UPDATE: OU has now made the official announcement, and the game will be played at 6:30 p.m. CT on ABC.
ORIGINAL: Get ready for Sunday night lights, Sooner fans.
According to Stadium’s Brett McMurphy, the Oklahoma Sooners’ season opener versus the Houston Cougars and their new head coach Dana Holgorsen has been moved from August 31 to September 1. The reason given: Appeasing our college football programming overlords.
BREAKING: Houston at Oklahoma opener has been moved to Sunday night Sept. 1 for TV purposes, sources told our Brett McMurphy. UH-OU was originally scheduled for Aug. 31.— Stadium (@Stadium) April 25, 2019
While liquor stores around the state won’t take kindly to the news, OU head coach Lincoln Riley is likely elated.
On Saturday, an OU-UH matchup is competing for attention against other made-for-TV games such as Alabama-Duke, Florida State-Boise State and Auburn-Oregon. That probably means kicking off in the middle of the day on a cable network. Veterans of past afternoon games on Labor Day weekend know what it’s like baking in the August heat for a season opener.
Playing on Sunday, on the other hand, gives the Sooners a primetime TV slot, potentially on a broadcast network. Given that the following day is a holiday, expect a raucous crowd at Owen Field.
For recruiting and exposure purposes, it’s hard to ask for much better than that. Don’t be surprised if the Sooners see a bump in prospects making the trip to Norman for the game.
All in all, count this as an offseason win for OU.