OSU plays TCU at 11 a.m. Saturday. And a week from Saturday, the Cowboys play Iowa State at 11 a.m. in Ames. And on Sept. 28, at West Virginia, the Cowboys kicked off at 11 a.m. And on Sept. 7, at Texas-San Antonio, OSU kicked off at 11 a.m. That’s four morning kickoffs in the first seven games.
Morning Cowboys? It’s fine with OSU coach Mike Gundy.
“I think college football’s supposed to be played during the day,” Gundy said. “Whether 11 or 1 or 2, that’s the way college football ought to be. I like to play day games.”
Especially on the road, where nothing is worse than a night game, which requires visitors to sit around a hotel all day and then get home in the middle of the night.
But for the foreseeable future, 11 a.m. kickoffs are going to be a lot more prevalent than in years past.
The new Big 12 television contract puts every league game on TV, and some of those extra telecasts will filter to 11 a.m. Last Saturday, for example, four Big 12 games were staged. Only Kansas State-Baylor was at 2:30 p.m. The others – OU-Texas, Texas Tech-Iowa State and TCU-Kansas – were at 11 a.m.
Of course, part of that is simply the Big 12’s reduced status in the college football hierarchy. Fewer Big 12 games can be classified as marquee. The best games will be placed at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. on FOX or ESPN. The 2:30 p.m. time slot will get others. The more pedestrian games will slip to 11 a.m.
Which is fine for Gundy.