Missouri and ESPN announced today that the NU/MU game scheduled for Saturday, October 3rd has been moved to Thursday, October 8th for an 8 pm CDT ESPN telecast. Since both schools already had a bye week scheduled for October 10th, neither school plays with a short week of practice. However, Missouri still only has 11 games scheduled, so this change restricts them to finding an opponent for September 19th, unless they want to use a short week to prepare for the Huskers to visit.
Interesting that ESPN would want to feature this game, as both schools will be starting new quarterbacks. (And as Husker fans would prefer to forget, the last two games in this series televised at 8 pm on ESPN have been huge blowouts.)
Thursday night games are a mixed bag. Fans staying home usually love them; there are no regional restrictions and there aren't many other games on at that time. (The first round of the Major League Playoffs are the only real competition for viewers.)
On the other hand, it's a royal pain for fans planning to attend. Fans in Nebraska now need to plan to use two days of vacation for this road trip, as likely will many Missouri fans who don't live in Columbia. (Hotel rooms in Columbia are typically scarce on football weekends; I can only imagine what it'll be like for a Thursday late night kickoff!) With classes in session on campus, parking will be a nightmare.
Because of that, I don't ever expect a Thursday night game to ever be played in Lincoln, barring some other extraneous event, like the 9/11 terrorists attacks moving the Rice game in 2001 to a Thursday night. For that game, Nebraska ended up cancelling classes in the late afternoon and evening so that campus parking and security could be freed up to support the game. ESPN would have to make a significant payment to make a Thursday night game viable in Lincoln...and by "significant", I'm thinking BCS Bowl game type of payouts.
For what it's worth, the boys over at Rock M Nation are just as thrilled as I am about a Thursday night broadcast. Great for TV...sucks for fans who buy the tickets (and thus pay much more than ESPN is, for that matter).