According to an agreement made when Oregon had to do some schedule shuffling several months ago the game between Michigan State and Oregon will not be a night game. In working with fan concerns on the number of night games not only at Autzen Stadium, the home of the Oregon Ducks Football team, but around the nation Athletic Directors and even the Pac-12 Commissioner are aware of the night game problem. There were over thirty games last season that started at 7pm PT or later. The networks are working out a model where the number of day games be more ‘fan friendly’. As part of the agreement to move the matchup of likely Top 10 ranked teams in the Ducks and Spartans it was decided the game will be in the afternoon, rather than at night.
On April 10th John Wilner from the Mercury News wrote about the ‘Night Game Issue’ in his College Hotline Post. Wilner goes into a lot more detail than I do as far as negotiations for all the networks, including the possibility of more regional games than national games to fulfill certain contracts.
The Oregon Ducks game vs Michigan State could still end up on ABC or ESPN, but in one of the afternoon slots (12pm PT, 3:30pm PT) or it could fall to Pac-12 Networks or Fox Sports 1 for a 1pm or 4pm start time. I would expect to hear gametimes for a good part of the upcoming 2014 schedule within the next few weeks and months, and of course there are always the 12 and 7 day rules for games that are not announced.
Both teams face one non-conference opponent before meeting in Autzen Stadium on September 6th. The Spartans meet Jacksonville State on Friday, August 29th. The Oregon Ducks take on South Dakota on Saturday, August 30th.
Michigan State will play their Spring Game on Saturday, April 26th at 11am PT in East Lansing, Michigan. Oregon concludes Spring Practice with their Spring Game at Autzen Stadium the following week on Saturday May 2nd at 11am PT.