Saban & Meyer Guest Analysts; ESPN’s Desmond Howard Becomes Virtual Part of the Game; First Interview with Rutgers’ LeGrand
ESPN’s first season of televising the entire Bowl Championship Series (BCS) will conclude with multiplatform reports, news, features, discussion and analysis of the Tostitos BCS National Championship featuring No. 1 Auburn vs. No. 2 Oregon, televised on ESPN and ESPN 3D, broadcast on ESPN Radio and available on the ESPN3.com broadband platform and phones via ESPN Mobile TV Monday, Jan. 10, at 8:30 p.m. ET. ESPN has provided the most comprehensive coverage of the college football season and the BCS from opening weekend through the final game, including the debut of the weekly BCS Countdown featuring the exclusive announcement of the weekly BCS Standings.
ESPN has also provided extensive on-site studio reports and analysis across multiple shows and platforms, dedicated web pages for each bowl, re-airs of classic BCS games, international telecasts of all five games, encore presentations of the National Championship and more. Details:
Eleven Announcers to Call Game
ESPN will utilize 11 announcers across television, radio, broadband and phones to call the game. Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi will work the telecast on ESPN and ESPN International as well as simulcasts on ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV. ESPN Radio’s broadcast will be called by Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Joe Schad. Exclusive 3D coverage on ESPN 3D, the first 3D network to launch in the industry, will feature Joe Tessitore, Tim Brown, Todd Blackledge and Wendi Nix calling the action.
Saban and Meyer Join ESPN as Guest Analysts
Alabama coach Nick Saban and former Florida coach Urban Meyer will join ESPN as on-site studio analysts leading up to and through the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game. The two two-time BCS National Championship coaches will provide analysis across SportsCenter, College GameDay, ESPNEWS, College Football Live, and pre, half-time and post-game coverage. Saban led the Crimson Tide to a BCS National Championship in 2009 and LSU to the title on 2003. Meyer, who retired as head coach of the Gators at the conclusion of the 2010 season, won BCS National Championships in 2006 and 2008.
Desmond Howard Enters the Game – Sort of
Click on Image to play video
A new and innovative enhancement to the EA Virtual Playbook that debuted during the 3 p.m. edition of College Football Live on Wednesday, Jan. 5 allows ESPN to put analyst Desmond Howard virtually into the play he is analyzing. In a segment that was pre-shot, Howard was able to walk in and around virtual players, giving the fan an unprecedented look at the play. It was accomplished using proprietary hardware and software developed by ESPN’s emerging technology team to drive multiple X-Box development kits running a special version of EA Sport’s “NCAA Football 11.” In the past, ESPN’s virtual applications have taken the players out of the game and into the studio. The segment will continue to air across multiple platforms leading up to the game telecast.
First Interview with Injured Rutgers Player Eric LeGrand
ESPN’s Rinaldi conducted the first interview with Rutgers defensive lineman Eric LeGrand since he was paralyzed in a collision during a game against Army on Oct. 16. In the interview, scheduled to debut on ESPN on Friday, Jan. 7 during the 9 a.m. edition of SportsCenter, LeGrand told Rinaldi that he has full sensation in his entire body and movement in his shoulders. Rinaldi spoke to LeGrand at the Kessler Institute in West Orange, N.J., where he is in rehabilitation.
In the feature, LeGrand said while lying on the field at the New Meadowlands, he had “the fear of death” and that he “could pass out and die here.” He added he couldn’t do “a thumbs up” motion while on the stretcher when he was removed from the field because it felt like “1,000 pounds was on this thumb” when he tried to move it.
Doctors initially believed that he would not regain any feeling or movement below the neck, but LeGrand has exceeded their expectations. His paralysis has been diagnosed as incomplete and he has been able to breathe on his own without the use of a ventilator since late November.
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said about LeGrand, “He believes that he’s going to be up and moving again. There’s no doubt in his mind.”
ESPN will provide extensive news updates, analysis, features and highlights of the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game across multiple platforms, highlighted by on-site shows and reports from Arizona, site of the game.
- SportsCenter and ESPNEWS will provide daily on-site coverage with hosts Chris Fowler, Rece Davis, Musburger, John Saunders and Tirico and analysis from Herbstreit, Jesse Palmer, Craig James, Howard, Lou Holtz, Mark May, Todd McShay, Gruden and more, and reports from Rinaldi and Nix.
- College Football Live, ESPN’s weekday college football studio show, will originate from Glendale for daily 3 p.m. shows Jan. 7 and Jan. 10, at 3 p.m. Saunders will host with analysis from Palmer and more.
|Jan 6||3 p.m.||College Football Live
Rece Davis hosting with multiple analysts
|Jan 7||3 p.m.||College Football Live
Chris Fowler hosting with multiple analysts
|Jan 10||3 p.m.||College Football Live
John Saunders hosting with multiple analysts
|6 p.m.||College GameDay Built by The Home Depot
Chris Fowler, Rece Davis, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, Jesse Palmer, Lou Holtz, Mark May, Erin Andrews & Tom Rinaldi
Studio Coverage from Inside Stadium Jan. 10
ESPN will provide extensive day-long coverage from field-level and upper concourse sets inside University of Phoenix Stadium leading up and through the game, including:
- Segments for multiple editions of SportsCenter and College Football Live at 3 p.m.
