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The Pac-12 is one of the few major conferences that hasn't shied away from weeknight football.
In 2013, some of the conference's biggest matchups will be played during the week, such as Oregon at Stanford on Thursday, November 7. There's also Arizona at USC on Thursday, October 10, USC at Oregon State on Friday, November 1 and USC at Oregon on Friday, November 29.
So if the Pac-12 is doing it, why can't the SEC or Big Ten?
The Pac-12 is a unique case in college football. For as long as anyone can remember, the fans in the Pac-12—and more than a few coaches and players—have complained about an “east coast bias” when it comes to college football, particularly when dealing with All-American lists and individual awards like the Heisman Trophy.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who's to blame for that. The Pac-12, like so many other conferences, likes night games.
There's something magical about college football under the lights, and it makes for some really great prime time TV.
The problem is, prime time in Los Angeles is the middle of the night in Boston, Miami, New York, Columbus, Ann Arbor and many other big cities and college football towns.
A 7:30 p.m. kickoff in the Pacific Time Zone is a 10:30 pm kickoff in the east. With some games stretching to three hours, it's getting close to 2:00 a.m. when the game concludes.
Many fans have either gone to bed or hit the local adult beverage establishments by then—and that includes sports reporters.
To try and gain a little more attention out east, the Pac-12 has moved some games to earlier in the week. We think a noon or 3:30 pm kickoff—a commonplace occurrence in the east—would also do the trick, too, but the conference powers have made their decision.
Even so, we still have to wonder about the potential impact.
Remember last season's upset of Stanford by Washington in late September? The only reason that didn't get more play nationally was because it was on a Thursday night.
By the time Saturday rolled around, there were dozens of other storylines that needed to be covered, and were fresher than the two-day-old story of the Huskies defeat of the Cardinal.