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Report: Big Ten considering Friday night football games

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is trying to gather feedback as the conference negotiates its next series of TV deals.


The repot comes from Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal, and ponders whether Friday night football games and primetime night contests in November could be future possibilities. The ideas are expected to be focal points for this week's Big Ten Conference administrators meeting in Chicago.

With the Big Ten's current TV contracts running through 2016 (with Fox for the Big Ten championship game) and '17 (with ESPN and ABC for regular-season games), Friday night games and the span of the primetime slate are up for consideration. As for the former issue, Friday nights are obviously typically reserved for high school games. Delany's seeking to see where universities fall on that issue, Baggot says. Especially at Wisconsin, where in-state prospects typically make up the bulk of each recruiting class, stepping on the figurative toes of high schools might not bode well.

Friday night games would obviously be appealing to future network partners, given the additional exposure both it and the Big Ten would reap. Adding an additional primetime slate also provides another obvious window for teams and match-ups that might fall just short of warranting Saturday night scheduling. Other conferences -- namely the ACC, SEC and some Big 12 and Pac-12 games -- have Thursday night slots, so Friday night could be the Big Ten's version of a unique weekly spot.

As for the November primetime games, UW's never played one, though it did play five November night games vs. Minnesota inside the Metrodome (RIP). Regardless, both issues remain of the long-term variety. Baggot also adds that he doesn't believe Friday night games would be annual traditions.