- A special two-hour College GameDay beginning at 6 p.m. with host Fowler and analysis from Lee Corso, Herbstreit, Howard, Meyer and Saban.
- A 30-minute pre-game show beginning at 8 p.m. hosted by Chris Fowler with analysis from Corso, Howard, Meyer and Saban, and contributions from game commentators Musburger and Herbstreit.
- Fowler hosting half time with analysis from Corso, Howard, Meyer and Saban.
- Extensive post-game coverage on SportsCenter and ESPNEWS with hosts Fowler and Davis and analysts Herbstreit, Howard, Palmer, Holtz, May, Meyer and Saban.
- Reporters Rinaldi and Nix dedicated to covering Auburn and Oregon, respectively, leading up to the game.
More than 20 Straight Hours of Title Game Programming on ESPNU
ESPNU will provide more than 20 consecutive hours of BCS National Championship Game programming leading up to the game beginning Sunday, Jan. 9, at 10:30 p.m. In addition, ESPNU will offer live post-game coverage, including a special edition of The Experts (an encore presentation of the program will air Monday, Jan. 11, at 1 p.m.). Highlights include:
- The marathon coverage will conclude with a special live three-hour BCS Countdown from Glendale on Monday, Jan. 10, at 4 p.m. Saunders will host with analysis from Mike Bellotti, Palmer, David Pollack, Rod Gilmore and Tom Luginbill and reports from Lowell Galindo, Nix and Rinaldi.
- A special BCS National Championship Game edition of The Experts, originating from Scottsdale, will air on ESPN and ESPNU beginning Sunday, Jan. 9. The show will be hosted by Davis with analysts Bob Davie, Howard, James, May and McShay.
- ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd, with a live simulcast on ESPNU, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., will originate from Glendale on Monday, Jan. 10.
- ESPN will air the special one-hour editions of Road to the Tostitos National Championship Game on Oregon and Auburn on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. ESPNU will offer encore presentations Sunday, Jan. 9 and Monday, Jan. 10.
|Sun, Jan 9||4 p.m.||Road to the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Oregon||ESPN|
|5 p.m.||Road to the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Auburn||ESPN|
|6 p.m.||The Experts: BCS National Championship (from Scottsdale)||ESPN|
|10:30 p.m.||The Experts: BCS National Championship (from Scottsdale)||ESPNU|
|11:30 p.m.||Road to the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Oregon||ESPNU|
|Mon, Jan 10||12:30 a.m.||Road to the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Auburn||ESPNU|
|1:30 a.m.||South Carolina vs. Auburn||ESPNU|
|3:30 a.m.||Stanford vs. Oregon||ESPNU|
|6 a.m.||Road Trip: Oregon at Oregon State||ESPNU|
|6:30 a.m.||Road Trip: LSU at Auburn||ESPNU|
|7 a.m.||The Experts: BCS National Championship (from Scottsdale)||ESPNU|
|8 a.m.||Road to the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Oregon||ESPNU|
|9 a.m.||Road to the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Auburn||ESPNU|
|10 a.m.||The Herd (Live from Glendale)||ESPNU|
|1 p.m.||The Experts: BCS National Championship (from Scottsdale)||ESPNU|
|2 p.m.||Road to the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Oregon||ESPNU|
|3 p.m.||Road to the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Auburn||ESPNU|
|4 p.m.||BCS Countdown (Live from Glendale)||ESPNU|
The Tostitos BCS National Championship Game will be televised live in 189 countries and approximately 235 million households on ESPN America UK and throughout Central and South America, Africa, the Caribbean, Middle East, Pacific Rim including Australia, China, India and Southeast Asia.
ESPN.com will provide in-depth coverage with an individual page for the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game. Content will include an analysis of the matchup; college football-related video; keys to who, why and what to watch; and season stats, rosters and team histories. ESPN.com will also have daily features, news stories and blog posts, and key players, programs and personalities; SportsNation polls; live chats; commentary and humor from ESPN.com’s Page 2 section and more. On-site reporters for the game include Pat Forde, Ivan Maisel, Mark Schlabach, Chris Low, Ted Miller and Michael Wilbon.
ESPN Classic will provide encore presentations of four memorable BCS National Championship games in a marathon leading up to this year’s title game.
|Mon, Jan 10||9 a.m.||2000 Sugar Bowl: Florida State vs. Virginia Tech|
|11 a.m.||2003 Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs. Miami|
|2 p.m.||2006 Rose Bowl: USC vs. Texas|
|5 p.m.||2010 BCS National Championship: Texas vs. Alabama|
As part of a four-year agreement with the BCS, ESPN will provide exclusive worldwide telecasts, radio broadcasts, digital content and more for the five BCS games from January 2011 through January 2014. It will mark the first time ESPN has televised BCS games. ESPN Radio has broadcast every BCS game since 2000. ESPN3.com will simulcast ESPN’s telecasts.