Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks – 4pm ESPN: Hawks sit in third in the Eastern Conference and Pacers are looking to keep pace.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning – 4:30pm NHLN: Pens are three points back of the Lightning in the Eastern Conference. Game could be a big factor as we get closer to the playoffs.
San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks – 6:30pm ESPN: It’s just a solid rivalry game year in and year out.
Saturday February 6th
Manchester City vs Leicester City – 4:45am NBCSN: Two teams at the top of the table in the Premier League. Let’s do this.
Hertha BSC vs Boruissa Dortmund – 6:30am FS1: One of three big games in the Bundesliga this weekend. Dortmund looks to keep Bayern Munich within striking distance but Hertha has other ideas.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Bayern Munich – 9:30am FOX: The Bundesliga doesn’t get much love here but when it does, it features Bayern Munich.
Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils – 10am NHL.TV: Devils are sitting on the outside of the playoff by virtue of a tie breaker. A win against the NHL’s top team would put a lot of confidence into that bunch.
Villanova at Providence – 11:30am FS1: #3 vs #11 on a Saturday afternoon and with Gus Johnson? Holla!
Purdue at Maryland – 1pm ESPN: Tune in to watch the Terps Melo Trimble do work. It’s something to see.
North Carolina at Notre Dame – 4pm ESPN: While Notre Dame isn’t the same power they have been in years passed, they are still a heck of a basketball team and South Bend is still a tough place to play.
Baylor at West Virginia – 5pm ESPN2: A top 25 matchup and WVU is coming off of a big road win earlier this week.
Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars – 5pm NHLN: These two are neck and neck in the Western Conference.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors – 6pm ABC: Durant and Westbrook take on the defending champs and Steph Curry. Pull up a chair and enjoy the best the NBA has to offer.
Sunday February 7th
Chelsea vs Manchester United – 8am NBCSN: Because it’s Chelsea vs Manchester United that’s why!
LA Clippers at Miami Heat – 11am ABC: Lob City hits Dade County. Lot of talent and its should be a nice game entertain us as we wait for the Super Bowl.
Utah at Oregon – 1pm ESPN2: Underrated game out west for your Sunday afternoon.
Super Bowl 50 – 3:30pm CBS: If you don’t who is playing and the story lines and then you have been living under a rock on Saturn. It’s the Carolina Panthers vs the Denver Broncos by the way. Oh and it’s probably Peyton’s last game.
Emery was only suspended for one game by the Mountain West Conference (MWC) and BYU took no additional action. I felt that was very weak by BYU and the MWC. THe PAC-12 and Oregon State should make a statement and suspend Reid for a couple of games and have him attend counseling or something. What Emery did was terrible and what Reid did was flat out uncalled for.
Another question is, ‘what’s going on in Salt Lake?’
Is there something in the water? Is Utah really that frustrating of a basketball team to play against? Is it the elevation?
Regardless, Utah home basketball games need to be added to the ‘must watch’ list for the rest of the season.
Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche – 6pm NHL Gamecenter: These two are separated by two points in the Central.
Utah at Colorado – 6pm FS1: A pleasant surprise for a Friday night.
Saturday January 9th FCS National Title – 9am ESPN2: Jacksonville State takes on North Dakota State. The Bison are seeking their 5th straight National Title. To do it, they will need to slow down a very high powered Jacksonville State offense and a defensive line built on SEC transfers. And Jacksonville State’s one loss this year came in overtime at Auburn. The Bison have a tall task in front of them if they want their 5th straight title.
Washington Capitals at New York Rangers – 10am NHL Gamecenter: The Caps are the class of the NHL right now but the Rangers are no slouches. Sprinkle in some rivalry and you got a nice game for a Saturday morning.
Maryland at Wisconsin – 10am ESPN: Still seems weird calling this a Big Ten match-up but it is. This one features the #3 Terps in a very harsh environment in Madison.
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans – 1:35pm ESPN: The Chiefs are the hottest team entering the playoffs. They have won 10 in a row but the Texans have come together and down it with four different quarterbacks under center.
Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks – 2pm NBA League Pass: Second in the Central vs second in the Southeast.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Montreal Canadiens – 4pm NHLN: Sidney Crosby gets to play at the Bell Centre on a Saturday night. Sure it’s a real easy ticket to get.
UNC at Syracuse – 5pm ESPN: Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheimreturns to the Orange bench after a nine game suspension. It’s his last season leading the Cuse but we doubt the Tar Heels will show any mercy.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals – 5:15pm CBS: Is there anything better than a divisional rivalry masking as a playoff game?
St Louis Blues at Los Angeles Kings – 7:30pm NHL Gamecenter: These two are even in points but that means that the Kings lead the Pacific and the Blues sit in third in the Central.
Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins – 1:40pm FOX: Boy does benching Robert Griffin III in favor of Kirk Cousins look like a good idea now. Problem is that arguably the best quarterback in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers is on the other sideline. In any event we still have this Cousins gem.
Indiana Pacers at Houston Rockets – 4pm NBA League Pass: Paul George of the Pacers is having a heck of a season. He is 7th in scoring which is five slots behind James Harden of the Rockets. These two alone are enough to watch this one.
Villanova at Butler – 4:30pm FS1: Not a bad way to cap off the weekend. A Big East top 25 match-up in the heart of basketball country.
2015 PGA Championship winner Jason Day and his wife Elliewere having a nice night out which included court side seats to the Cavaliers vs Thunder game. What they weren’t playing on was a trip to the hospital. That’s exactly what they got after LeBron James went diving for a lose ball and slammed right into Ellie.
The Oakland Raiders Khalil Mack had a really good game last weekend. He had five sacks in the Raiders upset win over the Denver Broncos. He almost had another tackle for a loss but was held by a Broncos offensive lineman. It was so obvious that Mack popped right up and caught the penalty flag being throw in the direction of the foul.
In this weeks installment of mid-season coaching changes, Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho is outand Wisconsin’s men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan stepped downafter only 12 games. While it’s no surprise to see a soccer manager let go midseason (even Jose ‘The Great One’ can lose his way) but that trend going over to the collegiate ranks of football and basketball is a little disconcerting.
Ryan has ponder this decision for a while now, it still doesn’t seem right to be a mentor to a group of 18-22 year olds and then duck out on them not even mid way through the season. What message does that send to them?
The Monmouth men’s basketball team’s bench is getting a lot of attention these days. Not for their off the bench scoring or defense but for their celebrations. So much attention that they appeared on the Today show this weekend.
Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins – 4pm NHL Gamecenter: Two proud franchises and two that plan on making a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals – 4pm NHL Gamecenter: The Caps are leading the Metropolitan division but it’s only a matter of time before the Lightning turn it around.
LA Clippers at San Antonio Spurs – 5pm ESPN: Two powerhouses in the western conference square off. This means a whole lot of star power too. Blake Griffin, TIm Duncan, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, LeMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, etc.
Richmond at North Dakota State – 5pm ESPN2: It’s the first of two FCS Semifinal games. NDSU looks to make it to a fifth straight National Title game. Richmond hasn’t been there since 2008 when it beat Montana.
Saturday December 19th
Utah at Duke – 9am ESPN: Big out of conference match-up. Duke has not lost at home to an out of conference opponent in what seems like forever.
Villanova at Virginia – 9am ESPN2: One of four top 25 match-ups in college basketball this weekend.
UNC vs UCLA – 10am CBS: This one is being played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Two legendary programs and two pretty good teams this year.
BYU vs UTAH – 12:30pm ABC: The Las Vegas bowl is a renewal of an old rivalry. One called the ‘Holy War’. Expect a good one and lets see if both teams can keep it a clean game.
Sam Houston State at Jacksonville State – 1pm ESPNU: The second FCS Semifinal match-up. Shootout probability: HIGH.
Butler at Purdue -2pm BTN: Another one of the top 25 match-ups in college basketball.
Ohio vs Appalachian State – 2:30pm ESPN: One of the more solid games this bowl season. Yes it has a funny name (Camilla Bowl) but these two teams have a combined 18 wins this season. That’s better than a lot of bowl games.
Montreal Canadiens at Dallas Stars – 4pm NHLN: Division leaders square off in the Lone Star State.
UFC on FOX – 5pm FOX: Lightweight title is on the line as Rafael Dos Anjos takes on Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Former Heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos takes on Alistair Overeem and Nate Diaz returns to face Michael Johnson.
LA Clippers at Houston Rockets – 5pm NBA League Pass: The Texas road trip is always tough. Second game in two night for the Clippers against a solid team.
Sunday December 20th
Watford vs Liverpool – 5:30pm NBCSN: Liverpool sits a point behind Watford for the seventh spot in the Premier League table.
Carolina Panthers at NY Giants – 10am FOX: Panthers are still undefeated and in the playoffs. Giants are fighting for their playoff lives and this would be a big, big win.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings – 10am FOX: Big battle in the NFC North.
Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders – 1pm FOX: Aaron Rodgers returns home…and he gets to face Khalil Mack who had five sacks last weekend at Denver.
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers – 1:25pm CBS: The best defense in the league (Broncos) takes on the second best offense in the league (Steelers). Any questions?
Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic – 3pm NBA League Pass: Solid match up for your Sunday afternoon.
