Football fans have nothing but reasons to be angry about the NFL lockout. They are losing out because two parties are being greedy about how to divvy up zillions of dollars. They may not be able to see their favorite teams and players. Their fantasy leagues are being rudely interrupted — the list goes on.
Still, there may be no bigger reason for anger than the possibility that fans will have to find something else to do on Sundays.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is aware of that potential void, and as a result, he's mulling moving some Pac-12 football to Sundays, according to RIvals.
"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."
Fox and CBS do have other options for programming on Sundays if there is no football, though the appetite for gridiron action on Sunday may be so great that college games would draw more viewers than other replacement options.
"Thursday night football hasn't been around forever, and we adjusted to that. Sunday is a day a lot of people look to watch football. You would get good exposure," commented University of Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne.
"But Sunday games would be something we would have to think long and hard about before we jumped into."
The problem, of course, is that if the Pac-12 changes its schedule and the NFL lockout ends abruptly, the move would have backfired.
"From the network's perspective, I'm sure they would welcome the programming opportunity if they knew the NFL was not going to play," Webster University economics professor Patrick Rishe said.
"But, again, they'd have to be prepared to compensate the schools in question handsomely because a shift from Saturday to Sunday — even if just for a week or two — causes logistical issues for fans and their travel plans. And it's not as though you can announce these things months in advance because as we've seen, the NFL and NFLPA could resolve their dispute in the last minute."
The NFL and NFLPA are set to continue the lockout saga in court April 6.