Look on the bright side. This is all about what it means to be among the elite in the Pac-12.
Washington’s Chris Petersen, coach of the nation’s fifth-ranked and unbeaten Huskies, has a darker view of all this.
His team has a home game against Cal on Saturday that kicks off at 7:45 p.m. It’ll end closer to 11:30 p.m. Next week, the Huskies’ game at Arizona State is also now locked in at 7:45 p.m.
Washington, as it turns out, hasn’t started a game so far this season earlier than 5 p.m. Last season, only four of its 13 games came earlier than 5 p.m.
Petersen is just the latest to break out the tiny violins about the cons, not the pros, of playing night games week after week. “Pac-12 After Dark” is a nice marketing tool, until it hammers nail you down to a regular schedule that doesn’t always fit into the alums schedule.
It also gets tougher and tougher as the nights get cooler.
“I just want to say something to our fans: We apologize for these late games,” Petersen said Monday, via The Associated Press. “And I’d also like to reiterate it has nothing to do with us or the administration.
“We want to play at 1 p.m. It hurts us tremendously in terms of national exposure. No one wants to watch our game on the East Coast that late, and we all know it. ….It’s painful for our team. It’s painful for our administration and we know certainly the most important part is for our fans.”
Petersen added about the Pac-12 Conference TV decision makers: “I don’t think they even kind of care about my voice, or probably any of the coaches’ voices. I don’t think there is one coach out there, or probably school, in the West that wants to play our games at late night and all of that. Everyone wants to play in the daytime.”
USC could have received that kind of treatment, but lose a game, and you kind of fall off the radar.
The Trojans get a nice daytime match up on the Pac-12 Network this Saturday following their late-night loss last Friday in Pullman, Wash., but at least they know they can go to bed earlier this weekend.
It’s the only conference game Saturday starting before 5 p.m.
As UCLA gets a bye, here’s how the schedule plays out for L.A.:
= USC vs. Oregon State, Saturday at 1 p.m., Pac-12 Net (Roxy Bernstein, Chad Brown, Lewis Johnson)
= Washington State at Oregon, Saturday at 5 p.m., Channel 11 (Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman, Holly Sonders)
= Arizona at Colorado, Saturday at 5 p.m., Pac-12 Net (JB Long, Yogi Roth, Jill Savage)
= Stanford at Utah, 7:15 p.m., FS1 (Eric Collins, Danny Kanell, A.J. Hawk)
= Cal at Washington, 7:45 p.m., ESPN (Mark Jones, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessinich)
BEST OF THE REST
= ESPN “College GameDay” emanates from Texas Christian University prior to TCU’s game against West Virginia, which is a Fox -net broadcast.
= Louisville at North Carolina State, 5 p.m., ESPN (Dave Flemming, Tim Hasslebeck, Matt Hassleback, Laura Rutledge)
= Boise State at BYU, 7:15 p.m., ESPN (Adam Amin, Dusty Dvoracek)
= Penn State at Northwestern, 9 a.m., Channel 7 (Steve Levy, Brian Griese)
= Georgia at Vanderbilt, 9 a.m., ESPN (Mike Patrick, Tommy Tuberville)
= Wake Forest at Clemson, 9 a.m., ESPN2 (Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht)
= Mississippi at Auburn, 9 a.m., SEC Network (Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers)
= Iowa State at Oklahoma, 9 a.m., Channel 11 (Brian Custer, Ben Leber, Jen Hale)
= West Virginia at TCU, 12:30 p.m., FS1 (Aaron Goldsmith, Brady Quinn, Bruce Feldman)
= Miami at Florida State, 12:30 p.m., ESPN (Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill)
= Notre Dame at North Carolina, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7 (Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard)
= LSU at Florida, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2 (Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson, Allie LaForce)
= Air Force vs. Navy at Annapolis, Md, 12:30 p.m., CBSSN (Carter Blackburn, Aaron Taylor, Jenny Dell)
= Kansas State at Texas, 4 p.m., FS1 (Justin Kutcher, Mark Helfrich, Petros Papadakis)
= Alabama at Texas A&M, 4:15 p.m, ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe)
= Virginia Tech at Boston College, 4:15 p.m., ESPN2 (Mike Corey, Ahmad Brooks)
= Michigan State at Michigan, 4:30 p.m., Channel 7 (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor)
= Wisconsin at Nebraska, 5 p.m., Big Ten Net (Kevin Kugler, Matt Millen, Lisa Byington)
= San Diego State at UNLV, 7:45 p.m., ESPN2 (Clay Matvick, Kirk Morrison)