Washington Capitals at NY Rangers – 4pm NHLN: Alex Ovechkin and the Caps take their show on the road to the Big Apple.
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles – 5:25pm NBC: The Cards are rolling and the Eagles have won two in a row against two playoff caliber teams.
It’s the Holiday Season which means it’s college football bowl season. Or as ESPN likes to brand it ‘Bowl Week’….that of course lasts two weeks. There are some 41 bowl games including the National Championship game and some feature teams with sub 500 records. How did we get here and which ones are worth watching?
CBS Sports Dennis Dodd wrote an article sometime ago about why we have so many. The reasons are varied but essentially come down to these factors: It’s live programming for ESPN who broadcasts all but one of the bowl games and money. Teams and conferences get payouts from each bowl game who in turn get money from ESPN, sponsorships, plus tickets and concession sales.
Lord knows what BattleFrog paid to be the title sponsor of the Fiesta Bowl(a game that kicks off at 11am local time New Years Day) but it had to be a pretty penny. It also shows that bowl games are truly in it for the money. They would sell two title sponsorships to their games if they could.
Besides BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl, other oddities include:
Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (It’s not just a bowl game, it’s a celebration!)
Cure Bowl (We don’t think The Cure is playing the halftime show.)
Miami Beach Bowl (This is at Marlins Park which is not near the beach.)
Marmot Boca Raton Bowl (Marmot specializes in winter clothes.)
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (What?)
Russell Athletic Bowl (Features two teams sponsored by Nike.)
Motel 6 Cactus Bowl (…..Yeah.)
It’s big business and if the model didn’t work then there wouldn’t be so many bowl games.
From a schools perspective there are other reasons to go to a bowl game. Specifically the extra practice time. If you have a young team, installing a new offense, etc you can always use the extra practice time that a bowl game allows you.
Yes bowl games are supposed to be a reward for the players but let’s not kid ourselves, is going to play in a bowl game in Detroit or outside in the Bronx in December a reward? Now playing a game in the Bahamas or Honolulu, ok that seems like a good gig. But Shreveport, LA or Montgomery, AL, probably not so much.
Either way, the games are upon us and here is a list of ones that should be worth watching:
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl – 12/19 | 12:30pm | ABC: BYU vs Utah is a rivalry that went away when BYU went independent. While Utah isn’t thrilled about this matchup (or being back in a bowl they were in last year) this renewed rivalry should be worth watching.
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl – 12/19 | 2:30pm | ESPN: Ohio vs Appalachian State may not seem sexy but Ohio has eight wins and App State has 10. Just sayin.
Miami Beach Bowl – 12/21 | 11:30am | ESPN: Western Kentucky vs South Florida is a heck of a match up. Western Kentucky can score points at will while USF has found it’s swagger once again under head coach Willie Taggart.
Marmot Boca Raton Bowl – 12/22 | 4pm | ESPN: Toledo vs Temple is a game, despite Toledo’s coach bolting for a new gig at Iowa State, that is pretty underrated. Toledo had a chance to win the MAC and Temple burst onto the college football scene this year with the help of Chuck Bednarik Award winner Tyler Matakevich (that means he is Defensive Player of the Year).
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl – 12/23 | 1:30pm | ESPN: It’s funny to say that Boise State vs Northern Illinois is game between two teams who had a down year. Both have been to major bowl games the last few years and the talent is there to do it again.
Hyundai Sun Bowl – 12/26 | 11am | CBS: Washington State came out of nowhere this year to be a force in the Pac-12. Miami….well they have talent and a new head coach coming in so most of the returning players are essentially giving a live tryout to their new head coach Mark Richt.
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman – 12/28 | 11:30am | ESPN: Last chance to see Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds go do his thing. Pittsburgh is a tough, hard-nosed team so this could be an old grind’em up football game. Oh, Navy is playing at home.
Russell Athletic Bowl – 12/29 | 2:30pm | ESPN: Two high powered offenses that should put points on the board. Granted North Carolina is a lot healthier than Baylor at the quarterback position but this should be fun none the less.
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl – 12/29 | 6pm | ESPN: A contrast in styles. LSU has arguably the best running back in the country in Leonard Fournette and Texas Tech likes to spread you out and expose the open space.
Chick -fil -A Peach Bowl – 12/31 | 9am | ESPN: One of the New Years Six bowl games featuring Houston against Florida State. Houston has had an awesome season under first year head coach Tom Herman but FSU has Dalvin Cook who is arguably the best running back in the country.
