I was poking around over at EDSBS(who called UNC "the most excusable 1-4 team in the country") and I stumbled upon the ESPN/ABC coverage map for the 3:30 game on Saturday. Needless to say the powers that be in Bristol have some interesting ideas about who should see what game(click on the image for a larger view)
The three games in question at 3:30 on Saturday are Oklahoma at Texas(yellow), Iowa at Penn State(blue) and NC State at Florida State(green) Obviously the Red River Shootout is going to get the largest coverage area with the respective conferences filling out the rest of map with one odd exception. Maryland and Virginia are mostly excluded from the NCSU-FSU viewing area while eastern MA and southern NH are included in what I assume is the ACC viewing area. This strikes me as odd and also illustrates how bad of a geological fit BC is for the ACC, but what's done is done right? It just seems curious that ESPN/ABC would exclude the Virginia, Virginia Tech and Maryland campuses from the rights to view an ACC game in favor of a Big 12 game while including MA and surrounding areas for the Wolfpack's trip to Tallahassee. My question is what was the impetus for including Boston on the ACC game and not VA and MD? Are BC fans obsessed with Tom O'Brien to the point ESPN feels the need to show NC State games to the folks in New England? And while we are at it where the heck was this kind of coverage during the 2000 NCAA Tournament when I was living near Boston and unable to watch UNC play Tennessee because of regional coverage rules which stuck me with some Big East school and relegating me to watching the ticker at the bottom of the screen to see if the Heels were winning?
Anyhow if you press ESPN on the issue I am sure they have a logical explanation for their coverage plans and if not they can always blame a blog or something*
*Last time I make that joke...I promise.