“One-Hit Wonders” Who Caught a Touchdown Pass from Peyton Manning Highlights ESPN’s Week 7 NFL Content

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Sunday NFL Countdown: Peyton Manning’s One-Hit Wonders; Smashing Records – The DeMarco Murray Story; Special Guest Jim Cramer; and More 

Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis will preview week 7 on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m. ET. The three-hour program will feature reporter/host Wendi Nix during select segments, while NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news.

ESPN reporters at game sites:

  • Bengals at Colts (Lindsay Czarniak and Ron Jaworski at “The Big Early Game”)
  • Saints at Lions (Sal Paolantonio)
  • Panthers at Packers (Bob Holtzman)
  • Giants at Cowboys (Ed Werder)
  • 49ers at Broncos (Josina Anderson)

Features:

  • One-Hit Wonders: Peyton Manning has 506 touchdown passes and needs just three more to surpass Brett Favre’s record 508. Seven players caught only one touchdown in their careers with the lone pass coming from Manning. Reporter Jim Trotter tracks down some of the lucky seven.
  • Smashing Records: Breaking rushing records is in DeMarco Murray’s DNA. The Cowboys running back is on the precipice of several NFL rushing records this season, including Jim Brown’s record for six consecutive 100-yard games to open a season. Murray broke Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith’s Cowboys single-game rushing record with 253 yards in October 23, 2011, vs. the Rams. At the University of Oklahoma, Murray set several school records, surpassing Sooner greats Billy Simms, Marcus Dupree and Adrian Peterson. Greg Garber reports on Murray’s history with breaking records.
  • My Brother’s Keeper – The Joe Haden Story: Browns cornerback Joe Haden has always shared a unique bond with his younger brother Jacob, who has special needs and is unable to communicate verbally. That bond was further strengthened when Joe, at nine years of age, dove into their aunt’s swimming pool to save Jacob’s life. Josina Anderson reports. (Ed note: This piece was moved from last Sunday’s show to this week.)
  • Soundtracks – Earl Thomas: Seahawks safety Earl Thomas of the vaunted “Legion of Boom” defensive unit was wired for in-game audio last Sunday against the Cowboys and will be featured on Sunday’s “Soundtracks.”
  • Jim Cramer – Buy or Sell: Jim Cramer, star of CNBC’s Mad Money joins the Countdown crew for a segment, measuring the stock of AFC North quarterbacks.

ESPN’s Monday Night Football: JJ Watt and the Texans Visit Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers

JJ Watt and the Houston Texans visit Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on October 20 at 8:15 p.m. The Steelers enter the matchup with the longest MNF home win streak in the series’ 45-year history – 15 games.

The MNF team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters will call the game from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The NFL’s week seven finale will be televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and available via WatchESPN for those with video subscriptions from affiliated providers.

Monday Night Countdown begins at 6 p.m. on ESPN. Suzy Kolber and NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young review Sunday’s games and preview the MNF matchup from Heinz Field. Studio host Chris Berman, NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter join the show from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn.

Monday Night Countdown highlights:

  • Soundtracks: Best of J.J. Watt: The Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, J.J. Watt’s dominating performance this season has his name being mentioned in MVP discussions. Countdown features the best of Watt’s in-game audio in Soundtracks.
  • Gruden’s Grill Session with JJ Watt: MNF’s Gruden visits with Texans All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt in this week’s Grill Session.
  • Ben Roethlisberger Conversation: Two-time Super Bowl Steelers winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sits for a one-on-one conversation with MNF reporter Salters.
  • Rick Reilly’s Feature – Bill O’Brien: Family and football is a tough balancing act for any head coach. Rick Reilly tells the story of how Jack O’Brien, the son of Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, helped give his father a renewed perspective on pressure and life beyond the football field.

NFL Matchup – Colts Play Action; Cowboys Run Game; Struggling Seahawks Offense; and More

NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge preview the weekend’s key matchups via film-room X’s and O’s analysis on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 3:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.).  Highlights:

  • Jaws Playbook – Colts Play Action: Jaworski takes viewers through a play-action pass that the Colts offense will execute against the Bengals defense on Sunday.
  • Inside the Matchup – Chargers Bunch Formation: Jaworski explains how the Chiefs man-to-man defense can be nullified by the Chargers’ bunch formations.
  • Coach’s Clicker – Cowboys Run Game: Hoge illustrates the staples of a versatile Cowboys run game, giving the Cowboys a more balanced offense that wears down opposing defenses.
  • X and O Files – Jets Defensive Game Plan vs. Manning: The Jets defense was able to slow down quarterback Peyton Manning’s decision-making process by playing a variety of defensive coverages, something the 49ers will look to replicate this weekend, argues the NFL Matchup panel.
  • Hoge Breakdown – Suh to Disrupt Drew Brees: Hoge explains how the Lions will rely on their defensive line, led by Ndamukong Suh, to create pressure on quarterback Drew Brees and slow down the Saints passing attack.
  • Let’s See it Hoge – Struggling Seahawks Offense: The Seahawks offense is having trouble on third downs and when defenses are able to keep quarterback Russell Wilson in the pocket, Hoge explains.

NFL on ESPN Radio: Drew Brees and Saints vs. Matthew Stafford and Lions

ESPN Radio will broadcast the matchup between two exciting NFL quarterbacks – Drew Brees vs. Matthew Stafford – on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 1 p.m., when the Detroit Lions (4-2) host the New Orleans Saints (2-3) on ESPN Radio.  Ryan Ruocco, Bill Polian and Ian Fitzsimmons will be on site for the broadcast. Pre-game coverage begins at 12 p.m.

E:60 – Profile on Cowbpys’ Jason Witten Airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. 

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has six All-Pro selections, played in nine Pro Bowls and owns the franchise record for receptions during his 12 seasons. But what sets him apart, are his toughness and resilience, traits he learned those at an early age, although not by choice. Witten grew up haunted by an abusive father until, at the age of 11, he and his battered mother moved to live near their maternal grandfather, a legendary high school football coach who helped Witten heal and emerge as a star football player. The Cowboys star has established a foundation that mentors boys whose mothers are victims of domestic violence.  E:60’s Jeremy Schaap reports (Trailer).

ESPN.com – On Jim Irsay’s Shadow Life and Cowboys Unexpected Success

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Dan Shulman to Serve as Voice of the World Series on ESPN Radio

ESPN-MLBDan Shulman to Serve as Voice of the World Series on ESPN Radio

  • ESPN Radio to Exclusively Broadcast Every Game with Aaron Boone Joining Shulman
  • Baseball Tonight & SportsCenter Roadshows in Kansas City, San Francisco
  • Karl Ravech, Curt Schilling, John Kruk, Barry Larkin, Buster Olney Among Dozens of Contributors to ESPN’s Multiplatform Series Coverage

ESPN Radio, in its 17th consecutive Major League Baseball postseason, will serve as the exclusive radio broadcast home of the Fall Classic. Dan Shulman – the voice of Sunday Night Baseball – and analyst Aaron Boone will describe the action for each game while Jon Sciambi, analyst Chris Singleton and ESPN MLB Insider Peter Pascarelli will lead on-site pregame and postgame coverage with in-studio host Marc Kestecher. Pregame coverage generally begins at 7 p.m. ET, one hour prior to first pitch. All World Series games will be available on ESPN Radio, ESPNRadio.com, via the ESPN Radio app, iTunes Radio, Slacker and TuneIn.

ESPN, in its 25th season of Major League Baseball coverage, will have on-site Baseball Tonight telecasts for each World Series game (generally at 7 p.m. and midnight) on ESPN2. Karl Ravech will be joined by Baseball Hall of Famer and Baseball Tonight analyst Barry Larkin, Sunday Night Baseball analysts John Kruk and Curt Schilling and ESPN MLB Insiders Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian for analysis, predictions, highlights and commentary. Veteran commentator Chris Berman and Baseball Tonight host Adnan Virk will also join the Baseball Tonight telecasts for on-field interviews and commentary in Kansas City, Mo. and San Francisco, respectively. Baseball Tonight coverage will begin Monday, Oct. 20, with a World Series preview show at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

SportsCenter with Linda Cohn and David Lloyd will air live from just outside of Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City in advance of Games One and Two on Tuesday, Oct. 21, and Wednesday, Oct. 22, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. SportsCenter will also provide daily, on-site updates throughout the World Series beginning at 9 a.m. with Ravech, Larkin, Kruk, Schilling, Olney, Kurkjian and analysts Aaron Boone, Chris Singleton and Rick Sutcliffe. Additionally, analysts Mark Mulder and Doug Glanville will offer insights on SportsCenter from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. studios.

ESPN.com will provide extensive World Series content including feature stories, previews, rankings, predictions and breaking news from ESPN MLB Insiders Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian, Jayson Stark, Jerry Crasnick, Jim Caple, David Schoenfield and Jim Bowden. ESPN.com highlights include:

ü  Live, 15-minute Baseball Tonight at the World Series digital shows before each game;

ü  A dedicated World Series page with extensive game coverage, news, analysis, scouting reports, expert predictions, SportsNation polls, videos and statistics;

ü  Baseball Tonight Spotlight and Baseball Tonight Minute video analysis;

ü  Weekday Baseball Tonight podcast with Buster Olney and a cast of experts;

ü  Live social media streaming during each game on the MLB scoreboard page;

ü  Daily posts from ESPN’s Stats & Analysis group including interactive heat maps;

ü  Live blog updates before, during and after the games from SweetSpot blogger David Schoenfield;

ü  Jim Bowden’s ranking of all 50 players on the World Series rosters;

ü  Special features including:

  • World Series Timeline: An interactive look at all 109 previous Fall Classics;
  • Un-4-gettable: A collection of Chris Morris illustrations highlighting past World Series ending in the number “4;”
  • Armchair Manager: Grading and assessing the World Series managers with help from followers on Twitter and Facebook.

ESPN Deportes will cover the World Series across studio programming including SportsCenter, Los Capitanes, Cronometro, #Redes and Nacion ESPN.
ESPN Deportes Radio, in its tenth consecutive season broadcasting the World Series, will broadcast every game with Eduardo Ortega, the Spanish voice of the San Diego Padres, anchoring the coverage. Ortega will be joined by Renato Bermudez, Armando Talavera and Jose Francisco Rivera.

ESPN International will televise the World Series in Latin America, the Pacific Rim, the Caribbean and on cruise ships.

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network(s)
Mon, Oct 20 7 p.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN2, WatchESPN
Tue, Oct 21 TBD Baseball Tonight at the World Series ESPN.com
  7 p.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Chris Berman, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN2, WatchESPN
  8 p.m. World Series: San Francisco Giants at Kansas City Royals – Game One

Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone

ESPN Radio
  12:30 a.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN2, WatchESPN
Wed, Oct 22 TBD Baseball Tonight at the World Series ESPN.com
  7 p.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Chris Berman, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN2, WatchESPN
  8 p.m. World Series: San Francisco Giants at Kansas City Royals – Game Two

Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone

ESPN Radio
  1:30 a.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN2, WatchESPN
Fri, Oct 24 TBD Baseball Tonight at the World Series ESPN.com
  8 p.m. World Series: Kansas City Royals at San Francisco Giants – Game Three

Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone

ESPN Radio
  12 a.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN2, WatchESPN
Sat, Oct 25 TBD Baseball Tonight at the World Series ESPN.com
  8 p.m. World Series: Kansas City Royals at San Francisco Giants – Game Four

Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone

ESPN Radio
  3 a.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN2, WatchESPN
Sun, Oct 26 TBD Baseball Tonight at the World Series ESPN.com
  7 p.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian, Adnan Virk

ESPN2, WatchESPN
  8 p.m. World Series: Kansas City Royals at San Francisco Giants – Game Five*

Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone

ESPN Radio
  12 a.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN2, WatchESPN
Tue, Oct 28 TBD Baseball Tonight at the World Series ESPN.com
  7 p.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Chris Berman, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN2, WatchESPN
  8 p.m. World Series: San Francisco Giants at Kansas City Royals – Game Six*

Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone

ESPN Radio
  12 a.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN2, WatchESPN
Wed, Oct 29 TBD Baseball Tonight at the World Series ESPN.com
  7 p.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Chris Berman, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN2, WatchESPN
  8 p.m. World Series: San Francisco Giants at Kansas City Royals – Game Seven*

Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone

ESPN Radio
  1 a.m. Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet

Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, John Kruk, Curt Schilling, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian

ESPN2, WatchESPN

*If necessary

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College Football: Transcript of Media Conference Call with Lou Holtz and Danny Kanell

2010 -- ESPN College Football LogoESPN held a media conference call with college football analysts Lou Holtz and Danny Kanell on Thursday, Aug. 16. Holtz and Kanell – who were members of the Notre Dame and Florida State teams, respectively, that faced off in the 1993 Game of the Century – touched on a variety of topics, including Saturday’s No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Florida State matchup (October 18 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC). They also talked about the College Football Playoff, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Michigan State, memories of College GameDay’s first road show and more.

A transcript of the conference call follows:

Q.) Danny, how would you compare the two quarterbacks? They’ve both had their share of off-the-field issues, but it seems like this is a game where Everett Golson could make his legacy? 

Kanell: Absolutely. Everett Golson is a completely different quarterback this year than he was his freshman year when he took Notre Dame to the national title game. That game, I think you could safely say he was a game manager, whereas this year he’s a difference maker on the field. He’s probably the biggest reason why Notre Dame is undefeated to this point because of his play on the field.

Q.) If I could follow‑up, obviously Notre Dame is a 12‑point underdog going in here. Do they need Everett Golson’s A‑plus game to win? 

Kanell: Yes, I absolutely do think that. I think Florida State’s a different team where they have more talent around Jameis Winston where they can overcome if he has a poor game. But I think Everett Golson is an X‑factor in this game without question. He has to play well. He has to have a strong performance in order for Notre Dame to win.

Q.) About Jameis, you obviously played at Florida State and had a great career, what is your take on how they’ve handled everything with him? 

Kanell: It’s pretty clear now Jimbo Fisher has pretty much fallen behind Jameis Winston, and he knows him better than anyone. That coach‑to‑quarterback relationship is a unique bond. When he goes to Jameis Winston, asks him something and looks him in the eye, clearly he’s put a lot of faith and trust in Jameis Winston. From the outside looking in it could look questionable because of some of the mistakes and transgressions that Jameis has had off the field, but Jimbo knows him better than anyone.

I think that’s what I would look at and say, all right, it’s the coach‑quarterback relationship. The trust is there, and Jimbo’s made it very clear that he believes Jameis on multiple fronts.

Q.) For Coach and Danny, when you played in that 1993 game, there was a very different postseason for college football, and there was a sense that if you lost a game that was it for National Championship hopes. I guess I should spin it, did you get the feeling going into that game it was a sort of this is a game we have to win or we have no National Championship hopes? Do you think that change now in college football has been fundamentally changed by the college playoff because it looks like these teams could conceivably meet down the road? 

Holtz: Definitely. We felt that if we didn’t win that game we could not win the National Championship. We also knew by winning the game that wasn’t for the national champion, we still had another game, a Top 10 team. We had a bowl game to play. It would have been much better in ’89 and ’93 as well as a couple other years for us had it gone to the final four and said, okay, we’ll take four teams because there is a good chance Florida State and Notre Dame would have met again. But you could not win it if you didn’t win that game. It didn’t mean you were going to win it because you won it.

Q.) Danny, Florida State was so good that year, it had to have been even more pressure to win that game, and it must have been pretty stunning when you didn’t? 

Kanell: Without question. The plane ride home was a long one, and it was quiet. We really felt like our season was over. The chance to win the national title and give Bobby Bowden his first championship was out the window. It was a long week of practice. Our coaches tried to harp on us and say, hey, look, there is still a chance that we could get back in it. I don’t know if we even believed them at the time. But I vividly remember because at the time we lived in an athletic dorm and the entire football team lived at Burt Reynolds Hall. When Notre Dame came to Boston College, you could hear the shouts and celebration across Tallahassee, for sure, because that’s the minute we felt like we were back in the hunt.

Q.) Coach, I know Brian Kelly and Jimbo Fisher would never admit this, but from your position as a coach, would you handle things or at least maybe internalize things a little differently if you had a four‑team playoff back then? Maybe pace your team a little differently? Not feel quite as much pressure to win every game? How does that work from a coaching standpoint on what you impart to your team, but how do you handle your own business knowing that one loss doesn’t necessarily eliminate you? 

Holtz: Well, I would have approached it the same way. You play it one team, you don’t have to be the best team in the country, we do have to be the best team in the stadium today. But when you do lose, like Danny said, it isn’t the end of the world. It isn’t like we don’t have a chance now. I think it’s much better now. I think coaches feel a lot of pressure now to be one of the final four teams rather than just be the one. Your goal is to be in the top four right now. Your goal then was to be number one all the way through so there was a great deal of pressure. But it’s a little different. All you want to do is get in the playoff. If you can you get in the playoff, you’ve got a chance. If you don’t get in the playoff, you have no chance.

Q.) Coach and Danny, I’m curious for both of you to look at Brian VanGorder, Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator, his team and his personnel, what your impressions of those are and are they good enough to really factor into the outcome of this game? 

Holtz: I disagree with what Danny said before, and I have great respect for him, but I just have a difference of opinion. I don’t think Golson has to play an A‑game. I think Notre Dame’s defense does. The one advantage that Notre Dame has is the offense and defense. I think Notre Dame can run the ball and protect the pass. I’m not sure Florida State can. I think Notre Dame’s secondary plays the ball much better than Florida State.

With that being said, that was my observation before they gave up 43 points to North Carolina. Now is that an enigma or did somebody finally attack them? I know Brian VanGorder, when he was at Georgia, he’s an excellent coach. They’re very sound in what they do. But I would be concerned after the North Carolina game. Up until then, I felt Notre Dame’s defense was definitely for real.

