Many people didn’t like HY in part because they believe he was a primary reason for many of our Thursday/Friday night and 11am football kickoffs. I have looked at our home schedule over the last 10 years. We’ve been in the AAC the past 5 years. The data shows that it wasn’t HY but rather our affiliation with AAC/ESPN TV rights giving us poor tailgate times. 2013 and 2014 were both not great for tailgating and that was before HY was AD and after we got in the AAC so its not logical to blame HY.
The outlier is 2015. 2015 was just a phenomenal year with a great team and lots of “quality” tailgates. With the hype we had that year and high ranking ESPN appears to have slotted us for a few more appealing time slots with a 6pm vs Vanderbilt (ESPN 2), 2:30 vs Cincinnati (ESPN 2), 6pm Memphis (ESPN2), and even our “early” Navy game on Thanksgiving Friday at 11am was at least on ABC. Basically we got the best AAC ESPN slots because we were THE hot ticket in the AAC but if we aren’t THE hot ticket in the AAC we will get the secondary start times.
I believe we can expect more years like 2017 while in the AAC under the current ESPN TV deal. If we have a team like this year it will likely make for an overall miserable experience for the fans at games due to frustrating team performance and having poor game times.