Maybe you recall last week how Washington Huskies head coach Chris Petersen threw some shade on the abundance of light-night games his team has had to play — including two 7:45 p.m. kickoffs on ESPN on consecutive Saturdays.
Maybe you missed Kirk Herbstreit on last week’s “College GameDay” trying to shed some light in an ESPN-esque sort of way.
“The reality is, as an advocate on this show for the Pac-12 for the last 20 years, wanting to try to bring as much exposure to that conference as we can, you should be thanking ESPN for actually having a relationship thanks to Larry Scott with the Pac-12 because your games are seen.
“Before, there was a black hole when it came to the Pac-12 and now, you can actually tune into the Pac-12 and see them if you live in the ACC or the SEC or the Big Ten. So I understand (Petersen’s) point — but be careful. Would you rather be on at 3:30 on the Pac-12 Network eastern when nobody’s watching?”
That does it. We demand Washington now play a game on Thanksgiving Day. At 7:45 p.m. And they must appreciate it as they knock the stuffing out of (pick a sub-par Pac-12 opponent).
Trashing/debating the Pac-12 “After Dark” campaign isn’t anything new, or newsworthy, until the discussion gets ugly. We’re tried to explain how this all works before, when UCLA seemed to get stuck with an array of late-night appearances.
The reality is, every conference benefits with ESPN exposure. And Fox. And even, to some degree, Pac-12 Net. And the conference benefits from the ESPN and Fox rights fees.
What Herbstreit said is 100 percent right, and 100 percent wrong in the way he framed it.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, who went on at halftime of last Saturday night’s Washington-Cal game, called Herbstreit’s comments “unfortunate.” ESPN eventually put up a graphic — a graphic — during the game to dispute the claim that late-night games don’t draw better ratings.
When USC plays Utah at 5 p.m. Saturday, on the…