Kanell: I’ll piggyback on what Coach said and specifically on Brian VanGorder. I think he’s one of the strongest defensive coordinators in the game with what he brings to the table. He brings a ton of stuff. I mean, you have to have a very smart, intelligent defense to pull off some of the schemes that he does, and that can present some challenges for Florida State. I would agree with Coach where in the trenches Notre Dame does have an advantage. Florida State has struggled mightily running the football, and that is one area where Notre Dame can absolutely go toe to toe with Florida State.

Q.) Just curious of your impressions of how Notre Dame handled suspensions of players involved in the academic probe, and just kind of your takeaway from all of that? 

Holtz: Having been at Notre Dame, it doesn’t surprise me that they would investigate everything seriously. I was at the University of Notre Dame, I am surprised it took them so long to make the decision. How long could it take to investigate something? One thing I learned as a Coach at Notre Dame for 11 years, Notre Dame is going to march to their own drummer, they don’t care what people on the outside say, as a matter of fact, they don’t even care what the football Coach says. They’re going to do what they feel is in the best interest of the university, and uphold the integrity of the university. I’m just surprised it took that long.

I’m not surprised what they did, the manner they did, the decision they reached. I have no idea on anything involved but that’s just Notre Dame.

Kanell: I would say this is why Notre Dame is truly an elite academic institution with the standards they hold their student‑athletes to. It’s just a different set of rules that they expect their students to go by. I think that speaks to the challenge and how hard it is, not only to get top‑tier athletes into the University, but to keep them there. It’s extremely rigorous. The expectations are extremely high, but I think that’s why it’s a special place as well.

Holtz: In ’89 we’re defending national champ. I’m getting ready to go to the press conference to start the fall camp. Notre Dame informs me at noon that day that Tony Brooks drove his car on campus and emptied his clothes. He was not allowed to do that because he had parking tickets, he would not play for the entire year. He never set foot on the football field.

They informed me that Michael Stonebreaker had a car accident during the off‑season where he had been drinking.  He was not charged with drunken driving or anything else. He, again, an All‑American linebacker, would not play the entire year. Neither one of them set foot on the field the entire year of ’89. And just that when Tony Rice came in, and I promised Tony that I thought he could get in, not knowing Notre Dame. They told me that they would admit Tony Rice, however, his freshman year he would not set foot on the football field or the Coach’s office. It would be the one year for spring practice, but have nothing to do with football until he could prove he could handle the work academically. That’s just the way Notre Dame is, and you accept it. When you go there, you understand that’s the way Notre Dame operates.

Q.) If you could just let me slip in a quick question about Minnesota. This might be near and dear to Lou’s heart.  But the Big Ten west looks wide open right now. I’m wondering if either of you see any scenario where Minnesota could end up playing in Indianapolis at the end of the year? 

Holtz: Well, I went on TV the first week of the season and I picked Minnesota as a dark horse in the Big Ten. I like what Jerry Kill has done, and yes, they have a chance.  The last three games have been difficult.  I think they play Ohio State, Wisconsin and Nebraska the last few games. We also have Iowa, but they’ve got Illinois, they’ve got Indiana in there. The thing I like is they can run the ball. They’re physical. They play good, sound defense. They play old‑fashioned football and they do not beat themselves. They did get beat up pretty good at TCU but just the way they play and looking at them, I pick them.

Kanell: I would say they absolutely have a chance in the Big Ten West. When you look at what they’ve got, they’ve got maybe one of the most underrated coaches in the game with Jerry Kill and the job he’s done building that program a consistent identity behind David Cobb running the football, and being able to do it successfully and basically coming out and saying all right, we’re going to establish the run and getting that done. Then you throw it in there that they’re playing in the division that is completely wide open right now, they absolutely have every chance.

Q.) I wonder if you guys can talk a little about the ’94 game and also the Orange Bowl, the ’95 season. I know those games are almost 20 years ago, but have you talked about those matchups as you’ve been on the ESPN campus? 

Holtz: Well, let me start. In ’94 we were in a rebuilding mode. We had a freshman quarterback. We went down played in Orlando. We didn’t play really well, Florida State did. We were in the game because Bobby [Taylor] picked up a fumble, ran in for a touchdown and we were in the game in the fourth quarter. But we really were in a rebuilding year. The Orange Bowl, we lost our starting quarterback and had to go with a back‑up front crew to replace very little. Florida State had an excellent football team. We jumped off to a pretty good lead early in the game. We ran the ball well and came out with the one‑back set. First play we ran, I think we picked up about 40 yards. But we built up the momentum.

What I remember off that game is they got the momentum right before the half. We had the ball on our 20‑yard line, 4th and 8. I ran a fake punt and it was successful. We picked up the first down. But I had noticed with five minutes to go in the game we’re up by 11 and could not hang on to it.

The play, I’ll never forget it, it was right in front of me. The receiver, I don’t know who it was, came down, ran a post corner post route and beat our corner for a long 55‑yard touchdown pass. Very well‑executed, very well‑thrown.  But it was a very, very good game. We had a chance to win it, but we just couldn’t hang on. Tom Krug did an excellent job considering everything. Florida State beat us up pretty good with their pass rush. Tom Krug took a beating, but Derrick Mayes had a tremendous game that day as wide receiver. I don’t remember much other than that.

Kanell: I vividly recall Bobby Taylor’s corner blitz where he hit me upside the head and had to scoop and score for the touchdown.  ’94, for me personally it was a time where I was still very much growing as a quarterback and trying to figure out my way and trying to establish myself as a guy who could help lead Florida State to a championship. That game I had faced a lot of adversity because of that play and because we had sputtered along offensively.

There was a signature play in that game in ’94 in Orlando. It was maybe a 30 or 40‑yard gainer, and that one kind of just for me allowed me to breathe a big sigh of relief and it got some momentum for us. I think Mark Richt, the play caller at the time, said hey, we’re going to try to mash them a little bit toward the end of the game, and we really did on the ground. Then just coming out of there with a win was a big one.

Then the Orange Bowl. That was my last game as a senior at Florida State and I remember the pressure leading into that game. There were a bunch of streaks that were on the line for Bobby Bowden and the program as far as consecutive bowl wins, 10‑game winning season, and I wanted to go out with a win as a senior being my last game.  It was a very physical game. I remember that. I remember getting knocked down several times. Then I recall coming back in the fourth quarter from behind and having Andre Cooper was the MVP of that game. That was my wide receiver. We had a real knack for each other for being able to throw the jump ball. We were always on the same page, whether I would put it up high or behind on his back shoulder or lead him down the field.

Then I would say that one of the most rewarding experiences for me in my career was after the game being able to bring my family on the field, my parents. I’ve got a photo still up in my office with my dad and I and the smile on both of our faces might be the biggest smile you’ve ever seen from both of us.

Q.) I cover Oklahoma and I’m trying to get a fix on the Sooners. They looked awfully good the first four weeks of the season and have really evened out. They lost to TCU and statistically were dominated by Texas. Won the game but didn’t look very good winning it. Do you have a sense of where this team is headed under Coach Stoops? 

Holtz: I think that I picked Oklahoma. I happened to do the bowl game. It was the pregame show with the Sugar Bowl and I was shocked at how well Trevor Knight played. I mean, he had averaged about a 50% completion for the year. He had like five touchdowns and six interceptions. Then for him to put on that performance and the Oklahoma team, the way they played together and focused and being on that sideline and seeing them, every time Alabama scored, they responded well. I don’t see that same thing in the last couple weeks. I don’t see the total togetherness.

I’m sure Coach Stoops will try to get that back, but they just started making the plays on defense, but the big thing, they aren’t making them on offense as well. You go the first half against Texas, I have great respect for [Texas’ Vance] Bedford. He played safety at Texas when I was at Arkansas, and he runs the same type of defense. But they only gained 19 yards against us. You’ve got to sit back and say, man, we’ve got some problems. But this happened during the middle of the year. I want to tell you, your chemistry changes, guys aren’t playing, guys get injured, guys have girlfriends. You don’t know what that locker room’s like.

I can tell you the locker room before the Sugar Bowl had to be tremendous because of the way they played. I’m not sure everybody’s on the same page right now. But that happens. Is it a reflection on Coach Stoops? These are the situations that you have to cope with as a Coach, and right the ship, and I’m sure he will.

Kanell:  I would say with this Oklahoma team, it wasn’t that long ago that most of the analysts around Bristol and around the country were saying that Oklahoma might have been the one elite team because it didn’t look like they had a lot of weaknesses.

The good news for Oklahoma is they may not be the elite team now, but there truly isn’t an elite team. Mississippi State right now is making their case and they’ve had an impressive run. But Oklahoma has run into a tough part of their schedule. They’re facing better teams and getting challenged more. You can look at the TCU game and say we’ve lost. But TCU is a good squad. They lost on the road and were able to contain a TCU who just loss with 58 points on the board against Baylor. Against Texas, I watched that game pretty closely. I was in studio with Mack Brown who had a lot of interest in that game, and it was the first half. Like Coach said, they didn’t do anything in the first half offensively, and Texas pretty much dominated that game from a physical standpoint. They had played better.

But in a rivalry game, you find a way to win. In today’s era, there are a lot of parities. It’s all about finding a way to win. And Oklahoma, even with the one loss, I’m sure there is in panic around Norman saying what’s going on?  We’re not blowing people out. You’ve got everything sitting right in front of you. Your biggest games remaining are at home when you look at Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma State, so everything is there for the taking.

Holtz: The other thing Oklahoma had is they have to be happy TCU lost because if they win out, they’re going to at least be tied for the conference championship. So they still control their own destiny.

Q.) Obviously the winner of this game controls its destiny for a playoff chance. But what do you think the chances are if either team loses to get back and be found? And which one has a better chance because of the schedules and all of getting into the playoff hunt where they lost? 

Holtz: I think Notre Dame, both of them have an excellent chance with this loss. I think the team that wins this game is really punching their ticket to the final four. You look at their schedule remaining at Notre Dame. They have an open date after this game. Then they play Navy, Arizona State is having severe problems on defense. They have to travel out to this other town which is always a rivalry game. But they should be okay.

I think looking at Florida State and Notre Dame, both of them, regardless of the outcome of this game should win out. If both sides do that, both of them will be in the game again and have a chance to possibly repeat this performance.

Kanell: I do feel like it’s more of a must‑win game for Florida State. I’m sure if Florida State lost this game the immediate reaction after would be well, they’re done. Because they play in the ACC which is one of the weaker conferences in college football, because the remaining schedule, there aren’t too many tests where they can make a statement down the road as it looks now.

Now if you’re Florida State and you did lose, you’d immediately start rooting for Miami and Florida to play well so you can have stronger wins. But I think the team that probably has the best chance to move on with a loss and get back in the hunt is Notre Dame, just because of the schedule that they’ve got set before them and because of their signature win against Stanford at home. Then significant road tests, where if they can pull that off and go on the road at Arizona State and at USC, in the middle of those is Northwestern and Louisville, two pretty good Power Five schools that would absolutely be back in the hunt.

Q.) I know it’s probably unlikely, but can you come up with any scenario where two teams in the SEC West could make it to the final four this year? 

Kanell: I personally don’t think it happens, but there is absolutely a scenario where it could. Right now the state of Mississippi, which has been the hottest thing in college football this year, if they continue to run the table and they’re undefeated going into their egg bowl, their rivalry matchup, and they play a tight, tight game that comes down to a field goal, and both look impressive against each other, then the winner would go on to the SEC Championship game and dominate that game and beat whoever the SEC East representative is, so you’d have two really impressive looking teams from the SEC, there would be a chance.

But I think you would have to have a collapse around the country as far as Florida State would probably have to lose so you would open up a spot there that wouldn’t have been taken by an undefeated Florida State. The Pac‑12 would have to have a down year where you could have a two or even potentially a three‑loss champion. There are just a lot of different scenarios that have to play out.

I personally don’t think it will happen. That, for me personally has something more to do if I was on the committee, I would want to see conference champions represented in there as opposed to somebody who would lose the last game of the season and be represented.

Holtz: I think that for the SEC, I do believe the SEC has two of the four best teams in the country. But I think the rest of the conference, I think winning your conference championship should be mandatory. That’s just how I feel. If you don’t win your conference championship, you shouldn’t be in the National Championship. That’s just happened too much in recent years. North Carolina State was good with David Thompson, and they played Maryland in the finals of the ACC Tournament. Maryland had John Lucas and Tom McMillen. N.C. State wins in overtime. Maryland cannot go to the NCAA Tournament because the conference champion should go. I think that’s the way it should be. We have five major conferences. Four of them should send a representative. And if Notre Dame proves they’re better than any of the conference champions, they should be considered as well.

I just don’t like it. You don’t win your conference, you shouldn’t be a national champ. That’s just how I feel today.

Kanell: I would add to what Coach said, the perfect solution is to have eight teams, five conference champions and then you could have three at‑large. So you could have two teams from a strong SEC or strong Pac‑12 or whatever conference was having a good year. But that would just make way too much sense for college football right now.

Holtz: It would make more sense if we went back to January 1, after January 1, we’ll take the top four teams in the country, because at that time they’d have eight teams and consequently every bowl game would be very important.  I promise you, the Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl with the semifinal stage is going to have the national interest.  There are going to be a lot of other great games. I don’t know who will be in it, but you’ll have a lot of other great games and an awful lot of interest. You said we’re going to take a bowl game that will have great interest in it.

Q.) I want both of your thoughts on the final drive of the 1993 game and the significance of that game overall for both programs. Just what it meant to college football in general, the 1993 matchup? 

Holtz: The final drive should have been completely irrelevant. We’re ahead 21‑7, and we draft some passes wide open.  We’re at 21‑7 halftime.  The first 26 minutes of the second half we scored ten points, Florida State scored 10 points, and we’re up 31‑17. Four minutes or less to go in the game, Florida State has 4th and 20 on our 20, 4th and 20. They throw a pass, it hits our linebacker in the helmet. If he doesn’t have a helmet on, he would have had a concussion. Ball bounces up in the air. Florida State catches the ball. That made it 31‑24. We get the kickoff now, we’re fighting the clock. We run the ball three times. We don’t get a first down, we punt, we hold on. We had a prevent defense, so to speak, some people call it prevent, some call it victory, I call it prevent victory. But with the speed that Florida State had, and the elusiveness of Charlie Ward, we didn’t want to give up the big play.

But if we did get down inside on the 20, now we can clamp on you. We don’t have to worry about you getting behind on it, et cetera, and that was the nature of our defense. Florida State was a great football team. Bobby Bowden was a great coach, but more importantly a great person. I’ll say this about Florida State, they’re class people with a class name. Florida State may have beaten us seven out of 10 times. That’s very, very possible. I honestly felt on that particular day we were the better football team. If it’s not 4th and 10 and our linebacker just knocked it down, then everything else is irrelevant, and they aren’t talking about that last play.

Kanell: I guess I would go along with Coach. I didn’t play in the game. I was a holder for the kick, but I remember the incredible atmosphere. When you think about college football and the types of games you want to play in, there is not one you can picture being much better than that, especially the way the game played out. That was my first time in South Bend. There is definitely an aura about that stadium, about that environment. I can never get out of my mind how close the fans were to being on the field. Just the coaches told us, hey, make sure you have your helmet. Don’t put them down on the bench. The fans can grab them.

If you go back and watch the last play of the game, you can see fans and their toes are on the field. Now we’re so paranoid and they have coaches that keep people away. But it was great. We loved it. We were excited about going into that environment. Just from the standpoint from our end, even though we trailed most of the game because of Charlie Ward, they brought us back so many times in the fourth quarter or whenever we trailed, there was never a sense of panic, no matter how late in the game it kept going. Then there was sort of a feeling of shock because we felt like we were the best team in the country, and felt like we let it get away from us. Like we talked about before on the call, we felt like our season was over when we lost that game.

But it was such an incredible environment. For me personally, I had actually played the week before against Maryland. Charlie was hurt. And I’m sure there was some gamesmanship from our coaches saying we’re not sure what Charlie Ward’s status is and would he play, and I was terrified. I had just started my first game as a collegiate quarterback the week before. I had watched Charlie closer in that Notre Dame game than ever before and just kept praying that I would not have to go in that game because it was a different speed of athlete on the field for that one.

Holtz: I won’t dispute that Florida State was the best team in the country. You were a great football team.

Q.) Coach, obviously Florida State riding a school record 22‑game winning streak, and 25 years ago you were in the middle of a 23‑game winning streak. I’m curious, what is the mood of the team when things are really rolling along like that. Do you feel invincible? How does that confidence build? 

Holtz: Well, to have a 23‑game winning streak, it takes two seasons. So you look at your football team, and we never talked about the streak. But to do that streak, you’ve got to play well on the road. Once you go on the road, and we told the team all the time, make sure before you pack your pads, let’s pack our discipline. Let’s pack our togetherness. Let’s pack our defense. Let’s pack our kicking game. If we took those with us, we’d be okay. But you expect to win.

But I tell you what you do. You reach a point, and this is what Nick Saban faces, Urban Meyer faces, all coaches that are used to winning, and even Jimbo Fisher, when you win it’s a relief. You can’t celebrate a win because everybody expects you to win. Thank goodness it’s over. When you lose, it’s absolute, complete rejection, dejection, disappointment. I can’t tell you how painful a loss is when you’re used to winning. That’s when people get out of coaching.

When I left Notre Dame, I never thought I’d coach again, but it got to the point where you couldn’t enjoy a win. You didn’t win big enough. You didn’t do this, you didn’t do that. We finished second in the country, and everybody calls you an idiot. You just keep going with it. I’m sorry it didn’t continue, but we lost to a very good Miami team down there.

Q.) It sounds like the pressure builds faster than any joy as you continue to win? 

