OSU football: Thursday night game vs. Arizona draws the short straw
For the third straight season, Oklahoma State hosts a Thursday night football game, this time Sept. 8 against Arizona. The Cowboys hosted Colorado in 2009 and Texas A&M in 2010 in great Thursday night games. And this one might be, too, you never know.
But no matter the result, OSU won’t get the same bang for its buck. It’s unforunate timing.
Sept. 8 is the opening of the NFL regular season. While OSU plays Arizona on ESPN, NBC offers the Green Bay Packers hosting the New Orleans Saints, in a battle of the two most recent Super Bowl winners.
Oklahomans will watch OSU-Arizona. So will Arizonans. And hard-core college football fans. But the rest of the American sporting public — the vast majority — will be tuned in to see Aaron Rodgers vs. Drew Brees. Most every other Thursday night, the ESPN college game would draw very well. Even in the second half of the NFL season, when Thursday night games come to the NFL Network, the ESPN college game will get its share, since the NFL Network remains out of the grasp of many fans.
But all eyes will be on NBC for a Thursday night opener that at times in the past four months, we weren’t sure would ever come.
So while we know the pros and cons of a Thursday night game for college programs, one of the big pros — national exposure — is lessened by the luck of the draw. Sept. 8 is the wrong night to be playing college football on ESPN.
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