Oklahoma State and Central Michigan announced on Wednesday that they are moving their season opener to Thursday night, September 3.
OSU Head Coach Mike Gundy has previously said that he doesn’t care much for playing on Thursday night. Mostly because it throws off the team’s schedule. However, that probably doesn’t matter as much when it’s the first game of the season.
“[OSU Athletic Director Mike Holder] and I had several discussions about what day to play,” Gundy said via the Tulsa World. “When we looked at all of the options, at some point it really didn’t matter to me.”
“There is an advantage in maybe playing a couple of days earlier. [Holder] wanted to play it on that Thursday night for a variety of reasons — one being [the national exposure]. I think it’s better for Central Michigan and Oklahoma State, so we decided to go ahead and play it on a Thursday.”
Moving the game to a prime-time spot makes sense for both schools. Any additional exposure is great for Central Michigan, and I’m sure Oklahoma State would like to hang on to a little bit of the season opener spotlight from the previous two years. The Pokes managed to knock off Mississippi State in Houston in 2013, and gave the defending National Champions Florida State everything they wanted in Jerry World last year.
The move will make the game one of the very first of the season, but they won’t be completely free from competing for eyeballs. The neighboring-state rivalry of South Carolina vs North Carolina is set to kick off the same night, along with TCU vs Minnesota, and UTSA vs Arizona.
Still, there’s a certain amount of Oklahoma State fans that would prefer to keep the game on Saturday. Crazy things tend to happen on weeknights under the lights, and Central Michigan has already pulled off one of the craziest wins you will ever see in their bowl game last season.
– Cover Photo Credit: Coach Gundy Addresses The Media After The BCS Countdown (2011) | Flickr | KT King