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College Football Scheduling: Orange Bowl Moved to Dec. 30, FOX to Make Noon Push
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14 May 2019 01:42 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray races for touchdown in Red River Rivalry. (Image Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Let’s go around the world of college football with recent scheduling news:

FOX Making Push

FOX announced that the network is planning on airing their big games at noon this upcoming season.

The network has first shot at Big Ten games and will also feature several Big 12 contests in 2019.

It’s typical for The Game, which pits bitter Big Ten rivals Michigan and Ohio State, to be slotted for noon. Same goes for the showdown between Oklahoma and Texas. However, networks usually feature their best games either at 3:30 or on primetime so this is definitely a change in philosophy.

It’s an intriguing strategy.

It’s also believed FOX is using this in their effort to take on ESPN as the leader in college football programming, which starts with going head-to-head with the iconic College GameDay preview show.

Fox will have their own preview show in the fall headlined by Urban Meyer, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and Brady Quinn.

FOX is a broadcast network, which means they are in approximately 25-30 million more homes than ESPN, a cable network.

What does this mean for fans?

Well fans going to these big games probably won’t love it, as it leaves less time for tailgating, especially those in Big 12 country who are in the central time zone. As for fans watching at home, this is a welcomed change to those who like to begin watching at noon. Over the past several years the quality of the early games other than The Game and Red River Rivalry has been quite diminished.

Orange Bowl Moved

In other scheduling news, the Orange Bowl has been moved from New Year’s Day to December 30.

It was originally scheduled for the noon slot on Dec. 30, leading up to the Rose Bowl, while other bowl games were also being played during the early time slots (either noon or 1:00).

The move allows the Orange Bowl to be played at night, which is the traditional time slot for the major bowl. It was the first college bowl game to be played at night in 1965.

“The Capital One Orange Bowl was presented with a unique opportunity by our partners, including ESPN, Capital One, the ACC, Big Ten, SEC, Notre Dame, the Miami Dolphins and the CFP, to play this year’s game on Monday, December 30 in primetime,” Orange Bowl Committee president José C. Romano said in a statement. “With other bowl games planned for the early afternoon window on January 1, this move enables our game to stand alone as the only bowl game staged on Monday night, when fans are used to viewing football games. We are confident this traditional start time will be a positive for both the out of town and local fans who attend our game, as well as the television viewers across the country.”

By moving to Monday, the Orange Bowl can also own the night. That’s Week 17 in the NFL, which features no MNF game, as it’s the final week of the regular season.

The College Football Playoffs semifinals (Peach & Fiesta Bowls) will be played on Saturday Dec. 28.    

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.

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