There's been some complaints recently on the message board about how BTN always shows the same cycle of classic Michigan games. Last year's games against Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Ohio. A game from the 1997 season. An old Rose Bowl. Some original programming to top it off.
Someone speculated that lots of people go into the decision-making process for these games, from network execs to AD's. Obviously, some games are probably off the list to be shown.
This is one of those games.
Going into the tail end of the 1999 season, Michigan was looking like a team for the ages. Despite two mid-season losses, the Wolverines were in the process of ending the season strong, at 4-2 in the conference and 8-2 overall. Senior quarterback Tom Brady and Anthony Thomas led the offense, with Dhani Jones and Rob Renes on D.
Penn State, on the other hand, was going into their final home game reeling. After starting the season 9-0, Minnesota upset the Nittany Lions on the last play of their game, leaving Happy Valley with a huge upset. Still, Penn State was in the hunt for a Big Ten championship, making their game against Michigan one of 1999's last big matchups. Penn State and Wisconsin were the Big Ten's leaders, with Michigan closely behind. This game would essentially knock someone out of the race for a championship, and possibly a BCS appearance as well.
Of course, despite all of these circumstances surrounding the game, there was another subplot that factored heavily into ABC's coverage. This game was Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky's last home game, making the TV coverage Jerry Sandusky-themed. That's right. It's a Jerry Sandusky-themed broadcast.
Needless to say, the Big Ten won't be taking this game for a visual victory lap any time soon.
Watch and enjoy. The first half is in the first link, the second half is in the second. And as always, go Blue.