The Big Ten has decided to begin having Friday night games in 2017. The new league deal with broadcast stations ABC/ESPN and FOX have six games in the contract. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney said he thought it was worthwhile to do.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is in support of the Friday games as well. “We are supportive of it,” Smith said. “We battled for a long time to try to be respectful obviously for high school football. But the reality is what we need to do for our television partners and what we need to do for our revenue stream, we needed to consider some different options.”
While Smith is motivated by revenue, Michigan is motivated by what is best for the team. Having an extra day of rest, practice, and preparation is always better if you can receive it. Michigan has flat out said no to playing on Friday’s. Delaney mentioned Michigan said no for “consistency of presentation”. In other words, the best performance possible requires the most amount of time possible to present their product (Saturday games).
Although the schedule of Friday games is limited, that’s still six match-ups per year, and a team could play a maximum of two Friday dates. Three games will be in-conference tilts, while three will be non-conference match-ups.
It is interesting the different approach Michigan has to Friday games than that of Ohio State. While Smith touts doing this for revenue, it’s highly likely Urban Meyer could care less about that “ revenue stream”. One thing Meyer and Harbaugh have in common is trying to gain an edge any way they can. Having a game a day early eliminates that edge in terms of maximum preparation alloted.
Comments on Twitter have been fairly negative about having Friday games, what do you think?