The Hotline survey on the ideal kickoff times has generated a record response, with several thousand votes in the three days since the poll was published (and dozens more not-yet-tallied votes on my Twitter feed).
Thanks for that, and I will make sure the conference is aware.
Interestingly, no time earned a majority in either category (attending or watching).
The votes were split equally for attending; for watching, the late afternoon window was clear winner but lacked a majority.
Here are the results, and note that the percentages below differ from those displayed on the poll itself, which does not tabulate the answers into separate categories.
Late afternoon: 35%
Early afternoon: 32.5%
Late afternoon: 46.5%
Early afternoon: 25.6%
There were a handful of comments, as well, and several noted that the time of year impacts preference: Evening kickoffs in Boulder or Salt Lake City are enjoyable in September, not in November, and vice versa with the Arizona schools, which don’t bother playing in the afternoon until October.
If results change markedly over the coming days, I’ll provide an update in the next Friday mailbag.
To the mailbag …
David Graybeat (on Pac-12 power ratings): I’d say Oregon has shown enough now to be rated a spot or two higher than you have them. But I get the impression you tend to underestimate the Ducks… just because.
My response: I had a general slotting for the Ducks in my head prior to the season — as a middle-tier team — and haven’t seen enough to make a significant change. The opener carries little weight (FCS opponent), and I’m not convince Nebraska is very good, based partly on its Week One struggles with Arkansas State. Had the Ducks dominated the second half, I would rate them higher, for sure. But that 30 minutes gave me pause.
From @AJRUmp33: CFB is just unpredictable. Who wud though 5 yrs ago that RichRod & Todd Graham teams wud be bad in 17? Or CU wud play for P12 champ in 16?
My response: It’s not always cyclical, but it’s often cyclical. New coach takes over, energy and enthusiasm soar, players buy in, fan interest spikes … and winning follows. But eventually — and it could be Year Three or Year Five or Year Seven — the coach starts getting measured against his own early success, negative recruiting kicks in, staff turnover reduces consistency in teaching and tactics, buy-in falters and the spiral builds on itself. There’s a reason so many coaches in the Power Five conferences have tenures of four-to-six/seven years. That said, Colorado was an unusual situation — the greatest one-season turnaround in Pac-12 history. But now coach Mike MacIntyre will face the same challenges that come with success that Graham and Rodriguez have dealt with.
From @EvilDevilInside (on Arizona State’s woes): Ugh. What’s the solution? Realistic solution?
My response: For all the pomp presented by no huddle offenses and spread passing games and zone reads and fancy blitz packages, success remains rooted in the play of your quarterback, offensive line and defensive line. If you’re vulnerable elsewhere, like defensive back, that simply compounds the problem. The Sun Devils don’t have the talent or depth on the lines, and their QB play is erratic — those typically aren’t quick fixes. The emerging question is whether Todd Graham is the man to restock the depth chart, whether he should be given that chance … or whether the administration believes a change is required.
From @BYUvsUtes: Jon do east coast schools complain about late gms as much as west coast? Ohio St, Clem, Penn St had more late gms last yr than UW, SC, Stan
My response: Good question, and one for which, I don’t have a good answer. BUT: There are really two issues when it comes to night games. One is the inconvenience for the fans who favor the daytime starts. The other is the exposure for the teams and the players. Conferences in the Eastern and Central times zones don’t have that problem with night games, because everyone is watching through 10:30 p.m. ET. But not everyone is watching at 1:30 or 2 a.m. ET, when the Pac-12 games are in the fourth quarter.
From @100ThingsUtah (on Pac-12 admitting officiating mistake in UCLA game): The third graf is the scary thing. Missed calls happen all the time, but what’s the excuse for the head man, in the booth, to get it wrong?
My response: Very, very true. No excuse and not a situation that will generate confidence in David Coleman, the head of officiating. I found it interesting that the conference mentioned his mistake but did not name him. If he’s accountable, then hold him accountable.
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