Most football fans are familiar with Hard Knocks, the yearly HBO behind-the-scenes reality show that features one chosen NFL team and a raw, unedited look at that teams training camp.
Past seasons of the HBO series have featured the Dallas Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals, and the New York Jets. Well, move over Hard Knocks...
According to ESPN.com's Recruiting Nation, ESPNU and ESPN will air several fall camp specials featuring the Buckeyes and first year head coach, and former ESPN college football analyst, Urban Meyer.
This isn't the first time the mothership is featuring one of college football's all-time elite football programs. Last year, ESPN aired several Oklahoma Sooners all-access specials.
Admittedly, I didn't watch very much of last years all-access series (I'm guessing neither did many other Buckeye fans), but even the most anti-ESPN Buckeye fan will almost undoubtedly set aside their bitterness towards ESPN for a few days to watch this showcasing of Ohio State football.
Below is the entire press release, including episode air-dates and times.
Ohio State fans will get a close-up on the 2012 football season with new head coach Urban Meyer when ESPN debuts a series of All-Access specials beginning August 14 on ESPNU and additional ESPN platforms.
ESPN All-Access: Ohio State Training Days will showcase the Buckeyes as they train under Ohio native (Ashtabula, Ohio) Meyer who has returned from a coaching hiatus to lead the team.
With extensive behind-the-scenes access to on- and off-field play, team meetings and campus facilities, ESPN cameras will introduce players and coaches as they complete grueling pre-season training across six days.
Viewers will see four, 30-minute specials on ESPNU (August 14-17), a five-part series across College Football Live Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods and SportsCenter (August 19-24), and a one-hour special on ESPN (August 22).
Lee Fitting, ESPN senior coordinating producer, said, "Anytime we can provide behind-the-scenes access inside one of the traditional power programs, it’s a treat for the viewers and the fans. Urban Meyer’s success at Florida and the unique story lines surrounding the Ohio State program will add to the intrigue of this series."
Tue, Aug. 14 5 p.m. ESPN All-Access: Ohio State Training Days ESPNU Wed, Aug. 15 5 p.m. ESPN All-Access: Ohio State Training Days ESPNU Thu, Aug. 16 5 p.m. ESPN All-Access: Ohio State Training Days ESPNU Fri, Aug. 17 5 p.m. ESPN All-Access: Ohio State Training Days ESPNU Sun, Aug. 19 4:30 or 11 p.m. SportsCenter ESPN Mon, Aug. 20 3:30 p.m. College Football Live ESPNU Tue, Aug. 21 3:30 p.m. College Football Live ESPN Wed, Aug. 22 3:30 p.m. College Football Live ESPN Wed, Aug. 22 7 p.m. ESPN All-Access: Ohio State Training Days ESPN Thu, Aug. 23 3:30 p.m. College Football Live ESPN Fri, Aug. 24 3:30 p.m. College Football Live ESPN
ESPN might not always be Buckeye-Football-friendly, but they aren't all dummies (or haters...cough, Mark May, cough...Ohio State 72, Pitt 0, cough...) up there in Bristol.
This decision was a no-brainer—Featuring Ohio State football will equal big ratings, and big ratings equal big money.