ABC/ESPN announced their prime time college football games earlier this morning. Ohio State has been slotted for three 8:00 PM kickoffs on the ABC family of networks. To be honest, the choices are a little surprising.
September 6th – Virginia Tech at Ohio State.
This game was all but assured to get an afternoon or prime time slot. Virginia Tech is a perennial top 20 program under Frank Beamer and any time there is an early season non-conference matchup between two big time programs look for it to get the night-time treatment. However, during the second weekend of the season ABC usually reserves the night-time slot for the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series at Richmond so look for this game to be on ESPN. Additionally, look for Michigan State at Oregon to get prime time treatment on FOX – potentially creating a great opportunity for the current B1G powers to make early season statements.
October 25th – Ohio State at Penn State.
For the second consecutive season, Ohio State and Penn State are getting prime time treatment. Last year’s game turned out to be a huge statement game for the Buckeyes after a couple of sub-par efforts in the preceding weeks. To be honest, I didn’t see this game getting prime time treatment. Penn State will likely continue to struggle until they can recover from the scholarship sanctions. This could turn into a decisive road victory in front of a large audience against one of the more respected B1G programs.
November 1st – Illinois at Ohio State.
Ohio State will kick-off at 8:00 PM for consecutive weeks. This will be the first ever night game at the Shoe after November 1st. One of the more meaningless stats, but it will be used as one of the marketing ploys as ABC/ESPN try to drum up interest for what should be a drubbing by the Buckeyes. Of Ohio State’s November games, I really thought the visit to East Lansing would be the most obvious choice for an 8:00 PM kick-off. A night edition of TTUN – Ohio State would also be a lot of fun, but it’s unlikely that we’ll ever get to see that happen.
So there you have it folks, time to start making those preliminary plans to visit Columbus.