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Sports on TV: Utah-TCU was never going to be on CBS

Published November 2, 2010 1:10 pm

Cable only • Fans had dreamed of a switch from CBS College.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah fans can't be faulted for their excitement this fall. But some of them are letting their enthusiasm carry them into realms of fantasy.

Rumors, fueled by sports talk radio, indicated that Saturday's Utah-TCU game might get switched from cable's CBS College to the CBS broadcast network. Then the talk was that something put the kibosh on those discussions. But there was nothing to put the kibosh on.

"There was never any consideration given to moving TCU-Utah from CBS College Sports Network to CBS Sports," a spokeswoman for CBS Sports said.

The important word there is "never."

Certainly, it would have been good for Utah, TCU and their fans. While CBS is available in virtually every home in America, CBS College will be available in about 57 million homes this weekend. That's slightly less than half the TV-equipped homes in America.

And the only reason the number is that high is because of free previews on some cable and satellite systems.

But not only are there contracts to consider, but CBS is trying to expand the distribution of it college sports cable network. That's the reason for those free previews. And taking a major event like Utah-TCU off CBS College would undercut those efforts.

So it was never going to happen. No matter what you might have heard.

Just watch it

Whaa, whaa, whaa — some national college football "experts" are complaining that they won't be able to see Saturday's TCU-at-Utah game.

Hey, if you're claiming to be an expert — if you're voting in the polls — you have an obligation to watch the game. And it won't be that difficult.

And yet The Sporting News published a story indicating that, because so few people will be able to see the No, 3 and No. 5 teams in the latest BCS poll, it will hurt the winner's chances of making it to the BCS title game.

The game "is on the CBS College Sports Network (good luck finding it) instead of a national network or major cable outlet. Just how many eyes will be watching? Not enough to make a difference," The Sporting News wrote.

Certainly, there will be Utah and TCU fans who won't get to see the game because it's not available on their local cable system. And it's not being streamed on the Internet.

That's incredibly annoying, but it's not the issue here.

The eyes that matter are the ones that vote. If you vote in the Harris Poll or the coaches poll, you have a duty to watch this game.

Yes, I know I'm living in a dream world to think that's going to happen. But, certainly, journalists ought to watch. Including all the AP voters. (That poll isn't part of the BCS calculation, but it influences the others.)

And 49 percent of America will get the game. The current CBS College free preview includes all 14.3 million Dish Network subscribers. Certainly just about everybody can find someone who's a Dish subscriber.

That's good advice for fans, too.

Bolerjack in the saddle

Craig Bolerjack will be doing the play-by-play for the Utah-TCU game on Saturday. Which pretty much guarantees an improvement over last week's Utah-Air Force game, with Jason Knapp doing the play-by-play for CBS College.

The news isn't all good. Aaron Taylor returns to do color commentary for the second week in a row.

Bolerjack will be busy on Saturday. He's also calling the Jazz-Clippers game that night.

spierce@sltrib.com