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'Painting 'em Purple'

From the Booth
Thursday, October 31, 2002
By Jeff Charles
Voice of the Pirates

Need for exposure pushes scheduling envelope


Listen to FROM THE BOOTH with Jeff Charles live on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. on WCZI 98.3 FM, or play the audio archive the next day on Bonesville Internet Radio.





Do you realize that Conference USA Football teams have played on every single day of the week this year? It’s a sign of the times.

Kentucky played at Louisville on a Sunday. Texas Christian was at Cincinnati on a Monday. Memphis hosted Louisville on a Tuesday. Southern Miss visited TCU last night, a Wednesday, (and lost). And Louisville was at Southern Miss on a Thursday.

There’s a Friday night game, too, that we’ve heard something about.

And of course, Saturday, the last time I checked, is still a day for college football games.

This Saturday, believe it or not, there is only one conference game, and only two of the ten teams in the conference are even playing. That’s the Houston at Memphis game.

Television has dramatically impacted college football and played havoc with the C-USA schedule.

As we travel around the league this season everyone talks about the same thing. How difficult it’s been this year to get into any type of rhythm with your schedule.

The Pirates have three open dates and no home game for five weeks. Teams play on a four-day turn around, ten days off or two weeks between games. Everyone is in the same boat and you hear the same complaints from all the schools.

Television is vitally important to a college football program. Conference USA is not a priority for televised Saturday football. So, of the twenty network telecasts for the league this year, just nine are Saturday games and three of those are ESPN Plus, one is Army-Navy on CBS and another is Memphis at Mississippi on Jefferson Pilot.

I’m probably like you. I enjoy watching college football. As a viewer, I enjoy watching Southern Miss and TCU on a Wednesday night. For Conference USA, it is great exposure and additional revenue.

The people who pay the biggest price for the scheduling compromises that accompany the added TV exposure are the players and coaches and to some extent the fans.

There’s an old saying about you take “the good with the bad.” Television exposure is great, especially for a growing league like Conference USA, but it does come with a price.

News ‘n Notes From Pirate Land

  • Britton Banowski visited with me last week on my radio show, “From the Booth”. The new Conference USA Commissioner has a challenge on his hands. This is a conference with diversity among its institutions and the looming football BCS question. It’s not an easy job.

  • Houston Coach Dana Dimel and Steve Logan go way back to Hutchinson Junior College days. Logan was the head coach at the ripe old age of twenty-seven and Dimel was his player, an offensive lineman recruited from Ohio. The first year “Hutch” struggled, the second year under Logan they were in the Junior College National playoffs. Dimel went on to play at Kansas State and worked his way up the ranks to become the head coach at Wyoming, where he was 23-12 in three years.

  • Houston is a school with distinguished alumni. Dan Rather and Jim Nantz from CBS, Tom Landry, Kenny Rogers, Larry Gatlin, and John J. Moores, the owner of the San Diego Padres, among others.

  • There’s talk about realigning Conference USA for basketball. This may be the last year of the two division setup. The American and National divisions may go the way of the dinosaur and be replaced with just one fourteen team league.

  • Who would you take in the NFL Draft, Dave Ragone or Byron Leftwich? They’ve both made believers out of me. I’ll take Ragone, but you probably can’t go wrong with Leftwich.

  • The Pirates have played thirteen true freshmen this year, according to Logan. Injuries have played a part. Struggles on the field have played a part, too. Steve doesn’t want to play any more than those thirteen this year.

  • Kevin Miller is just five points away from becoming ECU’s all time leading scorer. Kevin is a bright, class kid who is a standup guy. He has the respect of his teammates.

Till next time, “keep painting’em purple.”

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02/23/2007 10:24:11 AM

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