08.30.08

The Big Ten’s Broadcast Strategy Still Sucks

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, Sports TV at 6:21 pm by

Penn State 66, Coastal Carolina 10. I’m more delighted than I should be by this. If you are going to play one of these moneymakers, it damn well better be a blow-out, and a showcase for your three-deep roster (amidst the Clark and Devlin QB controversy, Joe Pa’s been insisting all along that he would get Paul Ciancalo reps).

A lot of times the Nittany Lions go into a game like this as 35-point favorites, then can’t cover once the passing stops. With 334 yards and 7 touchdowns rushing (two of them by players I have never heard of) that was not an issue in this contest, which also had no line (those Vegas guys are generally right). 13 Penn State players also caught a pass, so I think they’ll be ok without Chris Bell.

Not that I saw a minute of it. Last year, I spent two Saturdays housesitting for a friend who had DirecTV. My local Comcast franchise added the Big 10 Network a few days ago, albeit not in HD, nor with any overflow for extra games. Living as I do in Oregon, I don’t really expect them to devote four channels of space to today’s pallid conference schedule. The most appealing early game (go Wildcats!) was on ESPN2 and Ohio State-Youngstown State was certainly the best choice as the BTN’s main tilt.

But back in the old days an out-of-market fan like me would pick up PSU-Coastal Carolina, Indiana-Western Kentucky and Wisconsin-Akron on ESPN Game Plan. And while they say the Big 10 has evolved to where the fullback dive is no longer a cutting edge offensive play, apparently they haven’t heard that you can stream games on the Internet. I mean, seriously: take my money! I didn’t care enough to hit a bar at 9am (and probably wouldn’t have at noon) but would have gladly paid ten bucks to watch this scrimmage on the same remarkable device that I already use for nearly every Phillies game.

With the win, Joe Paterno is once again tied with Bobby Bowden as the all-time D-I coaching leader (never mind that I’m one of those biased PSU fans who still doesn’t understand why Bobby’s games at Sanford get included). At one point Bowden had an eight game lead, and it’s not like Penn State has been great the past five years. Just better than FSU I guess. Right now the difference is the ’06 Orange Bowl; it would certainly be fitting if they played again to end the current season (and then, of course, retired). That can only happen if both teams get in the BCS, or drop down to the Champ Sports Bowl.

Meanwhile, in a game that wasn’t close for a good chunk of the second half–not sure I’d say it was an upset–Utah knocked off Michigan at home, 25-23. And while GC enjoys the night at Royal-Memorial, it looks like Portland State is gonna get a win just two blocks from my house. One of these days I might even go watch them (though I’m currently more interested in a Montana-Montana State ticket).

One Response to “The Big Ten’s Broadcast Strategy Still Sucks”

  1. Jon Solomon says:

    Jason,

    Greetings from central New Jersey.

    My Comcast franchise has all the overflow Big 10 games on channels 800-804.

    They were added without any fanfare that they would all be available.

    Have you checked there?

    Go Cats.

    Jon

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