Colorado coach Deion Sanders is less than thrilled his team is playing its second game of the season at 10 p.m. ET.
Colorado hosts Stanford for an 8 p.m. local kickoff Friday night and when the game came up during his weekly radio show on Wednesday, he wasn’t shy about letting his true feelings be known about late games.
“Who makes these 8 o’clock games? These are the dumbest thing ever,” Sanders said. “Stupidest thing ever invented in life, who wants to stay up until 8 o’clock for a darn game. What about the East Coast? They even care about ratings or anybody watching it?
“What are we supposed to do with the kids all day until 8 o’clock? What are we supposed to do all day until 8 o’clock? What are you supposed to do in the hotel? What are you supposed to do all day?”
After a brief back-and-forth with Colorado radio host Mark Johnson, Sanders expressed his joy for the school’s move to the Big 12 next season.
“Thank God we’re not going to be in this conference,” Sanders said.
Colorado’s game Friday night is part of a doubleheader for ESPN after Tulane plays at Memphis. In Week 3, Colorado hosted Colorado State on a Saturday night game that started at 8 p.m. in Boulder.
That game was the most-watched of Week 3 too. Colorado has been the biggest college football draw on television so far this season and the Buffs’ OT win over CSU drew an average of over 9 million viewers.
Since Colorado is unranked after losses to Oregon and USC and the game is on Friday night, it’s unreasonable to expect a TV audience anywhere close to that for the Stanford game. But East Coast viewers who want to stay up and watch the Buffaloes will certainly do so.
This isn’t the final late-night game of the season for Colorado either. The Buffaloes are scheduled to play at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 17 at Washington State and could have another late kickoff or two across their other four remaining games. Since the Pac-12 is the only major conference with schools in the Pacific Time Zone, its games are valuable late-evening properties for ESPN and Fox.
And much to Sanders’ chagrin, moving to the Big 12 is unlikely to keep Colorado away from late games going forward, either. With the Pac-12 down to just two teams next seaosn and BYU already in the Big 12 and Arizona, Arizona State and Utah joining the league with Colorado, the Big 12 is likely to take over many of the 10 p.m. ET TV spots the Pac-12 currently occupies.