Gene Smith Says Not to Expect the Michigan Game in Prime Time, but a 3:30 Kick is a Possibility

May 1, 2013 at 4:25p    by Jason Priestas    

Appearing on the Bishop & Rothman show on 97.1 The Fan today, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said there are no plans to play the Ohio State-Michigan game at night, but a 3:30 p.m. kickoff may be in the cards.

The key exchange comes at the eight minute mark in the interview.

“Not really,” Smith said when asked if we could see the Michigan game in prime time. “Dave Brandon, the athletic director at Michigan, and I talked about that before we started our conversations on realignment. We feel that game should be a noon kick, but we also agreed that we need to be open to the 3:30 kick. The 3:30 window is a good window. But, we both like it at noon. There's so much around that game. Playing at night, I think would be a challenge for us, so right now, our position is 'No, do not play that at night.' I can never say never because sometimes that can be taken out of my hands, but Dave and I are of the opinion that is a day game.”

Our translation: The Michigan game won't be a prime time game this year or the next year, but at some point, it will be.

The entire 17-minute interview is worth a listen as Smith touches on many of the topics when we sat down with him last week as well a few interesting angles.



DefendOhio's picture

3:30 game would still be under the lights in the 2nd half. I'm okay with this. 

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

I think it's a decent compromise. I like the time slot. Gives everyone time to do something before and after the game.

The Ohio State University Class of 2001

BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

I like the noon slot.  Don't want the game to change times.  Sorry, but if you can't get up for that game, its a personal problem.

Read my entire screen name....

OSU_undergrad's picture

Night games are so much's not about getting up. It's about having a way more electric atmosphere (and I'm a current student so I know. The Wisconsin and Nebraska games were way more fun and exciting than noon Michigan, even though beating Michigan was nicer.

BED's picture

So much this.  We didn't have a problem going to noon games when I was in school.  Night games are fun, but should be few and far between.  I like the 3:30 slot for scUM better than night, but noon is great. You can celebrate the win all day that way.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

hodge's picture

It's not that noon games are a pain to attend, it's that primetime games garner an electric atmosphere unmatched by games not played under the lights. Pretty much everyone agrees that the shoe was never louder than when USC was in the house; why does such a thing happen when we've played so many classics against our bitter rival? Because both athletic departments choose not to leverage The Game's hype into a primetime event--as if it's somehow "selling out" or something. The Super Bowl could be played at noon and would still draw copious viewers, so why play it under the lights? Because it makes a hyped matchup even more exciting. No sport does hype better than college football--with the "Every Game Matters" schtick actually being a legitimate mantra and all--so why shouldn't we present the sport's most famous rivalry in the method that best leverages its inherent excitement? With all the great games being played on the day of The Game, it almost feels like OSU/Michigan is an undercard to the "bigger" games being played at 8--when its obviously not. 
An 8 o'clock game is an event, one that ratchets up in intensity as the hours tick away until kickoff. I could think of no other way to explain The Game, so why not give it an extra eight hours to keep that intensity at a fever pitch? Hell, The Game is my goddamned Super Bowl, give it to me at eight every year. 

SPreston2001's picture

I totally agree!! *pm games are so freakin exciting!! I just hope they actually do it from time to time! The greatest rivalry in all sports deserves it!! Lets keep up with the times and give the people what they want!

Gametime's picture

Agreed 100% Hodge - I'm sorry but Gene & Dave (?) sound like de-clawed, domesticated felines on the matter of "tradition" - I mean we're talking about a kickoff time for crying out loud!
There's no excuse for it not being in a primetime slot - I mean if Gene is going to talk about maximizing it, well it's not really there yet and he should at very least, from a business standpoint, see the benefit from a viewer-ship standpoint for our fans abroad - and especially out west. 
He mentions security & liability - but if Alabama v LSU, Notre Dame v Michigan, & Notre Dame v Purdue... can handle primetime atmospheres then I don't see why we can't with the best rivalry of ALL TIME. All it takes is getting acclaimated to it - and I completely disagree with night games having a "novelty". Night games are just better - period. As an athlete, recruit, and fan, they are better. More time in the day to run errands & get ready, less rushing, better travel times for out-of-state/city fans, etc.
And like they said on Carpenter & Hall, it's cold during the DAY in November regardless, while these kids and REAL fans have been sitting out in November weather at night for HIGH SCHOOL games for decades. 
All the reasons not to just sound like excuses for the most part.
FWIW if we could adopt another tradition - I'd kinda like to see us steal the tradition of USC and UCLA where both teams wear their home jerseys when they play. Always Scarlet and Gray vs Maize and Blue.

