Big 12 links: Nebraska benefitting from pay-per-view games
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
It would seem that being relegated to a pay-per-view telecast would be college football's version of playing in Siberia. Less attention compared to national games on the major networks seemingly would make this an unattractive solution.
But excitement about the arrival of new Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is helping to disprove that line of thinking. The Omaha World-Herald reported that Nebraska notched impressive pay-per-view numbers in their first three telecasts, helping the school make more money than if those games had been carried by a national television network.
School officials estimate that Nebraska's first three games have generated more than $1 million in their telecasts produced in cooperation with Fox Sports Network.
"FSN has also done games with Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and the Nebraska games we have done have performed well in comparison with those schools," Geoff Goldman, FSN Midwest's media relations manager, told the Lincoln Journal Star.
So maybe there is a method there. Hire a vibrant new coach and play a bunch of nobodies from schools outside BCS conferences. And then sit back and rake in the cash.
I wish my budgeting was that simple.
Here are some of the other stories around the conference generating some hot sports opinion this morning.
- Kansas State fell victim to some of its old problems in a 38-29 loss to Louisville Wednesday night. The Kansas City Star's Jason Whitlock said that QB Josh Freeman didn't live up to being one of the Big 12's best quarterbacks. Freeman wasn't ready -- literally and figuratively -- for his prime-time opportunity.
- Colorado is girding for a tough challenge when West Virignia visits tonight, a game that could be a watershed moment for Coach Dan Hawkins' program. It will be the start of a brutal six-game swing for the Buffaloes that includes games against five ranked foes.
- Massachusetts players defended only nine passes in their entire game last week against James Madison. They may face that many in the first series Saturday against Texas Tech. And poor route-running was blamed by Texas Tech assistant coach Lincoln Riley as the major reason the Red Raiders dropped eight passes against SMU.
- Baylor has repeatedly benefitted from field-position advantage during their recent two-game winning streak.
- Cotton Bowl officials showed off their $57 million package of renovations, which will result in at least 16,000 more fans attending the Texas-Oklahoma game next month.
- Oklahoman columnist John Rohde spins forward to a potential Oklahoma-USC national championship game at the Orange Bowl. The Sooners will have to play at least the next four weeks without injured DT DeMarcus Granger, and perhaps much more.
- An underrated element in Oklahoma State's early success has been its strong punting. The Cowboys lead the nation in net punting and six of their eight kicks have been downed inside the opposing team's 20-yard line. They haven't needed much punting with the emergence of WR Dez Bryant into one of the nation's most productive players.
- Texas has already blocked three kicks in its first two games after producing none last season. Freshman DB Aaron Williams has been a key ingredient, blocking two against UTEP.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Jimmy Burch details the Big 12's biggest early surprises this season. Hurricane Ike has resulted in some unique challenges for Rice this week. Coach David Bailiff has been sleeping with his family in his office after the storm ripped through his home.
- Texas A&M DE Michael Bennett is emerging out of the ample shadow of his older brother, former A&M standout TE Martellus Bennett.
- Kansas City Star beat writer Mike DeArmond's scientific experiment in his weekly vlog might be the best comparison to Missouri's prolific offense. And the Columbia Tribune's Dave Matter says the Tigers should be in good shape Saturday as long as Dick Jauron's Buffalo Bills don't show up in the place of Turner Gill's team.
- Nebraska's defense has struggled during its bye week with a mental hangover after facing so many spread passing offenses, defensive coordinator Carl Pelini said.