Big 12 football schedule: Expect games to move to patch bald spots in September

COMMENTARY — September 2012 has five Saturdays, and barely five decent games to offer television networks footing the bill. Expect some games to be moved.
by Berry Tramel Published: February 14, 2012

Sept. 29: 1. Texas at OSU; 2. Baylor at West Virginia; 3. Tech at Iowa State; 4. TCU at SMU.

A limited list, but still passable. ABC will jump all over OSU-Texas.

Oct. 6: 1. West Virginia at Texas; 2. OU at Tech; 3. Iowa State at TCU; 4. KU at KSU.

Decent list. Heck, ESPN GameDay might be in Austin. And Tech might be undefeated, since the Red Raiders have no interest in playing anyone with shoulder pads non-conference.

Oct. 13: 1. OU-Texas in Dallas; 2. TCU at Baylor; 3. West Virginia at Tech; 4. KSU at Iowa State.

Again, solid menu. I'd gladly watch all four of these games. But remember the problem; some games in October and November might have to switch to bail out September.

Oct. 20: 1. KSU at West Virginia; 2. Baylor at Texas; 3. Iowa State at OSU; 4. KU at OU.

ABC is at least getting a marquee game every week in October. And Fox won't have many complaints about its No. 2 pick.

Oct. 27: 1. Notre Dame at OU; 2. TCU at OSU; 3. Tech at KSU; 4. Baylor at Iowa State.

If the Sooners weren't scheduling such good games, the networks might just walk away from this nonsense. The Big 12 non-conference package would be a total joke.

Nov. 3: 1. OSU at KSU; 2. TCU at West Virginia; 3. Texas at Tech; 4. OU at Iowa State; 5. KU at Baylor.

See what happens when all the games are good? Everyone is pleased. Whoever gets third and fourth pick, usually Fox Sports, might still have OU or Texas available.

Nov. 10: 1. West Virginia at OSU; 2. KSU at TCU; 3. Baylor at OU; 4. Iowa State at Texas; 5. KU at Tech.

Again, a solid lineup. I don't see any way the Big 12 doesn't move one of these Nov. 3 or Nov. 10 games to September.

Nov. 17: 1. OU at West Virginia; 2. KSU at Baylor; 3. Tech at OSU; 4. Iowa State at KU.

Not a deep Saturday, but great at the top. OU in Morgantown has ABC primetime written all over it.

Nov. 24: 1. TCU at Texas; 2. OSU at OU; 3. Baylor vs. Tech in Arlington; 4. West Virginia at Iowa State.

The Frogs and Longhorns are headed for Thanksgiving night. That's why they're idle on Nov. 17. And Bedlam gives ABC a quality game for Thanksgiving Saturday.

Dec. 1: 1. Texas at KSU; 2. OU at TCU; 3. OSU at Baylor; 4. KU at West Virginia.

Odds are, none of these will be the Big 12 championship game, the way the Bedlam finale was last December. But a solid array of games to combat the championship games being played in other leagues.

So what does a network programmer think when he looks at this schedule? Big 12 football has some appeal. Are there enough good games to attract the number of eyeballs that would warrant the dollars the networks are paying?

In September, the answer is no.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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