Strong chance USC-UCLA could be a late-night game, which would be awful

It is not a surprise — or a problem — that the upcoming USC-UCLA football game was placed on a six-day hold, meaning that the scheduled kickoff time and the assigned television network will not be disclosed until Sunday, Nov. 13 (or at least no later than the 13th). It was and is unlikely that a start time would be disclosed before Nov. 12, when another Saturday of games unfolds.

The problem is that the Pac-12, which is trying to return to the College Football Playoff for the first time since the 2016 season, will have reduced exposure in the pursuit of that playoff bid.

We have full reaction to the announcement of the six-day hold for the USC-UCLA and Utah-Oregon games, with an explanation of why this is such an embarrassment for the Pac-12:

THE ACTUAL NEWS

CHRIS FOWLER

Chris Fowler hasn’t called a USC game yet this season. It’s very unlikely he would call a game at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, but that’s the only way he would call this USC game. Fox has the prime-time window if it wants USC-UCLA in that slot.

ESPN/ABC

ESPN/ABC had USC in prime time against Stanford in Week 2, but that game was called by Rece Davis. ESPN’s other USC broadcasts have been late-night games: Arizona State in Week 5 and Cal this past weekend. ESPN has carried three USC games so far this season.

PAC-12 NETWORK

Pac-12 Network carried Rice in Week 1, Oregon State in Week 4, and Arizona in Week 9.

FOX/FOX SPORTS 1

The Fox Sports umbrella (regular Fox and Fox Sports 1) has covered three USC games this season: Week 3 against Fresno State, Week 6 against Washington State, and Week 7 at Utah.

Fox Sports 1 will cover this Friday’s game against Colorado.

PAC-12 HEADACHE

If the Pac-12 is going to get ESPN eyeballs on its game, it will have to be a late-night game. That’s ridiculous.

GUARANTEED PROBLEM

Let’s say USC-UCLA gets the Fox prime-time game in the desired 5 p.m. Pacific time slot on Nov. 19. This is still very bad for the Pac-12 because it means the Utah-Oregon game will be the 10:30 p.m. Eastern time kickoff.

These are two games between (most likely) top-12 teams in the rankings. It’s a showcase day for the conference, and yet one of these two games is being shoved into a late-night slot? Pathetic.

GAMES CHRIS FOWLER MIGHT CALL INSTEAD OF USC-UCLA

ESPN might have its eye on Georgia-Kentucky, with the Dawgs trying to defend their national championship.

ILLINOIS-MICHIGAN

Fowler might call Illinois-Michigan. ESPN could covet the Chicago market in a year when Illinois football has been surprisingly good. ESPN might also want Michigan one week before the big Ohio State game.

TCU-BAYLOR

If TCU is still unbeaten, Fowler might call this game against Baylor.

MIAMI-CLEMSON

Miami is a bad team, but Clemson is still a prominent team. Sure, it would be ridiculous, but it’s possible.

BAD FOR UTAH AND OREGON, TOO

It’s not as though Utah and Oregon aren’t getting harmed here, either. They are.

REMINDER

NOTABLE

GOOD POINT

You will note — as mentioned in the tweet above — that there is an overlap of these two time slots. With one game starting at 5 Pacific and the other at 7:30, the first game will end an hour to 90 minutes after the second game begins. The TV networks couldn’t even space out these games to avoid any overlap.

The Pac-12 got humiliated and crushed here.

USC-UCLA IMPORTANCE

In the old days (the 1980s and earlier), USC-UCLA was regularly played at or near 12:30 p.m. in Los Angeles, after Michigan-Ohio State in the morning. The game being played in California sunshine was and is part of its national appeal and presence. That won’t happen. It’s terrible.

WE WROTE ABOUT THIS EARLIER IN THE YEAR

OCTOBER 15

ESPN picked Clemson-Florida State over USC-Utah on Oct. 15.

CONCLUSION

This is why USC is leaving for the Big Ten.

(Part 79 million.)

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire