Michigan Washington rematch Dec 30, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; A Michigan Wolverines football helmet sits on the field prior to the game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Michigan Wolverines at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

After two thrilling College Football Playoff semifinal victories on Monday, Michigan and Washington will square off in the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship next Monday, January 8. Washington will play a full Big Ten conference schedule in 2024 following the school’s move to the conference this summer, and one of the teams the Huskies will play is Michigan.

The Michigan-Washington rematch is scheduled for Week 6 in Seattle. The venue may provide a bit of good fortune for either CBS or NBC.

Due to the game taking place in the Pacific Time Zone, it’s probably not an option for Fox’s Big Noon window. The network has gone to the Mountain Time Zone several times at noon ET (including twice in 2023 for Colorado home games), but a West Coast game hasn’t aired in the timeslot for Fox.

Enter CBS and NBC. The Big Ten’s other two media partners air the conference’s games at 3:30 p.m. ET and in primetime, and either timeslot would be fine for a West Coast game. Either network scoring the rematch would be a major coup after mostly disappointing starts to their Big Ten contracts in 2023.

The three networks rotate their top game picks throughout the season, ensuring that the best games aren’t all on one network over the year. The addition of the four outgoing Pac-12 teams (Oregon, UCLA, USC, Washington) will give CBS and NBC access to a widening pool of games, and while Fox won’t be completely locked out from the West Coast games, the network would still probably lean towards its standbys of Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State if all options are somewhat equal.

However, a wrench could be thrown into the works in the form of the Big Ten’s Friday night games. The conference will air at least nine Friday night games in 2024, and following the departure of WWE SmackDown from Fox to USA in October 2024, the Fox broadcast network will presumably be airing some of those games. Depending on when SmackDown‘s final Fox episode airs (releases from both USA and WWE only list “October 2024” as the premiere date), what better way to kick off the post-WWE era on Fox with the weekend’s marquee college football game? Though if that ends up being the network and date for the game, fans attending the game will likely be peeved at what would probably be a 5 or 6 p.m. PT start time in Seattle.

Whichever two of the Big Ten’s three media partners that don’t get the Michigan-Washington rematch should be in alright shape for Week 6. The conference’s schedule that weekend also includes Iowa at Ohio State, Michigan State at Oregon, and UCLA at Penn State.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.