ESPN College Football Week 6 – TV Schedule, College GameDay, SEC Nation and More

2010 -- ESPN College Football LogoESPN College Football Week 6 – TV Schedule, College GameDay, and More

Monday, September 29, 2014


College Football: 11 of 17 Undefeated Teams & Three Matchups between Ranked Squads  

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ESPN’s college football game schedule for this week will include 11 of the remaining 17 undefeated teams, highlighted by three telecasts between programs in the top 25 rankings and two between unbeaten teams. Overall, ESPN platforms will televise games involving 17 of the top 25 ranked teams.

  • ESPN & ABC will combine to televise three games between ranked teams on Saturday, Oct. 4 beginning at noon with No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 12 Mississippi State in a matchup of unbeaten SEC squads on ESPN. Saturday night matchups will include No. 15 LSU at undefeated No. 5 Auburn at 7 p.m. on ESPN and unbeaten No. 19 Nebraska at No. 10 Michigan State on ABC at 8 p.m.
  • ESPN’s weeknight lineup – highlighted by Thursday and Friday doubleheaders – will include three undefeated teams, highlighted by a showdown between two from the Pac-12: Arizona at No. 2 Oregon on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 10:30 p.m. The second game of the doubleheader on Friday, Oct. 3 will showcase undefeated No. 18 BYU against Utah State at 10:15 p.m.
  • ABC will carry two of the undefeated teams in a split regional telecast on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 3:30 p.m.: No. 1 Florida State against Wake Forest and No. 7 Baylor at Texas.
  • ESPN2’s Saturday night game will include undefeated Georgia Tech against Miami (Fla.) at 7:30 p.m. while ESPN’s late Saturday telecast at 10:30 p.m. will pit unbeaten No. 8 UCLA against Utah.

Full Schedule:


ESPN’s College GameDay Heads Ole Miss and the Grove for the First time  

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ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot – college football’s longest-running and most-celebrated pregame show – will make its first-ever stop at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., in advance of No. 11 Ole Miss vs. No. 6 Texas A&M on Saturday, Oct. 4. The weekly three-hour Emmy Award-winning show (Saturday 9 a.m. – noon) will set up on The Grove in the heart of one of the best tailgating scenes in the country.

GameDay is hosted by Chris Fowler, along with analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack and reporting by Samantha Ponder, Tom Rinaldi, Scott Van Pelt, George Whitfield and Gene Wojciechowski.


College GameDay Nuggets:

  • Now with a visit to Ole Miss, GameDay has originated from the campus of every SEC school except one – Mississippi State.
  • Of the 65 Power Five schools – GameDay has visited 50. The show has not yet been to Louisville, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana, Rutgers, Minnesota, Illinois, Baylor, Kansas, Iowa State, Cal, Washington State and Mississippi State.
  • Ole Miss is the 76th team showcased in a College GameDay site.
  • Lee Corso has put on headgear representing 49 different teams.
  • This is the 30th time GameDay will be at the site of an Alabama game. The Tide are 18-11 in the previous 29.
  • Lee Corso has won his last three Week 6 picks.  His last Week 6 loss was picking Alabama on the road at South Carolina in 2010.

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SEC Network Football: Tripleheader with SEC Nation at Mississippi State
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SEC Network heads into week six of the college football season with a tripleheader of conference matchups Saturday, Oct. 4. Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer and Maria Taylor will call Florida at Tennessee at noon, followed by Vanderbilt at No. 13 Georgia and South Carolina at Kentucky.

SEC Nation’s Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears, Paul Finebaum, host Joe Tessitore and reporter Kaylee Hartung will be in Starkville, Miss., in advance of No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 12 Mississippi State. The show will be live from “The Junction” from 10 a.m. – noon, previewing the games of the day and bringing the sights and sounds of a Bulldog game day.

 Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators
Sat, Sep 27 noon Florida at Tennessee
Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer & Maria Taylor
4 p.m. Vanderbilt at No. 13 Georgia
Dave Neal, Andre Ware & Laura Rutledge
7:30 p.m. South Carolina at Kentucky
Tom Hart, Matt Stinchcomb & Heather Mitts

In addition, on SEC Film Room analyst David Green sits down with Vanderbilt’s first-year head coach Derek Mason prior to his team’s matchup against Georgia to breakdown the Xs & Os of the season thus far. SEC Film Room airs Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 10 p.m.

