STILLWATER — Clearly ESPN views Oklahoma State as a football team it would like to feature in 2011.
The Cowboys game at Iowa State has been moved to Friday, Nov. 18, the Big 12 conference announced on Tuesday. The game will kickoff at 8 p.m. and be televised on ESPN2.
“We're excited that our football program has elevated to the point that Oklahoma State is now appearing regularly in prime-time windows with great national exposure,” head coach Mike Gundy said in a release.
The move is an ideal one for the Pokes as they get to play on national television — earning the money and exposure that comes with national TV appearances — without inconveniencing Cowboy fans by moving a Saturday home game.
Gundy said earlier this spring that the Cowboys had been approached to move “a lot of games” but he prefers to keep most games on Saturdays to maintain the tradition of “College Football Saturdays.”
Nonetheless, the opportunity to make money and gain national exposure continues to be difficult to turn down.
“We can make a lot of money doing that,” Gundy said of moving games into national television time slots on non-Saturdays. “If you play on TV eight or ten times a year, you can make 2 and a half, 3 million dollars, that's just money off the top. It's beneficial for us, you can help the (athletic) department out.”
For ESPN, the move makes sense because Pokes are a team they can feature and market in weekday time slots thanks to OSU's recent success, explosive offense and star power.
The Cowboys could enter the 2011 season as a preseason top 10 team nationally and feature two potential Heisman candidates in receiver Justin Blackmon and quarterback Brandon Weeden.
Unless their schedule changes, the Cyclones will have six days to prepare for OSU after traveling to Norman to face Oklahoma on Nov. 12.
OSU will travel to Ames after facing Texas Tech on Nov. 12 in Lubbock.