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What you need to know about Ohio State's new BTN 'Scarlet and Gray Days'

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We chatted with BTN President Mark Silverman about the network's ambitious new project to cover Ohio State before their first game against Virginia Tech

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot of news last week at Big Ten Media Days, from new formalized scheduling agreements to dozens and dozens of interviews, so you could be forgiven if you missed one of the biggest Ohio State related stories, that BTN would be launching a new reality show focused on Ohio State's training camp, leading into their opening game against Virginia Tech.

The new show, called 'Scarlet and Gray Days', will debut on Aug. 19 (the time is TBA, but I was told in "the evening"), will have a three-four episode run, giving an exclusive, in-depth, documentary style look at the training camp for the defending champs.

BTN President Mark Silverman sat down with Land-Grant Holy Land at Media Days to give a little more insight into what fans should expect from the program. Here's what you need to know:

  • It would easy for fans to compare the new OSU program to HBO's wildly popular 'Hard Knocks', which chronicles an NFL training game, but Silverman was clear to push back on that a little bit. "I would describe this program as a like a mini-'The Journey' for Ohio State fans.", referring to the other popular documentary program on BTN. "The people who produce 'The Journey' are going to produce this show, and that's the best description as to not let expectations get out of line." If you haven't watched The Journey before, which is the best show on BTN in my opinion, you can check out some older clips here.
  • Why the need to set those expectations early? Because the NFL has set rules for access that BTN can't impose on college programs. "The NFL says, this is where we are going", said Silverman, "so that's very different."
  • Silverman says the episodes will run on Wednesday nights and will run "about a half hour", and the exact length of the program may not be set in stone yet. Since the network has never done a program like this before, they're not totally sure with what kind of content they'll be getting. "We feel really confident that we can get three half-hour episodes in, the question is, can we get a fourth? We'll see how things go."
  • So what can fans expect from the actual shows? Will they focus more on the personalities or journeys of specific players, or will they try to give fans a more program-focused look at how an elite team prepares for the start of the season? Silverman says it will probably be a little of both. "We're going to try and find some compelling storylines that we can focus on, and if that's on specific players with an interesting story, maybe coming back from an injury, maybe fighting to be a starter, our guys will try to highlight it, but they also want to show how much work these student-athletes put in before the season. It will be a nice combination."
  • In case you were wondering, BTN proposed this idea to Ohio State first, and if this goes well, this is an idea that could potentially be implemented with other schools. The network is also aware of the program's need for secrecy around gameplans or other matters, "when it's time to turn off the cameras, there will be time for the cameras to be turned off."
We'll have more specific information on the show once we get a little closer to the 19th, but for now, if it's anything like "The Journey", it should be both a great opportunity for Buckeye fans to get to know their program a little better right before the season, but also a chance for the team to showcase itself to a major audience (and hey, potential recruits), during a high profile time.