The Wolfpack’s season opener with the defending ACC Champions, Virginia Tech, will kickoff at 7:15pm ET so that it can be nationally televised on ESPN2.
As you recall, State handed the Hokies their only ACC loss of 2004 by winning in Blacksburg last September 25th by a 17-16 score. That game should have served as the prototype for how the Wolfpack could have been more successful last year; the Pack had only 2 turnovers and 65 penalty yards while managing to not beat ourselves en route to one of many impressive defensive performances.
I was very excited when I first heard that this day/time change was in the works. However, the change was originally presented as a move to accomodate ABC-TV or ESPN. It was originally presented that our game would be billed as part of huge opening weekend of college football, serving as the precursor to the next night’s clash between Miami and Florida State. (Last year’s FSU-Miami game was slated to be the first ever College Football “Monday Night Football” but the game was moved to the following Friday due to a hurricane).
Although scheduling ANY game at night on television is exciting, the magnitude of my excitement has been somewhat tempered by the fact that our game is going to be carried on ESPN2 as opposed to ABC or ESPN. NFL football does not begin until the next weekend, so we will obviously not be in competition with “the league” for football viewers on Sunday night. But, we currently do not know what ABC or ESPN has scheduled against our game.
That said…I think that my ‘tempered excitement’ would turn to ‘puzzlement’ if we ultimately learn that ABC &/or ESPN has other college football games on against the Pack-Hokies. A move to Sunday to insure a captive national television audience is one thing…a move to Sunday to play 2nd or 3rd fiddle on “The Deuce” to compete against other games is a little different.
A reader posted some good insight in the comments section of this entry below:
The reason the game is on the Deuce is likely because of MLB being on ESPN in its usual Sunday slot. They likely will push the game just as much as they would have had it been on ESPN. Plus, the Deuce is in almost the same number of homes as ESPN, anyway. It will likely be the only game (and thus the main one) that night.
These are some great points…and makes me feel much better about the situation. As long as we are clearly the featured/primary focus of the college football world on this night, then I will be very happy with the move.