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SEC Network to Air Three-Part Series on Nine Coaches’ Wives in the SEC
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On Saturday, Sept. 27, College GameDay aired a seven-minute feature on the wives of nine head football coaches in the Southeastern Conference. Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 10:30 p.m. ET, the SEC Network will air a three-part series on Jen Bielema, Jill Freeze, Kristi Malzahn, Kathy Miles, Megan Mullen, Carol Muschamp, Kathryn Richt, Terri Saban and Jerri Spurrier.

The Better Half: SEC Wives portrays how instrumental these women are in their husbands’ careers and in the college football landscape, while also capturing the lifestyle that comes with being married to an SEC coach. Each episode, airing over consecutive Wednesdays, includes expanded footage from time spent with each woman as she lives, and prepares to help their families navigate one of college football’s biggest stages.

In the first show, viewers will sit down and learn the history and moments that have shaped each wife. The following Wednesday, Oct. 8, fans will spend a day in the life of the women and in the final show, Wednesday, Oct. 15, learn what a game day is like as a coach’s wife.

Full Release:


ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown Notes and Quotes: Week 4

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 games with insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Some excerpts from today’s show:


On quarterback Cam Newton vs. the Ravens defense …

Carter: “He (Cam Newton) started training camp a little nicked up. When you get nicked up again, then the hurting is for real. So, every week, you are battling just to stay healthy. That’s what it is all about being a pro. That’s what we always talk about – ‘there’s a talent to being available.’ Right now, Cam is just going through a season where he’s going to be nicked-up an awful lot … I like his style. He’s really developed as a pocket passer. It is only going to get better.”

Jackson: “We very seldom play at a 100 percent in the National Football League once the season starts. That’s almost every player in the National Football League. I would like our viewers to be able to meet Cam Newton – 6 feet, 6 inches, 265 pounds. When you see him, you understand the freakish nature of his ability. He is not RG III … His style is an asset to the Carolina Panthers. It is always going to be there. He can lead the team in rushing, if he wanted to. But he is always going to have that in his back pocket.”

Johnson: “Because of his size and the way that he’s built, he’s not like the rest of the quarterbacks and he’s developing as a pocket passer, you can’t take his instincts away from him. When things break down, he’s allowed to run. You can do that, while other guys have to sit back there and become statues.”

Carter: “Cam Newton is Ben Roethlisberger, but a great athletic.”

Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. vs. the Panthers – Keyshawn Johnson reflects on his experiences playing against his old teams:

“The New York Jets to Tampa move – it was all good. I understood Bill Parcells (then Jets GM) and what they wanted to do … But the Carolina back to Tampa, that was a different story. I wanted to punish them … I made sure their sideline knew, that every chance that I got the football, they were going to be gutted. The animosity I had for that coaching staff and some of those players on that team, it just was totally different.”

On Baltimore Raven Steve Smith Sr. playing against his old team the Carolina Panthers …

Carter: “It is a big plot to this game. Not only because he is returning against a team that let him go and anytime you  have that situation, you are going to have a lot of energy. But, they don’t have a whole bunch of weapons. (WR) Tory Smith is not playing well … The Ravens need Steve Smith Sr. to play a good game.”

Johnson: “The interesting thing about this situation with Steve Smith is he does know that secondary. He does know this defense and he does know their tendencies. He can give information to the offensive staff and allow them to put him in great situations to take advantage of that.”

Ditka: “Just one piece of advice for Steve Smith. The only constant in life is change. Embrace it. Don’t get mad at it. Don’t get mad at the team that let you go.”

On the Eagles offense vs. the 49ers defense …

Jackson: “49ers, defensive dependent. That’s been the story of that team along with an outstanding running game. (RB) Frank Gore, basically forgotten getting with 11 carries a game. I’d say it again, (LB) Aldon Smith, at the time that he left, was as good a pass rusher as we had in the National Football League. (DL) Glenn Dorsey, nose tackle, the heart and soul of any 3-4 defense, out. NaVorro Bowman out, the best inside linebacker in football … They are not the same football team on the defensive side of the ball.”

