Welcome to “Second Guess” Saturday.
It’s raining opinions.
>> One defining factor demonstrates one of the most important differences between college football’s Power Five and Group of Five.
Since P5 schools are predominantly on network television, the times are usually at noon, 3:30 p.m. and either 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.
Take West Virginia University, for example.
In 2018, 11 of the Mountaineers’ 12 kickoffs all took place at traditional times. Five kicked off at 3:30 p.m., three at noon, one at 7 p.m. and one at 8 p.m. The only unusual time was a 6 p.m. kickoff in the season opener against FCS opponent Youngstown State.
The same is true in 2019 for the four WVU games with announced kickoffs. Missouri and N.C. State are both at noon, Baylor is 8 p.m. and TCU at 3:30 p.m.
Traditional, traditional, traditional.
Now let’s compare those kickoff times to Marshall University’s 2019 games. Well, actually, there is no comparison. The Thundering Herd’s kickoffs are all over the clock.
In fact, MU has seven different kickoff times.
That’s right, seven.
The G5 Herd plays one game at noon (home to FIU); two at 2:30 p.m. (home to Old Dominion, at Western Kentucky); three at 3:30 p.m. (at Middle Tennessee, at Rice and at Charlotte); one at 5 p.m. (home to the University of Cincinnati); three at 6:30 p.m. (home to VMI, home to Ohio and at Florida Atlantic; one at 7 p.m. (home to Louisiana Tech); and, finally, one at 9 p.m. (at Boise State).
See what a difference network television makes?
Marshall has merely four games on networks — three on the CBS Sports Network and one on ESPN2. The other eight are on such streaming networks as Stadium, Stadium Facebook and CBS Sports Facebook.
That’s a big difference.
It’s easy to keep track of WVU’s kickoffs and television networks. But Marshall’s better have a dry-erase calendar attached to the fridge.
Know what else goes hand-in-hand with traditional kickoffs and network television? Revenue. In 2018, WVU received $34.3 million in television revenue from the Big 12.
Compare that to Marshall. Since most of the Herd’s games were streamed in 2018, Marshall realized only about $200,000 in television revenue from Conference USA.
Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
It’s all about the kickoffs.
>> Where are all the Class AAA basketball players?
Certainly not in the North-South Boys Basketball All-Star Game.
The only Class AAA players who will be playing at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the South Charleston Community Center will be Morgantown’s Cam Selders and Musselman’s Cameron Williams for the North and Beckley’s Bryce Radford for the South.
That’s it. Just three from Class AAA. (George Washington’s Bunky Brown was on the original roster, but was unable to compete Friday.)
But Class A? Oh, that’s an entirely different story. The North squad includes six players from Class A, three from Class AA and two from Class AAA. The South has five from Class A, two from Class AA and one from Class AAA.
That means 11 of the 19 players in the North-South All-Star Game are from Class A.
Think the fact that the coaches are also from Class A might have something to do with it?
>> Are there worse ways for a college baseball team to lose than how WVU did to Texas A&M in an NCAA regional baseball tournament it was hosting? Probably. But I certainly can’t think of one.
Full count. Bases loaded. Hanging curve. Boom.
Wow. Just wow.
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at email@example.com.