Oklahoma State will play Iowa State on a Friday night, Nov. 18, for an ESPN telecast. Which makes me think of several things.
1. It will be cold. Iowa is a beautiful place, and it can even be beautiful, if nippy, in November. But a night game? That’s a different story. The average November high for Ames is 45 degrees; the average November low is 27. So we’re looking at a likely kickoff in the 30s, with the chance for even colder.
2. That’s a far cry from the 1997 OSU-ISU game, which was played on Aug. 30. The Cowboys kick-started their breakout 1997 season with a 21-14 victory. The temperature at kickoff had to be in the 90s, even though it was a night game, and a new pressbox had opened. Without air-conditioning. I thought we would lose some people that night. By the way, that’s the night Princess Di died.
3. Friday night football is a perilous business for Oklahoma and Texas universities. You don’t want to be seen as impeding on the high schools’ night. However, Nov. 18 should have less impact than most Friday nights. In Oklahoma, that’s the second week of playoffs, so the number of high school games will be far less than a normal week.
4. Great, great window for OSU and any potential award campaigns for Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon. Not as good of a window as a Thursday night, which has become the marquee time slot for college football exposure. But very good.
5. The Cowboys could be getting an Iowa State team playing for its life. Or a team playing out the string. The Cyclones have a rough non-conference schedule: Northern Iowa, at Connecticut, Iowa. Ouch. Looks like a 1-2 start, though who knows what Connecticut will be without coach Randy Edsall? ISU’s only scheduled Big 12 game after OSU is Kansas State. So going into the OSU game, the Cyclones will have played the other five Big 12 South teams, plus Missouri and Kansas. If Iowa State is 4-6, it will still be in bowl contention. But it might be hard to get to 4-6.