Apparently there was some rumor going around that the Utah and TCU game was going to be on CBS. I have no clue where it started, but Scott Pierce from The Salt Lake Tribune, who is their television critic, put out an article on this very topic.
Pierce said that rumors from local sports talk radio, but I listen to quite a bit of sports radio here in Salt Lake and I am not sure what station or uniformed host made that dubious claim. Nonetheless, the game will be on CBS College Sports, and it would definitely be an upgrade over Ole Miss vs. Tennessee that is being shown on CBS, but it does matter. While there is a free preview, the reach is still only about 69 million viewers, where Versus reaches. I was engaged in a lengthy conversation with OBNUG on twitter the other day about why the game was on CBS College and not Versus, and the answer was simple.
The Mountain West assigns television games prior to the season, but an argument to be made is that any smart college football person knew this game would be big and should deserve a better audience. Or, the Mountain West could assign games like the rest of the leagues do where television games are decided a week in advanced.
My first quip was that, at least it's not on the Mtn., which is a good point, but what really irritates me is that when I went over to see what Versus was showing, and they are showing Ivy League football! That is right Penn at Princeton is on a channel that has a better reach. The matchup of #3 TCU vs. #5 Utah is the highest ranking between two teams all season in college football.
Here is the best quote from Pierce in his article:
JUST WATCH IT
Whaa, whaa, whaa - some national college football "experts" are complaining that they won't be able to see Saturday's TCU-at-Utah game.
Hey, if you're claiming to be an expert - if you're voting in the polls - you have an obligation to watch the game. And it won't be that difficult.
And yet The Sporting News published a story indicating that, because so few people will be able to see the No, 3 and No. 5 teams in the latest BCS poll, it will hurt the winner's chances of making it to the BCS title game.
The game "is on the CBS College Sports Network (good luck finding it) instead of a national network or major cable outlet. Just how many eyes will be watching?
"Not enough to make a difference."
Good points by Pierce in saying if you are an expert you should have no problem finding the game. Especially, since these ballots mean something in determine a national champion. That line takes me back to when Utah defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl where a handful of Harris poll voters admitted that they did not see Utah play in 2008:
"I did not see them play [in the regular season]," Bobby Aillet said.
"I didn't see any live games," Lance McIlhenny said. "I just [saw] highlights."
"I don't recall if I saw them play specifically during the regular season," David Housel said. "I don't remember a specific game."
Plus there was the guy who thought voting in the Harris poll was optional.
The point is now moot that the game is on CBS College and not Versus, even though the league should have realized that TCU vs. Utah is a huge game to highlight the conference. The reach of Versus is nearly identical with ESPN and would have been able to be seen by more people, but there are many ways to find this game.
One good point about this game being on CBS College is that Craig Bolerjack will be the play-by-play guy for the game. Those in Utah know Bolerjack as the Utah Jazz play-by-play voice and some nationally may recognize him calling the secondary game for SEC football on CBS, plus he has called NCAA tournament games. So, this is a plus.
All I can say is find a way to watch this game.