Holtz: Absolutely. There is no joy in that winning streak. It’s just oh, we got by that one. I don’t care if you’re playing Navy. You’re scared to death. You can’t enjoy a win because everybody expects you to win. So you’re not enjoying the winning streak, et cetera. You’re not even aware of it as you go along. But I can tell you this, losing is an absolute catastrophe.

Q.) As you look back now, how great of an accomplishment was that? 

Holtz: Well, you think of all the great teams that have been to Notre Dame, you think of all the great coaches at Notre Dame, and nobody’s ever won 23 games in a row. Now I think the streak is longer being undefeated, but there are some tie games in there. But you have to look at it and say you know ‑‑ but you have to remember this.  When that streak was going on, you count how many were in top 20 football teams. You’ll find the majority of those wins. In ’89 when we’re doing that, we beat seven conference champions.

In ’88, we beat the number two, the number three, and the number four team in the final poll. I think we end up beating six teams in the Top 10. So when I look back, I say it was really incredible, not that we won 23, but we won those 23 was impressive.

Q.) Connor Cook has had a pretty solid season so far. He’s a junior. Do you think there is any chance that he leaves early for the NFL? And if he does, what are his prospects? 

Holtz: I think that depends upon him and the Coach and how they approach it. I always told seniors that you had a great career because our seniors were here to guide you and direct you. And you have that same obligation to the players coming up, plus we had a chance to win a championship. I would not pull Michigan State out of that championship race right now either. I think they’re playing very well.

Connor Cook is 16‑2 as a quarterback starter, which is an unbelievable record if you look at Winston and Golson.  But I think he’s an excellent quarterback. I think you have to look at what other quarterbacks would be coming out.  I think Marcus Mariota is really talented, et cetera. I think you have to look at where you’re going to be drafted and where the future is. But I’ve told this to other quarterbacks and other players and it’s turned out to be true. If you stay ‑‑ and this was Todd Lyght, Todd Lyght was an All‑American junior ‑‑ Todd, if you stay, I’m going to pay you $5 million if you’ll stay at Notre Dame one more year. Because, you see, Todd, you’ll probably go in the second round this year. Next year you may be a Top 10 pick.

He ends up being the sixth player in the draft, so he ended up making more money by staying for us. Now I didn’t pay him, but he ended up making more money. So I think you have to look at the family background. Rocket Ismail came and said if I’m offered $18 million, if I stay another year, do you think I’ll get a better deal, a better job? I said no, I don’t think so. And his family was such that they felt they needed the money. So I think there are many so circumstances. Danny can talk about it more from an athlete. I can only talk about it from a Coach.

Kanell: I think Connor Cook’s an exceptional quarterback. I’ve been impressed with his development through the latter portion of last season where I really felt Michigan State should have been talked about more as potentially playing in the national title game. I thought they got completely overlooked and should have at least been considered throughout that process. When you look at it, I used to be hard core, you have to stay your entire career, and the most important thing is your degree.

But as I’ve grown older and hopefully wiser, I think you have to look at every situation individually and look at what your opportunities are. Like Coach said, who else is coming out? Where your own comfort level is. How is your maturity as a young man? Are you ready to step into the professional ranks and step into a franchise where you might have to lead grown men that are ten years older than you? Where are you personally? I think a lot of that has to come into the picture. If you do stay now, there are some benefits to staying which you’re seeing more and more guys. A lot of people aren’t aware of it, but you’re seeing schools will pick up the premium payments for an insurance policy. If so if you come out, you decide to investigate, you load up on an insurance policy where if you did have an injury and you weren’t drafted or even as high, you can go and get insurance for that and the school can assist. I think it comes with the entire process. You have to weigh your options and make the most informed, best decision for you personally.

Q.) Where do you see Michigan State standing in the whole playoff conversation? What is needed out of Michigan State to overcome their reputations? That’s been something a lot of people talked about so far this year? 

Holtz: I think as I evaluate it, I think the Big Ten is a little underrated or at least it’s improved. I think you look at Indiana and Illinois, they play good defense. Indiana can run the ball, Illinois can throw it. But I think Ohio State is vastly improved. They get better each and every week. Their quarterback has improved tremendously. Their defense is getting better. Ohio State plays Michigan State. I think the winner of that game has a chance to be one of the final four provided they win out and win the championship.

But I think Michigan State is a very good football team. I can’t believe how many points they gave up to Purdue.  That’s a shocker. Because one player has been constant, it’s a Narduzzi defensive team at Michigan State is not going to give up many points. That surprised me. But I do believe they run the ball well. Connor Cook, and the receiver. Remember this, two years ago they had quarterback problems. They also had receiver problems. Nobody talked about the receivers, but they couldn’t catch a cold.

Kanell: I absolutely think they have a chance. I think it’s been Ohio State and Michigan State, and the winner of that game has an outstanding chance to represent the Big Ten and the College Football Playoff. When you look at Michigan State, I think you have to win out. You have to root for Oregon, and hope that Oregon wins the Pac‑12 and has an impressive year. You go out and take care of business. Everybody wrote off the Big Ten. After that loss to Oregon, that was that first weekend when Ohio State lost to Virginia Tech.

There were some ugly losses across the board for the Big Ten. Everybody was down on them. There was still so much football left and there still is. You can’t get caught up and worry about it. I think Coach Dantonio has done an outstanding job of getting his team back on track. You talk about teams with identities. Even last year’s defense which was exceptional, they lost a lot of talent, but it wasn’t for the NFL. He has a defense that’s always going to come ready to play now they have this three‑pronged attack on offense between Connor Cook, Jeremy Langford, Tony Lippett, where they’ve got three solid weapons that bring really good weapons on the offensive side of the ball. So this team could be in the top four when it’s all said and done.

Holtz: I must say, don’t underestimate Ohio State. That’s not to say they lost to Virginia Tech, because they’re getting better each and every week, and I’m anxious to see that game.

Q.) This week the win percentage of Jameis Winston and Everett Golson they’re both a combined in college, your thoughts on how these two can continually find ways to win, and what it means to have a quarterback that’s wired that way? 

Holtz: Well, if you don’t have a quarterback, you don’t have a winning team. I’m going to tell you. There is no other position in baseball, maybe a goalie in hockey or soccer, that dominates the game more than quarterback does.  But they also are surrounded by some very good talent. Everett Golson, as Danny mentioned earlier, he just managed the game, now he’s a play maker. The reason I think both these players win is they have good talent around them. They have good coaches, and they realize talent.

But these quarterbacks can beat you four different ways. They can beat you with their arm, they can beat you with their head, they can beat you with their feet. Some of the plays that Jameis made last year was incredible as well as Golson does on a consistent basis. The other way they can beat you is with their heart. They’re winners.  They’re competitors, and Danny knows that’s inbred in certain quarterbacks and not in others.

Tony Rice had that, that he was going to find a way to win. One time Tony Rice held the record for the most consecutive passes completed. Just something about it. People underestimate the leadership, the heart, whatever you want to call it. They had their head, but their heart and leadership is critical.

Kanell: I’m with Coach. I think that’s the most important thing when you look at the quarterback. Evaluation is he a winner? And I think these young quarterbacks who have done that as well as anybody in the country. I’d rather see a guy who comes out of a game and his stat line might not be that great, but he found a way to get it done and lift the play of the players around him. And that’s probably what both of these guys do better than most in the country is they really lift the players around them on the field and in the huddle.

I think they both have a presence. I’ve gotten to sit down with both of them. They have a presence about them, sort of an intangible quality that you’re drawn to them. You want to play for them. You feel confident when they’re under center and they’re taking the snap that something good with happen. But I will say this, both quarterbacks have to play better than they have as of late. If you look at the last two or three games, both have been a little sloppy with the football.

Everett Golson started off the year exceptionally well protecting the football. He fumbled the ball six times, lost it five times, got a little sloppy with interceptions. And the same thing with Jameis Winston where the first half of games whether it was N.C. State, going back to the Oklahoma State game he’s been a little careless in the first half too. This is a game where it could come down to the final possession. And every possession is going to count.  There is no meaningless possession where you can afford a bad mistake. So they both have to clean up their play, in my opinion, to get it done in this game.

Holtz: The thing about Golson, you’re playing North Carolina. Gave up 70 points to Carolina, 50 to another opponent. This is my Heisman game. Put up big numbers, make the great plays, do all these things and do things that you don’t normally do. Against Florida State, I’m sure Coach Kelly’s going to say we don’t need the great play.  We need to eliminate the bad play. Forget about everything. Go out, play the game, play intelligent, and don’t try to do stuff you aren’t capable of.

Q.) I was wondering if you could reflect on the first College Gameday, first one going on the road and what a big deal that was at the time and how it spawned sort of this show that sort of intertwined in the fabric of college football? 

Holtz: Well, I remember vividly. People say what do you remember most about the game against Florida State? The first time GameDay went to the site. I knew Lee Corso since 1961 when he was an assistant at Navy and I was an assistant at William & Mary. He said would you come to our GameDay set. Now they didn’t have it at the stadium. They had it up in the Joyce Center, which was just outside my office up one flight of stairs. I said, yeah, after I get done. So as soon as I get done, I go up there and they put the ear piece in, I do the interview. Now in my life, and I’m an old man – my birthday candles cost more than the cake – I’ve never had an earache in my life, but that Sunday my ears started hurting. Monday I had a very bad earache. Tuesday it was excruciating. They called the team physician, he came over and looked at my ear, took a pair of tweezers and pulled the ear piece that ESPN left in my ear out of my ear. That’s what I remember about GameDay.

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NBA Countdown Returns on ABC and ESPN

NBA-on-ESPN-logoNBA Countdown Returns on ABC and ESPN

  • Sage Steele Hosts Fridays and Sundays with Analysts Jalen Rose and Doug Collins
  • Doris Burke, Avery Johnson and Rose Return for Wednesday Shows
  • Countdown Hits Miami on Christmas Day

NBA Countdown – ABC’s and ESPN’s NBA pregame studio show – returns for the 2014-15 NBA season, beginning this preseason and will extend through the NBA Finals in June. Sage Steele, in her second season as host, will be joined by returning analysts Jalen Rose and Doug Collins for Friday shows on ESPN and Sunday shows, generally on ABC.

Steele, Rose and Collins will make their debut this preseason on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. ET, preceding ESPN’s NBA preseason doubleheader. The trio will then make its regular-season debut on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. for a one-hour show leading into ESPN’s opening night games. The Oct. 29 edition of NBA Countdown will include a live performance by International recording artist Aloe Blacc. Steele, Rose and Collins will resume their regular Friday schedule on Oct. 31 and regular Sunday schedule after Christmas Day.

NBA Countdown on Wednesdays

Regular Wednesday editions of NBA Countdown on ESPN will begin on Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The trio of ESPN NBA Insider Doris Burke and analysts Jalen Rose and Avery Johnson will return for its second season together.

NBA Countdown in Miami on Christmas Day

For the first time, NBA Countdown will travel for on-site pregame and halftime shows during ABC’s and ESPN’s NBA Christmas Day schedule. Steele, Rose and Collins will appear on set at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Fla. for Countdown at 2 p.m. ABC will exclusively broadcast LeBron James’ return to Miami as the Heat host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 5 p.m.

@ESPNNBA preseason doubleheader

ESPN will televise an NBA preseason doubleheader on Wednesday, Oct. 22, beginning at 8 p.m. when the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James visit the Memphis Grizzlies and Zach Randolph. In the nightcap, the Phoenix Suns and Eric Bledsoe visit the Los Angeles Clippers and Chris Paul.

@ESPNNBA opening night coverage

ESPN’s regular-season NBA game coverage tips off on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. when the Chicago Bulls and the returning Derrick Rose visit the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony. At 10:30 p.m., the Oklahoma City Thunder and Russell Westbrook visit the Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard. Full schedule details are available on ESPN Media Zone.

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Industry-Leading 1,500 Men’s College Basketball Games across ESPN Networks

ESPN_College_Basketball_logoESPN’s extensive multiplatform coverage of the 2014-15 men’s college basketball season will include more than 1,500 games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPNEWS, SEC Network and Longhorn Network as well as content on ESPN.com, ESPN Radio, ESPN The Magazine and more. ESPN3’s record schedule of exclusive games and its lineup of outermarket matchups will be included in a future release.

The game action will begin on Friday, Nov. 14, and feature the third annual Armed Forces Classic matching Minnesota, coached by Richard Pitino, against Louisville, led by Richard’s father Rick, from the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, a SEC Network doubleheader, marking the first live regular-season college basketball games on the first-year network, and four matchups on ESPNU, including Hampden-Sydney versus the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, also at the U.S. Coast Guard base, at 1 p.m.

Every game will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE, Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.

New this Year

  • This year’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm – originating from the site of ESPN’s Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV telecasts – will feature a flexible schedule that provides more options to follow storylines as the season develops. The sites for the eight-week series – January 17 to March 7 – will be announced during the season. The morning editions of the show will begin at 10 a.m. on ESPNU and continue at 11 a.m. on ESPN, while a one-hour version will air on ESPN leading into the game-of-the-week telecast.
  • As the result of a new multiyear agreement, ESPN will televise six Battle 4 Atlantis tournament matchups from Paradise Island in the Bahamas. This season’s field includes Butler, Florida, Georgetown, North Carolina, Oklahoma, UCLA, UAB and Wisconsin.
  • The new SEC Network will present more than 118 SEC games exclusively, highlighted by weekly Tuesday and Wednesday doubleheaders and an extensive lineup every Saturday.
  • Every Big 12 matchup that was previously available through syndication will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and for the first time, ESPNEWS.
  • ESPN will also carry a network record number of Big Ten games with additional matchups across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN3.

Schedule highlights:

  • For the fourth straight year, ESPN will showcase four of the all-time winningest programs in the State Farm Champions Classic doubleheader to close out the 24-hour Tip-Off Marathon Presented by Dish on Tuesday, Nov. 18. The games from Indianapolis, site of this season’s men’s Final Four, will showcase four teams in an early ESPN.com preseason poll: No. 18 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Duke at 7 p.m. and No. 10 Kansas vs. No. 1 Kentucky at 9 p.m.
  • The seventh annual Tip-Off Marathon presented by Dish will celebrate the start of the season with 20 live games – 18 men’s and two women’s – in nearly 29 hours from Monday, Nov. 17 to Tuesday, Nov. 18. The Marathon will tip off Monday at 7 p.m. with the first games of a men’s tripleheader on ESPNU and women’s doubleheader on ESPN2. Following the women’s telecasts, ESPN2 will televise seven consecutive men’s matchups beginning at 11 p.m. ESPN’s schedule of five consecutive games starts at noon on Tuesday and concludes with the State Farm Champions Classic. ESPN2 will also televise a Tuesday primetime doubleheader at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • ESPN will provide fans with live coverage of at least one game on an ESPN television network every day but seven from November 14 to March 8 (November 15, 22 and 29; December 24 and 26; and January 1 and 12).
  • In addition, the fifth season of the ESPN Buzzer Beater network will offer live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college basketball games Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. beginning Saturday, Jan. 10.
  • The regular-season will culminate with ESPN’s 30thconsecutive season of Championship Week wall-to-wall conference tournament coverage March 5-15.

Franchise Programming

ESPN’s franchise weeks consisting of top matchups around notable times in the schedule will return on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS:

  • Feast Week Presented by Lowe’s (Nov. 24-30)
  • Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers (Dec. 13-23)
  • My Home Court (Jan. 13-18)
  • Rivalry Week Presented by Wendy’s (Feb. 16-22)
  • Bracket Builder Week Presented by Dish (Feb. 23-March 1)
  • Championship Week Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods (March 5-15)

Events and Tournaments

Special tournaments and events:

  • Armed Forces Classic (Nov. 14)
  • State Farm Champions Classic (Nov. 18)
  • 2K Classic (Nov. 20-21)
  • NIT Season Tip-Off (Nov. 26-28)
  • Progressive Legends Classic (Nov. 24-25)
  • Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic (Nov. 23-24)
  • MGM Grand Main Event (Nov. 24-26)
  • SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic (Dec. 3-6)
  • ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods (Dec. 1-3)
  • Jimmy V Men’s Classic Presented by Corona (Dec. 9)
  • Orlando Classic (Nov. 27-30)
  • Puerto Rico Tip-Off (Nov. 20-23)
  • CBE Hall of Fame Classic (Nov. 24-25)
  • Battle 4 Atlantis (Nov. 26-28)
  • DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (Nov. 27-30)
  • Gildan Charleston Classic (Nov. 20-23)
  • EA SPORTS Maui Invitational (Nov. 24-26)
  • Gotham Classic (Dec. 20)
  • MGM Grand Showcase (Dec. 20)
  • Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Dec. 22-25)

Day-by-Day Lineup

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and SEC Network will combine to offer top games throughout the season, including many in regular time slots beginning Thursday, Jan. 5, highlighted by (conference assignments can vary):

  • Monday: ESPN’s weekly Big Monday Presented by Verizon doubleheader will showcase the ACC and Big 12 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively. In addition, ESPNU will offer a regular schedule of Monday night games, primarily involving the Big 12, ACC, MEAC and SWAC.
  • Tuesday: Super Tuesday will highlight an ESPN Big Ten and SEC doubleheader as well as a weekly ESPN2 prime-time matchup featuring the Big 12. Tuesday will also include a doubleheader on ESPNU at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. showcasing primarily the ACC and SEC, as well as select 11 p.m. games from the Mountain West. SEC Network will also provide a 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. doubleheader.
  • Wednesday: Wednesday Night Hoops will feature ACC, Pac-12, American and Big 12 games on ESPN2 or ESPNU, including a Pac-12 split network doubleheader (ESPN2 at 9 p.m. and ESPNU at 11 p.m.) most weeks. SEC Network will televise two games in a 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. doubleheader.
  • Thursday: The Thursday Night Showcase will feature a fourth season of weekly SEC and Big Ten telecasts, as well as games from the Pac-12 and American on ESPN or ESPN2, while ESPNU will showcase regular action from the Big Ten, West Coast and Ohio Valley among others.
  • Saturday: Day and night coverage as part of the Saturday Showcase Presented by 5-Hour Energy includes games from multiple conferences, including the ACC, American, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12, Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley, West Coast, Mid-American, Horizon, Sun Belt, Big West and more. Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV, a 9 p.m. game of the week on ESPN, and site of the weekly College GameDay Driven by State Farm series, will return for a 11th season. SEC Network will televise two to three games every Saturday during conference play.
  • Sunday: The weekly ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball series will return for a fourth season and be joined by the Pac-12 for a second straight year and the Missouri Valley on most Sundays.