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

I don't run errands on the day of the game. It's an event for me.  My schedule is cleared. Beer on ice on Friday. Food prepared and ready to serve Friday.  I spend 6 days waiting for it. I wake up drink coffee, shower and then I put on my Eddie George jersey and then do you know what I do?  I go back to bed because its 5 am. 

Read my entire screen name....

Savage45's picture

I like your FWIW, I've felt this way since like the mid-90's

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

No kidding. When I was in school, I set my alarm to wake up and start drinking. Love the noon slot.  And it's not that I don't understand the electric night game argument, its that this game shouldn't and doesn't need it. I think we've been a little spoiled lately and this could be why the youngsters don't get it. 

Read my entire screen name....

Michael's picture

9am is kind of rough for us west coasters.

KBonay's picture

True that. And terrible for recruiting West Coast kids.  My only concern with the 3:30 game is ABC likes to do that regional coverage BS and I would hate to be all cozy and ready to watch when on come UCLA v USC. 

Oyster's picture

And 9 PM is rough for us on Monday Night Football waiting for you people to get off work. 

When you reach for that ball under a pine tree, do you ever think about who just peed there a little while ago?

BuckeyeChief's picture

The last 2 times I was in San Diego just happened to be during football season; sometimes it was great (Saturday morning, 9AM Carne Asada's from Adalberto's and a 2 liter) other times not so great (1/2 marathon long runs scheduled around Giants games), but Monday nights were awesome, except when the Chargers played and it was on CBS and ESPN, keeping me from watching HIMYM.

"2014 National with it!!!"

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

Mike Honcho's picture

Agreed. Noon time slot doesn't bother me. Regardless there is just something about the whole day that is in the air, where you can yell out what ever time of day it is and follow it with Michigan STILL SUCKS that just does it for me.

doodah_man's picture

I won't miss the 2 o'clock shadow across the field.

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

Olentangy's picture

noon games, regardless of opponents, need to die. forever. i'm sick of watching games in a 100k capacity chapel, especially against crap teams who are just there for a paycheck. what's the point of having 100k fans if you negate the advantage by starting the game at noon? the students are barely awake... theres no HF advantage...

How firm thy friendship

buckeyedude's picture

If the blue-haired people/alumni can be at The Game at 10am ready to rock-n-roll, so should you whipper-snapper students!

Just do like they do, and pretend you're going to a doctor's appointment during the week. Must be on time...



SPreston2001's picture

I agree. I went to the OSU vs Cal game last year and the Shoe was so freakin quiet! Noon games suck!!

OSUinFl's picture

I would rather go to the Ohio state game with scum late. I am  not going out anyway with all the crazy Christmas shoppers.  I

ih8rolltyde's picture

Cannot stand noon games.

****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

CowCat's picture

It could be worse.  You could live on the West Coast like me where the games start at 9 am.   Lol.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

Buckeye Chuck's picture

2006 was a 3:30 kickoff. Was anyone really upset about that? The campus was packed by late morning anyway. 

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

OSUinFl's picture

Gene Smith should tell the Tv people Ohio state won't do any more 12:00 games. Give scum all the 12:00 games and we will take late and prime time games.

Jason Priestas's picture

Let me get ahead of the "It's Too Cold Brigade" before they show up. Every year, millions of fans in Chicago, New York, Green Bay, Cleveland, Buffalo and Cincinnati eagerly look forward to sitting through outdoor football games in January.

cajunbuckeye's picture

It's to cold for me to watch an outdoor NFL game at that time of year. However, I would set naked in freezing weather for the opportunity to witness tOSU beat down Michiscum.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Earle's picture

Browns fans are especially looking forward to sitting through football games in January that involve their team.  They don't even have to be outdoors, or in Cleveland.

You're gonna miss me when I'm gone.

CincyOSU's picture

I don't mind noon games against crap teams, which is why I hate playing UM at that time. All other marquee games have either a 3:30 or later kickoff time except the last, and most anticipated, game of the year. There's just something that feels different playing the game later in the day.

tdible2132's picture

Yeah, the primetime slot just wouldn't work out IMO.  1/4 of the fans would be too drunk to attend the game if they ended up playing it that late lol.

