This New York Times piece on the influence and power of the WWL is a must read, which means it’s an incredibly depressing article.
This is power:
The extent of ESPN’s influence over college football is literally displayed on the face of your ticket to next week’s game. Tickets to most games are printed with the date and the opponent’s name, but something is missing: the kickoff time. That is because ESPN, under its contracts with conferences, has the right to set kickoff times and wait until 12 days before game day, or in some cases only six, to inform universities.
This is one way you keep power (besides ladling out the big bucks, of course):
Underscoring ESPN’s special relationship with college football is the fact that it created and owns the software used for scheduling games. The online portal, known as the Pigskin Access Scheduling System, or PASS, is now used by virtually all conferences and colleges, as well as competing networks. Generally, the colleges work together to set up nonconference matchups, but sometimes they reach out to ESPN for a suggestion, or even to play matchmaker.
And this is one sign the schools appreciate that “special relationship”:
Quick scheduling turnarounds can be logistically challenging for university officials. Still, many athletic directors echoed Jay Jacobs of Auburn, who said, “It works very well for us now that we’re used to it.”
Glad that worked out for you, Jay.
Again, you need to read the whole thing, but you might want to do so on an empty stomach. Especially if you’re a fan of a mid-major program.