Penn State vs. Michigan State Somehow Relegated To BTN
Penn State will play host to Michigan State on Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. kick at Beaver Stadium. Somehow, this Land Grant matchup fell all the way to BTN.
For background, the Big Ten conference and Fox Entertainment Group entered into a 20-year agreement in 2006 to provide Big Ten sports content to viewers across the country. Despite some hiccups recently, the partnership has been important in feeding fans the games that aren’t picked up by national outlets.
Heading into the 2018 season, 10 of Penn State’s previous 24 games were broadcasted on BTN, and only the team’s matchup with Pitt and the White Out were broadcasted on a network other than BTN or Fox Sports 1.
FS1 is considered the more prestigious network (sorry, BTN). FS1 not only has the brand recognition that comes with the “Fox” label, but it also broadcasts other big sporting events like the UEFA Champions’ League — European soccer’s biggest club competition.
Apparently, though, Purdue at Illinois was the matchup that Fox favored over the clash between Penn State and Michigan State.
By no means is this a complaint given that Penn State has received fantastic national media coverage over the past few seasons. It just seems a bit weird.
Illinois is quite bad, even if its win over a sad Rutgers squad doesn’t show that. The Illini barely squeezed past Kent State in their season opener, trailing 17-3 at one point. As someone who traveled to Champaign for Penn State’s 63-24 win, I can also say that the environment isn’t exactly the most intriguing in the Big Ten.
Purdue really isn’t much better. The Boilermakers have dropped games to Northwestern, Eastern Michigan, and Mizzou.
Penn State heads into the weekend sitting at No. 8 in the AP Poll, taking on a Spartans team that effectively ended the Nittany Lions’ College Football Playoff hopes last season.
Michigan State has been ranked every week this season except for this one after losing to Northwestern in Evanston. This matchup clearly has much more weight than the Illinois-Purdue matchup, especially given the revenge factor that will be driving the Nittany Lions. Oh, and it’s a Stripe Out for the Homecoming game. That’s a recipe for good television.
So, what gives? Honestly, we have no idea. Maybe the formula for picking games isn’t as straightforward as it may seem.
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