Carter: “This is the style of football team that Chip Kelly (Eagles head coach) has had problems with, even in his short tenure with Philadelphia. Teams that can get quick penetration and make them run sideline to sidelines. The overall physicality of the interior seven of San Francisco is going to play a key role. It was always one of the keys in stopping the Oregon Ducks (under Kelly).”

While appearing on a Wisconsin radio station during the week, quarterback Aaron Rodgers urged Packers fans worried about the team’s 1-2 start to “R.E.L.A.X.” The Countdown panel shared their thoughts on Rodger’s radio comment:

Johnson: “When you start off at 1-2 and you are the Green Bay Packers, there is panic. The Chicago Bears are not going away. When you look at the injuries that they’ve had on this football team, plus the way that the offense has been playing, in particular, the wide receivers trying to adjust to this new style of passing game, there is panic. Aaron Rodgers has to get realistic here and understand you have to start winning football games.”

Jackson: “My concern is that he (Rodgers) is throwing every ball under duress. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the National football League. In fact, (Hall of Fame QB and ESPN analyst) Steve Young said the other day that ‘it is kind of a football crime that Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are having difficulty doing their jobs because they are not protected.’”

Ditka: “Without Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay is an average football team. He is a class act, a credit to the National Football League.”

Carter: “This is no excuse for them, but injuries have killed them the last two years. They’ve had over 200 collective games missed by their starters. That would affect Aaron Rodgers. But his receiving corps, which was all home grown – Donald Driver, drafted and developed; Jermichael Finley, hurt; Greg Jennings, didn’t sign him and let him go to Minnesota; James Jones, let him go to Oakland, after he led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2012. All that productivity can’t be replaced. Right now, they don’t have the players. This is not nearly the football team that we were seeing several years ago.”

On how much pressure is head coach Jim Harbaugh under with the 1-2 San Francisco 49ers?

Jackson: “I think some of the actions of his players are wearing thin on him.  Do they want him out, or does he, in the end, maybe want out on his own?”

Johnson: “He’s not the type of coach that likes to sit around. He’s like my old boss, Bill Parcells. A guy who likes to move around – you look at UC San Diego, he left there. He went to Stanford. He jumped to the job with the San Francisco 49ers. He has flirted around with some other teams. You just don’t know what his mindset is.”

Carter: “He is a very good coach. One thing is you typically see a reflection of the coach on the football team. You are not seeing that with the 49ers. Jim Harbaugh was a very disciplined player. Right now, they are not a disciplined team. I do believe Harbaugh has figured this out, a lot like (University of Alabama head coach) Nick Saban, who realized jumping back and forth to college to pro wasn’t his strong suit, and settled on college where he’s a dominant coach. I believe that Harbaugh realizes he is a pro coach and is going to stay in pro football. He’s going to try to work it out with the 49ers.”

On the quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s first NFL start with the Vikings …

Jackson:  “I watched his entire career at U of L (University of Louisville), he was the most pro-ready quarterback, I believe, coming out of college. Minnesota is getting a great guy to lead their organization – not only in character and his ability to stay poised on the field, but great, great leadership …”

Carter: “Not only his physical toughness, but his mental toughness as well. People forget, at one point, he was projected to be the first pick in the Draft. How he tumbled in the draft. Mentally, he handled that. Within the Vikings organization, not only the ownership, but the general manager Rick Spielman, they feel very comfortable in the draft pick. That’s why they got him (Bridgewater). Just need to get some help around him. Don’t know what (RB) Adrian Peterson’s future is going to be. But if they put a running game, (WRs) Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings, they can do some great things. I expect big things from the Vikings organization and Teddy Bridgewater.”


ESPN Statement on Bill Simmons

espn-logo“Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN’s journalistic standards. We have worked hard to ensure that our recent NFL coverage has met that criteria. Bill Simmons did not meet those obligations in a recent podcast, and as a result we have suspended him for three weeks.”


