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Williams Blog: Big Monday + Black Friday = maximum exposure

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams  

It’s amazing what a little bit of winning does for an athletic department.

Fred Hoiberg took the Iowa State men’s basketball program to an NCAA Tournament in his second season in Ames and in year three, the Cyclones will be a part of ESPN’s prestigious "Big Monday" programming for the first time since 2006.

Iowa State’s Feb. 25 date with the Kansas Jayhawks will be an 8 p.m. tip at Hilton Coliseum and will be televised on ESPN. Iowa State and the Big 12 Conference made this announcement on Wednesday morning.

That isn’t the only scheduling "news" of the day though. This second tidbit has to do with football. If you follow this website, this isn’t really "news." We’ve been hashing this out for months but according to the website titled West Virginia Illustrated, both the Big 12’s and West Virginia’s media guides are listing Iowa State’s inaugural date with the Mountaineers to be played on Friday, Nov. 23. That’s "Black Friday," also known as the day after Thanksgiving.

Again – this isn’t new knowledge. I’ve been hearing this for months. You all have been discussing it on our forums. I’ve also heard from multiple sources (nothing rock solid but still) that this could be a 2:30 kick on ABC – that will follow the Nebraska @ Iowa game at 11. (Disclaimer: Things change all of the time due to television. I have a feeling that ABC is looking around right now – otherwise this would have been announced weeks ago.)

UPDATE: According to ABC5 Sports Director Dave Zawilinski, this is now OFFICIAL. Iowa State and West Virginia will be a Black Friday, 2:30 p.m. kick on ABC. 

According to ESPN.com’s week 13 college football schedule, ABC hasn’t scheduled a 2:30 kick for Black Friday yet. Here is the list of games currently scheduled to be played on Friday that haven’t already been assigned television:

Utah @ Colorado
Central Michigan @ UMass
Marshall @ ECU
Buffalo @ Bowling Green
Ball State @ Miami (OH)
Syracuse @ Temple
Washington @ Washington State
South Florida @ Cincinnati
Northern Illinois @ Eastern Michigan
Ohio @ Kent State

West Virginia @ Iowa State looks pretty darn good when you stack it up to that slate of games.

Look at last year’s football upset of Oklahoma State. On a Friday night, every reporter in a hotel room (or sport bar) across the country who was watching Ames, Iowa. Had that game gone down on a regular Saturday afternoon, it would have gotten attention. But not as much as on a Friday night. Seventy-five percent of those media members would have been covering their own game at that time and the same goes for Big Monday. For that Monday, Iowa State will be "the show," in the Big 12 and college basketball in general.

Playing on Big Monday and Black Friday doesn’t mean that Iowa State is on the verge of dream season’s in 2012-13 but it does guarantee one thing.