Lockout could lead to college football on Sundays

AP

If the NFL lockout extends beyond Labor Day and regular season games are canceled, football fans may have something else to do on Sundays: Watch college football instead.

Although there are no concrete plans to play any major college football games on Sundays in the fall, the TV networks would surely be open to it if the NFL cancels some of its games. And Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott says he’s at least thinking about the possibility that moving a Saturday game to Sunday could give his newly expanded conference more exposure in September.

We certainly are monitoring the situation,” Scott told Rivals.com. “We have no plans in place at this time, but you want to be prepared and consider all options. Still, these labor situations have a way of getting done the closer they get to a critical situation.”

There are already a handful of college football games played on Sundays, but those games usually involve smaller programs. A major college football conference like the Pac-12 playing on Sunday would represent a significant shift in the college football landscape.

The biggest problem with moving games to Sunday during the lockout is that there wouldn’t be much time to get it done: The NFL likely wouldn’t call off Week One of the regular season unless the lockout is still going in late August. So if the Pac-12 wants to move one of its games from Saturday, September 10 to Sunday, September 11 (which is supposed to be the first Sunday of the NFL season) it would only know that date is available about two or three weeks in advance.

But the TV networks would likely make it worth the Pac-12’s while to make it work. One of the games scheduled for Saturday, September 10 is Utah at USC, a great game with a new Pac-12 member taking on the conference’s marquee program. If that game were the only football available on a Sunday when fans were hoping to sit around watching NFL games all day, it would draw huge ratings.

Although some college fans would be annoyed by having their plans for attending a Saturday game shifted to Sunday, most of those fans would adjust their schedules. And plenty of fans would be thrilled that college football was giving them something to watch on Sundays. Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne noted that college football was long viewed as a sport exclusively for Saturdays, but that fans have now come to embrace Thursday night games.

“Thursday night football hasn’t been around forever, and we adjusted to that,” Byrne said. “Sunday is a day a lot of people look to watch football. You would get good exposure.”

Autumn Sundays just aren’t complete without football. If the NFL can’t get a deal done, the NCAA should fill the void.

40 responses to “Lockout could lead to college football on Sundays

  1. Sounds good to me. The more I hear about these idiots in the off season the less I want to watch them on Sunday.

  2. YEAH! Go for it! College ,for the most part is pro-style these days. What’s the difference?

  3. i would think just the knowledge that fans’ sunday appetites for football would be fulfilled by college ball will create a huge incentive for owners especially – but players too – to get a deal done. because let’s face it, sunday top 25 college games may not be the nfl, but they are pretty dern good. (and if this is still going on in august we’ll all be so furious at the players and owners that by then it might be even better.)

  4. I like it! Do it! Put some big games on Sundays and make the NFL weep at the ratings that they threw away because they fought over a few bucks so they could buy more diamond encrusted jewelry.

  5. makes sense that west coast teams play on Sundays with 1pm, and 4pm pst kick offs. This way the east coast media who vote on awards, and polls can actually see a west coast game.

  6. There is college football on every day of the week except Sunday already so what would it hurt to add Sunday to the list?

  7. As bad as the NFL is pissing me off right now, college football decides its champion by computer, stupidest method ever. PLEASE NFL COME BACK so we don’t have to have more a-holes talking about the BCS. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

  8. so sad that sport is no longer about sport, it’s all about money. looks like sport becomes business after high school. it’s lame that the first word is always money, when ever we talk about sport now a days. i care less about the business of sports every day. and less inclined to spend my money on watching it.

  9. Any college game is ten times better than any pro game. But, all college games should be on Saturday. I usually get a good nap during the TV games on Sunday afternoons. Many of the pro games turn out to be nothing more than field goal contests. Almost as boring as baseball.

  10. chiefdog says: Mar 29, 2011 6:59 PM

    Horrible idea for College football. Will the NFL then also want to play on Saturday? They are breaking the gentlemen’s agreement.

    what gentlemen’s agreement? it’s not like the NFL hasn’t had plenty of playoff games on Saturdays over the years.

  11. God forbid people find another use for their time in the absence of the NFL than sitting on their arses and starring at a glowing screen. Seriously, I love watching football on sundays but the sooner we act like we can’t live without the NFL, the sooner the lockout will end. If the tone deaf owners (and a few of the players with misplaced concepts of business) see that the fans can actually live without football on sundays, their toon will change in a hurry.

  12. sure college football fans. CFB is great until we reach the third week of November and then only certain teams can play for a championship. Correct me if I’m wrong but everyone wants the NFLPA* to lose in court because if they win, the NFL will be like MLB. It’s important to remember that the BCS already makes college football like that. TCU is screwed because their conference isn’t a “traditional power.” Yes, I know they’re going to the Big East but this argument is predicated on last year when they were jammed. No matter how angry I get at the NFL, I will come back, and all of you will as well, once this g****danged lockout is over. Trust me, those of us who investigate college football week to week see it’s just as big of a sham as the NFLPA.* College football does NOT deserve to be the beneficiary for the lockout. Watch the CFL, seriously that is some good football

  13. So the NCAA is going to monkey with its schedules and then what? The NFL resolves its issues and reinstates its season? So then the NCAA has to move all its games back to their original dates?

    That will make for a lot of screwed up flight reservations and hotel reservations.

    I would say that’s never going to happen, but the NCAA is absolutely capable of screwing up all kinds of things … including my college football Saturdays!

  14. How about Australian Rules football? Or Rugby. Two very physical games which, if properly explained by professional commentators, could catch on. There are no immense fat guys in either of those sports.

  15. If you don’t think college football isn’t all about money too you’re a fool. You want love of the game? Put some good high school football on instead. I love pro football but these millionaires and not a bad paycheck players can kiss my behind. Let them sweat it out like the rest of us do. At a time when unemployment is high and money is very tight these guys should be exposed to the realities that most of us are living out here. Let them try sending out hundreds of resumes with no responses….let them try living the lives of the average fans. They’ll be begging to come back to play football soon enough!

  16. They better find SOMETHING to put on Sundays… Puppy bowl…. anything. Otherwise, I’ll have to spend that time with my family.

  17. In the worst case scenario a lockout could lead to Church attendance and yard maintenance on Sundays.

  18. I like it. Let Notre Dame play on Sunday.

    No matter if you love or hate the Irish they’ll draw a big audience and it’ll piss off the NFL.

    Then toss on a few game of the weeks too.

    Ohio State vs. Michigan, Texas vs. Oklahoma, etc…

    Screw Goodell.

  19. Here’s a thought or two – go for a hike in the woods with your kids, or take your elderly parent(s) to lunch, go for a bike ride, go fishing, go to Sunday worship, restore an old car, etc. Do something other than sitting around drinking beer, eating, getting all fat and mad.

  20. r8rsfan says:
    Mar 29, 2011 6:50 PM
    You wont see any BYU games on sunday.
    ===========================

    Nor will you see that USC- Utah game on Sunday, for the same reason. There are just as many Mormons on the Utah roster as there are on the BYU roster.

  21. Now, if only the NCAA could pull its head out of its rear end and have a minimum 8 team playoff, the NFL would be dribbling down its own leg at the fear of College Football excitement taking over Sunday. Just imagine if a 10 game season led to a 4 or 5 week playoff. It would give both sides a lot more incentive to negotiate. Alas, as it stands, college football is exciting right up until the conference championship games, then politics take over, and everyone sniffing .500 gets a postseason game.

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