ESPN to Document Derek Jeter’s Final Week in Major League Baseball

ESPN-MLBESPN to Document Derek Jeter’s Final Week in Major League Baseball
  • SportsCenter Special: Derek Jeter to Air Friday
  • ESPN Radio to Broadcast Jeter’s Final Game at Yankee Stadium
  • Sunday’s Outside The Lines to Examine Life in the Bronx without Jeter
ESPN will provide comprehensive coverage of Derek Jeter’s final week in Major League Baseball, highlighted by SportsCenter Special: Derek Jeter on Friday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m. ET. Host Karl Ravech, analysts Curt Schilling, Aaron Boone, Mark Mulder and ESPN MLB Insiders Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian and Keith Law will look back at Jeter’s career and accomplishments while examining his rank among all-time Yankees legends. 
SportsCenter & Baseball Tonight
SportsCenter’s coverage throughout the week will include Pedro Gomez reporting from Yankee Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 25, leading up to and following Jeter’s final game in the Bronx and Jeremy Schaap reporting live from Fenway Park on Sunday, Sept. 28, prior to the final game of Jeter’s career.
Additional SportsCenter elements include a compilation of Jeter’s “ultimate” highlights, a remix of highlights from award-winning DJ and music video producer DJ Steve Porter, essays from ESPN MLB Insiders Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian, a look back at the Jeter Farewell Tour with SportsCenter’s Neil Everett, a feature on the scout who scouted Jeter for the Yankees and excerpts of Jeter’s interview at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game with analyst Aaron Boone.
ESPN MLB analysts Eduardo Perez, Doug Glanville and Mark Mulder will also contribute to SportsCenter coverage from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus while Baseball Tonight will preview and discuss Jeter’s farewell throughout the week with episodes at approximately 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. or 1 a.m. each night.
Outside The Lines
Chris Connelly reports on fans contemplating life in the Bronx without the Yankees’ star shortstop on Sunday, Sept. 28, at 8 a.m. on ESPN2.
Yankees Host Orioles on ESPN
ESPN will televise one of Jeter’s final games at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. when the Yankees host the Baltimore Orioles. Jon Sciambi, analyst Rick Sutcliffe and analyst/reporter Doug Glanville will provide commentary for the full national telecast.
ESPN Radio
Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton will provide commentary for ESPN Radio’s broadcast of Derek Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 25, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6 p.m. The Freddie Coleman Show will follow directly with full post-game coverage. Jorge Sedano will also host an ESPN Radio special on Jeter’s career on Sunday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m.
ESPN Digital and Print Media, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN New York will offer special content chronicling Derek Jeter’s farewell and examining his legacy including:
  • Contributions from ESPN MLB Insiders Buster Olney, Jayson Stark and Jim Caple;
  • An examination of the marketing and merchandizing of Jeter from reporter Darren Rovell;
  • A Numbers column from Peter Keating exploring Jeter’s ‘marquee value’ rating from the Fansourced issue of ESPN The Magazine, currently on newsstands;
  • An exploration of Jeter’s role in American life from J.R. Moehringer for the Cleveland issue of ESPN The Magazine, which hits newsstands on Friday, Oct. 3;
  • ESPN New York content from Andrew Marchand and Ian O’Connor exploring Jeter’s relationship with umpires and his future after baseball;
  • Social media integration across platforms utilizing the hashtag #FarewellJeter highlights will also include photo galleries of Jeter’s career and his Topps baseball cards over time, an interactive SportsNation ranking of his top 10 plays and a quiz about which retirement gifts came from various MLB teams.


ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown Notes and Quotes: Week 3

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

On the Ray Rice case… 

Lewis: “This is one of those situations that – it’s family. I’ve spent 17 years of my career at this one place. I’ve known Ozzie Newsome now over 19 years of my career, of my life. That’s half of my life. I’ve known Steve Bisciotti over 15 years of my life. And each one of those men – bottom line – has never lied to me, once. They’ve given me an opportunity at life to change not only my life but my family’s life as well as my kids’ life. If this incident, what we’re dealing with, if they could do this all over again, they would.”

