One complaint I keep hearing from USC fans is they hate going to night games at the Coliseum.
It’s not a new argument, obviously, and former Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez was among the vocal critics of all the night games some teams played.
So I decided to see how many night games each Pac-12 school played last season.
Oregon — 6
Oregon State — 6 Cal — 6
Stanford — 3
Washington — 5
Washington State — 6
Arizona — 9
Arizona State — 7
Colorado — 8
Utah — 7
USC — 7
UCLA — 8
Now, the Arizona schools are always going to have a lot of night games because it is usually too hot in September and even early October to play day games in the desert.
But it doesn’t seem fan friendly to have so many schools play half-or-more of their regular season games at night. It’s also true, at least last year, that the Pac-12 South schools took the brunt of the night games. Stanford played only three night games.
Even worse, five of USC’s six home games were at night. So if you had season tickets, only one game kicked off before 5 p.m. That meant you probably got home around midnight (or later) most of the time.
I can see why fans complain. And even when it gets addressed, it really doesn’t. In 2016, the Pac-12 announced it would try to convert four night games to earlier kickoffs. Big deal.
As you can see below, night games are not unique. But there were less night games in 1956.
The reason there are so many night games is because Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and the schools’ presidents didn’t really care when the current TV deal was signed in 2011. They just wanted the $3 billion over 12 years.
As usual, the fans paid the price.