Night games were a common occurrence for the Pac-12 last football season and apparently Larry Scott and company thought they were too common. The conference will reduce the number of 7 and 7:30 p.m. PT kickoffs next season with the creation of an 11 a.m. kickoff time slot.
"This is a positive step for Pac-12 fans across the Conference," Scott said in a release. "There has been an adjustment over the last two years with our new television agreement, and we believe fans - both in our stadiums and in the television audience - will benefit."
Late kickoffs won't be eliminated entirely, simply reduced. The Pac-12 Network will broadcast the 11 a.m. games, exclusively. The number of early kickoffs will be determined during the season. I would expect the majority of Pac-12 fans to be pleased with the change as the late games don't seem to be popular. Reducing the number of 7 p.m. or later kickoffs should make travel easier for some.
I saw a few national media members take the opinion this isn't a wise move for the Pac-12 as the conference will now be competing with the 2 p.m. ET SEC game and a host of other games during that time. I don't see that as a particularly relevant claim, because not many outside of the Pac-12 area would be watching this slate of games anyway. They would either be asleep with the 10:30 p.m. ET kickoff or they don't get the Pac-12 Network to begin with. The late ESPN and Fox Sports kickoffs remain.
Jeff Nusser made the point on Twitter that an 11 a.m. PT kickoff should be ideal for WSU fans living in Spokane as they can make an easy drive into Pullman in the morning and be back in Spokane by 5 p.m. It's certainly a more desirable kickoff time than 7 p.m. for those concerned about driving in winter conditions late at night.
The addition of 11 a.m. kickoffs to reduce -- not eliminate -- late Pac-12 games, good or bad move?
Pac-12 announces decisions out of summer meetings | Pac-12
The Pac-12 also announced that it has created an 11 a.m. PT (2 p.m. ET) television window for this upcoming football season in an effort to reduce the number of night games across the Conference. Pac-12 Networks will exclusively broadcast the games in this time slot in place of an evening window throughout the season. The number of 11 a.m. PT games will be determined as the season and television picks progress.
Former Vintage High coach Thom joins Washington State program
Scott Thom, a former Vintage High School head boys basketball coach and the Coach of the Year on the 2009-10 All-Napa County team, has joined Washington State University as the men’s basketball team’s strength and conditioning coach. The announcement was made last week by Cougars coach Ernie Kent.