LOS ANGELES — Pac-12 After Dark has turned into a cult following in recent years late on Saturday nights during the football season but that could change in a big way on the sun dial for fans based on early conversations the league has had with its television partners.
The conference confirmed they have had preliminary discussions with Fox about having a Pac-12 game kickoff at 9 a.m. PT/noon ET as soon as this season in order to help alleviate night kickoffs and explore a new TV window to maximize exposure on the East Coast. While there would be at most one or two games after Week 3 that would even be eligible (and Mountain Time Zone schools like Utah and Colorado would be chief candidates), it certainly sounds like there’s a real possibility of it happening.
“We’ve discussed it recently. That would be new and out of the box for our conference but I’ve tried to put everything on the table. There’s a lot of frustration from fans in certain markets to the late night kicks,” commissioner Larry Scott told NBC Sports. “I’d like to see one or two games this season that are 12 noon (ET) kicks be Pac-12 games and see what markets might respond positively to that.”
Scott has only begun to feel out the league’s athletic directors about the idea, which he notes would be completely voluntary for the schools involved. Fans out West have been vocal about having too many nighttime kickoffs in the 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. PT windows, which comprise roughly a third of the league’s schedule on a college football Saturday.
“They could kickoff at 6 a.m. The hardest thing if you’re a college football player, is when you wake up and have to wait until 7 o’ clock at night,” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly added. “We don’t control our schedule and when we kickoff so tell us when we’re kicking off and where it is, and we’ll be there. If he wants us to play at 9 a.m., we’ll play at 9.”
The unusual idea is not without pushback already those within the league footprint but does coincide with a recent push by Fox to make a much bigger deal about the noon ET window with their college football coverage.
So get ready Pac-12 fans, because mimosas and mike linebackers is coming to your city soon enough.
The 12th Man is a big, big deal at Texas A&M. In fact, it’s pretty much the brand of not just the football program, but the entire athletics department. Case in point, A&M’s athletics department website is 12thman.com.
For the uninitiated, in 1922 the Aggies found themselves short of players in a football game against Center College, the No. 1 team in the country at the time, after multiple players sustained injuries over the course of the game. Down to just 11 players, A&M student E. King Gill volunteered to suit up and stand on the sidelines in case the team needed him. Gill now has a statue outside of Kyle Field, and A&M’s student section is collectively referred to as the 12th Man.
As such, it’s a tremendous honor for an active Aggie player to be awarded the No. 12 and, after fullback Cullen Gillaspia donned the jersey for a record-tying 39 games, it’s time to hand it off to a new player.
On Tuesday, Jimbo Fisher awarded the No. 12 jersey to Braden White, a walk-on linebacker from Florence, Ala.
“I’m honored just to be able to represent this great university and everything about it,” White said. “It’s a true blessing.”
White is a redshirt junior who has checked all the boxes of a player who checks all the 12th Man boxes. He was named Defensive Scout Team MVP during his redshirt year of 2016 and was honored as the Top Conditioned Athlete at the Aggies’ 2018 team banquet. He has appeared in 18 career games, recording 16 career tackles playing primarily as a special teams contributor.
White will wear No. 12 for the first time next when Texas A&M — ranked, ironically, No. 12 in the preseason AP poll — hosts Texas State next Thursday night (8:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network).
Until they tell us otherwise, Connecticut is going to try to make it as an FBS independent. This upcoming season will be the Huskies’ final one as a member of the American Athletic Conference, as the Huskies’ Olympic sports will return to the Big East and the football team will go it alone.
This will require lots (and lots and lots) of scheduling work, and quickly. As of now, the Huskies have four games on the schedule for a season that begins 12 months from now.
While it does nothing to help the 2020 slate, UConn began chipping away at the mountain in front of it on Wednesday by announcing a home-and-home with Boston College. The first game will be Oct. 29, 2022 in Storrs, with the return game going down Oct. 28, 2023 in Chestnut Hill.
The two programs have met 14 times previously; BC leads the series 12-0-2. The Eagles took the most recent meeting 39-16 in 2017.
Additionally, BC announced a 2023-28 home-and-home with Army and a Sept. 9, 2023 home game with Holy Cross.
Penn State safety Johnny Petrishen has left State College for Pittsburgh, where he is now a Panther.
Petrishen announced the transfer on Tuesday evening, and Pitt confirmed his addition on Wednesday morning.
Petrishen has two years of eligibility remaining thanks — if you want to use that term — to two medical redshirts.
A Lower Burrell, Pa., native, Petrishen appeared in 17 career games as a Nittany Lion, including all 13 last season. Primarily a special teams player, he posted eight career tackles and one TFL in State College.
Hugh Freeze may be dealing with what was a significant health issue, but he’s still working his first-year roster at Liberty.
On his personal Twitter account Tuesday evening, Tim Kidd-Glass announced that he “would like to thank God for allowing me to have another opportunity to further my football career… at Liberty University.” The announcement comes a couple of weeks after the safety triggered a move from North Carolina State by entering his name into the NCAA transfer database.
As a graduate transfer, Kidd-Glass will be eligible to play for the Flames in 2019.
The past three seasons, the Virginia native played in 33 games for the Wolfpack. He started nine of those contests, all of which came during the 2017 season.