ESPN The Magazine College Hoops Tip-Off Issue

ESPN The Magazine’s college basketball preview issue – available on newsstands beginning Friday, Oct. 31 – will feature a wide variety of topics. Content includes:

  • A team-by-team look at the top 25 power rankings with insights, analysis and snapshots of the team leaders.
  • A profile piece on Devonta Pollard, a five-star recruit out of Mississippi who signed with Houston, and his effort to capitalize on his talent while coming to terms with knowing his testimony sent his mother to jail for 25 years as the result of a bizarre kidnapping episode.
  • A feature on Wisconsin forward Frank Kaminsky who returned to the Badgers for his senior season.

2014-15 ESPN Network’s Men’s College Basketball Schedule (Subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Matchup Network
Fri, Nov 14 1 p.m. Hampden-Sydney vs. U.S. Coast Guard Academy (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico) ESPNU
  6 p.m. Presbyterian at Duke ESPNU
  William & Mary at Florida SEC Network
  7 p.m. Armed Forces Classic: Minnesota vs. Louisville (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico) ESPN
  8 p.m. NC Central at North Carolina ESPNU
  Grand Canyon at Kentucky SEC Network
  2K Classic: Regional Round: North Dakota at Texas Longhorn Network
  10 p.m. Milwaukee at Auburn ESPNU
Sun, Nov 16 Noon Buffalo at Kentucky ESPNU
  1 p.m. Chattanooga at Wisconsin ESPNEWS
  4 p.m. 2K Classic: Regional Round: Hampton at Syracuse ESPNU
  6 p.m. Robert Morris at North Carolina ESPNU
  Valparaiso at Missouri SEC Network
  8 p.m. 2K Classic: Regional Round: Alcorn State at Texas ESPNU
Tip-Off Marathon Presented by Dish on ESPN, ESPN2 & ESPNU (Nov. 17-18)
Mon, Nov 17 7 p.m. Tip-Off Marathon: Miami at Florida ESPNU
  9 p.m. Western Carolina at Alabama SEC Network
  Tip-Off Marathon: Georgia State at Iowa State ESPNU
  11 p.m. Tip-Off Marathon: SMU at Gonzaga ESPN2
  Progressive Legends Classic: Regional Round: Detroit at Oregon ESPNU
Tues, Nov 18 1 a.m. Auburn at Colorado ESPN2
  3 a.m. New Mexico State at Saint Mary’s ESPN2
  5 a.m. High Point at Hawaii ESPN2
  7 a.m. Iona at Wofford ESPN2
  9 a.m. Northern Iowa at Stephen F. Austin ESPN2
  11 a.m. Manhattan at Massachusetts ESPN2
  Noon Baylor at South Carolina ESPN
  2 p.m. Wichita State vs. Memphis (Sioux Falls, S.D.) ESPN
  4 p.m. Utah at San Diego State ESPN
  6 p.m. Progressive Legends Classic: Regional Round: Toledo at VCU ESPNU
  7 p.m. State Farm Champions Classic: Michigan State vs. Duke (Indianapolis, Ind.) ESPN
  NIT Season Tip-Off: Regional Round: Stony Brook at Georgia SEC Network
  7:30 p.m. Marquette at Ohio State ESPN2
  9 p.m. State Farm Champions Classic: Kansas vs. Kentucky (Indianapolis, Ind.) ESPN
  9:30 p.m. Texas Tech at LSU ESPN2
Wed, Nov 19 9 p.m. Wake Forest at Arkansas SEC Network
  11 p.m. NIT Season Tip-Off: Regional Round: Saint Joseph’s at Gonzaga ESPNU
Thu, Nov 20 10:30 a.m. Puerto Rico Tip-Off: Quarterfinal: Texas A&M vs. Dayton (San Juan) ESPNU
  12:30 p.m. Puerto Rico Tip-Off: Quarterfinal: College of Charleston vs. Connecticut (San Juan) ESPNU
  3 p.m. Gildan Charleston Classic: Quarterfinal: Drexel vs. Miami (Charleston, S.C.) ESPNU
  5 p.m. Puerto Rico Tip-Off: Quarterfinal: New Mexico vs. Boston College (San Juan) ESPN2
  Gildan Charleston Classic: Quarterfinal: Penn State vs. Charlotte (Charleston, S.C.) ESPNU
  7 p.m. 2k Classic: Semifinal: Texas vs. Iowa (New York City) ESPN2
  7:30 p.m. Puerto Rico Tip-Off: Quarterfinal: George Mason vs. West Virginia (San Juan) ESPNU
  9 p.m. Southern Miss at Alabama SEC Network
  2K Classic: Semifinal: Syracuse vs. California (New York City) ESPN2
Fri, Nov 21 Noon Puerto Rico Tip-Off: Consolation Round: TBD (San Juan) ESPNU or ESPN3
  Gildan Charleston Classic: Consolation Round: TBD (Charleston, S.C.) ESPNU or ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. Puerto Rico Tip-Off: Semifinal: TBD (San Juan) ESPN2 or ESPNU
  Gildan Charleston Classic: Semifinal: TBD (Charleston, S.C.) ESPN2 or ESPNU
  5 p.m. Puerto Rico Tip-Off: Semifinal: TBD (San Juan) ESPN2 or ESPNU
  2K Classic: 3rd Place Game (New York City) ESPN2 or ESPNU
  7 p.m. 2K Classic: Championship Game: TBD (New York City) ESPN2
  Gildan Charleston Classic: Semifinal: TBD (Charleston, S.C.) ESPNU
  8 p.m. Louisiana-Monroe at Florida SEC Network
  9 p.m. Marshall at Louisville ESPNU
Sun, Nov 23 Noon Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic: Florida State vs. Massachusetts (Uncasville, Conn.) ESPNU
  2 p.m. Puerto Rico Tip-Off: 5th Place Game: TBD (San Juan) ESPNU
  2:30 p.m. Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic: Notre Dame vs. Providence (Uncasville, Conn.) ESPN2
  4 p.m. USF at NC State ESPNU
  4:30 p.m. Puerto Rico Tip-Off: 3rd Place Game: TBD (San Juan) ESPN2
  6 p.m. Montana State at Kentucky SEC Network
  6:30 p.m. Puerto Rico Tip-Off: Championship: TBD (San Juan) ESPN2
  Gildan Charleston Classic: 3rd Place Game: TBD (Charleston, S.C.) ESPNU
  8 p.m. Northern Arizona at Ole Miss SEC Network
  9 p.m. Gildan Charleston Classic: Championship Game: TBD (Charleston, S.C.) ESPN2
Feast Week Presented by Lowe’s on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU & ESPNEWS (Nov. 24-30)
Mon, Nov 24 2:30 p.m. Maui Invitational: Quarterfinal: Purdue vs. Kansas State (Maui, Hawaii) ESPN2
  5 p.m. Maui Invitational: Quarterfinal: Missouri vs. Arizona (Maui, Hawaii) ESPN2
  7 p.m. Progressive Legends Classic: Semifinal: Villanova vs. VCU (Brooklyn, New York) ESPN2
  CBE Hall of Fame Classic: Semifinal: Arizona State vs. Maryland (Kansas City, Mo.) ESPNU
  7:30 p.m. Eastern Washington at Indiana ESPNEWS
  9 p.m. EA SPORTS Maui Invitational: Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh vs. Chaminade (Maui, Hawaii) ESPNU
  9:30 p.m. CBE Hall of Fame Classic: Semifinal: Alabama vs. Iowa State (Kansas City, Mo.) ESPN2
  11 p.m. MGM Grand Main Event: Semifinal: Auburn vs. Tulsa (Las Vegas, Nev.) ESPNU
  11:30 p.m. EA SPORTS Maui Invitational: Quarterfinal: BYU vs. San Diego State (Maui, Hawaii) ESPN2
Tue, Nov 25 2 p.m. EA SPORTS Maui Invitational: Consolation Round: TBD (Maui, Hawaii) ESPN2
  4:30 p.m. EA SPORTS Maui Invitational: Consolation Round: TBD (Maui, Hawaii) ESPN2
  7 p.m. UT Arlington at Kentucky SEC Network
  7:30 p.m. EA SPORTS Maui Invitational: Semifinal: TBD (Maui, Hawaii) ESPN
  Arkansas at SMU ESPNEWS
  Progressive Legends Classic: 3rd Place Game: TBD (Brooklyn, N.Y.) ESPNU
  8 p.m. Saint Francis (Pa.) at Texas Longhorn Network
  9:30 p.m. CBE Hall of Fame Classic: Championship: TBD (Kansas City, Mo.) ESPNU
  10 p.m. EA SPORTS Maui Invitational: Semifinal: TBD (Maui, Hawaii) ESPN
  Progressive Legends Classic: Championship Game: TBD (Brooklyn, N.Y.) ESPN2
Wed, Nov 26 Noon Battle 4 Atlantis: Quarterfinal: North Carolina vs. Butler (Nassau, Bahamas) ESPN2
  2 p.m. Battle 4 Atlantis: Quarterfinal: Oklahoma vs. UCLA (Nassau, Bahamas) ESPN2
  2:30 p.m. EA SPORTS Maui Invitational: 7th Place Game: TBD (Maui, Hawaii) ESPNU
  5 p.m. EA SPORTS Maui Invitational: 5th Place Game: TBD (Maui, Hawaii) ESPN2
  Furman at Duke ESPNU
  7 p.m. NIT Season Tip-Off: Semifinal: St. John’s vs. Minnesota (New York City) ESPNU
  7:30 p.m. EA SPORTS Maui Invitational: 3rd Place Game: TBD (Maui, Hawaii) ESPN2
  8 p.m. UNC-Asheville at South Carolina SEC Network
  9:30 p.m. NIT Season Tip-Off: Semifinal: Georgia vs. Gonzaga (New York City) ESPN2
  10 p.m. EA SPORTS Maui Invitational: Championship Game: TBD (Maui, Hawaii) ESPN
  11:30 p.m. MGM Grand Main Event: Championship Game: TBD (Las Vegas, Nev.) ESPN2
Thu, Nov 27 Noon Orlando Classic: Quarterfinal: Santa Clara vs. Tennessee (Orlando, Fla.) ESPN2
  1 p.m. Battle 4 Atlantis: Semifinal: TBD (Nassau, Bahamas) ESPN
  2 p.m. Orlando Classic: Quarterfinal: Kansas vs. Rhode Island (Orlando, Fla.) ESPN2
  DIRECTV Wooden Legacy: Quarterfinal: Princeton vs. UTEP (Fullerton, Calif.) ESPNU
  3 p.m. Battle 4 Atlantis: Semifinal: TBD (Nassau, Bahamas) ESPN
  4 p.m. NIT Season Tip-Off: LIU Brooklyn vs. Stony Brook (New York City) ESPNU
  4:30 p.m. DIRECTV Wooden Legacy: Quarterfinal: San Diego vs. Xavier (Fullerton, Calif.) ESPN2
  6 p.m. NIT Season Tip-Off: Western Kentucky vs. Saint Joseph’s (New York City) ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. Orlando Classic: Quarterfinal: Michigan State vs. Rider (Orlando, Fla.) ESPN2
  8:30 p.m. Orlando Classic: Quarterfinal: Marquette vs. Georgia Tech (Orlando, Fla.) ESPN2
  DIRECTV Wooden Legacy: Quarterfinal: Long Beach State vs. Western Michigan (Fullerton, Calif.) ESPNU
  11 p.m. DIRECTV Wooden Legacy: Quarterfinal: San Jose State vs. Washington (Fullerton, Calif.) ESPN2
Fri, Nov 28 Noon Orlando Classic: Consolation or Semifinal: TBD (Orlando, Fla.) ESPN
  1 p.m. New Orleans at Texas A&M SEC Network
  2 p.m. Battle 4 Atlantis: 3rd Place Game: TBD (Nassau, Bahamas) ESPN
  2:30 p.m. Orlando Classic: Consolation or Semifinal: (Orlando, Fla.) ESPNU
  3:30 p.m. DIRECTV Wooden Legacy: Semifinal (Fullerton, Calif.) ESPN2
  4 p.m. Battle 4 Atlantis: Championship Game (Nassau, Bahamas) ESPN
  4:30 p.m. NIT Season Tip-Off: 3rd Place Game: TBD (New York City) ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. Orlando Classic: Consolation: TBD (Orlando, Fla.) ESPNU
  7 p.m. NIT Season Tip-Off: Championship Game: TBD (New York City) ESPN2
  9 p.m. Old Spice Classic: Semifinal: TBD (Orlando, Fla.) ESPN2
  North Texas at Arkansas SEC Network
  11:30 p.m. DIRECTV Wooden Legacy: Semifinal: TBD (Fullerton, Calif.) ESPN2
Sun, Nov 30 Noon Texas at Connecticut ESPN2
  Army at Duke ESPNU
  1 p.m. Old Spice Classic: Championship or 3rd Place Game: TBD (Orlando, Fla.) ESPN
  2 p.m. Providence at Kentucky ESPN2
  DIRECTV Wooden Legacy: 5th Place Game: TBD (Anaheim, Calif.) ESPNU
  3:30 p.m. Iona at Arkansas SEC Network
  4 p.m. Orlando Classic: Championship or 3rd Place Game: TBD (Orlando, Fla.) ESPN2
  DIRECTV Wooden Legacy: 3rd Place Game: TBD (Anaheim, Calif.) ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. Orlando Classic: 5th Place Game: TBD (Orlando, Fla.) ESPNU
  10 p.m. DIRECTV Wooden Legacy: Championship: TBD (Anaheim, Calif.) ESPN2
Mon, Dec 1 7 p.m. ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Nebraska at Florida State ESPN2
  ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Rutgers at Clemson ESPNU
  9 p.m. Texas Southern at Baylor ESPNU
Tue, Dec 2 7 p.m. ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Pittsburgh at Indiana ESPN2
  Stephen F. Austin at Memphis ESPNEWS
  ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Minnesota at Wake Forest ESPNU
  Massachusetts at LSU SEC Network
  7:30 p.m. ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Syracuse at Michigan ESPN
  8 p.m. UT Arlington at Texas Longhorn Network
  9 p.m. ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Illinois at Miami ESPN2 or ESPNU
  ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: NC State at Purdue ESPN2 or ESPNU
  USF at Alabama SEC Network
  9:30 p.m. ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Ohio State at Louisville ESPN
Wed, Dec 3 7:15 p.m. ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Michigan State at Notre Dame ESPN2
  ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Virginia Tech at Penn State ESPNU
  7:30 p.m. ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Iowa at North Carolina ESPN
  9 p.m. SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic: Auburn at Texas Tech SEC Network / ESPN3
  9:15 p.m. ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Virginia at Maryland ESPN2
  ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Georgia Tech at Northwestern ESPNU
  9:30 p.m. ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods: Duke at Wisconsin ESPN
  11 p.m. Wichita State at Utah ESPN2
Thu, Dec 4 7 p.m. SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic: LSU at West Virginia ESPN2
  SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic: Baylor at Vanderbilt ESPNU
  9 p.m. SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic: Arkansas at Iowa State ESPN2
  SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic: TCU at Ole Miss ESPNU
  11 p.m. San Diego at San Diego State ESPNU
Fri, Dec 5 7 p.m. SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic: Texas at Kentucky ESPN
  Wyoming at SMU ESPNEWS
  9 p.m. SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic: Florida at Kansas ESPN
  9:30 p.m. SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic: Missouri at Oklahoma ESPNU
Sat, Dec 6 Noon La Salle vs. Temple (Philadelphia, Pa.) ESPNEWS
  SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic: Oklahoma State at South Carolina ESPNU
  2 p.m. Virginia at VCU ESPNU
  3:15 p.m. SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic: Kansas State at Tennessee ESPN2
  5:15 p.m. Gonzaga at Arizona ESPN
  St. John’s at Syracuse ESPN2
  7:30 p.m. Wake Forest at NC State ESPNU
  9 p.m. Arizona State at Texas A&M SEC Network
