Football

Pac-12 weekday games do Washington State no favors

We all remember the cold Friday night of September 2017 when Washington State upset the no. 5 ranked USC Trojans.

“One of my favorite memories as a Coug,” Defensive lineman Nick Begg said.

The Southern California native is likely not alone amongst his peers; however, weekday conference games, as a whole, do nothing but hold the Cougars back.

WSU’s weekday Pac-12 matchups since 2012 are as follows:

  • 2018, WSU @ USC 36-39 (loss)
  • 2017, WSU v. USC 30-27 (win)
  • 2017, WSU @ Cal 3-37 (loss)
  • 2016, WSU @ UW 17-45 (loss)
  • 2015, WSU v. UW 10-45 (loss)
  • 2014, WSU @ STAN 17-34 (loss)
  • 2013, WSU @ ASU 31-52 (loss)
  • 2013, WSU v. UW 13-31 (loss)
  • 2012, WSU v. UW 31-28 (OT win)

The Leach-era’s 26-29 conference record drops to 2-7 for games played on Thursday or Friday. Even more discouraging, the Cougs are Ofer on five road trips.

From just the nine games WSU has played, the home team yields an overwhelming 7-2 advantage. A discussion about the equity of a short week deserves attention as this trend is common amongst the whole conference.

And thus proposes the question: why does the Pac-12 play weekday games in the first place? Money.

Rather than fighting an enthralling SEC bout for viewers, networks can schedule Pac-12 games on different times and days to monopolize an audience and maximize ratings. According to Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott when speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 2013, that is exactly what TV partners did when negotiating contracts with the conference.

Washington State Outside Receivers Coach Steve Spurrier Jr. claimed the short week makes little difference. And while the timeline becomes more condensed, he says coaches spend the same amount of time with players when compared to a regular week.

The coaching staff’s position on the matter is no surprise, but the outcome of these matchups has to make you wonder.

Call it superstition, our .02 cents or even an old wives’ tale. But the numbers are clear; weekday games have got to go.

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