Nothing at noon: Early college football slate has been boring

CHAMPAIGN, IL - OCTOBER 02: Terrelle Pryor  of the Ohio State Buckeyes leads teammates including Justin Boren , Dan Herron  and Mike Adams  off the field during a game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Champaign, Illinois. Ohio State defeated Illinois 24-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

If you like to sleep in on Saturdays (like, really sleep in), you’ve been in luck. The noon (eastern) slate of college football games this season has been both lacking big-time games, and any kind of surprises. It’s essentially the bad Big Ten and ACC games, and maybe lower-level SEC matchup.

I imagine it has a lot to do with television, and the networks trying to get the biggest games in the prime spots (3:30 and 8). But in year’s past, I seem to remember there being some noon games that were worth watching. And even if they weren’t worth turning on at the start, there always seemed to be at least one game that you saw the score for that made you turn on the TV.

Outside of Florida’s scare against Miami (OH) in Week 1, South Carolina’s win over Georgia in Week 2 and Miami’s win over Clemson last week, there really hasn’t been that much to watch early in the day. And really, none of those were all that exciting. This is surprising in a year where college football has had a ton of big games with a lot of hype. As a couch potato who loves to come home from my morning duties and take in some football right away, I’m very dismayed by this.

Sure, the 3:30 and 8 time slots are great, but if you plan on focusing on one game, the others might as well not even be on. Plus, some of the bigger games get pushed completely off of television in different markets. For instance, last week’s 8 p.m. ABC game in Michigan was Notre Dame vs. Boston College. If you’re not a Notre Dame fan (or I suppose a BC fan, but there’s really not many of those in this state), that doesn’t do much for you. The mirror game on ESPN2 was Washington at USC, which turned out to be a good game, but really doesn’t draw that much interest in the Midwest.

One of last week’s biggest games, Stanford at Oregon, wasn’t even on TV, and I’m not just talking about my crappy basic digital package at home. Buffalo Wild Wings, which has like 75 TVs, didn’t have the game on because it wasn’t available. You’re telling me Notre Dame at Boston College couldn’t have been moved to the noon time slot where people in the Midwest and East (the obvious major markets for that game) could have been awake and watching?

Surely there are more pressing issues in college football right now, but this dearth of noon games seems to be the easiest to fix. So get on it, NCAA, because not only is this boring me early in the day, but it’s really making it hard to find things to write about before 3:30.

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Couch Potato Alert: 6/5

This could be a weekend of “firsts.” Calvin Borel could become the first jockey to record a Triple Crown on two separate horses. With “The King of Clay” Rafael Nadal out of the picture, Roger Federer could capture his first Grand Slam championship at the French Open. And Kobe Bryant could be halfway home to his first NBA title without Shaq.

All times ET…

NBA Finals
Sun, 8 PM: Orlando Magic @ Los Angeles Lakers (ABC)

Stanley Cup Finals
Sat, 8 PM: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Detroit Red Wings (NBC)

Sat, 4:10 PM: Philadelphia Phillies @ Los Angeles Dodgers (FOX)
Sun., 1:30 PM: Texas Rangers @ Boston Red Sox (TBS)
Sun., 8 PM: Philadelphia Phillies @ Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN)

French Open
Fri, 5 AM: Women’s Semifinals (Tennis Channel)
Fri, 10 AM: Men’s Semifinals (NBC)
Sat, 9 AM: Women’s Finals (NBC)
Sun, 9 AM: Men’s Finals (NBC)

Horse Racing
Sat, 5 PM: The Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park (ABC)

Couch Potato Alert: 5/28

Hockey fans rejoice!

The conference finals were a big yawn, but the Stanley Cup offers an intriguing matchup. Sid the Kid looks to dethrone Hockeytown and spoil the back-to-back title party being planned in the Motor City. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings were the preseason favorites to meet once again in the Cup finals, and both encountered a rough road back to this anticipated rematch.

Oh, and the Lakers and Magic look to close out their respective series this weekend.

All times ET…

NBA Playoffs
Fri, 9 PM: Los Angeles Lakers @ Denver Nuggets (ESPN)
Sat, 8:30 PM: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Orlando Magic (TNT)
Sun, 8:30 PM: Denver Nuggets @ Los Angeles Lakers *if necessary (ABC)

Stanley Cup Finals
Sat, 8 PM: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Detroit Red Wings (NBC)
Sun, TBD: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Detroit Red Wings (NBC)

Sat, 4:10 PM: Minnesota Twins @ Tampa Bay Rays (FOX)
Sun., 12:40 PM: New York Yankees @ Cleveland Indians (TBS)
Sun., 8 PM: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago Cubs (ESPN)

French Open
Fri, 5 AM: Opening Round Matches (Tennis Channel)
Fri, 12 PM: Opening Round Matches (ESPN2)
Sat, 5 AM: Opening Round Matches (Tennis Channel)
Sat, 1:30 PM: Opening Round Matches (NBC)
Sun, 5 AM: Round of 16 (Tennis Channel)
Sun, 3 PM: Round of 16 (NBC)

Couch Potato Alert: 5/24

“Gentlemen, start your engines.”

These four words begin one of the grandest traditions in auto racing, as the 93rd Indianapolis 500 will take place this weekend. The Old Brickyard has been home to some memorable finishes and characters that make this one of the marquee events on the racing season.

The NBA Conference Finals are really heating up. Arguably, the four best players (LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard) in the league are fighting tooth and nail for a title. All four have shown the determination and drive needed to win a NBA crown.

All times ET…

NBA Playoffs
Fri, 8:30 PM: Orlando Magic @ Cleveland Cavaliers (TNT)
Sat, 8:30 PM: Los Angeles Lakers @ Denver Nuggets (ABC)
Sun, 8:30 PM: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Orlando Magic (TNT)

NHL Playoffs
Fri, 8 PM: Detroit Red Wings @ Chicago Blackhawks (Versus)
Sat, 7:30 PM: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Carolina Hurricanes (Versus)
Sun, 3 PM: Detroit Red Wings @ Chicago Blackhawks (NBC)

Sat, 4:10 PM: Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Yankees (FOX)
Sun., 1:30 PM: New York Mets @ Boston Red Sox (TBS)
Sun., 8 PM: Milwaukee Brewers @ Minnesota Twins (ESPN)

Auto Racing
Sun, 1 PM: The 93rd Indianapolis 500 @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway (ABC)

Sun, 5 AM: The French Open (ESPN2)

Couch Potato Alert: 5/15

It has been over 30 years, but is this finally the year that we’ll have another Triple Crown winner? Mine That Bird carries the hopes of the entire horse racing community into the Preakness on Saturday, as this sport desperately needs a feel-good story.

Sunday going to be a special day for all couch potatoes. We have an original six matchup in the NHL Western Conference final and not one but two Game 7’s in the NBA playoffs. Enjoy!

All times ET…

NBA Playoffs
Sun, 3:30 PM: Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers (ABC)
Sun, 8 PM: Orlando Magic @ Boston Celtics (TNT)

NHL Playoffs
Sun, 3 PM: Chicago Blackhawks @ Detroit Red Wings (NBC)

Sat, 4:10 PM: New York Mets @ San Francisco Giants (Fox)
Sun., 1 PM: Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees (TBS)
Sun., 8 PM: New York Mets @ San Francisco Giants (ESPN)

Horse Racing
Sat, 4:30 PM: The Preakness Stakes (NBC)

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