announce some TV selections.

But a number of games could be designated as TBA, left to be determined either six or 12 days ahead of time. That’s maybe not ideal for a lot of fans who attend. But it’s one of the increasing prices that has to be paid for the conference to maximize its TV visibility and revenue.


Vern Lindskog, who was the captain of the 1953 UW football team back in the days when only one was selected, died earlier this week.



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