Pitt isn’t only school with a morning kickoff
Tailgaters may have to rise a bit earlier than they might like on a Saturday morning, but Pitt won’t be the only school with an 11 a.m. start time this season.
The newly formed ACC Network, which will launch Aug. 29 with a telecast of Georgia Tech’s game at defending national champion Clemson, has scheduled four games for Sept. 7, the second week of the season. Pitt will lead the way with its non-conference game against Ohio at Heinz Field kicking off at 11 a.m.
Pitt hasn’t started a home game at that time since Oct. 13, 2012. Many fans weren’t happy, but Pitt announced a crowd of 42,432 for the game against undefeated and No. 18 Louisville. Two weeks later, attendance actually dipped to 42,425 for a home game against Temple that started at noon.
Fox has informed the Big 12 that it plans to start some of its best games at 11 a.m. Central to accommodate a new pregame show featuring former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.
“ESPN’s 11 a.m. start time, while untraditional, appears to be growing in frequency across a number of Power conferences and networks,” Pitt spokesman E.J. Borghetti said. “It’s not quite a ‘new normal’ yet, but finding a college football game on television before lunchtime is increasingly a good bet.
“It’s our responsibility to provide the best fan experience regardless of the TV-dictated kickoff time. With nearly four months to prepare and communicate with our fans, we’re confident we will make it a really enjoyable time on the North Shore that day.”
Pitt is opening the season on the ACC Network in prime time Aug. 31 against ACC Coastal rival Virginia. Kickoff for that game is 7:30 p.m.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .