When ESPN and FOX both passed on the possibility of broadcasting Kansas State’s next football game against Texas Tech on a traditional TV network, the Wildcats were free to choose their own kickoff time for the contest at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
So why is the game starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday?
Good question. Morning kickoffs are usually scheduled strictly for TV purposes. Traditionally, K-State has opted for afternoon and evening kickoffs when it has played in front of an ESPN+ streaming audience at home. The Wildcats opened the season at 6 p.m. against South Dakota and then played Tulane at 2 p.m. in those situations earlier this season.
But they wanted to try something different for this game. More specifically, K-State football coach Chris Klieman wanted a different kickoff time for this game.
“Mainly the 11 a.m. kick is what Chris preferred,” K-State athletic director Gene Taylor explained in a text message. “Since we did the first game at 6 and the Tulane game at 2:30 we wanted to give him his preference on this one.”
The Big 12’s TV partners choose kickoff times for most games in the conference, but whenever a game is carried on ESPN+ it starts whenever the home team wants it to start.
Most fans prefer later kickoffs, but there are a few reasons why Klieman would prefer to play as early as possible.
Morning kickoffs are often a hit with players, because they get to enjoy a free Saturday night in Manhattan after the game has ended. An early start also means less time spent at the team hotel and more time spent on football.
“They get up, eat and go to the stadium,” Taylor said. “It also gives coaches a little extra time that night for film break down.”