  9:30 p.m. Bradley at Memphis ESPNU
  11:30 p.m. Boise State at Saint Mary’s ESPNU
Sun, Dec 7 Noon Colorado at Georgia SEC Network
  3 p.m. East Carolina at North Carolina ESPNU
  5 p.m. Arkansas at Clemson ESPNU
  6 p.m. Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky SEC Network
Mon, Dec 8 7 p.m. IPFW at Purdue ESPNU
  Yale at Florida SEC Network
  9 p.m. North Dakota at Minnesota ESPNU
Tue, Dec 9 7 p.m. Jimmy V Classic Presented by Corona: Villanova vs. Illinois (New York City) ESPN
  Seton Hall at Wichita State ESPN2
  UMKC at Iowa State ESPNU
  9 p.m. Jimmy V Classic Presented by Corona: Indiana vs. Louisville (New York City) ESPN
  Texas A&M at Baylor ESPN2
  Alcorn State at Iowa ESPNEWS
  Eastern Michigan at Michigan ESPNU
Wed, Dec 10 7 p.m. Columbia at Kentucky ESPN2
  High Point at Ohio State ESPNU
  9 p.m. Wisconsin at Milwaukee ESPN2
  Utah at BYU ESPNU
  11 p.m. Washington State at Gonzaga ESPNU
Thu, Dec 11 7 p.m. Elon at Missouri SEC Network
Fri, Dec 12 7 p.m. Texas Southern at Florida SEC Network
Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers on ESPN, ESPN2 & ESPNU (Dec. 13-23)
Sat, Dec 13 Noon Wichita State at Detroit ESPNU
  2 p.m. Dayton at Arkansas ESPN2
  St. Bonaventure at Pittsburgh ESPNU
  3:15 p.m. Utah vs. Kansas (Kansas City, Mo.) ESPN
  4 p.m. Xavier at Missouri ESPN2
  4:30 p.m. Western Kentucky at Ole Miss SEC Network
  5:15 p.m. Michigan at Arizona ESPN
  6 p.m. Oklahoma State at Memphis ESPN2
  7 p.m. Sam Houston State at LSU SEC Network
  8 p.m. Florida State at Notre Dame ESPN2
  Texas State at Texas Longhorn Network
  9 p.m. Purdue at Vanderbilt SEC Network
  10 p.m. Gonzaga at UCLA ESPN2
Sun, Dec 14 2 p.m. Butler at Tennessee ESPNU
  4 p.m. Louisiana Tech at Syracuse ESPNU
  6 p.m. UNC Wilmington at Louisville ESPNU
  8 p.m. Oakland at Michigan State ESPNU
Mon, Dec 15 7 p.m. Elon at Duke ESPNU
Tue, Dec 16 7 p.m. North Carolina at UNC Greensboro ESPN2
  Oral Roberts at Oklahoma ESPNU
  8 p.m. Lipscomb at Texas Longhorn Network
  9 p.m. Alabama at Wichita State ESPN2
  Middle Tennessee State at Oklahoma State ESPNU
  Western Carolina at Vanderbilt SEC Network
Wed, Dec 17 7 p.m. Tennessee at NC State ESPN2
  Hampton at Illinois ESPNU
  Arkansas State at Mississippi State SEC Network
  9 p.m. San Diego State at Cincinnati ESPN2
  New Mexico State at Baylor ESPNU
  Winthrop at Auburn SEC Network
Thu, Dec. 18 7 p.m. Cleveland State at Virginia ESPNU
  8 p.m. Connecticut vs. Duke (East Rutherford, N.J.) ESPN
  Coastal Carolina at Ole Miss SEC Network
Fri, Dec 19 7 p.m. Clemson at South Carolina SEC Network
Sat, Dec 20 Noon SMU at Michigan ESPN2
  VCU at Cincinnati ESPNU
  2 p.m. Bud Light Braggin’ Rights: Missouri vs. Illinois (St. Louis, Mo.) ESPN2
  5 p.m. Texas Southern at Michigan State ESPNU
  6 p.m. Xavier at Auburn SEC Network
  7 p.m. Texas A&M vs. Kansas State (Kansas City, Mo.) ESPNU
  8 p.m. Long Beach State at Texas Longhorn Network
  8:30 p.m. Southeast Missouri State vs. Arkansas (Little Rock, Ark.) SEC Network
  9 p.m. MGM Grand Showcase: Oklahoma vs. Washington (Las Vegas, Nev.) ESPNU
  9:30 p.m. Gotham Classic: NC State vs. West Virginia (New York City) ESPN2
  11 p.m. Stanford at BYU ESPNU
  11:30 p.m. MGM Grand Showcase: Utah vs. UNLV (Las Vegas, Nev.) ESPN2
Sun, Dec 21 Noon Harvard at Virginia ESPNU
  2 p.m. Maryland at Oklahoma State ESPNU
  4 p.m. USC at Boston College ESPNU
  6 p.m. Seton Hall at Georgia ESPNU
  Appalachian State at Alabama SEC Network
Mon, Dec. 22 2:30 p.m. Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: Quarterfinal: Ohio vs. George Washington (Honolulu, Hawaii) ESPNU
  4:30 p.m. Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: Quarterfinal: DePaul vs. Colorado (Honolulu, Hawaii) ESPNU
  7 p.m. Kansas vs. Temple (Philadelphia, Pa.) ESPN2
  Colgate at Syracuse ESPNU
  Mercer at Tennessee SEC Network
  9 p.m. Wisconsin at California ESPN2
  Milwaukee at Arkansas ESPNU
  College of Charleston at LSU SEC Network
  11 p.m. Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: Quarterfinal: Loyola Marymount vs. Wichita State (Honolulu, Hawaii) ESPNU
Tue, Dec 23 1 a.m. Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: Quarterfinal: Nebraska vs. Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii) ESPNU
  2:30 p.m. Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: Consolation Round: TBD (Honolulu, Hawaii) ESPNU
  4:30 p.m. Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: Semifinal: TBD (Honolulu, Hawaii) ESPNU
  7 p.m. Stanford at Texas ESPN2
  Cal State Northridge at Louisville ESPNU
  9 p.m. Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: Semifinal: TBD (Honolulu, Hawaii) ESPN2
  11:30 p.m. Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: Consolation Round: TBD (Honolulu, Hawaii) ESPNU
Thu, Dec 25 4 p.m. Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: 5th or 7th Place Game: TBD (Honolulu, Hawaii) ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: 3rd Place Game: TBD (Honolulu, Hawaii) ESPN2
  8:30 p.m. Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic: Championship Game: TBD (Honolulu, Hawaii) ESPN2
Sat, Dec 27 Noon Georgetown vs. Indiana (New York City) ESPN2
  2 p.m. Kentucky at Louisville ESPN2
  6 p.m. Mercer at Georgia SEC Network
  7:30 p.m. UAB at North Carolina ESPN2
  8:30 p.m. Tennessee State at Tennessee SEC Network
  9:30 p.m. Gonzaga at BYU ESPN2
Sun, Dec 28 2 p.m. Long Beach State at Syracuse ESPNU
  3:30 p.m. Northwestern State at Arkansas SEC Network
  6:30 p.m. UCLA at Alabama ESPNU
Mon, Dec 29 7 p.m. Toledo at Duke ESPN2
  Southern Miss at LSU SEC Network
  8 p.m. Rice at Texas Longhorn Network
  9 p.m. San Francisco at Saint Mary’s ESPNU
  Middle Tennessee State at Auburn SEC Network
Tue, Dec 30 Noon Northwestern at Rutgers ESPNU
  1 p.m. Iowa at Ohio State ESPN2
  2 p.m. Virginia Tech at West Virginia ESPNU
  3 p.m. Illinois at Michigan ESPN2
  4 p.m. Cincinnati at NC State ESPNU
  5 p.m. Maryland at Michigan State ESPN2
  6 p.m. Davidson at Virginia ESPNU
  7 p.m. Florida at Florida State ESPN2
  8 p.m. Mercer at Texas A&M SEC Network
  9 p.m. Oklahoma State vs. Missouri (Kansas City, Mo.) ESPN2
Wed, Dec 31 Noon Tulane at East Carolina ESPNEWS
  Tulsa at UCF ESPNU
  1 p.m. Temple at Connecticut ESPN2
  East Tennessee State at Tennessee SEC Network
  2 p.m. Houston at Memphis ESPNU
  4 p.m. Georgia at Kansas State ESPNU
  5 p.m. USF at SMU ESPN2
  6 p.m. Cornell at Syracuse ESPNU
Fri, Jan 2 8 p.m. Florida State at Mississippi State ESPNU
  10 p.m. USC at Utah ESPNU
Sat, Jan 3 TBD SMU at Cincinnati ESPN2
  Illinois at Ohio State TBD
  Kansas State at Oklahoma State ESPNU
  Texas at Texas Tech ESPNU
  Virginia at Miami ESPN2
  Tulane at Memphis ESPNU
  Baylor at Oklahoma ESPN2
  North Carolina at Clemson ESPN
  San Diego State at Fresno State ESPNU
  Penn State at Rutgers ESPN2
  Oregon State at Oregon ESPNU
  Gonzaga at Portland ESPN2
  1 p.m. North Alabama at Auburn SEC Network
  3 p.m. Utah Valley State at Arkansas SEC Network
  5 p.m. Lipscomb at Missouri SEC Network
  7 p.m. Savannah State at LSU SEC Network
Sun, Jan 4 Noon UCF at Temple ESPNEWS
  2 p.m. Houston at Tulsa ESPNEWS
  5:30 p.m. Missouri Valley Wildcard Game ESPNU
  8 p.m. Louisville at Wake Forest ESPNU
  10 p.m. Washington at Stanford ESPNU
Mon, Jan 5 7 p.m. Notre Dame at North Carolina ESPN or ESPN2
  West Virginia at Texas Tech ESPNU
  9 p.m. Oklahoma at Texas ESPN or ESPN2
  9 p.m. Texas Southern at Southern ESPNU
Tue, Jan 6 7 p.m. Arkansas at Georgia ESPN
  Connecticut at USF ESPN2
  UCF at Houston ESPNEWS
  East Carolina at Cincinnati ESPNU
  Ole Miss at Kentucky SEC Network
  9 p.m. Ohio State at Minnesota ESPN
  Oklahoma State at Iowa State ESPN2
  Auburn at Vanderbilt ESPNU
  Texas A&M at Alabama SEC Network
Wed, Jan 7 7 p.m. NC State at Virginia ESPN2
  Temple at Tulane ESPNEWS
  Syracuse at Georgia Tech ESPNU
  Florida at South Carolina SEC Network
  9 p.m. Colorado at Utah ESPN2
  TCU at Kansas State ESPNEWS
  Kansas at Baylor ESPNU
  Tennessee at Mississippi State SEC Network
  11 p.m. California at USC ESPNU
Thu, Jan 8 7 p.m. Michigan State at Iowa ESPN or ESPN2
  LSU at Missouri ESPN or ESPN2
  Big South Wildcard Game ESPNU
  9 p.m. Stanford at UCLA ESPN or ESPN2
  Memphis at SMU ESPN or ESPN2
  Rutgers at Nebraska ESPNU
  11 p.m. Pepperdine at BYU ESPNU
Fri, Jan 9 7 p.m. Akron at Toledo ESPNU
  9 p.m. Green Bay at Milwaukee ESPNU
Sat, Jan 10 11 a.m. Cincinnati at Connecticut ESPN2
  Noon Ohio State at Indiana or Minnesota at Michigan ESPN
  1 p.m. Ohio State at Indiana or Minnesota at Michigan ESPNU
  2 p.m. Louisville at North Carolina ESPN
  Alabama at Tennessee SEC Network
  3 p.m. Tulsa at Temple ESPNEWS
  Texas Tech at Kansas ESPNU
  4 p.m. Baylor at TCU ESPN2
  4:30 p.m. Vanderbilt at Arkansas SEC Network
  5 p.m. Texas at Oklahoma State ESPNU
  6 p.m. Virginia at Notre Dame ESPN2
  7 p.m. Kansas State at Oklahoma ESPNU
  Missouri at Auburn SEC Network
  8 p.m. Iowa State at West Virginia ESPN2`
  9 p.m. Georgia at LSU ESPNU
  11 p.m. Big West Wildcard Game ESPNU
Sun, Jan 11 5 p.m. Missouri Valley Wildcard Game ESPNU
  8 p.m. Florida State at Syracuse ESPNU
  10 p.m. Stanford at USC ESPNU
My Home Court on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU & ESPNEWS (Jan 13-18)
Tue, Jan 13 7 p.m. Michigan at Ohio State ESPN
  Oklahoma State at Kansas ESPN2
  Oklahoma at West Virginia ESPNEWS
  Arkansas at Tennessee ESPNU
  Alabama at South Carolina SEC Network
  9 p.m. Missouri at Kentucky ESPN
  Miami at Duke ESPNU
  Mississippi State at Texas A&M SEC Network
  11 p.m. UNLV at Boise State ESPNU
Wed, Jan 14 7 p.m. North Carolina at NC State ESPN2
  Houston at East Carolina ESPNU
  LSU at Ole Miss SEC Network
  8 p.m. Texas Tech at Kansas State ESPNEWS
  9 p.m. UCLA at USC ESPN2
  Iowa State at Baylor ESPNU
  Georgia at Vanderbilt SEC Network
  11 p.m. San Diego State at Wyoming ESPN2
  Stanford at California ESPNU
Thu, Jan 15 7 p.m. Auburn at Florida ESPN or ESPN2
  Cincinnati at Memphis ESPN or ESPN2
  Richmond at George Washington ESPNU
  9 p.m. Nebraska at Wisconsin ESPN or ESPN2
  Colorado at Arizona ESPN or ESPN2
  Belmont at Murray State ESPNU
  11 p.m. BYU at Pacific ESPNU
Fri, Jan 16 7 p.m. MAAC Wildcard Game ESPNU
  9 p.m. St. Francis (N.Y.) at Robert Morris ESPNU
Sat, Jan 17 11 a.m. Tulsa at USF ESPNU
  Noon Duke at Louisville ESPN or ESPN2
  Texas A&M at LSU ESPN or ESPN2
  Tulane at Houston ESPNEWS
  1 p.m. Purdue at Penn State ESPNU
  2 p.m. Ohio State at Iowa ESPN or ESPN2
  Miami at Notre Dame ESPN or ESPN2
  UCF at Memphis ESPNEWS
  3 p.m. Baylor at Kansas State ESPNU
  4 p.m. Kentucky at Alabama ESPN
  TCU at Texas Tech ESPNEWS
  6 or 9 p.m. West Virginia at Texas ESPN
  Kansas at Iowa State ESPN
  6 p.m. Tennessee at Missouri SEC Network
  7 p.m. Oklahoma State at Oklahoma ESPN2
  7:30 p.m. Temple at Cincinnati ESPNU
  8:30 p.m. South Carolina at Auburn SEC Network
  9 p.m. Connecticut at Stanford ESPN2
  9:30 p.m. Ole Miss at Arkansas ESPNU
  11 p.m. BYU at Saint Mary’s ESPN2
  11:30 p.m. Big West Wildcard Game ESPNU
Sun, Jan 18 4 p.m. Missouri Valley Wildcard Game ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. Virginia Tech at North Carolina ESPNU
  8:30 p.m. Oregon at Washington ESPNU
Mon, Jan 19 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at Duke ESPN
  Texas at TCU ESPNU
  9 p.m. Oklahoma at Kansas ESPN
  Florida State at Clemson ESPNU
Tue, Jan 20 7 p.m. LSU at Florida ESPN
  Kansas State at Iowa State ESPN2
  Boston College at Syracuse ESPNU
  Ole Miss at Georgia SEC Network
  9 p.m. Iowa at Wisconsin ESPN
  Tennessee at South Carolina ESPNU
  Vanderbilt at Kentucky SEC Network
Wed, Jan 21 7 p.m. North Carolina at Wake Forest ESPN2
  Houston at Cincinnati ESPNEWS
  Memphis at Tulsa ESPNU
  Missouri at Texas A&M SEC Network
  9 p.m. Texas Tech at Oklahoma State ESPNU
  Mississippi State at Auburn SEC Network
Thu, Jan 22 6:30 p.m. USF at Temple ESPNEWS
  7 p.m. Ohio State at Northwestern ESPN or ESPN2
  Alabama at Arkansas ESPN or ESPN2
  Big South Wildcard Game ESPNU
  9 p.m. Arizona at Stanford ESPN2
  Maryland at Indiana ESPNU
  11 p.m. Saint Mary’s at Gonzaga ESPNU
Fri, Jan 23 7 p.m. VCU at Saint Louis ESPN2
  MAAC Wildcard Game ESPNU
  9 p.m. Horizon League Wildcard Game ESPNU
Sat, Jan 24 Noon Kentucky at South Carolina ESPN or ESPN2
  Oklahoma State at Kansas State ESPN or ESPN2
  Rutgers at Penn State ESPNU
  Tulsa at East Carolina ESPNEWS
  2 p.m. Florida State at North Carolina ESPN or ESPN2
  Arkansas at Missouri ESPN or ESPN2
  TCU at West Virginia ESPNU
  4 or 7 p.m. Michigan State at Nebraska ESPN or ESPN2
  Wisconsin at Michigan ESPN or ESPN2
  4 p.m. Miami at Syracuse ESPN or ESPN2
  Iowa State at Texas Tech ESPNU
  6 p.m. Oklahoma at Baylor ESPN2
  LSU at Vanderbilt ESPNU
  Florida at Ole Miss SEC Network
  8 p.m. Memphis at Tulane ESPNU
  8:30 p.m. Auburn at Alabama SEC Network
  10 p.m. Mountain West Wildcard Game ESPNU
  11:59 p.m. Arizona State at Stanford ESPNU
