As Cougar fans know by now, Saturday's BYU at Wyoming football game will be seen on ESPN.

So all of you with cable are happy, while all of you without cable are not.There will be no local coverage of the game, either live or on tape delay. But that's not because the local stations didn't try.

At one point, KSL-TV had actually worked out a deal to broadcast the game. "(Wyoming coach and athletic director) Paul Roach, for the first time I can remember, allowed us to pick up the game - probably because it was sold out," said David Manookin, Ch. 5's vice president of programming.

But, under the College Football Association TV contract, CBS had first shot at the game and ESPN second. CBS, not surprisingly, opted for Notre Dame at Tennessee.

But when ESPN decided it wanted BYU-Wyoming, that pulled the rug out from under KSL.

You may remember that a couple of years ago a BYU at Hawaii game was telecast on both Ch. 5 and ESPN. But in that instance, KSL had a longstanding contract to do the game and had already sold all the advertising, so BYU interceded with ESPN on Ch. 5's behalf. No such situation existed this time around.

And because the game is in Laramie, KBYU does not have the option to replay it on tape-delay.

Before true-blue fans get too upset, remember that being seen on ESPN has its advantages. In addition to the added money, there's the added exposure - and Ty Detmer could use another game on national television to boost his Heisman hopes.

So if you haven't got cable, call a friend who does and offer to bring the popcorn.

***> WHICH CAME FIRST? KUTV's Terry Wood disputes Mr. Spud's account of the sequence of events leading up to the anchorman's recent return to Ch. 2.

Wood wants to make it clear that he was not forced out at station WDSU in New Orleans, that it was his decision to return to Utah.

According to a source at Pulitzer-owned WDSU, that station hired then-CBS correspondent Norman Robinson as an anchor before Wood announced his intention to leave - the conclusion being that Wood's position was not secure.

Wood, on the other hand, maintains he told WDSU management he wanted to leave before Robinson's hiring.

One of Wood's former bosses, Pulitzer executive Rabum Matthews, said he couldn't remember which came first. "But certainly there was no dissatisfaction with Terry," he said. "We were going to hire Robinson no matter what."

Wood was anchoring three newscasts at WDSU and Matthews said Robinson likely would have replaced Wood on at least one of those broadcasts but not on all of them.

Because Mr. Spud did such a poor job of making his point on Wednesday - and because there might be one or two people left at Ch. 2 he hasn't offended lately - he'll try to make it clear today:

I did not like the ad campaign KUTV ran when Wood returned. I do not care about Wood's down-home reasons for wanting to return - although I grant they are certainly valid.

I am offended when stations try to build up their anchors as America, mom and apple-pie next-door-neighbor types. And I think the newspeople should be offended too. First, it's an impossible image to live up to, and second, it doesn't really matter - or at least it shouldn't - when it comes down to doing their jobs.