Big 12 Will Spice Up Telecasts With XFL-Like Production Including In-Game Player Interviews, Mic’d Up Coaches

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The Big 12 is looking for alternative ways to bring in new college football fans, along with keeping current fans engaged with their favorite teams. Over the course of the last few days, athletic directors and coaches have been discussing additional content sources with television partners at conference meetings this week in Scottsdale, including the idea of putting microphones on coaches.

A number of schools already do this type of thing in-house. If you’ve been to a college football game recently, you have most likely seen a behind-the-scenes video put on the Jumbotron. Things like a coach leading his team out of the tunnel or star athletes having a conversation on the sidelines are commonplace at these games.

There has been a fight between television networks over the last decade of how to increase viewership. A number of ideas have been discussed with ESPN and FOX recently according to reports. The thought process from the Big 12 is centered around giving fans more access on game days, which would include in-game player interviews and coaches or possibly even referees being mic’d up.

We’ve seen how great some of these interactions have been with ESPN broadcasting the XFL.

The XFL currently allows its TV partners access to locker rooms, along with players during games. This move by the Big 12 would be a major step forward in changing the way games are broadcasted.

We have seen an uptick over the last few years from social media teams at schools to give fans a deeper look at what happens behind the scenes. Whether it be player interviews or social media clips with student-athletes in-control, schools are trying everything to increase social media numbers.

Big 12 Thinking Outside The Box When It Comes To College Football

Along with the television networks, this could be another way for schools to increase fan engagement. If you have a social media account, you have most likely seen some type of backstage content from your favorite team.

Now, with NIL such a major factor in college athletics, giving players another outlet to promote their likeness could be a winning combination for both parties. If schools want to entice players into giving them more access to their personal life, then partnering with a network like ESPN or FOX is the way to go. Not only will this increase their value, but schools will be able to produce better content for fans.

It’s a win for everyone involved.

Houston coach Dana Holgerson was asked about the proposals, he then pointed out that everything is already being documented on recording devices.

“Fox and ESPN is really encouraging that. It’s just going to market our kids and teams more,” Holgerson noted. “Because of cell phones and cameras, everything I say and do is being recorded. Everything I know is being seen. I might as well go ahead and embrace it.”

The Big 12 is looking to change the way college football games are televised
A rose on a ESPN camera during the Rose Bowl game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Utah Utes on January 1, 2022 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Along With Playing Games In Mexico, Big 12 Has To Try And Keep Up

As the SEC and Big Ten continue to grow, the Big 12 is trying to be different. This is the perfect way for Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark to establish his conference as the new way of thinking. One of those ideas to be different way to play basketball and football games in Mexico, which is reportedly starting in 2024.

The Big 12 will obviously have a hard time putting up massive numbers when it comes to viewership when Texas and Oklahoma leave for the SEC. So to make up for the loss, the conference has decided to change the way its games are televised. Putting a live microphone on a football coach is just spicy enough to get viewers to tune into a game between Houston and West Virginia that might not carry much weight late in the season.

Coaches will play along with these ideas, especially if it means getting more eyes on their program. I imagine Neal Brown at West Virginia wouldn’t have a problem with TV crews in the locker room for his pregame or postgame speech. These coaches know how to work the camera, while some of them are so hardcore, they wouldn’t worry about a camera in the first place.

In the end, if the Big 12 wants to stay in the same zip code as the SEC and Big Ten moving into the future, taking fans behind the scenes might be a great way to entice college football fans into not changing the channel.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

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  1. As a TCU fan and Big 12 apologist (sorry, not sorry), I think most of us in the B12 circle realize that we’re not going to come close to the B1G or SEC financially. However, we can sure as heck narrow the gap between B12 and B1G/SEC and become a solid #3 league with not only these innovative production values, but by putting a strong product on the football field or basketball court.

    Games in Mexico will certainly go far in expanding the league’s footprint for viewership and fan interest.

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