Jackson: “Until these men in these offices on Park Avenue really care about the women involved in these incidents we are not going to have real change. The good part of this – public pressure, political pressure, corporate sponsorship – I don’t care why it happens. They are going to be brought kicking and screaming to the table – to the table of resolving this problem.”  

On Adrian Peterson and what’s next for the Vikings…

Carter: “For me, the best thing for Adrian Peterson is not to be on the football field and to work on this case and to work on the relationships that he has with his kids… I hope Adrian gets the help that he needs because if he doesn’t, he will never put the purple on. You talk about the sponsors, you talk about the fan pressure, also the Vikings – the former Vikings players also have called that office and voiced their disappointment with the overall situation. And the reason why is because there was once an organization that cared about the players, on and off the field. And to me, this Adrian Peterson thing has been a Band-Aid now that needs an operation.”

On the Commissioner’s comments at Friday’s press conference…

Jackson: “I thought it lacked substance. I thought that it was a lot of what I had expected. I knew that the questions that were going to come were going to be very difficult. Unanswerable when you have handled the situation as ineptly as it had been handled up to that point. So, we heard a lot of – and you know, it’s always nice to hear somebody say I made a mistake and I’m sorry, but I didn’t think that there was any substance as to what we are going to really do going forward to change what happened over the course of the last few weeks and what happened over the course of the last few weeks is not over yet, and he knows that.”

Johnson: “I wasn’t satisfied. To me it was like a dance show. Felt like I was looking at a heavy politician, reading notes and a script that was given. It was very – he was like robotic. This is what you say, stay to the script. I think when you look at that and we’re all looking for answers – there were some answers, there yeah – we’re going to do some things, we’re going to have some things in place by the time we get to the Super Bowl, but by the time you get to the Super Bowl, how many other problems are going to come up?”

More from Jackson: I do think that the women who are now – Lisa Friel and company – the women who are in the league office, I think that I already see their influence, because the advice he got up until the press conference this week has been definitively better than the advice he got before that.”

Carter: “I like the apology, but I’d like to see a little more emotion about all the people that we had hurt being associated with the National Football League the last couple weeks. I didn’t see any empathy for the victims.”

On the biggest challenge for the 2-0 Buffalo Bills who face the San Diego Chargers today…

Lewis: “Their biggest problem is actually their quarterback and that is, can he manage these games with this much talent around him?”

Jackson: “I think the biggest challenge is to stop the San Diego Chargers from running the football… that’s the problem the Bills will have today: how often will you have the football?”

Johnson: “I know Philip Rivers is the quarterback, but [Antonio] Gates is the key. The Buffalo Bills have to figure out how to neutralize him.”

Ditka: “One play, one game at a time; that’s their biggest challenge right now. Don’t get ahead of yourself. You’re 2-0. I don’t care who you beat. You want to win this football game, you gotta do certain things. You gotta play good, solid defense. You gotta put some pressure on Rivers. Rivers is playing quarterback as good as anybody in football right now.”

Carter: “And they must take advantage of home field… Also as young players, which you guys mentioned, the consistency week in and week out. Will they be able to maintain that?”

On quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Arizona Cardinals…

Lewis: “Colin Kaepernick, he’s a great athlete. Probably one of the greatest quarterbacks that we’ve seen athletic-wise, but he had the same three picks that he threw [against] Chicago that he threw in the Championship game last year against Seattle.”

Jackson: “Until the decision making goes with the athletic ability, I think that things are going to be problematic for him [Kaepernick].”

Johnson: “The secondary can confuse him [Kaepernick]. When they start changing things and that’s where those interceptions come into play. He tries to create things that he shouldn’t with his feet. Okay, we all know he’s a great athlete, he can run around. But he has a ton of weapons around him. He has to utilize those guys and allow them to win the football games for him, like the great quarterbacks if he wants to be considered that. And the only way the San Francisco 49ers are going to get back to the championship game or win the division, it has to start with him making smart choices at the quarterback spot.”

Ditka: “The first thing Arizona has to do – keep him [Kaepernick] in the pocket. Make him beat you with his arm. I don’t think he can.”

