Last week, the new Pac-12 Network announced the first 15 television broadcasts for the upcoming football season, and finally set the date for Arizona State's opening game against NAU. The Todd Graham Era in Tempe will officially kickoff at 7:30pm on Thursday August 30th.
Yep, Thursday. And it's not the last time that a non-traditional day shows up on ASU's schedule.
In addition to the season opener, ASU's Week 7 and 8 games at Colorado and home against Oregon are also on Thursdays. The Sun Devils' final game against Arizona is back in it's traditional slot on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Those three games are all on ESPN, as well as ASU's Week 2 match-up against Illinois.
While it's good to finally know the "when" in regards to ASU's schedule, it's left many fans wondering "why?".
Other than baseball, no sports embody tradition more than college football. Yet now in the place of historical rivalries, bowl games and games on Saturday, there is ceaseless conference realignment, playoff formats (which is a rare good idea) and games on college football on every day but Sundays.
With the dollars flying around in today's game, all of the moves are inevitable. Having your product on national television as much as possible only helps to expand the brand and line of the pockets of the networks, schools and conferences.
But there is a price, however quaint and outdated. That aura of knowing that come hell or bye week, your team was playing on Saturdays in the fall. Knowing that you didn't have to pull up a calendar or have to take PTO or leave work early to head to the stadium has it's value. Saturdays are for college football, Tuesdays are for happy hour after work and Justified.
Three Thursday games is alarming, but not terrible. But if the network creep continues to shift more games out into the week, then we may be losing more than just our weekend plans.