The 2011 college football season may not start until August and the Pac-12 TV deal is also a few months away, but the ASU football team is already seeing the benefits of Larry Scott's latest triumph.
Thanks to the Pac-12's new television contact with Fox and ESPN, three ASU football games have already been chosen to air on national television, while others will be considered as the season progresses.
Arizona State will be on national television early as their September 9th home game against Missouri will be televised by ESPN at 7:30 p.m. local time. It is also expected that the Sun Devils will use this opportunity to debut their new black uniforms.
Later in September the Sun Devils will be on either ESPN or ESPN2 when they play host to USC.
The third game slated for a national audience will be played on black Friday, November 25th, against California. This will also be the regular season finale for ASU.
While three games in front of national audiences will certainly help the Sun Devils market their new brand, there remains a strong possibility that a few more games could be added to the television schedule.
After a quick glance at the schedule, ASU's games against both Oregon and UA appear to be games that could possibly be picked up by television depending on how the season is unfolding.
The Sun Devils would also be guaranteed a national audience if they could find a way to win the inaugural Pac-12 South and play in the conference title game.
When negotiating conference expansion and a television deal, Scott's goal was to increase the visibility of the Pac-12 conference. The new television contract has certainly fulfilled this goal for the conference as a whole, but for the Sun Devils as well.
ASU, a program that seems to often get lost in the national spotlight, will certainly benefit from the new Pac-12 Conference and all the advantages that it offers.
Television may only be one of many steps towards rebuilding a winning program in Tempe, but it is certainly a step in the right direction and the increase in national exposure and recognition will only help the Sun Devils in the future.
In the past the Sun Devils have had trouble recruiting not only the state of Arizona, but the nation as well. By increasing their exposure and visibility, the Sun Devil football program should greatly enhance their ability to recruit.
High school kids want to play for visible programs in order to reach the next level. A year after only one Sun Devil was taken in the NFL Draft, it will be very important for the Sun Devils to increase their national reputation, increase their recruiting capabilities and in turn, increase their win total and play in a bowl game.