FROM PULLMAN — The Mike Leach era at Washington State will begin two days earlier than originally planned. Read on for more.
As has been anticipated for some time, ESPN announced via Twitter on Wednesday (and then WSU confirmed it shortly after) that the season-opening game between WSU and BYU will be played on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7:15 p.m. PT in Provo. That makes three non-Saturday games on the Cougars' schedule now — they also play at UNLV on Friday, Sept. 14, and the Apple Cup against Washington will be played the Friday after Thanksgiving in Pullman.
From a sports writer's perspective, this isn't the most exciting news — a mid-week game played late against deadline constraints. But it's a good move in terms of generating national interest for the WSU program, and will surely draw more viewers than a mid-Saturday game buried at the back of a full television lineup. This way, it's part of ESPN's opening day double-header, and Leach's return will be broadcast for the entire country to see. Though I'd count it as unlikely that many outside of this time zone stay up to watch the whole thing. Maybe in Lubbock.