It’s one thing for fans to be angry about a high-profile game being relegated to a less-than-optimal kickoff time.
It’s another entirely when the coach of one of the teams go off about it. That’s exactly what David Shaw has done, according to Dan Lyons of Spun, cribbing from a Stewart Mandel article at The Athletic. The anger is all part of an overall irritation with FOX over the entire concept of the Big Noon Kickoff game, with which basically no coach anywhere wants any part.
In a way, it’s a strange morph of college football tradition. Noon local had always sort of been the default start time for college football games; the mid-afternoon game on ABC every week was the big outlier. Almost every college football game outside of FBS still tends to start at 11:00 or noon local time even now.
But the rapacious need of cable networks to fill their schedules with football all day on Saturday has forced every inventory package to be spread out across four time slots, and you can bet that if ESPN could get teams to play at 8:00am Central it’d spell the end of College Football Gameday.
Of course, the other side of the coin is that fans who stay at home on Saturdays don’t really care all that much if the game is at 11:00 or 2:30 or 7:00, at least insofar as it affects them. (Indeed, one could argue that the television fan is perfectly content for their team to play at 11:00, giving them the entire back half of the afternoon and evening to either celebrate or sulk.) To the extent that fans who don’t attend games will complain about morning starts, it’s just vicarious anger on behalf of the team and tailgating fans.
That said, Shaw’s got a very good point. For Stanford, the opener against Kansas State amounts to a 9:00am kickoff, and even very good Stanford teams have performed terribly when forced into a road morning kickoff for television purposes. The networks, out of fairness if nothing else, need to stop scheduling Pac-12 teams in the noon slot.
In other news:
Patrick Conn ranks Oklahoma’s 2021 games by importance for SoonersWire, and while Iowa State checks in at #1 and Texas at #2, Conn ranks Oklahoma’s attempt to solve the Chris Klieman conundrum as Oklahoma’s third-most important game of the year, ahead of even Bedlam. Or Nebraska.
Where would you rank Oklahoma on K-State’s list? I think I’d go with third as well, behind Iowa State and Stanford. (The Stanford game takes on added importance for K-State because it’s the season opener and will set the tone for the entire season.)
On Friday, Chris Klieman filled out his quality control staff with four new hires. Brian Lepak, who spent time at both Oklahoma and Indiana as a graduate assistant before spending last year as Southern’s run game coordinator, will serve as the senior offensive quality control analyst and as the assistant director of recruiting. Lepak, who played at Colorado State and Oklahoma, hails from Claremore, Okla., just about 20 minutes from BotC World Headquarters.
Will Burnham, who won a national championship as a player at Florida State in 2013, comes to K-State after stints at Tennessee-Martin, Marshall, and Virginia Tech. He’ll be K-State’s special teams quality control coach, opposite long-term defensive guy and former Wildcat Taylor Godinet.
Tyler Foster, via Oklahoma State, Texas-San Antonio, and Prairie View, joins former Syracuse and UNLV staff member David Orloff in the analyst role.
Friday’s Sports Extra focused on academic All-American and honorable mention real All-American Ayoka Lee, who — believe it or not — has already graduated even though she’s still got two years of eligibility remaining. Or maybe three. COVID is confusing.