Big 12 Looks To Expand TV Schedule

A long regular season could be getting longer, at least in terms of number of days from start to finish.

The Big 12 Conference is entertaining conversations with ABC Television and Fox Sports Network of having two televised games on the Saturday after Thanksgiving starting in 2004.

The league and ABC currently are under contract through 2007 for the Texas-Texas A&M and Nebraska-Colorado games to be televised on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

''The networks have contacted us with an interest of having additional opportunities,'' said Big 12 associate commissioner Tim Allen.

Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder said during Tuesday's press conference that he was aware that such dialogue was taking place, but indicated that this was not the right time of the year to give much thought to the issue.

One of the potential problems of having four games after Thanksgiving is distracting from the current four-year rotation schedule that will run from 2004 through 2007.

''What we would like to do is facilitate television by providing two additional games on that weekend, but without distracting from the attractiveness of the schedule as it was designed,'' Allen said.

Also limiting the league is that the conference attempts to avoid the number of cross-division games played after the first Saturday in November.

Weather is one issue, plus the league wants to do its best to avoid the possibility of having a North-South rematch in the Big 12 title game, which is played on the first Saturday in December.

In the days of the Big 8 and Southwest Conference, the Texas-Texas A&M game was played on Thanksgiving Day, while the weekend game included an Oklahoma-Nebraska matchup.

That changed with the inception of the Big 12 Conference with UT-A&M and NU-CU now being played on Friday for the last eight years.

Starting with the new four-year schedule starting in 2008, the league may also consider moving the entire Big 12 schedule back one week to where each team would play on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

The teams not chosen for television prior to the start of the season would then be given the opportunity to move their game to a date in September.

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