Tradition’s just another word in today’s ACC:
… Counting last week’s decision to move the Wake Forest at Baylor game from Saturday, Aug. 30, to Aug. 28, four ACC teams will open the 2008 season on Thursday.
That’s one-fourth of the league’s season-opening schedule. Florida State isn’t scheduled to play its first game — against Western Carolina — until Sept. 6, meaning only seven ACC teams will play on the first Saturday of the season.
The growing abandonment of Saturday, especially for season-opening games, can’t be smart for college teams.
The Saturday game is more than a hallmark of college football. It’s a institutional birthright that the powerful NFL generally has honored over the years, just as college teams basically have left Friday to the high schools. Game days are a delicate equation across the football spectrum, and though it’s unlikely that the NFL would attempt a widespread infringement on early-season Saturday games, college leaders need to be careful about willingly surrendering their turf.
It’s all about the fans, of course – the ones that show up and the ones with the remote controls.
“Saturday games should always be the preferred option for colleges, but there are television contracts that have to be fulfilled, too,” N.C. State athletic director Lee Fowler said. “We’re fortunate in that our fans are very loyal and have responded favorably to the Thursday games we have played.”