Alabama played Clemson during ABCâ€™s primetime slot to launch its 2008 campaign. With Alabama tapped to play Virginia Tech in the Georgia Dome to launch 2009, one might assume a primetime slot on ABC a given.
In the words of one ESPN personality, Not so fast.
ESPN/ABC has inked a deal to broadcast a Labor Day weekend game from the new Cowboys Stadium. The matchup features BYU playing Oklahoma during the networkâ€™s Kickoff Weekend, according to a report from Sports Business Daily (via Awful Announcing).
According to the report via Awful Announcing: â€œESPN will televise the first college football game from the new Cowboys stadium September 5, when Oklahoma plays BYU. The game will be part of ESPN Kickoff Week presented by Gillette. ESPN has not decided yet whether to telecast the game on ESPN or ABC. The game will kick off a five-year deal that will see ESPN or ABC telecast a Labor Day weekend game from the new stadium. “We are delighted to present this compelling game and impressive new venue to a national audience, and look forward to working with Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys in future years to build a new tradition in college football,” said ESPN/ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer.â€
This is of interest to Alabama fans as the Alabama vs. Virginia Tech game is schedule for the same weekend. ESPN/ABC was noncommittal about where the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game would broadcast during the press conference announcing the Alabama return to the Georgia Dome in 2009. The Alabama vs. Clemson game earned a 3.6 rating for ABC.
Where will Alabama land? It could depend on preseason rankings and preseason buzz.
So, what network would you prefer? ABC with Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit or ESPN with the clever Mike Patrick and Todd Blackledge?