The Big 12 and ESPN announced yesterday that the November 19 matchup between Oklahoma State and Iowa State would be moved back a day to Friday to allow for ESPN2 to televise the game. This makes the second Friday night game for Iowa State during the 2011 season.
This should be seen as a very positive development for Iowa State. The fact that this game was approached for possible national television at this early juncture shows a combination of some faith in Iowa State being relevant late in the season, which should be construed as positive. Moreover, it should help Iowa State fight the yearly exodus of students before Thanksgiving break. Cyclone student attendance has traditionally struggled on Saturday games over break. This will allow students to stick around one more night before break, with a much greater opportunity to get drunk, tailgate and watch Cyclone football.
There has, however, been a level of criticism that Iowa State shouldn't move the game to Friday night, for fear it will match up against the Iowa 4A football championship. Of course, the game would have conflicted with state championship games on Saturday as well, so it really is a moot point. Yes, this might have a slight impact on attendance, and yes, it would be best if the final featured teams not from Central Iowa, but it really shouldn't be a concern. Anytime ESPN comes calling, offering to televise Iowa State nationally, Iowa State should ask what it needs to do to make it happen.
This may be the first of many creative scheduling solutions with the new Big 12. The new television deals will lead to conference games earlier in the season, as well as games on Thursdays and Fridays. While I suspect Iowa State will try and make a good faith effort to avoid scheduling against Iowa high school football, they will never turn down national television to do so. And they shouldn't. The additional monetary compensation (ESPN games net Iowa State the most) as well as the exposure simply can't be turned down.
So, for those of you down about the game being on a Friday night, get over it. It's as simple as that.