Wednesday, January 19, 2011

PAC-10 POW and Mail Call

Congratulations to Stanford Women’s Basketball player Nneka Ogwumike for being the PAC-10 Player of the Week (POW) for the week of January 17th. She helped Stanford take down the Washington Schools and averaged 18 points per game. And sorry we missed Jeanette’s PAC-10 POW honor January 3rd. (She helped take down UConn that week with a 31 point outpouring in said game).

Mail Call
This just in, C and R have a scouting report for UCLA from superfan TG. He reports:
“Watched UCLA dismember Oregon Saturday on Fox Sports. Very surprised at their offensive discipline to go with their tenacious defense. Last year they were a lot more chaotic and seemed to score mostly on turnovers and offensive put-backs.  Saturday they were patient in the half court, used the extra pass to find the open player, and knocked down a high percentage of mid-range shots.  Very impressive - we will have a tough with them if we give up 23 offensive boards...”

Gulp. Hope Stanford isn’t taking this game lightly.

TH writes in, and no is not UConn’s Tiffany Hayes in disguise writing to C and R, TH asks why Stanford Women’s Basketball is not on TV! Well, how much time you got, Big T? She also asked if the UCLA game was being filmed. A short answer is yes, for the jumbotron and for Tara to study the film afterward, and also I think college basketball service either buys the film or shoots their own and then sells it to any interested party or they have a deal with colleges to provide game film on other teams or something like that, C and R might have it wrong, but the film is not for general consumption. So the bigger question remains why number four Stanford who is playing number eight UCLA at home in an important PAC-10 game is not on any TV channel? (Although you can pay $14.95 a month for the website “ALL Access and see some games).

The long answer is the networks think there is not a big enough following for much of women’s basketball, and certainly not for a West Coast team. The few women’s basketball games the networks deem “Acceptable” are back East and have “name brand recognition, such as UConn, Tennessee, any team with Michigan or North Carolina in their title, any SEC team or any team East of the Mississippi in general. (Okay, at first I threw those last two in as a joke, before we actually DID check to see what’s on TV, and here’s what we found).

C and R checked ESPN3, which is the website name for ESPN and has some coverage broadcast on the web. There IS a women’s basketball game televised the day of Stanford – UCLA. Wanna know who it is? Georgia vs Alabama. Two SEC teams! And Alabama isn’t in the top 25, although Georgia squeaks by in one poll at number 23 and doesn’t appear in the top 25 of the coaches poll.…

So wait, according to Women’s Basketball Online, here is what is being televised on the major networks, not just ESPN. (Comments in parenthesis belongs to C and R, and we didn’t even peek when we said what teams have name brand recognition).
Michigan State at Indiana..........5:30..........Big Ten Network (See, Michigan!)
VCU at Old Dominion..........6:00..........WSKY/Comcast SportsNet MA+ (Two teams East of the Mississippi!)
Tennessee at South Carolina..........6:00..........Fox Sports Net (SEC!!)
Ole Miss at LSU..........7:00..........Cox Sports (SEC again, and one school has Mississippi in the title)
Wisconsin at Minnesota..........7:30..........Big Ten Network (wait, are they east or west of the mighty Mississippi? Ulp, one is east and one is west, so at least they both touch the Mississippi)
Georgia at Alabama..........8:00..........CSS (See, SEC and not ranked and the only game on the internet site as we noted).

What can you do about it? Well, surprisingly, you can do something, and that is to contact ESPN and let them know your thoughts. Let them know you support women’s basketball in general and Stanford Women’ Basketball in particular. ESPN columnist Mechelle Voepel says they listen to the feedback and adjust accordingly and the emails really help. So get writing, Stanford Women’s Basketball fans!

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