On Peyton Manning vs. the Seattle Seahawks Defense…

Jackson: “It’s such a tremendous psychological test for the Denver Broncos. Yes, it begins with Peyton Manning. But everything they did in the offseason was about adding toughness to this football team. And I don’t want to take the pressure off of Peyton Manning, but he is not going to have success if they run the ball for 27 yards the way they did in the Super Bowl and become as predictable as they did throwing the football.” 

Lewis: “You’re talking about one of the most physical defenses that we’ve seen play football in a very long time… If you want to attack the Seattle Seahawks, the way the San Francisco 49ers do, you must run the ball in between the tackles.”

Carter: “Denver is better offensively, but this is the truth – that 12th man, it’s real. Alright. And they will play a factor in this game. But also, Seattle’s offense is better. Alright. Their receivers are better.”

On quarterbacks Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers and Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers – are they in trouble against the defense today?

Ditka: “Big Ben’s in more trouble, there’s no question about it. This front seven of the Carolina Panthers is really good. And they don’t have to blitz to get after you.”

Jackson: “I think Cam Newton, not a 100 percent. Doesn’t have the weaponry around him… And Ben Roethlisberger, let’s remember – two rings and a third appearance in a Super Bowl because he creates his own offense and his feet right now – he’s healthy and he’s moving those feet.”


ESPN Sunday Night Baseball Media Alert: Curt Schilling to Debut for Yankees-Orioles This Weekend

ESPN-MLBCurt Schilling to Resume Sunday Night Baseball Role This Weekend for Yankees-Orioles

Three-time World Series Champion Curt Schilling, who resumed his ESPN MLB analyst role Thursday on Baseball Tonight, will make his official Sunday Night Baseball debut with Dan Shulman, John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney on Sunday, September 14, when the New York Yankees visit the first-place Baltimore Orioles. The telecast will begin at 8 p.m. ET and will be available on ESPN and WatchESPN.

ESPN announced Schilling was joining the Sunday Night Baseball booth last December. In February, Schilling announced he had been diagnosed with cancer.

Schilling will resume his analyst role in time to call what is expected to be Derek Jeter’s final Sunday Night Baseball appearance. It will mark Jeter’s 71st career appearance on “baseball’s biggest stage,” more than any other player.

Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is also available on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio.


ESPN NFL Content Update – Week 2

Sunday NFL Countdown logoSunday NFL Countdown: Chris Berman Conversation with Pete Carroll; Bengals’ Devon Still; Vikings Cordarrelle Patterson; and More 

Sunday NFL Countdown will preview the NFL’s week 2 games on September 14 beginning at 10 a.m. Chris Berman will host the three-hour pregame show with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis. Reporter/host Wendi Nix will host segments, and NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news.

Reporters covering Sunday games:


  • William Gay and Domestic Violence: In 2012, Monday Night Countdown essayist Rick Reilly profiled current Steelers cornerback William Gay, whose mother was abused and shot to death by his abusive stepfather. In light of the Ray Rice case, Countdown revisits the story of Gay, who now volunteers at shelters for abused women.
  • Pete Carroll’s Journey: Berman visits with Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll to discuss the Super Bowl-winning coach’s journey from subpar coaching stints with the Jets and Patriots through a historic run at the University of Southern California, and now to Seattle, where he has helped mold the Seahawks into the league’s best team.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson: Minnesota receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is currently under the tutelage of longtime and famed Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart, who has coached “receiving royalty” in the NFL – Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens to name a few. Stewart tells Countdown’s Jim Trotter that Patterson has the same skill-set that may lead to similar greatness.
  • Devon Still: After cutting Devon Still last week, the Cincinnati Bengals signed the third-year defensive tackle to their practice squad so he can keep his health insurance to take care of his four year-old daughter stricken by cancer. Entering Sunday’s game against the visiting Falcons, the Bengals coaching staff moved Still to the active roster. Countdown’s Michelle Beisner reports on the Bengals’ loyalty and Still’s gratitude.
  • Rex Ryan Soundtracks: The Jets head coach, wired for sound during the team’s season-opening win at home over the Raiders, will be featured on Sunday’s “Soundtracks.”