THE_JUICE's picture

I don't buy the "too drunk" argument.  People are just as likely to act like idiots after we beat scUM at noon.

CowCat's picture

I dunno.
With a night game people drink all day, then it's bar thirty when the game is over.    With the intensity of THE GAME, it could get ugly.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

SPreston2001's picture

Too drunk?? Didnt you see the graphic recently posted showing that the two highest capacity games in OSU history were night games??! Fact is MORE people attend night games!! 

Savage45's picture

"Playing at night, I think would be a challenge for us."
Ohio State is not an institution that cowers at a challenge. Damn, Gene Smith is one weak-willed Notre Dame alum! 
If a night game is possible at Ohio Stadium (we all know it is, a dozen or so times thus far) then it doesn't matter what time of year or caliber of opponent.
Why, oh why doesn't tOSU have an athletic director who is a Buckeye?
The list of things I want to change about Buckeye athletics goes like this in order;
1. Replace Gene Smith with a worthy athletic director
2. Bring back the shiny silver football pants to match the helmets
3. Improve the basketball atmosphere in the Schott

UrbzRenewal's picture

Improve the basketball atmosphere in the Schott

Won't ever be done unless the sacrifice the rich old people in favor of more students in the lower bowl. $$$

ohst8buxCP's picture

2. Bring back the shiny silver football pants to match the helmets

Worst idea i've heard all day IMO. Watching replays with those pants makes me want to puke. As far as the time slot I would rather have a night game but 3:30 is so much better than a noon kick it's insane. I've been to the Texas, USC, Wisconsin (2011) and Nebraska (2012) games plus every Michigan game since 2005 and i can say without a doubt the 06 Michigan game was the loudest environment. Part of that was that it was #1 vs #2 but a lot of it was that the hype was allowed to build for an extra few hours which turned the place into a mad house. Noon games against anyone are a travesty let alone Michigan, playing a few hours later makes a night and day difference (get it). A snoozer like Miami this year could have an atmosphere like when we played Marshall at night that was a lot more fun to go to.

Savage45's picture

I do like 3:30 much better than noon though.

OSUinFl's picture

I can't stand Gene Smith he revived around  $40,000 bonus when we went to the sugar bowl. Ohio should made him pay back the money while we vacated the wins that season. He gets bonus when go to a final 4 or a bcs game.

rampageripster's picture

You mean like we did last year?  Is your college basketball memory that fuxzy?

Cause I couldn't go for three

OSUinFl's picture

Gene smith cost a BcS championship game.

cplunk's picture

No, he didn't. Taking a bowl ban voluntarily two years ago would NOT have prevented the NCAA from taking last year's bowl game. We would have been banned anyway. Look at all the abuse the NCAA took from people convinced we were "being let off light" as it was- there is no way they would have accepted a voluntary ban on a 6-6 season and left it at that.

SPreston2001's picture

Oh please enough already! Whats done is done! And do you honestly think we were ready for Alabama last year??

BuckeyeChief's picture

Upvote for the honesty, we weren't ready and didn't need the pain...but I hope it made the team hungry.

"2014 National with it!!!"

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

cbusbuckeye's picture

We would have played Notre Dame most likely, not Bama. Just Saying

BED's picture

Yep. And crushed em for a title.


that's not to say that I don't think the NCAA hammer of arbitrary justice wouldn't have still bowl banned us.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

BuckeyeChief's picture

Notre Dame played for the National Title? I totally forgot that. Don't know what I was thinking this AM.

"2014 National with it!!!"

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

Savage45's picture

There is no justification for returning the final 4 bonus because the appearance wasn't vacated.

OSUinFl's picture

Simple question I never said return the final  4 money. I said the sugar  bowl money  should be returned unless  you think the basketball team played in the sugar bowl. The football is the sports team that had to vacate the wins not the basketball team.

Savage45's picture

Yeah, Rampage must of misunderstood. Bottom line here is, like Michigan and noon kick-offs, Gene Smith sucks!

LadyBuck's picture

Well, this is a nice change. I may actually be totally awake for the game. Now to schedule work around football games...

OSUinFl's picture

The.big ten should have double or triple headers games on Saturdays.

OSUStu's picture

That's the mullet of kickoff times.

Is that because its all business up front for the TTUN game and, no doubt, all party on the back end??

