ESPN Announces Early Neutral Site Broadcast Schedule For 2014 College Football Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN announced this week, the broadcast schedule for five neutral site college football games that will open the 2014 season. The network’s neutral site schedule kicks off Thursday, August 28th with the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game featuring Boise State and Ole Miss on ESPN. It also includes games featuring five teams ranked in an early ESPN.com pre-season Top 25 poll for 2014. Those games will be broadcast Saturday, August 30th. ABC will carry two of those games in a double header featuring No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Alabama. ESPN will carry a matchup of No. 14 Wisconsin and No. 13 LSU. And ESPN2 will carry No. 24 Central Florida’s game in Dublin, Ireland.

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s College Football Top 25 Pre-season poll can be viewed online at http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10414082/alabama-crimson-tide-win-recruiting-war-moves-latest-way-too-early-top-25.

ESPN’s 2014 season kicks off Saturday, August 23rd on ESPN’s new FCS Kickoff at 3:30pm ET on ESPN. It will feature a matchup of Sam Houston State at Eastern Washington. The network’s schedule ends with the new College Football Playoff Championship game live from Arlington, Texas on Monday, January 12th on ESPN. The current list of ESPN and ABC’s neutral site games is listed below. More games will be announced in the coming months.

2014 Neutral Site Schedule (as of April 16)

 

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thu, Aug 28 8 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: Boise State vs. Ole Miss ESPN
Sat, Aug 30 8:30 a.m. 2014 Croke Park Classic: Penn State vs. No. 24 Central Florida * ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: West Virginia vs. No. 2 Alabama ABC and ESPN2
  8 p.m. Cowboys Classic: No. 1 Florida State vs. Oklahoma State ABC
  9 p.m. AdvoCare Texas Kickoff: No. 14 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 LSU ESPN

 

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the 2014 College Football Season in available online at http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN, http://espn.go.com/ncf/index and http://twitter.com/espncfb. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.   Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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ESPN To Debut New NFL Mini-Series April 22nd

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

It’s only March.  But as any sports fan knows, it’s always football season.  In keeping with that understanding, ESPN announced this week, that it will debut a new four-week series focused on the top prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft this Spring in anticipation of the upcoming NFL season.

ESPN Draft Academy will debut Tuesday, April 22nd at 10pm ET on ESPN.  The four-week series follows this year’s crop of NFL hopefuls as they prepare for the annual NFL Scouting Combine, their individual Pro Days, and the upcoming NFL Draft.  The mini-series will focus on Blake Bortles (Central Florida), Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina), Marqise Lee (USC), Pierre Desir (Lindenwood (Mo.) University) and Bishop Sankey (University of Washington).  Each episode runs one hour and will follow Jon Grudens QB Camp.

Matthew Volk, ESPN Director of Programming and Acquisitions, explained the premise of the mini-series in speaking with the media.  “Draft Academy follows some of the most talented, talked-about prospects as they train in pursuit of a top spot in the 2014 NFL Draft,” he said.  “The show will give fans an intimate look at these players as they pursue their goals of making it to the NFL.”

More information on ESPN’s Draft Academy is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPN and http://espn.go.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jon Gruden’s Quarterback Camp Returns This Spring

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Jon Gruden’s “Quarterback Camp” will return this Spring.

Gruden’s series of SportsCenter specials will return this spring for its fifth season.  Gruden mentors a handful of college football’s top quarterbacks in the series, as they prepare to take the next step in their careers.  This year’s installment of Gruden’s “Quarterback Camp” will see nine of college football’s top quarterback prospects.  Those names include the likes of 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, two-time BCS National Champion A.J. McCarron of Alabama, and Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville.  The complete list of this year’s “QB Camp” participants is noted below.

2014 Gruden’s QB Camp participants:

Quarterback

School

Blake Bortles

Central Florida

Tajh Boyd

Clemson

Teddy Bridgewater

Louisville

Derek Carr

Fresno

Jimmy Garoppolo

Eastern Illinois

Jordan Lynch

Northern Illinois

A.J. McCarron

Alabama

Johnny Manziel

Texas A&M

Aaron Murray

Georgia

 

Gruden prepares a specialized lesson plan of sorts for each of the participants in his “QB Camp.”  Through his specialized plan, he points out to each prospect, a balanced look at both their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to see where they need to improve in order to be successful NFL talent.  Over the past four seasons of his “QB Camp” Gruden has mentored no fewer than twenty-nine quarterbacks from twenty-seven schools.  Fourteen of those QBs went on to be NFL regular season starters.  Among the names that Gruden has mentored through his series are: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and current NFL Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson, of the Seattle Seahawks.

Gruden’s “QB Camp” moves this year to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Arena at Walt Disney World Resort outside Orlando.  It replaces Gruden’s Tampa office, where the “QB Camp” was previously held.  The new set will replicate his Tampa office, playfully dubbed the “Fired Football Coaches Association.”  The 220-acre facility also includes athletic fields, which will be used for quarterback workouts.

More information on Jon Gruden’s “Quarterback Camp” and all things NFL is available online now at http://espn.go.com/nfl and http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.