The SEC on CBS’s broadcast schedule has come down and what we know is less instructive than what we don’t know. As of now, CBS has committed to very few of their choice 3:30/2:30, four-hour-long, commercial-laden, national broadcast affairs. And, of the games CBS has committed to, the Tide has not been selected for any of them.
Alabama fans can bet, with short notice, that at least four of these Saturday afternoons will be spent sweating in the stadium for hours as CBS gets in just one more AFLAC or Johnsonville brat commercial (No, I don’t like Saturday afternoon CBS national games. Why do you ask?)
This year is also a transition year for the broadcast team as now-retired Verne Lundqvist leaves the booth in favor of the present best-in-the-biz, Brad Nessler. Nessler will be joined by Gary Danielson...much to the chagrin of many Tide fans.
This year’s schedule features three consecutive Saturday SEC doubleheaders, which in addition to the two Thanksgiving weekend games, puts eight late-season games on CBS leading into the SEC Championship.
SEC ON CBS games this season include TCU at Arkansas to kick off the season on Sept. 9; last year’s SEC East Champion Florida taking on Tennessee on Sept. 16; Georgia vs. Florida in their annual rivalry game on Oct. 28 and Missouri at Arkansas on Friday, Nov. 24.
Here is the complete block of times for which we have information (Please note the compressed time for the SEC double-headers: Only in the one afternoon/primetime game has CBS taken into account the egregious amount of commercial breaks and the tremendous length of games. There is no almost no way that those 11:00 games will be over by 2:30.)
Sept. 9 TCU at Arkansas 3:30 PM
Sept. 16 Tennessee at Florida 3:30 PM
Oct. 28 Georgia vs. Florida 3:30 PM
Nov. 4 SEC Doubleheader 3:30 PM, 8:00 PM
Nov. 11 SEC Doubleheader 12:00 PM, 3:30 PM
Nov. 18 SEC Doubleheader 12:00 PM, 3:30 PM
Nov. 24 Missouri at Arkansas 2:30 PM
Dec. 2 SEC Championship 4:00 PM
Dec. 9 Army vs. Navy 3:00 PM
Dec. 29 Sun Bowl 3:00 PM
With that in hand, let’s see what Alabama games CBS will have to choose from. I’ll also project which games I think CBS takes. Remember, a team can only appear five (5) times, so we’re spared somewhat.
Open CBS dates x Alabama Schedule
Sept. 23 / @ Vanderbilt
Sept. 30 / Ole Miss (This game has been too competitive and too weird lately to pass up for CBS. They may flirt with Vanderbilt, but I think they’ll keep their powder dry for the Iron Bowl this year.)
Oct. 7 / @ Texas A&M (See also Ole Miss: There are few teams that have beaten Alabama in the regular season lately. The Tide on the road against a talented Aggy team is one they’ll show for the ‘what if’ factor. Also, the huge Houston/BHM CFB television market makes this a must-show.)
Oct. 14 / Arkansas
Oct 21 / Tennessee (The Third Saturday on a real third Saturday? In Tuscaloosa? Gorgeous October afternoon? Bank on CBS taking it.)
Nov. 4 / LSU (Absolutely must-broadcast hate-fest. And Bama-Tigers will probably the prime-time night game. The schedule lines up perfectly for a night game.)
Nov. 11 / @ Mississippi State
Nov. 18 / Mercer (This one screams 11:00 a.m. SEC-Network; that coveted Vandy/Barner slot.)
Nov. 25 / Auburn (I think AU is going to win 8-9 shootout games going into this, thus thus making this a big Iron Bowl. I don’t think we’ll get a weird 2014 repeat of the Egg Bowl. So, pencil this in as the 5th game CBS takes)
Chime in below on your picks, preferences etc. How do you think Nessler will transition to Verne’s coveted place on the catbird seat. Do we really like Allie LaForce (she’s no Tracy Wolfson, IYAM,) and the like.