October 27, 2011

Bracket announcement goes online

By Pat Coleman
D3sports.com

The Division III football bracket announcement is leaving the ESPN networks, where it has been televised for the past eight seasons, and will be moved back several hours in the process.

The bracket will be announced via an NCAA.com video stream, with the selection show scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 13.

The announcement is three hours later than last year's ESPNews bracket announcement, but should be in a longer form than the televised version, which ranged from as short as seven minutes to a longer show shared with Division II on ESPNU.

None of the coaches D3football.com contacted were willing to speak on the record about the time change. However, one coach of a playoff contender spoke with the stipulation that he not be named:

"It makes for a pretty hectic Sunday night, especially if you're the team traveling. Your travel arrangements can take the better part of a day. But the ability to exchange film online has changed [the tape exchange] process, where once you might have had to send someone in a car six hours.

"Assuming most conferences just exchange online, you could get game film in by 9 p.m. Sunday and hopefully be ready by Monday morning."

The coach went on to say: "I've never had to wait for the show to know who we're playing. It seems to be a poorly kept secret." 

In addition, more details have become available about ESPN's broadcast coverage of the Division III semifinals. The games will be broadcast via ESPN syndication, with networks to be determined when the matchups are known. The games will also be broadcast online, on ESPN3.com. The Stagg Bowl will continue to be broadcast on television as well, with coverage of the Friday, Dec. 16 championship game available on ESPNU.

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