ESPN’s Monday Night Football: Andrew Luck and the Colts Host Nick Foles and the Eagles

Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts host Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football on September 15 at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN (kickoff is 8:30 p.m.). MNF play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden will call the game from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis with sideline reporter Lisa Salters.

MNF is available on ESPN Deportes and via WatchESPN. ESPN’s Weekly NFL Programming Schedule.

The Monday Night Countdown pregame begins at 6 p.m. Chris Berman hosts the show from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn., with analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young join Countdown from Indianapolis.

Monday Night Countdown highlights:

  • Andrew Luck: Andrew Luck’s on-field performance has firmly established the Colts quarterback as one of the league’s best. MNF reporter Lisa Salters sits for a one-on-one interview with Luck.
  • Gruden’s Grill Session: MNF analyst and Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden will visit with an Eagles player (TBD) to preview the Monday Night matchup.
  • Rick Reilly’s Feature – Ben Utecht: Former Colts tight end Ben Utecht is a musician, soon releasing his debut album. One of his songs is inspired by an emotional letter he wrote to his wife and kids asking that the letter be opened only if/when Ben loses his memory of them. Utecht fears his football concussions have created pockets in his life that he can’t remember – unable to remember being in his friend’s wedding even when he sees pictures of the event.  Countdown essayist Rick Reilly sits with Utecht and his wife, Karyn, to discuss the former footballer’s fears about the future, and also his work speaking before Congress about concussion awareness and reform.
  • E:60 – LeSean McCoy’s Family Life: With videogame-like moves, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy is one of the NFL’s most dynamic players. Off the field, McCoy is a single dad, with primary custody of his two-year old son, Salters reports in an E:60 profile.

NFL Drives ESPN Digital Media to Record Audiences on Sunday, Sept. 7

Driven by the kickoff of the 2014 NFL season, ESPN Digital Media recorded its best day ever on Sunday, Sept. 7,  with an average audience of 1 million people across platforms, eclipsing the previous high of 866,000 set on Sunday, Sept. 15 (Week 2 of 2013 NFL season).  Much of the growth was attributed to the mobile Web and ESPN Fantasy Football app, up 25 percent and 73 percent, respectively, compared to the previous year.

Additionally, across platforms logged 24.8 million unique visitors (up 13 percent from Week 1 a year ago) on Sunday, the second-best day ever behind only Thursday, June 26, during the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Engagement with ESPN on social platforms was also significant, with more than 240,000 Twitter users interacting with @ESPN, @SportsCenter and ESPN’s NFL accounts on Sunday, 55 percent more than key accounts of its five closest competitors combined.

The Monday Night Football doubleheader on Monday, Sept. 8, also logged audience growth on WatchESPN, with the Giants vs. Lions game generating 335,000 live unique viewers (up 31 percent compared to the previous year).  The Chargers vs. Cardinals game more than doubled its audience (up 114 percent) with 366,000 live unique viewers.

espnW: Ray Rice and Roger Goodell Reaction has continuing coverage from Jane McManus on the latest in the NFL and the Ray Rice case, and Kate Fagan discusses whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should resign. Also, W columnists Fagan and Sarah Spain voice their opinions about the Rice case in the latest W Debate: Who Botched Their Case More.

ESPN Analyst and Three-Time Patriots Super Bowl Champ Tedy Bruschi Honored with Football Legacy Award at ‘The Tradition’ in Boston

ESPN NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi will be presented with the Football Legacy Award at The Sports Museum’s 13th annual event, ‘The Tradition,’ on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the TD Garden in Boston. A three-time Super Bowl champion with Patriots, Bruschi was drafted by New England in 1996 and spent his entire 13-year career with the team. He is also a member of the Patriots Hall of Fame. ESPN’s Chris Berman will also attend and present sports radio personality Eddie Andelman with the Media Legacy Award.


Start Times Set for ‘New Year’s Six’ Bowls on ESPN

2010 -- ESPN College Football LogoESPN will reclaim New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day for college football when it exclusively televises all six bowl games under the new College Football Playoff rotation system including the two College Football Playoff Semifinals.

