Blog Entry

Big Ten to push back start times?

Posted on: April 25, 2011 11:50 pm

Posted by Tom Fornelli

For as long as this college football fan can remember, the Big Ten has started its Saturdays in the fall at noon eastern. As a kid growing up in Chicago, this was a pretty sweet deal. I could sleep in a bit on Saturday mornings and when I woke up --BAM! -- college football. Honestly, that habit hasn't really changed much as I've grown older, but it sounds like I may have to watch the ACC and Big East for an hour before the Big Ten games begin. That's because, according to a report in the Quad City Times, Jim Delany is trying to make it so that the noon eastern start times are a thing of the past. Instead, he wants to push the start of Big Ten games back an hour.

Note: The times in the text quoted from the report are in central standard time.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany reportedly is lobbying hard in negotiations with the television networks to do away with them. If Delany has his way, all Big Ten games next season will start at either noon, 3:30 p.m. or 7 p.m.

Many fans objected to the 11 a.m. starts because they cut down on pregame tailgating time and made it difficult for fans who lived several hours away to get to games on time.

Won't somebody please think of the early morning drinkers!?

Seriously, though, it is pretty cool to think that Delany is actually listening to the fans who have been complaining about the lack of proper tailgating time. An extra hour of fun before kickoff doesn't hurt anybody except for those in charge of cleaning up afterward. The question is, just because Delany and the Big Ten want it, will the television networks?

While I'm sure Delany wouldn't have much trouble convincing the Big Ten Network to push back start times, it may not be as easy to do so with ESPN/ABC. ESPN has had games beginning a noon, 3:30pm and 8:00pm for some time now, and I'm not so sure they'll be willing to move everything around just to please the Big Ten. And let's be honest, it's the networks that televise the games who will be the ones deciding when those games start, not the fans attending them.


Since: Apr 27, 2011
Posted on: April 27, 2011 2:43 pm

Big Ten to push back start times?

It's about time [pun intended].
More important than the tailgaters' extra time to party is the fact that so many viewers are on Pacific Time. With the addition of Nebraska to the conference & the BTN, moving the start times for the conference will only continue to cement the Big Ten's standing as a national brand. There are millions of viewers for the Big Ten to court  on the west coast. Plus, it will also help with recruiting.

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: April 26, 2011 3:36 pm

Big Ten to push back start times?

Good idea in theory but you have to wonder why the times were moved to 11 central time in the first place?  That's right for the money.  ESPN wants to start football at noon eastern and they will.  Now does the Big 10 want to miss out on the money and exposure?  I doubt it.  Just like some leagues playing on Thursdays or Tuesdays for that matter, ESPN owns college football and they will throw the money around to get their way.  

Since: Dec 7, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:22 am

Big Ten to push back start times?

Only Delaney would take credit for something as simple as this.  However as photog covering the Big Ten...its about time.

Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 12:30 am

Big Ten to push back start times?

Spare me.... a few thousand tailgaters are bucking the system here??
11am starts in the central time zone is AWESOME.... don't change it!!

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