On Monday, USC fans and Pac-12 football fans were stunned to learn that the huge game between the Trojans and the Oregon State Beavers would be shown on Pac-12 Network.
USC-Oregon State is a massive game. The winner takes a big step toward the Pac-12 Championship Game. The stakes are extremely high.
Arizona-Colorado and Arizona State-Cal are Pac-12 Network games. Low-visibility games should be on the low-visibility network. When USC plays on Pac-12 Network, it should be against a bad team such as Cal, not against a good team.
ESPN and Fox want to save their USC games for later in the season, but they’re doing so at the expense of this very important contest. The ultimate problem is that Pac-12 Network is not on DirecTV and is not on a regular (basic) cable tier. It’s not nearly as accessible or visible as SEC Network or Big Ten Network.
What makes this development especially infuriating: Bad games are on ESPN and Fox and other high-visibility national television outlets. Look at all the other matchups on ESPN, or ABC, or Fox, or other prime TV outlets. They’re not as good as Trojans-Beavers. Let’s take a look:
Oct 30, 2021; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Bryan Harsin watches his team warm up before the game against the Mississippi Rebels Jordan-Hare Stadium before. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines during action against the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 at Michigan Stadium.
DUKE-KANSAS, Fox Sports 1
Oct 23, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams (13) scores a touchdown as wide receiver Jadon Haselwood (11) looks on during the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
BUFFALO-EASTERN MICHIGAN, CBS Sports Network
Eastern Michigan Eagles defensive back David Carter Jr. (27) returns an interception for a touchdown against the Wisconsin Badgers during their football game on Saturday, September 11, 2021 in Madison, Wis.
TOLEDO-SAN DIEGO STATE, Fox Sports 1
Dec 4, 2021; Carson, CA, USA; San Diego State Aztecs quarterback Jordon Brookshire (4) runs the ball against the Utah State Aggies during the first half in the Mountain West Conference championship game at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL-WESTERN KENTUCKY, CBS Sports Network
Feb 1, 2022; Mobile, AL, USA; American quarterback Bailey Zappe of Western Kentucky (17) sets the play during American practice for the 2022 Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
NORTHERN ILLINOIS-KENTUCKY, ESPN 2
Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras (7) gets set to take a snap from center Tyler Linderbaum (65) during an NCAA college football game in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl against Kentucky, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
IOWA-RUTGERS, Fox Sports 1
Nov 23, 2019; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Johnny Langan (17) throws a pas against the Michigan State Spartans during the first half at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
UNLV-UTAH STATE, CBS Sports Network
Sep 4, 2021; Pullman, Washington, USA; Utah State Aggies wide receiver Kyle Van Leeuwen (9) celebrates after a win against the Washington State Cougars at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium. The Aggies, 26-23. James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
WISCONSIN-OHIO STATE, ABC
Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst, right, and defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard argue in vain against a Notre Dame touchdown reception during the second quarter of their game Saturday, September 25, 2021 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL
CHARLOTTE-SOUTH CAROLINA, ESPNU
Nov 13, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer reacts to play against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. South Carolina was an ACC member from 1953-1971. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
STANFORD-WASHINGTON, Fox Sports 1
Sep 10, 2022; Stanford, California, USA; USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley (left) shakes hands with Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw after a game at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
WESTERN MICHIGAN-SAN JOSE STATE, CBS Sports Network
Sep 4, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; USC Trojans running back Keaontay Ingram (28) gets a first down before he is stopped by San Jose State Spartans defensive lineman E.J. Ane (91) in the first half of the game at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports