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Homecoming A Pac-12 Long After Dark Event

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The television selections have been completed for the Oct. 22-24 weekend, and so we now know Oregon State's Homecoming game, which is both the event and literally the Beavers' first home game since Sept. 25, against Colorado will be another episode of #Pac12AfterDark. Long after dark.

The Beavers will host the Buffs in the 7:30 PM PDT (8:30 PM MDT back in Boulder) tv window on Saturday night October 24. Not surprisingly, the battle between the teams that are odds on to finish last in the Pac-12 North and South was relegated to the Pac-12 channel.

It's not a surprise as far as Oregon State goes, given that they have gotten blown out on national tv in both of their last 2 games, losing lots of their audience long before the 4th quarter.

"We deserve to be where we are," Oregon State coach Gary Andersen said. His remark was on a much higher level, and referred to a lot of other issues beyond tv scheduling, but said scheduling is a product of those other factors.

Colorado getting clobbered by 3+ score margins in both of their last outings as well, compared with relative market size and current trends, makes it easy to understand ESPN's decision to go with Washington at Stanford at the same time for their late night game. The Cardinal are on track to lunar eclipse the record Oregon State set for late night games the last couple of seasons, for those wondering about that short term imbalance. This will be Stanford's 4th game in a row that kicks off after 7 PM.

Most of the Pac-12 action that week will be in the dark, in turn leaving much of the rest of the country in dark about the conference.

The weekend starts with California at UCLA on Thursday night from the Rose Bowl, a 6 PM PDT start that will see the Rose Bowl at least half empty at the peak of LA freeway parking lot time, and produce an ending after midnight on a weeknight in the east.

The only game that will be conducted more than minimally in the light of day will be Washington State's visit to Arizona. Kickoff in Tucson will be just after 1 PM PDT, but it has been relegated to the Pac-12 channel.

The late afternoon game is Utah at USC, and its a little later than usual, going off in the LA Coliseum just after 4:30 PM PDT (5:30 PM MDT in Salt Lake City). It will be on FOX, and that unusual start time is a product of baseball scheduling, which means the potential may exist for the Utes and Trojans to start without a TV audience, in addition to finishing the game after dark. Both Fox and ESPN have had kickoff for late Pac-12 games held up due to over-running earlier events this season, and so that might happen again, which is good for fans wanting to see the Pac-12 game, but in this case would also increase the overlap with the evening games that's already going to happen to some extent.

(Great job on the lack of schedule control in those contracts, Larry Scott!)

Oregon and Arizona State have byes that week, so I-5 traffic won't be further congested by Duck fans flying around.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com