I know last week, I said that this column would be the second part of my look into Real Salt Lake fandom, but I’m going to push that column back a week, and talk about something closer to home.
Over the weekend, I had two experiences that got me thinking about ways the Big Sky Conference and Weber State University could be improved.
The first thing that stood out to me was something I’ve noticed over the past few seasons of watching WSU games on Big Sky TV. I think what Big Sky TV does for the most part is great for fans of Big Sky teams. It gives them the chance to watch games they otherwise wouldn’t be able to see. But in some aspects, it’s also very lacking.
The production of games varies greatly, depending on which school is broadcasting the game. Some broadcasts are done well, with the score, time left and other important info displayed. Then there are games like Saturday’s game in California. Throughout the whole game, there was no display of the score, time left, or even what down it was.
Another thing that was a constant annoyance during the broadcast was the fact that the video and audio were about 10 seconds out of sync. I think Big Sky TV is a great idea, and can really help the league, but they need to continue making improvements.
In the years that I’ve been at WSU, I have seen improvements in Big Sky TV. Three years ago when I first came to Ogden, I can remember broadcasts not starting on time, not having sound or, in come cases, not starting at all. For the most part, they’ve fixed those problems.
If the conference wants to continue to grow and improve its product, there are probably lots of people who’d be interested in watching Big Sky games. With three teams from the Big Sky currently ranked in the top 25 nationally, and two teams knocking on the door to the national rankings, it’s a highly competitive conference and could draw lots of attention from FCS fans.
The other recommendation I have is more specific to WSU. Last week, I engaged in a conversation with a two WSU alumni. The conversation centered on sports media, college athletics. Other universities in Utah and around the country seem to have a designated social-media go-to guy. A notable example of this is The Salt Lake Tribune’s Tony Jones. Jones covers Utah State University for the Trib and is always tweeting interesting info, game facts and other USU-related things.
It’s a great thing for fans of that team to have a source they can go to for news related to major sports at USU. I think WSU could be greatly served by finding someone to take control of the athletics social media. The university has done well this year by improving its social media presence, but I think it would be cool if there was a website that compiled WSU information, some blogs and information about other Big Sky teams.
Rival Big Sky school the University of Montana has something similar to that: a website that compiles blogs, team info and Grizzly-related news. I know in the past the school has been approached by someone wanting to work with the school to build something similar, but nothing came from it.
The athletic department has been doing a good job this year of updating Twitter posts, but I’d love to see more. I’d love to see someone from outside WSU’s athletic department whose job is to compile blogs, player profiles, game notes, and have a large source for fans. That would take a lot of work, and I think should be a job for someone who can just focus on doing that.
The best that WSU has currently is the coverage by the Standard‘s Roy Burton. Burton does a great job of tweeting about Wildcat football and basketball, but he also has other obligations for work and can’t totally focus on covering WSU sports.
I don’t know if these things will happen, or if they’ll happen soon, but they’re two things that would be relatively easy to improve upon that would go a long way toward making the conference and the school look great.