If Alabama A&M fans wants to watch their beloved Bulldogs on national television — ESPN specifically — it probably won’t happen until December when the Southwestern Athletic Conference title game is played.
Even though the defending Eastern Division champions appeared twice on ESPN’s family of networks last season, the school will have no such opportunities come 2012, according to the recently released SWAC its ESPN television schedule.
Two regular season Thursday night games highlight the SWAC regular season. Southern will play host to Mississippi Valley State on Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU at A.W. Mumford Stadium. The game is the conference and home opener for the Jaguars.
A week later on Sept. 20, Arkansas-Pine Bluff travels to Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. to face Alabama State for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPNU.
“I’m not familiar with the guidelines for selection for the television broadcast, but we want to let our fans know we will be working diligently to secure television contests for Alabama A&M in the future because we believe the Bulldogs have the best brand of football as any team in the Football Championship Subdivision,” A&M athletics director Bryan Hicks told the Huntsville Times.
There is still a possibility that some Saturday games during the season will be carried on the ESPN family on a tape-delay broadcast. The Nov. 17 matchup with Auburn could present regional coverage.
According to the team’s webpage, no games are slated to be streamed via the school’s website. The SWAC, which streams games live via its website, hasn’t released the SWAC TV slate of contests.
The final regular season game on the ESPN family is the traditional Thanksgiving Day matchup between Alabama State and Tuskegee in the Turkey Day Classic. This year’s event is special because it features the grand opening of ASU Stadium for a 3:00 p.m. start on ESPNU.
And finally, the 14th annual SWAC Championship Game will be carried live on ESPNU on Saturday, Dec. 8 from Birmingham’s Legion Field.
Who should be held responsible for this? ESPN? The SWAC? Alabama A&M? Or are the Bulldogs not being on national TV a by-product of the school not being an attractive commodity?