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Planning the 2010 Tailgate - Prepare for Heat Death


How very optimistic of you


With the Tiger's short post-season run, we missed the early schedule announcement from the SEC about games that now have confirmed network pickups and start times. For our purposes today, lets focus on the home games and the schedule's effect on our day-long tailgates (or as you'll see, lack thereof). Also, I don't care how much ESPN payed in the contract, but if an SEC game is at noon, only on a local Fox affiliate, and hosted by Zombie Dave Neal, then It's a JP game and will be listed as such.

All times are confirmed unless otherwise stated, info from the amazing schedule page

Home Game 1 -  Sept 18th, Moo U

Immediately we are presented with a problem. It's been quite a while since this wasn't a JP game. This early part of the season is nearly completely confirmed schedule-wise, which takes out most of the guessing, but leaves only a stark reality.


ESPN Arkansas at Georgia or Kent State at Penn State

ESPN2 Arkansas at Georgia or Kent State at Penn State

ESPNU Maryland at West Virginia



ABC Alabama at Duke and other regional coverage

CBS Florida at Tennessee

ESPN USCal at Minnesota

ESPN2 Arizona State at Wisconsin

ESPNU BYU at Florida State

6 to 730pm (staggered early evening spot)

ABC Notre Dame at Michigan State or Texas at Texas Tech

ESPN Clemson at Auburn

ESPN2 Notre Dame at Michigan State or Texas at Texas Tech


930 or later (nightcap)

ESPN Iowa at Arizona

ESPN2 Wake Forest at Stanford


1st thing to notice is that our worst fears about SEC games being played in the Pam Ward Memorial MAC-Big 10 Breakfast slot are now confirmed. That's right SEC fans, there are now 2 JP spots to worry about getting stuck in. There are only 2 spots open, and as JP still gets to take it's pound of flesh from each SEC team, they might as well get it over with now. The shining bit of hope is that looking at the rest of the unscheduled games, our main competition is Vanderbilt at Ole Miss. At this point it's a toss up as to which team gets picked for that ESPNU spot and which team gets to sit in a concrete oven in the middle of September in the South. I can think of no better fate for Ole Miss.

PREDICTION: JP because that's the way these things happen.

Home Game 2 -  Sept 25th, The International Trappers and Taxidermists Convention aka West F'ing Virginia aka RAGNAROK

As fortold many eons ago, this weekend is going to be so much more about the tailgate than the game. It would be a crime for this to not be an all-day tailgate, and so far things are working out.





CBS Alabama at Arkansas *not confirmed


6 to 730pm (staggered early evening spot)

ABC UCLA at Texas


930 or later (nightcap)


Schedule is still very loose at this point so lets look at who else is competing for the coveted evening ESPN slot. Fresno State at Ole Miss also has a bit of Non-Conf insanity about it, but Pat Hill's FuManChu doesn't carry nearly the weight it used to. The SEC slate is pretty weak on this day (Georgia at Mississippi State, Kentucky at Florida, UAB at Tennessee) but South Carolina at Auburn could get a good spot. Outside the conference, only Virginia Tech at Boston College or Oklahoma at Cincinnati jumps out as a marquee game.

PREDICTION: ESPN2 7:30pm, Ron Franklin Memorial slot, because I like watching the sun set over the river just before kickoff, and because I miss Ron Franklin on the big games.

Home Game 3 -  Oct 2nd, Tennessee 2:30pm CBS

The opener for CBS's first doubleheader of the year has already been confirmed. And early October is just more September, only hazier (think 03 v UGA) so remember to wear sunscreen and get to drinking early.

Home Game 4 -  Oct 16th, McNeese St. 7pm, TIGERVISION

Not confirmed, but there is one every year, and it's gonna be this one. Work on your haggling skills and you should be able to get in for half of face or less. Take the kids so they can pester you to leave early in the 2nd half.

Home Game 5 -  Nov 6th, Alabama

A Marquee matchup that should determine the SEC west champ, I hope. Though not confirmed as of now, This looks to be the CBS SEC game of the Week (Verne and Gary, et. al.) Of the rest of the SEC slate only Arkansas at South Carolina stands out, while the rest (Florida at Vanderbilt, UT-Chattanooga at Auburn, USL at Ole Miss, Idaho State at Georgia, Charleston Southern at Kentucky) mostly look like JP/Their version of TIGERVISION games.

PREDICTION: CBS 2:30. There is a 2nd CBS doubleheader this year, but it's not this weekend. We get Uncle Verne in the afternoon, and ESPN2 gets Cocky and Also sprach Zarathustra.

Home Game 6 -  Nov 13th, ULM, Homecoming

They wouldn't do homecoming for a day game would they? The only thing known for certain about this weekend is that this is when the 2nd CBS SEC doubleheader is, which could be a big help in getting this one on national TV. 2 games on CBS frees up a spot on ESPN which could work out to put us on ESPNU like last year's homecoming game with La Tech.

PREDICTION: ESPNU 6-7:30, but if the season has gone badly to this point, TIGERVISION is a real possibility.

Home Game 7 -  Nov 20th, Ole Miss

Whether we like it or not, this game has become much more competitive over recent years (NO, IT'S NOT DUE TO THE STUPID TROPHY!!!!!) and will probably be a good pickup. Unfortunately for us, a weak SEC slate pegs us for the CBS afternoon slot. Arkansas at Mississippi State and Tennessee at Vanderbilt are the best alternatives, the rest of the SEC resting on weak non-conf games before the final weekend.

PREDICTION: CBS 2:30. Verne and Gary with an outside shot they bump it to a night game if both teams are doing well to this point. If both teams are doing very bad to this point, don't be surprised if JP decides to strike, especially if they didn't get us for Moo U earlier.



So, after a home slate of all night games, it seems the devil has come to collect his due. At best, we are looking at 6 of 7 at night with 3 of them SEC games, but those are some pretty big ifs. At worst? No SEC night games at home is a VERY strong possibility. That West Virginia tailgate better be all it's cracked up to be...