ESPN Set for Coverage of the BCS Bowl Games

ESPN has unveiled its plans to provide extensive coverage of the BCS games beginning on New Year’s Day.

ESPN College GameDay will be on hand at the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. Coverage of the Orange Bowl will originate from ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn. GameDay will end the season live from Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Monday, Jan. 7, from the BCS National Championship Game.

Chris Fowler will host with analysts Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard from Pasadena to New Orleans with a final stop in Miami Gardens, Fla., for the title game. Additional analyst appearances include Lee Corso, David Pollack, Todd McShay and Samantha (Steele) Ponder.

Rece Davis will take the hosting duties, along with analysts Lou Holtz and Mark May, from the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

The BCS National Championship will add guest analysts including former ESPN commentator and current Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin.

Here is the ESPN College Gameday schedule:

Date Time (ET) Network Location/Analysts
Tue, Jan 1 11 a.m. ESPNU Fowler, Herbstreit, Corso, Howard & McShay (Pasadena, Calif.)
  noon ESPN  
Wed, Jan 2 7-8 p.m. ESPN Fowler, Herbstreit, Howard & Pollack (New Orleans)
Thu, Jan 3 7-8 p.m. ESPN Davis, Holtz & May (Glendale, Ariz.)
Mon, Jan 7 6-8 p.m. ESPN Fowler, Herbstreit, Corso, Howard, Pollack, Meyer & Sumlin (Miami Gardens, Fla.)

Media polls — vote early and often

ray 'n' homerLast month, when we learned the final regular-season college football coaches’ poll will become anonymous starting in the 2010 season, it got me thinking about how the media have pulled back from exercising authority in polls and awards.

The Associated Press media poll no longer is part of the Bowl Championship Series ranking formula. Many prominent newspapers prohibit staffers from voting in polls, for league awards such as Most Valuable Player or for halls of fame.

The thinking is that, by voting, the media are making the news rather than just covering it. Media members also are put in position, the argument goes, to have significant financial impact on teams (getting them into lucrative bowl games) or players (who might have incentive clauses tied to where they finish in award votes or can reap the benefits of being hall of famers).

Well, maybe.


It’s Official…BCS to ESPN

From the WWL:

ESPN has reached an extensive agreement with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), granting exclusive TV, radio, digital, international and marketing rights for 15 BCS games from January 2011 through January 2014. It includes the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar Bowls each season and the BCS National Championship Game in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The announcement was made by George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports, and John Swofford, BCS Coordinator and ACC Commissioner.

“The BCS will thrive on ESPN,” Bodenheimer said. “Our slogan is ‘College Football Lives Here’ and the BCS will now top college football’s best regular-season and studio coverage, the sport’s top awards shows, Bowl Week and other national championships all carried on our family of networks. This is a proud day for ESPN and an exceptional day for this great sport and its passionate fans.”

Swofford added, “We are tremendously pleased to reach an agreement with ESPN and feel that the BCS games from 2011-14 will be in good hands. With the continued growth of technology and the depth of coverage that ESPN gives to the college football fan on all its platforms during the regular-season, this post-season partnership is a natural fit.”

A conference call is set for noon.  I hope someone asks the question as to whether any of these games will be on ABC.   When I find out the answer, I will pass it along.

ESPN a Lock to Secure the BCS

It looks like the BCS telecasts will be in the hands of ESPN.  This from the current rights holder, Fox:

FOX Sports has elected not to match an offer the BCS Group has received from ESPN to televise BCS games from 2011-2014, and plans to notify the organization by phone today.

Even with today’s vast economic uncertainties, FOX Sports made a very competitive bid to keep broadcasting BCS games free to every home in America, one that included a substantial rights fee increase, and certainly as much as any over-the-air network could responsibly risk. Unfortunately, the University presidents and BCS commissioners were not satisfied and they’ve decided to take their jewel events to pay television. We wish everyone well.

Ouch! Another victim falls to the WWL.