Capital One Orange Bowl – 12/31 | 1pm | ESPN: The first of two College Football Playoff Semifinal games. This is a rematch of last years Russell Athletic Bowl and while Clemson got the better of Oklahoma in that game, OU is one of the hottest teams in the country.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl – 12/31 | 5pm | ESPN: Michigan State vs Alabama is about as old school as it gets. This one is all about running the ball and defense.
Outback Bowl – 1/1 | 9am | ESPN2: Northwestern and Tennessee have had outstanding years. This game is always close and a lot of fun to watch.
BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl – 1/1 | 10am | ESPN: Does it get much better than Notre Dame vs Ohio State?
Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual – 1/1 | 2pm | ESPN: Iowa vs Stanford is like Michigan State vs Alabama, run oriented offenses defenses that can win a game for you. You get to also check out the most exciting player in the country in Stanford’s Christian McCaffery.
Valero Alamo Bowl – 1/2 | 3:45pm | ESPN: Oregon vs TCU and that means wide open offenses and two quarterbacks looking to end their collegiate careers with a bang. Oregon’s Vernon Adams and TCU’s Trevone Boykin.
Some teams rise to the occasion and others don’t. Tennessee gave up a 13+ 4th quarter lead for the second time this year to fall to 2-2. Texas shot themselves in the foot for the second week in a row. Last week it was a missed extra point and this week it was a dropped snap on the punt.
Oregon meanwhile got faded at home to a solid Utah team and we do mean faded. Utah had 55 points on the board after three quarters! There is a lot of head scratching going on in Knoxville, Austin, and Eugene this Sunday morning.
Meanwhile on the other side of the spectrum, Cincinnati vs Memphis on Thursday night had some 11 lead changes, 99 points and a combined 1322 yards. Not to be outdone, TCU and Texas Techcombined for 1357 total yards and 107 points. Either way, this Memphis fan was rocking out.
The Boston Red Sox season ended a few months ago. However, that didn’t stop Mookie Betts from giving his all on a potential homerun ball.
San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner and umpire ‘Cowboy’ Joe West didn’t see eye to eye on the strike zone the other night which led them to a good ‘ole fashion country boy stare down. Boy are from the same neck of the woods in western North Carolina and neither was going to back down.
West Virginia rolled over the Maryland Terrapins 45-6. Like the Terrapins football team, one of their cheerleaders was run over by West Virginia wide receiver Shelton Gibson.
Alabama Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin is no stranger to running over people, places and things. Well he got runover by the internet this past weekwith speculation that he was being run out of Tuscaloosa for everything from sleeping with a boosters wife to sleeping with Nick Saban’s daughter. Wow do people not like this guy.
Cincinnati at Memphis – 4:30pm ESPN: These two rank #6 & #7 in scoring offense. Shootout imminent.
Friday September 25th
Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs – 11:20am MLBN: Two teams destined for an NL Wild Card showdown in about 10 days.
Texas Rangers at Houston Astros – 5pm ESPN2: These two are fighting for supremacy in the AL West with only about a week to go.
Stanford at Oregon State – 7:30pm FS1: Stanford has to regroup on a short week after beating USC in LA. Tall order.
Saturday September 26th
Tottenham vs Manchester City – 4:40am NBCSN: Manchester City sits atop the Premier League table but Spurs can give them all kinds of problems.
BYU at Michigan – 9am ABC: BYU is just the funnest team to watch this college football season. They will give Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines all they want.
Georgia Tech at Duke – 9am ESPN2: Georgia Tech looks to rebound after a tough loss to Notre Dame. Duke, underrated as usual.
Tennessee at Florida – 12:30pm CBS: Tennessee thinks they are on the verge of “being back.” They haven’t beaten Florida since 2004 but only lost by one point last year. ESPN’s Chris Low gives us a look back at how important this game use to be.
UCLA at Arizona -5pm ABC: Gameday is there, Arizona’s linebacker Scooby Wright is trying to come back from knee surgery and UCLA lost Mr Everything Myles Jack this week to a knee injury. Big, big matchup in the desert and one that could decide who is going to win the Pac 12 South.
Utah at Oregon – 5:30pm FOX: Utah is a tough team and Oregon has shown some chinks in the armour and Vernon Adams isn’t 100%. Upset alert.
Sunday September 27th
Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys – 10am FOX: Battle of 2-0 teams but the Cowboys have lost a lot of talent.
Pittsburgh Steelers at St Louis Rams -1pm CBS: Rams have one solid defense and they are even better at home. Big Ben is in for a long day.
Sporting KC vs Seattle Sounders – 2pm ESPN: Two teams fighting for playoff positioning in the Western Conference.
Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs – 5pm ESPN: Getaway game of this very important series.
Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions -5:30pm NBC: Detroit has had a tough go of it early on but Denver’s offense has yet to find the explosiveness that they have been know for the last few years.