Media days is the official start of the upcoming college football season, and the Mountain West football festivities begin on Monday July 22 and continues through July 23. There will be the typical press conferences and media sessions with players, coaches and also commissioner Craig Thompson's press conference.
#MWFB Media Day is near! Festivities start first thing Monday, so follow us on for updates on your fav teams! #mw pic.twitter.com/Cg4Kaowysy— Mountain West (@TheMWC) July 19, 2013
The media will also present their preseason all-conference teams, players of the year and also predictions. All of that is the norm, but there should be a few high level announcements from Thompson's speech.
The biggest unsettled piece of business heading into the 2013 season is the league's inaugural conference title game. The only information that is known is that the game will be played on the home of the team with the highest BCS rating at the end of the regular season. Expect Thompson to announce what network, date and time for this game, because allowing this to go into the season would be disastrous and media day is for these types of events.
As for when and what network the game will be on, is anyone's guess. CBS Sports Network is the conference's primary television rights holder with ESPN being their secondary partner. Those two are the most likely networks but there is a past relationship with NBC Sports so that is also a possibility. However, with this game being the leagues most high profile event of the year look for the game to stay with CBS, but then the big question is if it will be on the CBS Sports Network or just maybe over-the-air CBS.
Right now the title games for the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and ACC are on that championship Saturday; as is a pair of Big 12 and AAC games that could be for their respective conference titles. However, Sports Media Watch lists the Mountain West title game on that same Saturday as the other BCS conference games, but television and time is still to be determined.
If it is on that championship Saturday then the league's highest priority should be to get their title game as a lead-in to the SEC title game with a 1 p.m. ET kick off, but that would mean either an 11 a.m. mountain or even a 10 a.m. pacific kick and that is not ideal for fans or the teams which will not be accustomed to that early of a start. Having the game post-SEC title game could work for the time zone and give something to go up against the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 title games in primetime, and it is not like Saturday night is the most watched night of the week for original program. If the game is after that would be a very reasonable 8 p.m. ET kick.
Knowing the Mountain West, the game likely will be on the CBS Sports Network and have a 3 p.m. ET kick, and for most of the game get dwarfed in the ratings of the SEC title game.
If that Saturday time slot is not accurate by Sports Media Watch, then the game would be played on Friday and go head-to-head with the MAC title game. Friday night, even on CBS Sports Network, the Mountain West's game could possible outdraw #MACtion in the ratings.
To not sit on the fence, but my gut tells me the game will be Saturday afternoon Eastern time and be on CBS Sports Network.