PSU Not Ready for Primetime, Says ESPN/ABC
Penn State will be featured in an 8:00 pm game this coming football season, but it won’t be broadcast by the Wordwide Leader in Sports.
Yesterday afternoon, ESPN and ABC released their primetime schedules for the 2011 football season, and, for the first time in over a decade, Penn State was left off the list. The full Big Ten schedule, which was released by Adam Rittenberg’s Big Ten Blog on ESPN.com, features seven Big Ten games in total.
The Big Ten Network is set to release their primetime schedule next week, and Rittenberg has “confirmed that every Big Ten team will have at least one primetime game televised this season.” My wish for Penn State’s primetime game is Iowa’s visit to Beaver Stadium on October 8, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it be one of the early-season cupcakes.
Many expected the September 10 clash against Alabama to be an 8pm ESPN/ABC game, as it appears to be the best matchup of the day (and perhaps the most intriguing out-of-conference matchup all season) and it will be the first Beaver Stadium White House in two years. However, the first night game in Michigan Stadium history will take that slot when Michigan hosts Notre Dame in a battle of Midwestern mediocrity. That game will be broadcast solely on ESPN, because a NASCAR Sprint Cup event has been locked in to ABC’s primetime spot.
Keep in mind that ESPN/ABC can still set the Penn State-Alabama game later than the traditional 3:30 afternoon slot, as they did with the 2007 White House that featured a 6 pm kick-off against Notre Dame. And just two years ago, Penn State took on Michigan at a 4:30 start time. For those wondering, CBS cannot broadcast the Penn State-Alabama game for two reasons. First and foremost, they only have the rights to SEC home games and secondly, they’ll be broadcasting U.S. Open tennis that evening.
The Nittany Lions appeared on ESPN/ABC primetime twice last season, though one could argue that they never actually showed up in blowouts at Alabama on 9/11 and at Iowa on 10/2.
In a separate bit of Penn State football news, the 2012 Blue-White game will be played on Saturday, April 21 according to Lions247.com.
What do you think? Are you surprised that Penn State will not be playing in primetime on ESPN/ABC? What game do you think will be shown in primetime on BTN?