Sun, Jan 25 4 p.m. Missouri Valley Wildcard Game ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. Notre Dame at NC State ESPNU
  8:30 p.m. Washington at Utah ESPNU
Mon, Jan 26 7 p.m. Syracuse at North Carolina ESPN
  Delaware State at NC Central ESPNU
  9 p.m. Texas at Iowa State ESPN
  Prairie View A&M at Arkansas Pine-Bluff ESPNU
Tue, Jan 27 7 p.m. Nebraska at Michigan ESPN
  West Virginia at Kansas State ESPN2
  Tulsa at Tulane ESPNEWS
  Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech ESPNU
  Vanderbilt at Georgia SEC Network
  9 p.m. Florida at Alabama ESPN
  Baylor at Oklahoma State ESPNEWS
  Tennessee at Arkansas ESPNU
  Texas A&M at Auburn SEC Network
  11 p.m. Mountain West Wildcard Game ESPNU
Wed, Jan 28 7 p.m. SMU at USF ESPNU
  South Carolina at LSU SEC Network
  7:30 p.m. Duke at Notre Dame ESPN2
  Texas Tech at Oklahoma ESPNEWS
  9 p.m. Kansas at TCU ESPNU
  Mississippi State at Ole Miss SEC Network
  11 p.m. Stanford at Washington ESPNU
Thu, Jan 29 7 p.m. Maryland at Ohio State ESPN
  Dayton at Massachusetts ESPNU
  8 p.m. Connecticut at Cincinnati ESPN2
  9 p.m. Kentucky at Missouri ESPN
  Eastern Kentucky at Murray State ESPNU
  10 p.m. Utah at UCLA ESPN2
  11 p.m. San Francisco at BYU ESPNU
Fri, Jan 30 6 p.m. Harvard at Princeton ESPNU
  8 p.m. MAAC Wildcard Game ESPNU
  10 p.m. MAC Wildcard Game ESPNU
Sat, Jan 31 Noon Wisconsin at Iowa ESPN or ESPN2
  Auburn at Tennessee ESPN or ESPN2
  Texas Tech at West Virginia ESPNU
  1 p.m. USF at Tulsa ESPNEWS
  2 p.m. Kansas State at Kansas ESPN or ESPN2
  Richmond at VCU ESPN or ESPN2
  TCU at Iowa State ESPNU
  LSU at Mississippi State SEC Network
  4 or 7 p.m. Duke at Virginia ESPN or ESPN2
  North Carolina at Louisville ESPN or ESPN2
  4 p.m. Wichita State at Northern Iowa ESPN or ESPN2
  Georgia at South Carolina ESPNU
  4:30 p.m. Vanderbilt at Texas A&M SEC Network
  6 p.m. Texas at Baylor ESPN2
  Purdue at Northwestern ESPNU
  7 p.m. Alabama at Kentucky SEC Network
  8 p.m. Oklahoma at Oklahoma State ESPN2
  UCF at SMU ESPNU
  10 p.m. Memphis at Gonzaga ESPN2
  Big West Wildcard Game ESPNU
Sun, Feb 1 12:30 p.m. Miami at Florida State ESPNU
  2:30 p.m. Utah at USC ESPNU
Mon, Feb 2 7 p.m. Virginia at North Carolina ESPN
  Morgan State at Coppin State ESPNU
  9 p.m. Iowa State at Kansas ESPN
  Alabama A&M at Texas Southern ESPNU
Tue, Feb 3 7 p.m. Indiana at Wisconsin ESPN
  Georgia at Kentucky ESPNU
  Mississippi State at Tennessee SEC Network
  8 p.m. West Virginia at Oklahoma ESPN2
  9 p.m. Florida at Vanderbilt ESPN
  Virginia Tech at Syracuse ESPNU
  South Carolina at Arkansas SEC Network
Wed, Feb 4 6:30 p.m. Temple at USF ESPNEWS
  7 p.m. Georgia Tech at Duke ESPN2
  East Carolina at Connecticut ESPNU
  Texas A&M at Ole Miss SEC Network
  8 p.m. Oklahoma State at Texas Longhorn Network
  8:30 p.m. TCU at Baylor ESPNEWS
  9 p.m. Washington at Oregon ESPN2
  Kansas State at Texas Tech ESPNU
  Missouri at Alabama SEC Network
Thu, Feb 5 7 p.m. Iowa at Michigan ESPN or ESPN2
  Auburn at LSU ESPN or ESPN2
  Mount St. Mary’s at Bryant ESPNU
  Tulsa at Houston ESPNEWS
  9 p.m. UCLA at Stanford ESPN or ESPN2
  Cincinnati at SMU ESPN or ESPN2
  Belmont at Eastern Kentucky ESPNU
  11 p.m. Gonzaga at Santa Clara ESPNU
Fri, Feb 6 7 p.m. Dayton at George Washington ESPN2
  MAAC Wild Card Game ESPNU
  9 p.m. Big South Wild Card Game ESPNU
Sat, Feb 7 Noon Illinois at Michigan State ESPN or ESPN2
  Tennessee at Georgia ESPN or ESPN2
  Baylor at West Virginia ESPNU
  1 p.m. Temple at Memphis ESPNEWS
  2 p.m. Kansas at Oklahoma State ESPN or ESPN2
  Sun Belt Wild Card Game ESPN or ESPN2
  Texas Tech at Iowa State ESPNU
  3 p.m. Oklahoma at TCU ESPNEWS
  4 p.m. Texas at Kansas State ESPN or ESPN2
  Syracuse at Pittsburgh ESPN or ESPN2
  Nebraska at Penn State ESPNU
  Mississippi State at Arkansas SEC Network
  6 p.m. Louisville at Virginia ESPN or ESPN2
  Alabama at LSU ESPN or ESPN2
  Texas A&M at Missouri ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. Ole Miss at Auburn SEC Network
  8 p.m. Missouri State at Wichita State ESPN2
  SMU at Tulsa ESPNU
  9 p.m. Kentucky at Florida ESPN
  10 p.m. Big West Wild Card Game ESPNU
  11:30 p.m. Gonzaga at San Francisco ESPN2
Sun, Feb 8 6:30 p.m. Clemson at Miami ESPNU
  8:30 p.m. USC at Stanford ESPNU
Mon, Feb 9 7 p.m. Duke at Florida State ESPN
  Oklahoma State at Baylor ESPNU
  9 p.m. Iowa State at Oklahoma ESPN
  Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech ESPNU
Tue, Feb 10 7 p.m. Kentucky at LSU ESPN
  Notre Dame at Clemson ESPN2
  Memphis at East Carolina ESPNU
  Missouri at South Carolina SEC Network
  9 p.m. Wisconsin at Nebraska ESPN
  Kansas at Texas Tech ESPN2
  Arkansas at Auburn ESPNU
  Alabama at Mississippi State SEC Network
  11 p.m. Mountain West Wild Card Game ESPNU
Wed, Feb 11 7 p.m. Syracuse at Boston College ESPN2
  Kansas State at West Virginia ESPNU
  USF at UCF ESPNEWS
  Georgia at Texas A&M SEC Network
  8 p.m. TCU at Texas Longhorn Network
  9 p.m. Oregon at USC ESPN2
  Morehead State at Eastern Kentucky ESPNU
  Tennessee at Vanderbilt SEC Network
Thu, Feb 12 7 p.m. Ole Miss at Florida ESPN or ESPN2
  Tulsa at Connecticut ESPN or ESPN2
  Purdue at Rutgers ESPNU
  9 p.m. Saint Mary’s at BYU ESPN or ESPN2
  Michigan at Illinois ESPN or ESPN2
  SMU at Houston ESPNU
  11 p.m. Santa Clara at San Francisco ESPNU
Fri, Feb 13 6 p.m. MAC Wild Card Game ESPNU
  7 p.m. Green Bay at Valparaiso or Cleveland State at Detroit ESPN2
  8 p.m. Green Bay at Valparaiso or Cleveland State at Detroit ESPNU
  9 p.m. Arizona at Washington ESPN
  10 p.m. Iona at Manhattan ESPNU
Sat, Feb 14 Noon Ohio State at Michigan State ESPN or ESPN2
  Sun Belt Wild Card Game ESPN or ESPN2
  Memphis at USF ESPNU
  2 p.m. South Carolina at Kentucky ESPN or ESPN2
  VCU at George Washington ESPN or ESPN2
  Tulane at Cincinnati ESPNU
  4 p.m. NC State at Louisville ESPN or ESPN2
  West Virginia at Iowa State ESPN or ESPN2
  Mississippi State at Missouri ESPNU
  LSU at Tennessee SEC Network
  6 p.m. Duke at Syracuse ESPN or ESPN2
  Wichita State at Illinois State ESPN or ESPN2
  Oklahoma State at TCU ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. Florida at Texas A&M SEC Network
  8 p.m. Oklahoma at Kansas State ESPN2
  Vanderbilt at Alabama ESPNU
  Texas Tech at Texas Longhorn Network
  9 p.m. Connecticut at SMU ESPN
  Arkansas at Ole Miss SEC Network
  10 p.m. Mountain West Wild Card Game ESPN2
Sun, Feb 15 4 p.m. Missouri Valley Wild Card Game ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. Miami at Boston College ESPNU
  8:30 p.m. California at Utah ESPNU
Rivalry Week Presented by Wendy’s on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU & ESPNEWS (Feb. 16-22)
Mon, Feb 16 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at Virginia ESPN
  Clemson at Georgia Tech ESPNU
  9 p.m. Kansas at West Virginia ESPN
  Hampton at Morgan State ESPNU
Tue, Feb 17 7 p.m. Kentucky at Tennessee ESPN
  Baylor at Texas Tech ESPN2
  Wake Forest at Notre Dame ESPNU
  Houston at USF ESPNEWS
  South Carolina at Georgia SEC Network
  9 p.m. Michigan State at Michigan ESPN
  Texas at Oklahoma ESPN2
  Alabama at Auburn ESPNU
  LSU at Texas A&M SEC Network
Wed, Feb 18 7 p.m. Louisville at Syracuse ESPN or ESPN2
  Xavier at Cincinnati ESPN or ESPN2
  East Carolina at Tulsa ESPNU
  Vanderbilt at Florida SEC Network
  9 p.m. North Carolina at Duke ESPN
  UCLA at Arizona State ESPN2
  Iowa State at Oklahoma State ESPNU
  Missouri at Arkansas SEC Network
  11 p.m. Colorado at Oregon ESPNU
Thu, Feb 19 6 p.m. Saint Joseph’s at Dayton ESPNU
  7 p.m. Purdue at Indiana ESPN or ESPN2
  Temple at SMU ESPN or ESPN2
  UCF at Tulane ESPNEWS
  8 p.m. Rutgers at Iowa ESPNU
  9 p.m. Connecticut at Memphis ESPN or ESPN2
  Ole Miss at Mississippi State ESPN or ESPN2
  10 p.m. San Diego at BYU ESPNU
Fri, Feb 20 7 p.m. Cleveland State at Green Bay ESPN2
  Hartford at Albany ESPNU
  9 p.m. Iona at Marist ESPNU
Sat, Feb 21 11 a.m. USF at East Carolina ESPNU
  Noon Minnesota at Wisconsin ESPN or ESPN2
  Massachusetts at VCU ESPN or ESPN2
  Oklahoma at Texas Tech ESPNEWS
  Texas A&M at South Carolina SEC Network
  1 p.m. Kansas State at Baylor ESPNU
  2 p.m. Iowa State at Texas ESPN or ESPN2
  Miami at Louisville ESPN or ESPN2
  West Virginia at Oklahoma State ESPNEWS
  2:30 p.m. Missouri at Vanderbilt SEC Network
  3 p.m. Penn State at Northwestern ESPNU
  4 p.m. Clemson at Duke ESPN or ESPN2
  TCU at Kansas ESPN or ESPN2
  6 p.m. Auburn at Kentucky ESPN or ESPN2
  Virginia Tech at NC State ESPN or ESPN2
  7:30 p.m. Tennessee at Ole Miss ESPNU
  8 p.m. Georgia at Alabama ESPN2
  9 p.m. UCLA at Arizona ESPN
  9:30 p.m. Cincinnati at Houston ESPNU
  10 p.m. Gonzaga at Saint Mary’s ESPN2
Sun, Feb 22 4 p.m. Missouri Valley Wild Card Game ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. Florida State at Virginia ESPNU
  8:30 p.m. Washington at Washington State ESPNU
Bracket Builder Week Presented by Dish on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU & ESPNEWS (Feb. 23-March 1)
Mon, Feb 23 7 p.m. Louisville at Georgia Tech ESPN
  Delaware State at Norfolk State ESPNU
  9 p.m. Kansas at Kansas State ESPN
  Alabama State at Southern ESPNU
Tue, Feb 24 7 p.m. Wisconsin at Maryland ESPN
  Texas at West Virginia ESPN2
  LSU at Auburn ESPNU
  South Carolina at Alabama SEC Network
  9 p.m. Florida at Missouri ESPN
  Boston College at Pittsburgh ESPNU
  Texas A&M at Arkansas SEC Network
  11 p.m. New Mexico at Boise State ESPNU
Wed, Feb 25 7 p.m. VCU at Richmond ESPN2
  Connecticut at East Carolina ESPNU
  Kentucky at Mississippi State SEC Network
  8 p.m. Tulane at Tulsa ESPNEWS
  9 p.m. Duke at Virginia Tech ESPN2
  Baylor at Iowa State ESPNU
  Georgia at Ole Miss SEC Network
  11 p.m. Washington at UCLA ESPN2
  Oregon at California ESPNU
Thu, Feb 26 7 p.m. Nebraska at Ohio State ESPN or ESPN2
  Vanderbilt at Tennessee ESPN or ESPN2
  Big South Wild Card Game ESPNU
  9 p.m. Arizona at Colorado ESPN or ESPN2
  SMU at Memphis ESPN or ESPN2
  Rutgers at Purdue ESPNU
  11 p.m. San Diego at Gonzaga ESPNU
Fri, Feb 27 6 p.m. MAAC Wild Card Game ESPNU
  7 p.m. MAAC Wild Card Game ESPN2
  8 p.m. MAC Wild Card Game ESPNU
  10 p.m. Valparaiso at Cleveland State ESPNU
Sat, Feb 28 TBD Michigan at Maryland ESPN or ESPN2
  Dayton at VCU ESPN or ESPN2
  Tennessee at Florida ESPN or ESPN2
  Iowa State at Kansas State ESPN or ESPN2
  Arizona at Utah ESPN or ESPN2
  Louisville at Florida State ESPN or ESPN2
  Texas at Kansas ESPN or ESPN2
  Missouri Valley Wild Card ESPN or ESPN2
  Syracuse at Duke ESPN or ESPN2
    BYU at Gonzaga ESPN or ESPN2
  Big West Wild Card ESPN or ESPN2
  Boise State at San Diego State ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU
  New Mexico at Fresno State ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU
  Noon Missouri at Georgia ESPNU
  East Carolina at UCF ESPNEWS
  2 p.m. TCU at Oklahoma ESPNU
  Cincinnati at Tulane ESPNEWS
  4 p.m. West Virginia at Baylor ESPNU
  Oklahoma State at Texas Tech ESPNEWS
  6 p.m. Iowa at Penn State ESPNU
  Mississippi State at South Carolina SEC Network
  8 p.m. Tulsa at Memphis ESPNU
  8:30 p.m. Auburn at Texas A&M SEC Network
Sun, Mar 1 6:30 p.m. Pittsburgh at Wake Forest ESPNU
  8:30 p.m. Arizona State at Colorado ESPNU
Mon, Mar 2 7 p.m. Virginia at Syracuse ESPN
  Oklahoma at Iowa State or Baylor at Texas ESPNU
  9 p.m. Oklahoma at Iowa State or Baylor at Texas ESPN
  Boston College at Virginia Tech ESPNU
Tue, Mar 3 7 p.m. Iowa at Indiana ESPN
  North Carolina at Georgia Tech ESPNU
  Ole Miss at Alabama SEC Network
  9 p.m. Kentucky at Georgia ESPN
  West Virginia at Kansas ESPN2
  Texas A&M at Florida ESPNU
  Auburn at Missouri SEC Network
Wed, Mar 4 7 p.m. Notre Dame at Louisville ESPN2
  UCF at USF ESPNU
  Tennessee at LSU SEC Network
  8 p.m. Houston at Tulane ESPNEWS
  9 p.m. USC at UCLA ESPN2
  TCU at Oklahoma State ESPNU
  Mississippi State at Vanderbilt SEC Network
  11 p.m. Oregon at Oregon State ESPNU
Thu, Mar 5 7 p.m. Wisconsin at Minnesota ESPN or ESPN2
  Arkansas at South Carolina ESPN or ESPN2
  Temple at East Carolina ESPNU
  9 p.m. Memphis at Connecticut ESPN or ESPN2
  California at Arizona ESPN or ESPN2
  VCU at Davidson ESPNU
  11 p.m. Utah at Washington State ESPNU
Fri, Mar 6 7 p.m. Mid-American Wild Card Game ESPN2
  9 p.m. Texas Tech at Baylor ESPN2
Sat, Mar 7 TBD Michigan State at Indiana ESPN or ESPN2
  Duke at North Carolina ESPN or ESPN2
  Virginia at Louisville ESPN or ESPN2
  Pittsburgh at Florida State ESPN or ESPN2
  Kansas State at Texas ESPN or ESPN2
  Connecticut at Temple ESPN or ESPN2
  Kansas at Oklahoma ESPN or ESPN2
  LSU at Arkansas ESPN or ESPN2
  Noon Oklahoma State at West Virginia ESPNEWS
  2 p.m. Iowa State at TCU ESPNEWS
  4 p.m. Tulane at USF ESPNEWS
  Georgia at Auburn SEC Network
  6:30 p.m. Missouri at Mississippi State SEC Network
  9 p.m. Vanderbilt at Ole Miss SEC Network
Sun, Mar 8 2 p.m. East Carolina at Houston ESPNEWS
  3 p.m. Tulsa at SMU ESPNU

