Cowboy Up: ESPN Finds New Partner For Thursday Night Games In Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State Univ. will play the Univ. of Arizona tonight on ESPN, the latest example of OSU's "new tradition" of hosting a Thursday night football game, and the reasons the school continues to "play on a weeknight in prime time ... are concrete," according to Gina Mizell of the DAILY OKLAHOMAN. The "buzzword thrown out" by OSU AD Mike Holder and coach Mike Gundy is "marketing." Gundy said, "Being the only show on Thursday night, there are a lot of viewers out there. And it's not only for our football team, but it's for our university. When that logo's on the screen for three hours ... we think is an advantage." Mizell noted while the game will air opposite the NFL season-opening Saints-Packers game on NBC, Arizona-OSU is the only option "for a viewer looking for college football." Holder said, "ESPN can be very persuasive. They've got a lot of arrows in their quiver to get you to play on Thursday night. It seems like the more times you say no or maybe not, the better the deal gets. And finally, you just can't say no." Tonight's game marks the third straight season OSU has hosted a primetime Thursday game, and Holden said, "It's not a decision that you make lightly, but for the last three years, the positives have outweighed the negatives." OSU QB Brandon Weeden: "I wouldn't want to play four or five of them throughout the year, but once a year is fun" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 9/5).