15 October 2008
With the delay of game time announcements for both the Ole Miss and Tennessee games causing a lot of folks to wonder about kick off times for future Bama games, we thought we'd let you know what we know about the Tide's upcoming schedule.
The Tennessee game has been locked in as either the 2:30 CST game on CBS or
the 6:45 CST game on ESPN. CBS will have the choice to make, and can wait as long as Sunday before making their choice. The decision will be between the Bama games and the LSU-Georgia game. A Bama win on Saturday gives CBS the option of taking the #2 (or possibly #1) team in the nation, but the LSU Georgia could also be a battle of top ten teams - assuming Georgia takes care of Vandy, LSU takes care of South Carolina, and a couple of teams in the top ten lose.
The Arkansas State game has been set for a 2:00 CST kickoff and a pay per view television audience. It is technically possible that one of the networks could choose to air this game, but that is unlikely. Despite the fact that the conference schedule is not particularly strong that week once you get past the Georgia-Florida game, it would be hard to imagine three intra-conference matchups - Ole Miss-Auburn, Kentucky-Mississippi State, and Tennessee-South Carolina - being passed up for what should be a glorified scrimmage in Tuscaloosa. If Bama is #1 at the time it could happen, but the University is already listing the kickoff time as 2:00, so we'll go with that.
LSU on November 8 will be the 2:30 CST game on CBS. It hasn't been announced officially yet, mostly because CBS doesn't like to announce this early, but both schools have been informed. It really isn't a shock, considering that Georgia-Vandy, South Carolina-Arkansas and Florida-Kentucky are the only other real games that week. There may not be two games played in SEC stadiums all season with less interest than the UT-Martin vs. Auburn and Wyoming vs. Tennessee games played that weekend. You can write this game time down in pen.
The Mississippi State game could end up anywhere at this point. The big game in conference that weekend will be Georgia at Auburn, but the importance of that game could be minimal. If Florida beats Georgia, then this game could simply be for bragging rights, and that doesn't always interest the television people. If Bama comes home from Baton Rouge undefeated and still in the national title hunt, then expect this game to wind up being a national game on either CBS or ESPN. If not, then this one could fall to either the Raycom game, or possibly even pay per view. There are too many variables at this point.
The Auburn game will almost certainly be on CBS. There's an "almost" in there because CBS is aware of Bama's recent problems in November, and they don't want to be stuck airing a game to determine who goes to Shreveport and who goes to the Peach Bowl. As long as Bama has less than three losses heading into this game, it will be on CBS. That does not, however, mean a 2:30 CST kickoff.
CBS has a double header that day, with games at 2:30 CST and 7:00 CST. They had a similar deal this last weekend, with the Georgia-Tennessee game in the afternoon and the LSU-Florida game at night. The network won't decide which game is which until the week before the game, but Bama has already been informed by the network that this is an almost certainty.
We'll let you know when more games are officially announced, but this is where things stand now.