 -30-

ESPN Announces 2014-15 Women’s College Basketball Schedule

espn-logoESPN Announces 2014-15 Women’s College Basketball Schedule

ESPN2 Opens Season Nov. 17 with Four Ranked Teams as Part of Tip-Off Marathon

ESPN’s 2014-15 women’s college basketball regular-season schedule includes 131 games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network and Longhorn Network. The addition of ESPN3 exclusive games and ESPN FULL COURT, the pay-per-view package, to be announced at a later date will result in a record number of coverage this season.

The schedule boasts 22 programs on the espnW 2014-15 preseason top 25 poll – created by bracketologist Charlie Creme at the conclusion of the 2014 Final Four – which includes 20 of the top 25 teams on the schedule. espnW.com will provide season-long original content and supporting material for ESPN’s top games.

Every game will also be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.

Schedule Highlights:

·         ESPN2 – Home to 36 games this season, ESPN2 will include top early-season matchups, all Big Monday contests and most Sundays throughout the conference season.

·         ESPNU – A schedule of 19 games, ESPNU matchups include doubleheaders on most Sundays during the conference schedule.

·         SEC Network – The introduction of the new network ensures every SEC women’s basketball game is available nationwide. SEC Network will air more than 60 games, including a doubleheader every Thursday and a game-of-the-week on Mondays.

·         Longhorn Network – ESPN’s 24-hour network devoted to The University of Texas, will air 13 games, including seven featuring a Big 12 opponent.

·         Tip-Off Marathon Presented by Dish – Four ranked teams open the seventh annual marathon with an ESPN2 doubleheader on Monday, Nov. 17. Two-time defending national champion Connecticut will travel to 2014 Final Four participant and No. 20 Stanford in the second game at 9 p.m., while No. 13 Baylor will face No. 6 Kentucky in the first matchup at 7 p.m.

·         Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona – The 13th annual game features a rematch of the 2014 NCAA Championship title game – pitting No. 1 Connecticut against No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 3:15 p.m. on ESPN. Notre Dame will play in the event for the first time, hosting the game at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind., while the Huskies will appear for the fourth straight year and seventh time overall.

·         Big Monday Presented by Verizon – The ninth season of the seven-week series on ESPN2 will begin on January 19 and run through March 2. The schedule includes doubleheaders on February 16 and 23 and a robust schedule of ranked teams: No. 1 Connecticut, No. 2 South Carolina, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 4 Texas A&M, No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 7 Duke, No. 8 Michigan State, No. 14 Maryland and No. 16 Louisville.

·         We Back Pat – No. 4 Texas A&M will play at No. 2 South Carolina in a January 26 Big Monday game, to honor former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt as part of the SEC’s “We Back Pat” initiative.

·         Play 4Kay – ESPN’s annual Play 4Kay games – highlighting the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, in partnership with The V Foundation and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) – will air five games across ESPN2 and ESPNU on Sunday, Feb. 22. Two top-25 matchups – featuring SEC rivals No. 3 Tennessee at No. 2 South Carolina and new ACC foes No. 16 Louisville at No. 4 Notre Dame – airs Monday, Feb. 23, as part of Big Monday.

espnW

·         Season preview November 3-7 will include an updated preseason top-25 poll, preseason All-Americans and a ranking of the top 25 players in the nation.

·         Writers Mechelle Voepel, Graham Hays, Kate Fagan and Michelle Smith, as well as analyst Rebecca Lobo, will write in-depth profiles of some of the nation’s top teams, players and coaches throughout the season.

·         Prior to each Big Monday game, espnW.com will offer an updated Bracketology segment from Charlie Creme and a game preview for that night’s matchup, as well as postgame coverage with video analysis.

·         For the third consecutive season, espnW will name a national player of the week each Monday.

ESPN The Magazine

A women’s hoop preview in its upcoming College Hoops Tip-Off Preview issue (on sale October 31) includes a rundown of the top-10 teams by espnW’s Mechelle Voepel, plus a ScoutTake profile on the genius of UConn’s Breanna Stewart.

Postseason Coverage

ESPN networks will also have a full lineup of games during Championship Week Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods and will continue to carry all 63 games of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship culminating with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Fla., on April 5 and 7. The schedules will be announced at a later date.

Week-long men’s and women’s conference tournaments can been seen across ESPN platforms during Championship Week Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods from Thursday, March 5 to Sunday, March 15.

ESPN will present the exclusive live announcement of the 64-team NCAA Championship field as part of Selection Monday on March 16, at 7 p.m., with ESPNU offering a bonus hour of coverage on the NCAA Women’s’ Basketball Selection Special Extended Coverage at 8 p.m.

All 63 games of the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will air on ESPN networks for the 10th consecutive year. ESPN and ESPN2 will present regionalized telecasts with home market protection through the first two rounds. ESPN3 and ESPN FULL COURT, the pay-per-view package, will offer first- and second-round games in their entirety as a supplement to ESPN and ESPN2’s coverage. The final 15 games, beginning with the Regional Semifinals, will have national telecast windows on ESPN or ESPN2. The complete schedule will be announced at a later date.

2014-15 ESPN Network’s Women’s Basketball Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Matchup Network
Sat, Nov 15 TBD UT San Antonio at Texas Longhorn Network
Sun, Nov 16 8 p.m. Duke at Alabama SEC Network
Mon, Nov 17 7 p.m. Tip-Off Marathon Presented by Dish: Baylor at Kentucky ESPN2
  9 p.m. Tip-Off Marathon Presented by Dish: Connecticut at Stanford ESPN2
Thu, Nov 20 7 p.m. Clemson at South Carolina SEC Network
Wed, Nov 26 8 p.m. Texas Pan American at Texas Longhorn Network
Sun, Nov 30 1 p.m. Duke at Texas A&M SEC Network
Mon, Dec 1 9 p.m. Virginia Tech at Florida SEC Network
Wed, Dec 3 7 p.m. Louisiana Tech at LSU SEC Network
  8 p.m. New Mexico at Texas Longhorn Network
Thu, Dec 4 8 p.m. Charlotte at South Carolina SEC Network
Sat, Dec 6 3:15 p.m. Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona: Connecticut at Notre Dame ESPN
Sun, Dec 7 1 p.m. South Carolina at Duke ESPN2
  4 p.m. Michigan State at Georgia SEC Network
Mon, Dec 8 Noon Southern at Texas Longhorn Network
Wed, Dec 10 7 p.m. Wisconsin at Florida SEC Network
Fri, Dec 12 9 p.m. Middle Tennessee State at Kentucky SEC Network
Sun, Dec 14 1 p.m. Mercer at Alabama SEC Network
  3 p.m. Holiday Hoops presented by Kay Jewelers: Tennessee at Rutgers ESPN2
  Northwestern State at Texas Longhorn Network
  6 p.m. Belmont at Kentucky SEC Network
Tue, Dec 16 7 p.m. Wichita State at Tennessee SEC Network
Wed, Dec 17 8 p.m. McNeese State at Texas Longhorn Network
Sat, Dec 20 1 p.m. Stanford at Tennessee SEC Network
Sun, Dec 21 1:30 p.m. SEC/Big 12 Challenge: Texas vs. Texas A&M (Little Rock, Ark.) SEC Network
3 p.m. Holiday Hoops presented by Kay Jewelers: Kentucky at Duke ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. SEC/Big 12 Challenge: Oklahoma vs. Arkansas (Little Rock, Ark.) SEC Network
  5 p.m. Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Holiday Showcase as part of Holiday Hoops presented by Kay Jewelers: UCLA vs. Connecticut (Uncasville, Conn.) ESPN2
Sun, Dec 28 Noon East Carolina at USF ESPNU
  1 p.m. Oregon State at Tennessee SEC Network
  8:30 p.m. Temple at Memphis ESPNU
Mon, Dec 29 9 p.m. Duke at Connecticut ESPN2
Tue, Dec 30 8 p.m. Rice at Texas Longhorn Network
Fri, Jan 2 7 p.m. Auburn at South Carolina SEC Network
  9 p.m. Missouri at Tennessee SEC Network
Sat, Jan 3 8 p.m. Kansas at Texas Longhorn Network
Sun, Jan 4 1 p.m. Maggie Dixon Classic: Connecticut vs. St. John’s (New York, N.Y.) ESPN2
  1:30 p.m. Texas A&M at Arkansas ESPNU
  2 p.m. Ole Miss at Kentucky SEC Network
  3 p.m. South Carolina at LSU ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. George Washington at Dayton ESPNU
  4 p.m. Florida at Auburn SEC Network
Mon, Jan 5 7 p.m. Tennessee at Vanderbilt SEC Network
Wed, Jan 7 8 p.m. West Virginia at Texas Longhorn Network
Thu, Jan 8 7 p.m. Texas A&M at Tennessee SEC Network
  9 p.m. Vanderbilt at LSU SEC Network
Sun, Jan 11 1 p.m. Kentucky at South Carolina ESPN2
  LSU at Texas A&M ESPNU
  2 p.m. Georgia at Auburn SEC Network
  3 p.m. Maryland at Minnesota ESPN2
  Tennessee at Arkansas ESPNU
  4 p.m. Florida at Missouri SEC Network
Thu, Jan 15 7 p.m. Florida at Kentucky SEC Network
  9 p.m. South Carolina at Missouri SEC Network
Sat, Jan 17 1 p.m. Texas Tech at Texas Longhorn Network
Sun, Jan 18 Noon George Mason at Richmond ESPNU
  1 p.m. USF at Connecticut ESPN2
  2 p.m. Kentucky at LSU ESPNU
  3 p.m. Iowa at Michigan State ESPN2
  Missouri at Arkansas SEC Network
  5 p.m. Ole Miss at Texas A&M SEC Network
Mon, Jan 19 7 p.m. Big Monday presented by Verizon: Tennessee at Notre Dame ESPN2
  South Carolina at Florida SEC Network
Thu, Jan 22 7 p.m. LSU at Tennessee SEC Network
  9 p.m. Mississippi State at Ole Miss SEC Network
Sun, Jan 25 Noon Arkansas at Florida ESPNU
  2 p.m. UCF at SMU ESPNU
  Georgia at Tennessee SEC Network
  3 p.m. Connecticut at Cincinnati ESPN2
  4 p.m. Kentucky at Missouri SEC Network
  5 p.m. Duke at North Carolina ESPN2
Mon, Jan 26 7 p.m. We Back Pat as part of Big Monday presented by Verizon: Texas A&M at South Carolina ESPN2
  9 p.m. Mississippi State at Auburn SEC Network
Thu, Jan 29 7 p.m. Tennessee at Kentucky SEC Network
  9 p.m. Ole Miss at LSU SEC Network
Sun, Feb 1 1 p.m. Georgia at Kentucky SEC Network
  2 p.m. Connecticut at Temple ESPN2
  3 p.m. Mississippi State at Tennessee SEC Network
  4 p.m. Iowa at Maryland ESPN2
  4:30 p.m. South Carolina at Ole Miss ESPNU
Mon, Feb 2 7 p.m. Big Monday Presented by Verizon: Louisville at Duke ESPN2
  Missouri at LSU SEC Network
Thu, Feb 5 7 p.m. South Carolina at Georgia SEC Network
  9 p.m. Texas A&M at Missouri SEC Network
Sun, Feb 8 1 p.m. Kentucky at Vanderbilt SEC Network
  2 p.m. Baylor at Texas ESPN2
  Tennessee at Florida ESPNU
  3 p.m. Texas A&M at Mississippi State SEC Network
  4 p.m. Nebraska at Maryland ESPN2
  California at Arizona State ESPNU
  5 p.m. Alabama at LSU SEC Network
Mon, Feb 9 7 p.m. Georgia at Arkansas SEC Network
  8 p.m. Big Monday Presented by Verizon: South Carolina at Connecticut ESPN2
Thu, Feb 12 7 p.m. Mississippi State at Kentucky SEC Network
  9 p.m. Arkansas at Texas A&M SEC Network
Sun, Feb 15 Noon Vanderbilt at South Carolina ESPNU
  1 p.m. North Carolina at Louisville ESPN2
  2 p.m. USF at East Carolina ESPNU
  Arkansas at Auburn SEC Network
  3 p.m. Kentucky at Tennessee ESPN2
  4 p.m. Florida at Mississippi State SEC Network
  5 p.m. West Virginia at Baylor ESPN2
Mon, Feb 16 7 p.m. Big Monday Presented by Verizon as part of Rivalry Week: Maryland at Michigan State ESPN2
  Alabama at Texas A&M SEC Network
  9 p.m. Big Monday Presented by Verizon as part of Rivalry Week: Duke at Notre Dame ESPN2
Wed, Feb 18 8 p.m. Kansas State at Texas Longhorn Network
Thu, Feb 19 7 p.m. Vanderbilt at Florida SEC Network
  9 p.m. South Carolina at Arkansas SEC Network
Fri, Feb 20 5 p.m. Iona at Marist ESPNU
Sun, Feb 22 Noon Play 4Kay: Duke at NC State ESPN2
  Play 4Kay: Temple at USF ESPNU
  2 p.m. Play 4Kay: Rutgers at Michigan State ESPN2
  Play 4Kay: LSU at Arkansas ESPNU
  Missouri at Vanderbilt SEC Network
  4 p.m. Play 4Kay: California at Stanford ESPN2
  Florida at Texas A&M SEC Network
Mon, Feb 23 7 p.m. Play 4Kay as part of Big Monday Presented by Verizon: Louisville at Notre Dame ESPN2
  Kentucky at Ole Miss SEC Network
  9 p.m. Play 4Kay as part of Big Monday Presented by Verizon: Tennessee at South Carolina ESPN2
Wed, Feb 25 8 p.m. Oklahoma State at Texas Longhorn Network
Thu, Feb 26 7 p.m. Florida at Alabama SEC Network
  9 p.m. Tennessee at Georgia SEC Network
Sun, Mar 1 1 p.m. Texas at West Virginia ESPN2
  2 or 5 p.m. Texas A&M at LSU ESPN2 or ESPNU
  2 or 5 p.m. South Carolina at Kentucky ESPN2 or ESPNU
  3 p.m. North Carolina at Duke ESPN2
  Georgia at Florida SEC Network
  4 p.m. Stanford at Oregon ESPNU
  5 p.m. Vanderbilt at Tennessee SEC Network
Mon, Mar 2 7 p.m. Big Monday Presented by Verizon: Connecticut at USF ESPN2
Tue, Mar 3 8 p.m. TCU at Texas Longhorn Network

Derrick Rose Featured on ESPN The Magazine’s NBA Preview Cover

espn-logoOn Newsstands Friday: ESPN The Magazine’s NBA Preview

The theme of this year’s ESPN The Magazine NBA Preview is POWER. Stemming from an offseason in which the narrative was all about the struggle for power, The Mag sought to capture that through three unique lenses: “The Third Coming of Derrick Rose,” and how his return has the potential to shift it in the Eastern Conference, if not the NBA; through the “Ultimate Power Player” Kobe Bryant, and how his lone-wolf approach to superstardom has served to undermine his Lakers team; and senior writers Pablo S. Torre and Tom Haberstroh reveal the “Power Grab that the NBA’s owners are attempting to make by utilizing a host of advanced and increasingly invasive tests on their players. Even within the team previews, The Mag has identified that it is not offense that creates wins, it’s defense—and using new, metrically based graphics has brought team defense alive on the court in a way that could never be done before.

On The Cover

Former MVP Derrick Rose has played a combined 49 games over the past three seasons. He’s undergone surgery for an ACL tear in one knee and a torn meniscus in the other. He’s watched his Chicago Bulls lose in the playoffs three times, twice in the first round. But now, with the Miami Big Three era over and two healthy knees, the power vacuum in the NBA is his for the taking. In “The Third Coming of Derrick Rose,”  The Mag’s Wright Thompson explores if – and how – one player can shift the league’s balance of power (even with a new Big Three in Cleveland).

NBA Preview Show

To coincide with its release, The Mag will televise an hour-long NBA Preview Show on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Host Cassidy Hubbarth will join analysts Tim Legler, Bruce Bowen and ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard to provide predictions and analyze key NBA storylines in advance of the new season. Additionally, the show will feature roundtable discussions centered on the aforementioned “power” themes of the issue, including key off-season moves and developments, the new balance of power in the East with a focus on Derrick Rose, an examination of Kobe Bryant’s role with the Lakers and a deeper look at how teams gather and evaluate personal health data from players. Special panelists for various segments will include ESPN The Magazine’s NBA deputy editor Ty Wenger and senior writers Ramona Shelburne and Pablo S. Torre. There will also be a segment devoted to this season’s predictions where Austin Clemens, a basketball analytics wizard, compiled data to graphically represent, in heat map form, each team’s defense. Within each heat map, The Mag had NBA Insider Ethan Sherwood Strauss annotate two spots — where the team projects to be strongest on defense, and where it projects to be weakest.

NBA Preview Issue Features

Kobe

The Mag takes an inside look at the league’s most dysfunctional marriage: between the NBA’s ultimate power player, Kobe Bryant, and its most storied franchise—and how the team can’t wait for its star’s retirement. By Henry Abbott

New biometric tests invade the NBA

The next battle between players and owners will be waged inside players’ bodies. The Mag reveals new, advanced biological testing occurring in NBA locker rooms and explore what that means for player privacy. By Pablo S. Torre and Tom Haberstroh

Team previews

For the first time, we are graphically projecting team defenses along with overall team analysis from various NBA insiders including Austin Clemens, Jordan Brenner, Bradford Doolittle, Amin Elhassan, Tom Haberstroh, and Kevin Pelton.

David Blatt is coming to America

After 20-plus years coaching in Israel and Europe, the Cavs hired David Blatt last summer as the first head coach to make the jump straight from overseas to the NBA. Now that Cleveland is loaded with LeBron and Kevin Love, though, there’s unparalleled pressure on the NBA newbie to deliver immediately. As we find out, though, he might just be perfectly equipped to handle it. By Jordan Brenner

Other Stories

Jim Harbaugh comfortable in chaos

Jim Harbaugh is an extraordinary coach: he’s taken his team to three NFC championship games in his four years. But his talent at turning losers into winners is matched only by his propensity to rub people the wrong way in the process. The only way to get close to this former quarterback — who seems to abhor even the idea of getting close – is to play a game of catch, of course.  By Seth Wickersham

The return of Philip Rivers

Through four weeks, NFL quarterbacks are more proficient than ever when it comes to Total QBR and completion percentage. Philip Rivers is among the best examples of this trend, seen through an examination of his efficiency. By Kevin Seifert

Additional NBA Preview Issue Highlights:

  • MLB: In her latest column, Mina Kimes writes how everyone is talking about the NFL’s women problem … but what about baseball? This column addresses the lack of gender equity in MLB and the other leagues—and why the problem is getting worse, not better.
  • CFB: At the midseason mark, insider Phil Steele makes his picks for the nation’s best position players, handicapping his favorites to win college football’s end-of-year awards.
  • ESPNFC: As Real Madrid and Barcelona prepare to face off in the first El Clàsico, The Mag’s Michael Cox examines the two squad’s new offenses.

ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown Notes and Quotes: Week 6

Sunday NFL Countdown logoESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson previewed today’s week 6 NFL games with insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Excerpts from today’s show:
 
On Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and why he is such a special player …
Jackson: “He’s actually running people open. When he’s not running the ball, he’s buying time for receivers … This is Fran Tarkenton doing the exact same thing many years ago, buying time, eyes up the field constantly. You watch Fran do this, it was spectacular stuff. His ability to run, run, run – endless energy just like Russell Wilson – and then locate people down the football field.”
Ditka: “He’s the best young quarterback in football. To me, he’s the leader of that football team; he’s kind of the face of that organization.”
Johnson: “What makes Russell Wilson really good is the fact that he can keep his eyes and head downfield at all times.”
Carter: “He’s got great instincts, but he’s also one of the few quarterbacks that can graduate from being – and their ego’s not hurt when they come in as a game-manager. And he’s been able to do that. Now being a flat-out just playmaker.”
On the Dallas Cowboys strength running the ball and today’s game with the Seahawks …
Jackson: “What the Dallas Cowboys do is the way in fact that you beat the Seattle Seahawks. … Minus this game being in Seattle, I don’t think you could have a better set-up for the Dallas Cowboys – what they are doing well, how you take advantage of the Seattle Seahawks and give you a chance to win this football game.”
Johnson: “You have to stay patient if you are the Dallas Cowboys. That means running the football. Not necessarily the yards as much as it is the attempts. Because what Seattle will do: they will be patient on defense.”
Carter: “You have to be competitive but not combative when you go to Seattle. They’re going to play with a lot of energy. They get a lot of penalties – can generate a lot of first downs for you. Keep the sticks going.”
 
On the New York Jets struggles and who’s to blame …
Johnson: “You look at the Jets spending. They didn’t go out and get the players this year that they needed to spend the money on in order to put a team together for Rex Ryan to coach because I believe Rex Ryan is a really good coach who’s going to be around for a very long time in the National Football League coaching somebody’s football team.”
Jackson: “I think it’s been proven that he (Rex Ryan) can win if he’s got the talent. …  This team is $21 million under the salary cap. The only team that has more money under the cap is the Jacksonville Jaguars. … When you don’t spend the money to go get the talent, you are going to have problems.”
Carter: “You blame it on the owner. He hired (Mike) Tannenbaum. He hired (John) Idzik. (Mark) Sanchez getting drafted, and Geno Smith. It’s hard for any coach to recover from two general managers like that and two quarterbacks that they have drafted like that.”
On Jets second-year quarterback Geno Smith …
Jackson: “Two years of not playing well – adds up to you just not being good enough to play.”
On the off-field issues for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson …
Carter: “When you know that you are under indictment, they give you 50 things when they indict you that you can’t do. How do I know that? I’ve been indicted before. One of the things was alcohol and drugs. Now Adrian and with his future, it’s not up to the Vikings. It’s not up to the Wilf’s. It is really up to Adrian Peterson and how he continues this day forward to the end of the season will determine if he ever wears the purple again.”
On whether the Patriots are back after last week’s big game against Cincinnati …
Johnson: “As long as Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are together, they’re gonna always have a chance to be dominant, but there’s still the X factor that’s there: where are the playmakers as a whole?”
On what today’s game with the Patriots means for the Buffalo Bills …
Jackson: “If you’re going to go anywhere. If you are going to do what the new owner says. If we’re going to win a championship. This is a playoff game for you – a chance for you to do the thing that you have to do in order to take a step towards winning that championship this year or any other year.”
On the Cincinnati Bengals struggles in big situations …
Jackson: “The Bengals have as much team depth as any team in the National Football League. … The biggest thing for them … is the psychology of playing a division champion in the Carolina Panthers and not playing up to par with that standard of a football team. That’s what they’ve proven in the past. There are certain situations – primetime games, division champions, good teams – that they have not played really well.”
On the progression of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton …
Carter: “He’s answered all the questions that you want when you draft an athletic quarterback. Will he turn into a pocket passer? And the last three years, all you see is the constant development of Newton. … He is totally comfortable from becoming a run veer option quarterback to a pure pocket passer.”
Note: Mortensen reported Sunday that some league owners want NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s role to be modified in handling player personal conduct incidents. Story.
 
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MNF’s 700th Game Highlights Week 6 NFL Content on ESPN

Sunday NFL Countdown logoMNF’s 700th Game Highlights Week 6 NFL Content on ESPN

Sunday NFL Countdown: Russell Wilson – The Escape Artist; Joe Haden; Panic in the Big Apple; and More 

Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson will preview week 6 games in the NFL on Sunday, Oct. 12, at 10 a.m. on ESPN. The program will feature reporter/host Wendi Nix during select segments, while NFL insiders, Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, will report the day’s headlines and news.

ESPN reporters at game sites:

Features:

  • Russell Wilson – The Escape Artist: With assistance from magician and illusionist Chriss Angel, Countdown’s Chris Berman looks into quarterback Russell Wilson’s uncanny ability to repeatedly escape from seemingly negative plays on the field.
  • My Brother’s Keeper – The Joe Haden Story: The Browns cornerback Joe Haden has always shared a unique bond with his younger brother Jacob, who has special needs and is unable to communicate verbally. That bond was further strengthened when Joe, at nine years of age, dove into their Aunt’s swimming pool to save Jacob’s life. Josina Anderson reports.
  • Panic in the Big Apple: After a 1-4 start, Jets head coach Rex Ryan and his young quarterback Geno Smith are facing a critical point in their careers after the team’s blowout loss in San Diego. In a radio interview this week, Ryan admitted his job is now on the line. Countdown measures the panic level in the Jets locker room.
  • Herschel Walker 25 Years Later: On the silver anniversary of “The Great Trade Robbery,” ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary short series looks at the great trade between the Cowboys, who traded running back Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings and in return, acquired several players who turned Cowboys into a dynasty.
  • Sport Science – Dez Bryant: In overtime against in-state rivals Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant made an exceptional catch to set up a field goal that won the game for his team. Sport Science’s John Breckus puts Bryant’s catch to the test in the lab to show how the receiver did it.

Monday Night Football’s 700th Game: Austin Davis and the Rams Host Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers

In the 700th game of Monday Night Football, Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers face Austin Davis and the St. Louis Rams on October 13 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN. The MNF commentator team of play-by-play voice Mike Tirico, analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters will call the NFC West matchup from the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

The 49ers enter this contest with a six-game win streak on MNF, and with a win, Kaepernick will be a perfect 4-0 against St. Louis.

MNF is available on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN for fans with video subscriptions from affiliated providers.

MNF’s pregame show Monday Night Countdown leads into the NFL’s week six finale, beginning at 6 p.m. on ESPN. Suzy Kolber leads on-site coverage from St. Louis with NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young while Chris Berman hosts the show from ESPN’s NFL studio in Bristol, Conn., with NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Following the game, Stan Verrett and Neil Everett anchor SportsCenter’s coverage from the stadium. Monday Night Countdown highlights:

  • Gruden’s Grill Session with James Laurinaitis: MNF’s Jon Gruden visits with Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis in this week’s Grill Session.
  • Colin Kaepernick Conversation: Now in his second full season as the starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick has become the 49ers offensive centerpiece.  After a slow start to the season, he has the 49ers back on track at 3-2.  As he prepares for the Rams, Kaepernick sits down for a conversation with Lisa Salters.
  • Rick Reilly – Maurice Alexander: In his weekly feature, Countdown’s Rick Reilly tells the story of St. Louis Rams rookie safety Maurice Alexander, who once worked in the Edward Jones Dome as a janitor.
  • Soundtracks: Best of Jim Harbaugh: 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh’s demonstrative sideline demeanor is one of the most unique in the game. This week, Countdown features the best of Harbaugh’s in-game audio from the sidelines in Soundtracks.

NFL Matchup – Eli Manning Finds Victor Cruz; Romo in the Red Zone; Carolina’s Pass Protection; Patriots Back to Basics; and More

NFL Matchup host Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge preview the weekend’s key matchups via film-room X’s and O’s analysis on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 3:30 a.m.). Highlights:

  • Money Down – Manning Finds Cruz: Giants quarterback Eli Manning will look to find favorable matchups against the Eagles in critical situations by targeting his go-to receiver Victor Cruz, Jaworski explains.
  • Jaws Playbook – Wilson to Baldwin: Jaworski shows how the Seahawks use a creative play design to get wide receiver Doug Baldwin open.
  • Game Changer – Tony Romo in the Red Zone: In a preview of red zone strategy against the Seahawks defense, Hoge explains how Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will have to contend with Seattle’s safeties.
  • Hoge Breakdown – Carolina’s Pass Protection: Hoge shows how the Bears defensive alignment led to a sack of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, and contends it is a something the Bengals will try to imitate this weekend.
  • Between the Lines – Rodgers to Cobb in the Red Zone: Jaworski analyzes the Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb connection, a staple of the Packers red zone offense.
  • Let’s See it Hoge – Patriots Back to Basics: New England effectively used multiple tight ends in its pass offense for a win against the previously undefeated Bengals last Sunday, and will look to continue that success against Buffalo Bills this week, Hoge posits.
  • Inside the Matchup – Ben Roethlisberger: Hoge illustrates Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to extend plays in the pocket by escaping defenders and deliver a perfect pass – something Cleveland’s defense will have to limit to win on Sunday.
  • Game Within the Game – Peyton Manning’s Anticipation: Jaworski explains how Peyton Manning anticipates the alignment of opposing defenses to complete passes.

NFL on ESPN Radio: Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins

ESPN Radio will broadcast Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (3-2) visiting Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins (2-2) on Sunday, Oct. 12, at 1 p.m. Play-by-play voice Ryan Ruocco and analyst Bill Polian will describe the action with sideline reporter Ian Fitzsimmons.

E:60 Profiles Gerald McCoy

ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine, E:60, on ESPN Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. will include an in-depth profile of Tampa Bay Buccaneers All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Highlight:

  • Defensive tackles in the NFL are supposed to be intimidating. They are supposed to be angry, vicious, border-line uncontrollable. Then there is Gerald McCoy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yes, he is an All-Pro that has made a living blowing up offenses and bringing down quarterbacks. But you are just as likely to find him making teammates, opponents or even unsuspecting referees laugh. “I don’t have to be angry to play the game,” McCoy says.  “I can have a good time and smile and still be that physical dominating presence on the field.” It is just who McCoy is, who he has always been – from his childhood in Oklahoma City, to his days starring for the Sooners, to being picked number three in the 2010 NFL Draft. McCoy always finds the lighter side of life.  Remarkable, perhaps, for someone in his line of work. More remarkable when you learn of the losses he has endured. E:60’s Lisa Salters tells the story of Gerald McCoy, the NFL’s gentle giant. Click HERE for a preview clip of Gerald McCoy profile.

ESPN.com – The Run that Birthed Dallas’ Dynasty

ESPN The Magazine senior writer Steve Wulf recounts the genesis of the blockbuster trade, 25 years ago this Sunday, between the 0-5 Dallas Cowboys and the 3-2 Minnesota Vikings. In the trade, the Cowboys sent their best player, Hershel Walker, and four draft picks to the Vikings, and in return, acquired five players and eight draft picks that put the team on the path to three Super Bowl victories in four seasons.

NFL Hot Read: The Return of Philip Rivers

Two years ago, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers finished the season with the sixth-worst QBR in the league. His rebound in 2014 can be attributed predominately to one thing: efficiency. Despite continued gaudy numbers by quarterbacks, it’s how they are compiling these stats that has markedly changed – especially for Rivers. National NFL writer Kevin Seifert writes the story for ESPN.com and the upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine. Read.

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ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown Notes and Quotes: Week 5

Sunday NFL Countdown logoESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson previewed today’s NFL action with Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Excerpts:

On Andrew Luck vs. the Baltimore Ravens’ defense… 

Ditka: “I like the Colts. They’re leading the league in time of possessions and first downs, and there’s something to that. Well how are they doing that? They’ve got the 18th--ranked rushing game. How do you do it? You got it because you got Andrew Luck. Nine different receivers he hit last week and that’s where they’re doing the job. I mean, you understand, you got so much on defense, but they’re taking it with their offense. Luck is the key to this football team, you know that. I think he’s gonna do it.”

Johnson: “The Ravens’ D is playing pretty good this year, but they haven’t faced a quarterback quite like this with these receivers, and the things that they’re doing at home in that dome I think this offense overall can get the best of the Ravens. It’s the highest scoring offense in the National Football League thus far this year.”

Jackson: “Coach mentioned time of possession – it’s 36 minutes per game for the Colts. That is a remarkable number for Indianapolis. So, what is your best defense? It’s your offense.”

Carter: “They have a combination that we haven’t seen guys. You talked about time of possession, alright, we’ve seen teams that have 35 minutes in time of possession and we’ve seen teams that dominate as far as scoring, leading the league in scoring. But it’s very, very rare do we have both. And that’s what makes Indy – not only are they eating up the clock, but they’re scoring touchdowns once they get in the red zone. So what they do is they put your offense on hurry up because you know they’re going to get a lot of possessions and they’re scoring a lot of points.”

On Peyton Manning vs. the Arizona Cardinals’ defense…

Jackson: “What I’m concerned with is the Broncos being 28th in the league running the football. Because in the end that’s what they’re gonna have to do in order to compete against the San Diegos, the Seattle Seahawks, those teams that they may meet in the Super Bowl and the teams that will challenge them to get to the Super Bowl.”

Ditka: “Both teams have had two weeks to prepare for this game, so that bodes pretty well for Peyton Manning. One thing about the Cardinals they like to blitz a little bit on defense and, you know, that plays right into his hands, but they do a good job of disguising the blitz, so let’s see what happens out there. If they don’t disguise the blitz, Peyton reads it, it’s going to be a long afternoon for the Cardinals.”

Johnson: “Arizona’s defense is physical – there’s no question about it. But it’s not the Seattle Seahawks… And yes, they do need to run the football, but when has Peyton Manning really ever had a true running game?”

On quarterback Kyle Orton: Can he lead the Buffalo Bills?

Carter: “You draft a guy. You trade up last year for him. So you’re basically giving him the keys to the franchise. So less than a year and a half after that, all that confidence and all that intel you did about EJ Manuel, you throw it out the window for Kyle Orton?”

Ditka: “Buffalo is not a good football team. Since 2008, in the last 12 games, the best record they have is 5-7. That’s a fact. They fold at the end of the year. But they’re not a good enough football team to say okay Manuel is the problem. He’s not the problem. They’ve got a lot of problems.”

On struggling young quarterbacks and whether players have an advantage looking at a quarterback compared to personnel people…

Johnson: “We know immediately what he’s doing on and off the field, how he’s preparing, when he’s coming in, if he’s picking up that playbook, if he’s staying late, if he’s coming early, if he’s lifting weights. All of that really does matter when you play any position in the National Football League.”

Jackson: “Nobody gets a better look at the talent of the guy who’s gonna play quarterback than the guys, his teammates around him. And do they all struggle when they come to pro football? Yes. John Elway struggled when he came to pro football. But when I saw him at that initial rookie camp and saw the talent, I was like, told Billy Thompson, we’re going to go to some Super Bowls.”

Carter: “We have more throwers than we’ve ever had in the National Football League. I think that the players are at a disadvantage and I believe the coaches and the general managers are getting fooled because the quarterbacks look like they’re more ready to play, but in college and high school the coaches are making the calls and the reads for them.”

On Alex Smith vs. Colin Kaepernick and which quarterback faces a tougher test…

Carter: “It’s gonna be a tough test for both of them. Alex Smith’s got a tough test going back in, still trying to play within himself. It’s hard to play against a team that’s given up on you because it becomes personal.”

Johnson: “We watched Alex Smith pretty much shred the New England Patriots’ defense. This is totally different. This is the San Francisco 49ers. Even though they’re missing some players, this defense is way better than New England’s. You’re going up to San Francisco, not only the emotional side and the distractions that come with going back into a place that you were drafted to, you had some success at – he doesn’t have the weaponry around him from an offensive standpoint the same way Kaepernick has.”

Jackson: “Look back last week at what they [the 49ers] did to Philly and take the special teams game out of it. They would have skunked the Philadelphia Eagles.”

Ditka: “I think there’s a lot more pressure on Kaepernick. Playing against the guy that he replaced, he wants to make sure he proves to everybody the 49ers made the right decision.”

On San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh…

Ditka: “He’s one of the most competitive individuals I’ve ever been around. And I think that’s good. Contrary to that whole thing over there, it’s good to be competitive, it’s good to want to be the best, it’s good to want to win. And sometimes when you do that, when you’re climbing that mountain, you’re going to rub some people the wrong way. You might step on a few fingers when you’re goin’ up the hill. But he’s doing it the right way. I mean, the guy takes ‘em to the championship game. He’s won 75 percent of his games.”

On the state of the New England Patriots…

Johnson: “When you start believing in I don’t have to have players because my scheme and the Patriot Way works at some point in time is going to catch up to you… you have to have players. And until they learn that you need players in the National Football League – whether it’s through free agency, trade or drafting – they’re going to struggle.”

Jackson: “You can’t have it where we don’t need anybody to win because we can excel with whoever’s on the field, but now we don’t have enough people to win because of who we have on the field.” 

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