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ACC announces times for FSU, Miami and others early season games

Florida Football Insiders



Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

It’s never too soon to start planning it for the early fall and for the ACC, they’re already giving fans the benefit of knowing game times for some of their early-season match-ups, including those involving Florida State and Miami. And, also involving games that will be played by ACC teams against UCF and USF early in the season.

The First Fundamental thing to understand is that ESPN virtually controls the scheduling of the sport. This is because of their multi-million-dollar Mega deals with most of the conferences and their creating of their own Networks, including the launching of the ACC Network this fall.

So, this complicates what time games are being played because ESPN will often times wait until the week before naming that a game would start at noon, 3:30 or under the lights in primetime.

Nevertheless, the ACC and ESPN agreed on these times and dates and announced them Friday morning:

On the opening weekend Miami’s game time with LSU will be Sunday night September 2nd at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and will be at 7:30 Eastern to be televised on ABC.

Florida State’s Labor Day night game, and new coach Willie Taggart (above) first game with the Noles is against ACC foe Virginia Tech. ESPN will have the television coverage in Primetime at 8 p.m.

For week 2, the ACC announced Friday morning that Miami’s game at home at Hard Rock stadium with Savannah State will now be a 6 p.m. game and on one of the ACC Network alternate channels. Likewise, Florida State’s home game with Sanford will be at 7:20 p.m. and also on the ACC Network’s main channel.

Also, on September 8th, USF is hosting ACC opponent Georgia Tech, but that game time is still to be determined by the American Athletic Conference and ESPN. And, therefore, has not yet been announced.

Finally, on Saturday September 15th Florida state will play at the Carrier Dome against Syracuse at noon but could be on any one of ESPN’s networks or on ABC.

UCF will also play Road game at Chapel Hill against North Carolina that day with that game is also set for noon on one of ESPN’s networks or maybe ABC.

The Miami road game at Toledo on September 8th does not have a game time yet, as to be determined by the Mid-America Conference and, you guessed it, ESPN.

The ACC also announced game times for their primetime weeknight games, including the ones that involve state school teams.

Miami’s Thursday night September 27th against North Carolina will be at 8 p.m. and televised by ESPN. Later in October, the Canes will play at Boston College on Friday night October 26th and that will now be a 7 p.m. game on ESPN.

Again many more of the game times will be announced later this summer, but a lot of them will be held depending on, who is having a good season and what match-ups are the biggest.

Then ESPN will put those games either on national windows on ABC/ESPN at 3:30 or in primetime on Saturday night.

As they always like to say and television, stay tuned!


Time for concern after XFL TV ratings declined again last week?

Florida Football Insiders



Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For the second consecutive week, the XFL televison ratings continued to slide in the wrong direction. And, the troubling part is that if the trend continues, the XFL will have no leverage for sponsors and revenue to keep it going long term.

First, here are the specifics on the bad viewership news: According to all four XFL broadcasts last Saturday and Sunday afternoon had lower ratings in their slot than the previous week.

That includes the Tampa Bay Vipers home debut against Houston, which was the early game on ABC Saturday. And, while that window had 400,000 less viewers than week 2, the bigger concern is ABC has lost almost 40% of the audience from the 3.3 million average that watched their Week one debut game on Saturday afternoon.

The ratings downward trend is following the same pattern as last Spring’s Alliance of American Football, where the ratings dwindled to under a million fans for broadcasts by week five and eventually the league shut down after just eight weeks. This was in part because of concerns on how the AAF could make any revenue, through television in specific, if they had very little audience for the end of year one and to sell off of for year two.

Now, WWE owner Vince McMahon, who folded the XFL the first time in 2001 in large part because the television audience plummeted over the course of the first month or so of its existence and never recovered, has the same issue in 2020.

And, as we wrote previously, this audience decline while negative is far less McMahon’s original XFL and it’s first season of 2001.  That’s when, it debuted on its first Saturday night on NBC with a massive 10.1 rating, which translated 18 years ago to more than 9.5 viewers on network TV. A Smashing success.

However, the XFL’s ratings plummeted starting the following week and had fewer than 25% of that opening night audience just a month later with the games still being shown on a Saturday night coveted slot on NBC. It doomed the league from a P.R. and sponsor standpoint and McMahon pulled the plug.

Now, in 2020, McMahon reportedly has money to burn and is apparently prepared to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in year one. So, even if the XFL TV ratings continue come down significantly, it will not spell the end of the XFL (like it did nearly 20 years ago) after just a single season.

At least, that’s what we think.

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Vipers better but drop third straight game in home opener

Florida Football Insiders



Mary Holt- USA Today Sports

Although their play was improved offensively, in the end it wasn’t enough for the Tampa Bay Vipers after they dropped their third straight XFL game to start the season 34 – 27 to Houston Saturday afternoon in Tampa.

Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, as Houston scored early in the fourth quarter to go up by seven and held off the Viper the rest of the way.

The Vipers offense came to life after they had failed to score in the offensive touchdown in either of their first two games. Both of which were losses on the road. Quarterback Taylor Cornelius, subbing for starter Aaron Murray who missed his second straight game with an injured foot, once again had modest numbers 16-31 for 193 yards 1 TD, 1 INT.

However, he did pull the game even at 18 – 18 at the half after scoring on a one yard QB sneak and Tampa Bay got the two-point conversion.

Still, the former Oklahoma State quarterbacks day was inconsistent and the home crowd at Raymond James Stadium began to chant the name “Flowers, Flowers” for former USF Star Quarterback Quinton Flowers, who played sparingly for the third straight game in a reserve role.

Flowers got Tampa Bay’s first offensive TD on the young season with a seven yard run in the first quarter, but only played QB sparingly in the game, again. He was just 4-6 for 57 yards passing with 29 yards on six attempts on the ground.

Meanwhile, the former Temple star Walker found receiver Cam Phillips for the third of their three touchdown hookups from 17 yards out to give Houston a 34 – 27 lead with just over 10 minutes to play. Phillips devastated Jerry Glanville’s Vipers defense for 194 yards receiving on eight catches with the three TDs.

The Vipers look like they were going to have a chance to re-tie the game when Cornelius (above) completed a pass to his top target on the day, Jaylen Tolliver, at the two-yard line. However just like a week ago in Seattle when a critical fourth quarter drive stalled and Tampa Bay came away with no points in a 17 – 9 lost the Dragons, the Vipers got no points after Cornelius threw incomplete on second, third and fourth downs.

Many in the crowd and observers in the media were curious, as to why coach Marc Trestman didn’t go to Flowers as the dual threat running QB to at least try something different on one of those plays? Flowers even questioned why he did not play more after the game to the media.

The Vipers got the ball one final time, but Cornelius was picked off near midfield with just over a minute left to seal the defeat.

The Vipers played the first spring professional football game in Tampa, since the closing of the USFL 1985 season. That’s when Steve Spurrier’s Tampa Bay Bandits were a popular item at Old Tampa Stadium. Saturday’s home opener drew and announced crowd of 18,117.

However it’s little consolation for former Bears and CFL coach Trestman and his team, as they remain winless on the season. The L.A. Wildcats playing Sunday are the other 0-2 team in the league, currently.

And, you have to wonder whether Trestman will be forced to go to Flowers for the start when they host the D.C. Defenders next week.

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