Starting on Wednesday, Dec. 31, at 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN will televise the first of the ‘New Year’s Six’ bowl games with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. At  4 p.m., fans will see the Fiesta Bowl followed by the Orange Bowl at 8 p.m.

ESPN will jumpstart New Year’s Day with the Cotton Bowl at 12:30 p.m. Then, the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual will be aired at 5 p.m. followed by the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl at 8:30 p.m. Additional programming surrounding all the bowls will be announced at a later date. The complete schedule:

Date Time (ET) Bowl
Wed, Dec. 31 12:30 p.m. Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
4 p.m. Fiesta Bowl
8 p.m. Orange Bowl
Thu, Jan. 1 12:30 p.m. Cotton Bowl
5 p.m. The Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual
8:30 p.m. Allstate Sugar Bowl

College Football Playoff on ESPN

ESPN will begin its 12-year agreement to exclusively televise the College Football Playoff with the 2014-15 season featuring the four top teams as selected by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. The Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual and the Allstate Sugar Bowl will host the first College Football Playoff Semifinals which will pit No. 1 versus No. 4 and No. 2 versus No. 3 on January 1, 2015. The winners of those two games will face off in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on January 12, 2015.

Previous announcements of ESPN’s College Football Playoff coverage:

ESPN to Exclusively Televise MLB NL Wild Card Game Oct. 1

ESPN-MLBMultiplatform Wild Card Coverage across ESPN Deportes, ESPN International & ESPN Audio

For the first time, ESPN will exclusively televise Major League Baseball’s National League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser on Wednesday, Oct. 1 (start time is TBD). The Sunday Night Baseball team – play-by-play voice Dan Shulman, analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney – will provide commentary for the telecast. Baseball Tonight will precede the NL Wild Card Game with a one-hour pre-game show.

The NL Wild Card Game will also be available on ESPN Deportes and on ESPN International platforms in Latin America, the Pacific Rim, the Caribbean and cruise ships.

ESPN Audio, the national radio home of the Major League Baseball postseason, will broadcast both the NL and AL Wild Card Games. The AL Wild Card Game is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 30.

NL Wild Card on WatchESPN

The NL Wild Card Game will also be available via WatchESPN, accessible online at, 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.

ESPN’s exclusive, annual Wild Card telecast is a highlight under the company’s new, multiplatform rights agreement with MLB, which went into effect this year. ESPN will also televise all potential MLB tiebreaker games on Monday, September 29. 2014 marks ESPN’s 25th Major League Baseball season.

For additional details on ESPN’s Major League Baseball coverage, please visit ESPN Media Zone and ESPN Front Row.


Curt Schilling to Resume ESPN MLB Analyst Role Starting Thursday

ESPN-MLBSchilling Discusses Cancer Battle in Interview with Karl Ravech on Tonight’s 6pm ET SportsCenter

Three-time World Series Champion Curt Schilling will rejoin ESPN and resume his MLB analyst role starting with Thursday’s 10 p.m. ET edition of Baseball Tonight (ESPN2). Schilling will appear on the set with ESPN MLB Insiders Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian, Jayson Stark and Keith Law from the Baseball Tonight studio at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus.

In addition, Schilling will discuss his recent cancer battle in a special interview with Karl Ravech on tonight’s (Tuesday) 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter. Watch preview.

The interview will also be shown during tonight’s midnight edition of Baseball Tonight on ESPN2 and it will be available on’s MLB section. Schilling announced he had cancer earlier this year.

Phil Orlins, ESPN senior coordinating producer, on Schilling’s return: “We are ecstatic to have Curt’s passionate and insightful commentary back on our baseball coverage, but most importantly, we are all thrilled to see Curt healthy and strong again.”

Schilling joined ESPN as a Baseball Tonight analyst in 2010. During the 2013 Baseball Winter Meetings, ESPN announced Schilling had been added to the Sunday Night Baseball booth, alongside Dan Shulman and John Kruk. He will return to the road for Sunday Night Baseball as soon as he is comfortable.