By Jonathan Okanes
Wednesday, June 11th, 2008 at 3:08 pm in off-season stuff.
As mentioned in an earlier post, four of Cal’s games could be picked up by ABC, Fox Sports Net or Versus. Those are during weeks in which the networks are allowed to select a game 12 or six days before it is played. Here is a look at what Cal is up against on those days:
OCT. 4 VS. ARIZONA STATE
ABC has a 12:30 p.m. window and Versus has a 4:30 slot on this day. The other games to choose from are Washington at Arizona and Washington State at UCLA. It appears the Bears should have a good chance to be televised, presuming Arizona and Washington are lower-tier conference teams, as expected. Plus, Arizona State is expected to be one of the top teams in the conference, so even if the Bears don’t contend for a Pac-10 title, the game should still have some appeal.
OCT. 25 vs. UCLA
There is just one available slot this day, with ABC airing a game at 12:30. The other option is Oregon at Arizona State. Cal could be in trouble here. Oregon and ASU both could be in the midst of pretty good seasons at this point, although I’m not sure the Ducks will be as good as some are making them out to be. But UCLA could surprise some folks if it can get healthy. Still, all things being equal, it looks like the Ducks-Sun Devils game may be the better option.
NOV. 1 VS. OREGON
Cal looks to be in pretty good shape here. There are two slots available, ABC at 12:30 and Fox Sports Net at 3:30. The other games are Washington State at Stanford and Washington at USC. We all know the Trojans will be selected, because, well, they always are. But the Cal-Oregon game should be a much more appealing option than WSU and Stanford. Look for this game to be on Fox Sports Net (which will be carried by Comcast Sports Net Bay Area).
Nov. 15 AT OREGON STATE
This looks like a toss-up. There are two windows, ABC at 12:30 and Fox Sports Net at 7:15 p.m. The other contenders are Arizona at Oregon and UCLA at Washington. Oregon could be in contention and would be a good choice. The other four teams combined — Cal, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington — all have their share of uncertainty. This is exactly why some of these games are reserved for a 12 or 6-day window, so the networks can wait to determine the best teams and the best games.
As I mentioned in the post a couple of days ago, there are four other games that don’t fall on days where there is a 6 or 12-day window. The only other likely option for these games — Sept. 6 at Washington State, Sept. 27 against Colorado State, Oct. 18 against Arizona and the Big Game on Nov. 22 — is for Comcast Sports Net West to pick them up. CSN West has a contract with Cal and has regularly televised games in recent years. It’s part of Sacramento’s basic cable package but in the past the network has also broadcast games in the Bay Area over an over-the-air channel. It’s also available in the Bay Area on digital packages.
CSN West also potentially could pick up any games that aren’t selected by ABC, FSN or Versus in the 6 and 12-day windows.
There are four games on TV for sure — Aug. 30 against Michigan State (ABC), Sept. 13 at Maryland (ESPN or ESPN2), Nov. 8 at USC (ABC) and Dec. 6 vs. Washington (FSN, ESPN or ESPN2).