There are still 97 days left until the Jackson State University Tigers take the field at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, but Deion Sanders is already discussing the team’s home opener. Recently, Sanders learned that his team’s upcoming game against Florida A&M University will be aired on ESPN 2 in September. However, Sanders feels that it should be broadcasted on the network’s main channel.
“How do we get to ESPN2 when we had better ratings than Power 5s that played on the same darn day,” Sanders wrote on Instagram.
“ESPN you are better than that and much smarter than that. Check the ratings please.”
Additional reporting from HBCU Gameday indicates that there is some validity to Sanders’ claims. Last year’s Jackson State-Florida A&M showdown drew more viewers than a game featuring Kansas State and Stanford show on ESPN on the same day. With that said, the game didn’t draw a larger audience than the Notre Dame-Florida State later that evening.
Sanders’ colleague, Willie Simmons of Florida A&M, appears to side with him.
“Deion Sanders and I are in agreement that the Orange Blossom Classic on Sept. 4 should be nationally televised on ESPN. The reigning Buck Buchanan Award winner and the reigning Jerry Rice Award winner going head-to-head! Last year’s game decided by one point,” Simmons commented.
Simmons and Sanders may push for their showdown to be broadcast on ESPN, but it may face some stiff competition. The 2022 U.S. Open will be broadcast on ESPN’s family of networks on the same day. Florida State will also play LSU later that evening on ESPN.