ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit responded after UW's Chris Petersen openly expressed his displeasure with being pushed into the late slot on national television, calling it 'painful'.

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ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit isn’t buying the complaints over late kickoffs.

After UW’s Chris Petersen openly expressed his displeasure with being pushed into the late slot on national television, calling it “painful.”

“We haven’t had a kickoff before 5 o’clock this season,” Petersen said. “And so it’s painful for our team, it’s painful for our administration and we know certainly the most important part is for our fans.”

“I just want to say again to our fans, we apologize for these late games, and also just reiterate it has nothing to do with us,” he continued. “We want to play at 1 o’clock. It hurts us tremendously in terms of national exposure. No one’s gonna watch our game on the East Coast that late. We all know that.

Herbstreit wasn’t having it. On Saturday’s ‘College Gameday’ show, he delivered a strong rebuttal.

“As an advocate on this show for the Pac-12 for the last 20 years, wanting to try to bring as much exposure to that conference as we can, you should be thanking ESPN for actually having a relationship thanks to Larry Scott with the Pac-12 because now your games are seen,” he said.

This is the sixth football season Pac-12 teams have played under the conference’s 12-year, $3-billion television rights deal with ESPN and FOX, which have regular slots each Saturday night that need to be filled by Pac-12 football programming.

The No. 6 Huskies (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) host California for a 7:45 p.m. kickoff Saturday on ESPN. They’ll then head to Tempe for a 7:45 p.m. against Arizona State on Oct. 14.