Notre Dame / Oklahoma—Especially Oklahoma—Set for Prime Time

By Tom O'Toole


Move over SNL! The “Ready for Prime Time” players, aka the 2012 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, is at it again.

ABC-TV just announced it will televise the October 27 Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma football game with a start time of 8 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. CDT) marking Notre Dame’s fourth night game this season.

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Although it starts getting cold at night in Norman, Oklahoma in late October, the network’s decision to go prime time with this Irish-Sooner match-up was really a no-brainer. The Notre Dame-Stanford game received a 3.9 rating, making it the most watched college football game last season despite its afternoon time slot.

In contrast, the prime time telecast between two top ten teams, the South Carolina Gamecocks and the LSU Tigers, only garnered a 3.7 share, which proves that when Notre Dame is winning on the field, it can’t be beat in the ratings either.

Still to be determined are kickoff times for ND’s road games at Boston College (Nov. 10) and USC (Nov. 24). However, I wouldn’t be surprised if, knowing the network dollars at stake, both of these games weren’t prime time also, and I would be shocked if at least one of them wasn’t.

Still, if the prime time, crucial nature of the contest wasn’t enough for Notre Dame to get its “Irish” up, the excited-but-slanted banter of OU Sports’ Jason Kersey, should do the trick:

“Oklahoma’s Oct. 27 home game against Notre Dame was sure to be a big deal, regardless of almost anything that happened early in the season.

“Now that it’s less than two weeks away, the Fighting Irish’s first visit to Norman since 1966 is even bigger than most probably thought it would be. It’s got the added intrigue of both teams likely being ranked in the top 10, and the Big 12 Conference announced [actually, Jason, ABC announced it first, but close enough] Monday that it will kick off in primetime…

“If both teams take care of business this weekend at home, it’s hard to imagine ESPN’s Gameday crew being anywhere other than Norman on Oct. 27.”

(I’m not quite so sure, but after being neglected for so long, twice in three weeks would be nice for the Irish too.)

“Oklahoma lost to Kansas State on Sept. 22, but has recorded back-to-back wins in extremely impressive fashion, most recently routing Texas 63-21 last weekend to earn the No. 9 spot in the first BCS standings, which were released Sunday.

“Notre Dame, meanwhile, is unbeaten and came in ranked fifth in the BCS standings. The Irish are coming off a narrow, controversial home win over Stanford in overtime.”

Indeed, from that account, you’d think OU’s victory over a defense-less Texas team was the greatest win since the U.S. beat Germany in WW II, whereas any Notre Dame victory must be due to Irish chicanery.

In other words, after reading that mildly biased report, I figure the more nationwide witnesses to this game, the better.

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