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

BoFuquel's picture

If "THE GAME " were the 13th of the season and a week later than it is now, prime time for sure. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

3:30 works for me.  The last time The Game was at 3:30, it was pretty awesome.

Class of 2010.

robert goulet's picture

It's odd, but there's something about the compressed morning that I hate about the non-conference games, but I kind of embrace it for the UM game.  It adds to the electric feel on campus.  That said, I'm indifferent about 12 vs. 3:30 for the UM game.  It's not like the noon kick is sacred either.  It was mentioned earlier that the 2006 game was 3:30 and I'm fairly certain that 05 & 01 were at 1:00, as well as it being 1:00 back in the day.
Let's be honest - we could tee off against those elitists at 9AM and I'd be ready & rolling at midnight.'s picture

Noon B1G games are fine. That's what Indiana and Maryland and Minnesota are for. Let them play  at noon. 
Noon  OSU games are wrong. The later the better. But scheduling Florida A&M is also wrong. 
That being said, I don't care what time we play Michigan, they still will suck!

hodge's picture

Last time I checked, Ohio State vs. Michigan was the greatest sports rivalry of all time. Why in all hell is it getting buried beneath a prime time slot? Any rivalry that's hardcore enough to be referred to as simply "The Game" shouldn't even whiff a noon kickoff.  The first Super Bowl kicked off at 4:15 EST; I don't think any CBS execs are dying to return to that format out of nostalgia. 
College football is built on tradition. But let's face it--not all traditions are good. Prime time games, like playoff systems (though we may differ on the finer points of their implementation) are improvements to the status quo. Keep the pageantry, change the kick times. 

Baroclinicity's picture

3:30pm games give the benefit of time to arrive in the morning without getting up at dawn and celebratory time afterwards.  I'm ok with it.  That being said, this isn't a topic that will get me riled up either way.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Haybucks's picture


Our translation: The Michigan game won't be a prime time game this year or the next year, but at some point, it will be.

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

The Game deserves to be THE prime time game for that Saturday. Period. Point Blank.
Noon and 330 is wiggedy wiggedy wack.
RIP Chris Kelly

Poison nuts's picture

Well, if it were primetime, it would certainly make me jump, jump.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

kdizzleduzit's picture

Kid looks like Thurman Merman

OSUinFl's picture

It sounds like Michigan is afraid to play a late game. That Urban will show Hoke and his Ohio traitors are frauds.

M Man's picture

I may be mistaken, but I think that if OSU wants The Game to be a night game, you could do it on your own.
In an even-numbered year, that is.  Am I wrong about that?  Somebody let me know.
Y'all are talking about "the future."  In the distant future, I expect that The Game will be played more often than not in December.  Which is ridiculous, with two bye weeks stuck into the season.  I think a night game in December is a perfectly ridiculous idea, if it isn't a domed stadium.
Question for all of the fans of night games; how many of you actually go to the game, and how many want to watch the hypothetical night game on tv?

OSUinFl's picture

Gene Smith said in a article that  that  Big ten has a policy for night games in November because of Midwestern weather. He came back to say if Green Bay can have games in January.

buckeyedude's picture

Big ten has a policy for night games in November because of Midwestern weather.

Midwestern November weather? We don't get three feet of snow before Thanksgiving anymore. It's Global Warming. The B1G needs to get with the program.



OSUinFl's picture

It will be nice if the BTN get there own night game.

Doc's picture

An 8:00 pm kick would be off the chain crazy.  Especially if both teams are good, looking at you AACC.  What a blast that would be.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

acBuckeye's picture

I won't mind much if the kickoff is moved from Noon, but i'm kind of partial to it. It's rough once Hate Week rolls around to have to wait for The Game to start. I kind of enjoy waking up, eating breakfast, then getting to watch us destroy some skunkbear. I think i'd be a wreck all day if i had to wait until 8pm for the kick. That's just me though......

Doc's picture

I think i'd be a wreck all day if i had to wait

That's what beer and wings are for.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

Hovenaut's picture

And today The Game
A clock ticks ever so near
She can't understand.....

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

business up in the back. LOVE ME some 3:30 games

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

OSUinFl's picture

When the last time  the game had really bad weather a very long time? The blizzard game was in 1950.
     I been to a playoff game in Green Bay it wasn't that bad. It help if you have some shots of Crown Royal that stuff is smooth.

Poison nuts's picture

"The mullet of kick off times" because it's business up front & a party by the end right? Wow. Genius. 

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.