11 a.m. kickoff for KU-TCU on Oct. 8 isn't all bad for Kansas
The Big 12 Conference on Monday announced the start times for the Oct. 2 conference slate, and Kansas’ home game against TCU is scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. on FS1.
The first words out of almost any Kansas fan’s mouth when they see yet another 11 a.m. kickoff announced is that the program is being punished with another early start.
I get it. 11 a.m. doesn’t sound really sexy. But sometimes it is.
You can’t just look at the 11 a.m. kickoff time for Kansas and say that’s a game nobody wants to watch or will see. I’d much rather be penciled into the 11 a.m. slot every weekend than a 9 or 10 p.m. kickoff like many of the Pac-12 teams and others out west have to endure year after year.
Think about it. 11 a.m. in Kansas is noon on the east coast and 10 a.m. in the Mountain time zone. That’s wake up, flip on the TV and watch some football. As the day goes on, activities pop up, obligations arise and sometimes people would rather just be out and about in the evenings and at night rather than wearing their sweats and watching football.
So, if it’s a lack of eyeballs on your product thing that irks you, I’m not sure that holds up here.
If it’s a missed opportunity to have a killer tailgate, I’m a little more sympathetic to that. But I don’t think the 11 a.m. starts need to have the negative association they currently do.
Now, back to the reason. It’s also important to note that deciding whether than 11 a.m. slot is actually disrespectful or not actually depends a lot on what the rest of the day’s slate looks like.
Sometimes, conference officials, university ADs and head football coaches actually prefer the 11 a.m. slot because they’d rather be the better game on a list that lacks excitement than go head to head with the college football powerhouses in the later slots.
Here’s how it looks for Oct. 8, when KU will play host to TCU at 11 a.m.
11 a.m. games of note:
• Texas vs. No. 18 Oklahoma
• No. 8 Tennessee at LSU
• No. 20 Arkansas at Mississippi State
• No. 4 Michigan at Indiana
2:30/3 p.m. games of note:
• No. 3 Ohio State at Michigan State
• Virginia Tech at No. 24 Pitt
• Auburn at No. 1 Georgia
• Texas Tech at No. 9 Oklahoma State
6:30/7 p.m. games of note:
• No. 17 Texas A&M at No. 2 Alabama
• South Carolina at No. 7 Kentucky
• No. 25 Kansas State at Iowa State
• No. 19 BYU at Notre Dame
The night slot has some serious firepower, with two SEC showdowns and a ranked BYU team taking on the Notre Dame brand. You could argue that KU belongs in that slot instead of the KSU-ISU game, but I think the expectation there is that Wildcats-Cyclones will be a better game. And, at least right now, one of those two teams is ranked, while neither KU nor TCU are.
The afternoon slot is also pretty massive, with both No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 Ohio State in there, along with a key Big 12 game featuring a top-10 OSU program.
In the morning slot, you’re going up against OU-Texas, but no one outside of Michigan fans is going to want to watch the Wolverines pummel Indiana and the two SEC games at 11 are not nearly as big time as the nighttime or afternoon SEC matchups.
So, if it’s me, and I’m looking for eyeballs and exposure, I’d rather be the 11 a.m. game that week.
If it’s fighting off a Friday night hangover or getting squeezed on some fun tailgating time, I understand that and I feel for ya.
But that has nothing to do with KU getting or not getting respect. That’s all about you managing your party schedule. And the way this thing’s going, whatever you miss out on Friday night or Saturday morning, you might very well be able to make up for in celebration on Saturday night.