Pitt will host Old Dominion at night on a Saturday, because… well I’m not really sure.
Initial guess, was that it to do with the possibilities of the Pirates being in the NLCS, but that didn’t makes sense as it would suggest a noon game for the NLCS. Sure enough it doesn’t. It would be a Game 7 at LA. No way that would be anything but a night game.
So that’s kind of weird for a 1-AA opponent that will be a RSN televised game to get a 7pm slot. The downside meaning missing most, if not all, of the FSU-Clemson game at 8pm that night. I’m not complaining, though, since it guarantees to be an overnighter for me in the ‘Burgh.
Interestingly, it is Virginia Tech this year that is unlikely to host a night game. Yep, Lane Stadium is seeing it very likely that the entire home slate could be early games.
Perhaps most troubling to Tech faithful: Next Saturday’s contest against Pittsburgh, scheduled to kick at noon, will be the fourth consecutive home date to start at 1:30 p.m., or earlier, leaving just two games at Lane Stadium this season that could land in a 3:30 or later television slot.
The first is Duke on Oct. 26, and that matchup has noon/12:30 written all over it. Eight of the teams’ nine clashes since Tech joined the ACC have kicked off then, the exception a 5:30 start in Blacksburg five years ago.
The Hokies’ home finale is Nov. 16 versus Maryland, undefeated and ranked 25th this week. So if both teams continue to play well, that game might prove attractive enough for ESPN to select for a later start.
If Duke and Maryland don’t fit that bill, Tech would have its first season without a 3:30-or-later home game since 1988, Frank Beamer’s second year as coach. In ’88, all five home games started at 1 p.m.
A bad season last year. Not much on the home slate to lure the later start. No Thursday night game for the first time in 11 years. ESPN. ESPN. ESPN. Oh, and Fox.
Seems that with the FoxSports deal to show Big 12 games and more games on the Big Ten Network, there’s more open slots on ESPN at noon than in previous years. ESPN has the rights to all ACC games so guess who gets to fill the holes.
With a home game remaining against Notre Dame, there’s a chance Pitt could end up with one more game starting at 3:30 or later. That is, as long as Pitt can keep showing progress.