(CBSsports.com/Chip Patterson) – Regardless of what side you are taking in the current NFL labor dispute, football fans can agree that our Sundays are going to feel very empty in the fall if there is no NFL football.
With a hungry audience trained to watch football on Sundays, some members of the college football world are considering the possibilities of filling that void in the event of a continued lockout.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has been working to increase the national attention on the conference, erasing some of the “east coast bias.” Rivals’ Tom Dienhart is reporting that Scott has considered moving some games to Sunday should there be no NFL season.
“We certainly are monitoring the situation,” Scott said. “We have no plans in place at this time, but you want to be prepared and consider all options. Still, these labor situations have a way of getting done the closer they get to a critical situation.”
There are several obstacles that Scott would face, mostly having to do with the existing television deals. In the past, networks have taken original programming from their vault to fill space suddenly left vacant by a sporting event. It would be extremely difficult for the Pac-12 to put together new deals on such short notice, particularly if Scott is talking about capturing a national audience. But if there really is no NFL season in September, viewers might embrace the bonus college football. It’s not a bad thing for Scott and other commissioners to consider, but the contractual obligations seem difficult to pull off on such short notice.