Point: On the TXST v. UTSA Football Game
As the top dogs of college football begin to roll out their schedules, the WAC is finally able to begin penciling in dates and times around marquee match ups in other conferences that command more prominent television contracts. You know it’s the worst part of the Football Year when this is ALL WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT. Most importantly, we can begin to speculate on when the inaugural Texas State/UTSA game will go down. There have been countless rumors that ESPN is seeking to broadcast the start of the rivalry. It makes sense to me– ESPN has a contractual obligation to air WAC games and the WWL would be hard pressed to find a more intriguing match up in this shell of a conference outside of conference champion Louisiana Tech vs. runner up Utah State.
While the decision is likely out of the administration’s hands, it’s an interesting debate on when to host the game. Two main factors play into the arbitration:
1.) Are UTSA’s fans dedicated enough to show up on Thanksgiving?
2.) What time slot will draw the most eyeballs?
Landing in the sweet spot between the two factors will be a delicate balancing act. While a Thanksgiving game with reduced competition for rankings from other games will probably provide UTSA with the most national visibility, fan attendance would probably be highest on a Saturday game. Even if the Bobcats roll into town on Thanksgiving, I still think attendance will be quite high thanks to the average San Antonian’s penchant for showing up for hyped-up events. While we certainly welcome any fan to the game, it’s in UTSA’s best interest to put its best product forward. That means a huge and loud student section, which I’m worried may not be the case if the game is played on Thanksgiving– just take a look back at the student section on the game after Halloween. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of UTSA’s student body is NOT from San Antonio. Would kids from Houston and the Rio Grande Valley really skip out on Thanksgiving with their families for the game? After just one year of attachment to the Roadrunners? The odds are nebulous at best, in my opinion.
I crowdsourced the fanbase on Twitter and found that most of you approve of my proposal of playing the game on Friday. While a healthy chunk of fans will miss the game traveling to and fro Grandma’s house, I think the date will appease the majority. There were 14 FBS games on the day after Thanksgiving last year, highlighted by marquee match ups between Iowa and Nebraska, and LSU and Arkansas. The LSU/Arkansas game has moved to Saturday, while Arizona and Arizona St. are now playing on Friday. ESPN owns the rights to both Pac-12 and B1G games, so the Texas Twins showdown will most likely be scheduled around those two games. If I were to wager a bet, look for Nebraska and Iowa to get the ABC treatment on basic cable, while UTSA and Texas State air on ESPN for a regional counterpoint to the midwestern affair. The Arizona game will be able to be broadcast after the other two games thanks to time zone differences. Official guess: UTSA v. TXST in the Alamodome on ESPN. 11/23 at 3:00 pm.
Be sure to troll the comment section below to let us know what you think of my prediction. When do YOU want the game to be?
A UTSA alumnus that has been cast away to Austin, Jared enjoys live music and a craft beer. He thinks four verts is the best play in football but loves a QB sneak on fourth and inches. Twitter