Mercari Texas Bowl Cancelled

Courtesy: ESPN

Less than a week after getting a new title sponsor, the Texas Bowl is now a no-go

The Mercari Texas Bowl will not happen this year. ESPN made the announcement Tuesday through a press release. According to information provided by ESPN, the cancellation — now the 16th on the year — is due to “an increased number of positive COVID-19 tests and other circumstances within the TCU football team.”

This year’s Texas Bowl was scheduled to take place at 8 p.m. ET on Dec. 31 on ESPN from NRG stadium. It was going to feature a matchup of TCU and Arkansas.

Texas Bowl Executive Director David Fletcher addressed the cancellation in a prepared statement.

“While we are disappointed in canceling this year’s game, we look forward to hosting both the Texas Kickoff and Texas Bowl next season,” said Fletcher. “We appreciate everyone’s support, including our new title sponsor, Mercari.”

Refunds are available for all ticketholders through the outlets through which they purchased tickets.

Tuesday’s announcement is now the fifth this month as well as being the 16th this season. The Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl was cancelled Dec. 23.

The list of bowl games cancelled is noted below.

  1. Bahamas Bowl (C-USA vs. MAC)
  2. Celebration Bowl (MEAC vs. SWAC)
  3. Fenway Bowl (AAC vs. ACC)
  4. Hawaii Bowl (AAC vs. Mountain West)
  5. Holiday Bowl (ACC vs. Pac-12)
  6. Las Vegas Bowl (Pac-12 vs. SEC)
  7. Los Angeles Bowl (Pac-12 vs. Mountain West)
  8. Pinstripe Bowl (ACC vs. Big Ten)
  9. Quick Lane Bowl (ACC, Big Ten, MAC)
  10. Redbox Bowl (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
  11. Sun Bowl (ACC vs. Pac-12)
  12. Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl (AAC vs. WAC)
  13. Ticketmaster Birmingham Bowl (SEC vs. AAC)
  14. Perspecta Military Bowl (AAC vs. ACC)
  15. Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl (SEC vs. C-USA)
  16. Mercari Texas Bowl (Big 12 vs. SEC)

The remaining schedule for Capital One Bowl Mania is noted below.

DateTime (ET)Event/CommentatorsNetwork
Tue, Dec. 295:30 p.m.Cheez-It Bowl
Oklahoma State vs. Miami
Camping World Stadium – Orlando, Fla.
Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck, Katie George
Radio: Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones
ESPN and ESPN Radio / ESPN Deportes
 9 p.m.Valero Alamo Bowl
Texas vs. Colorado
Alamodome – San Antonio, Texas
Dave Pasch, Mike Golic Sr., Kris Budden
Radio: Marc Kestecher, Trevor Matich
ESPN and ESPN Radio / ESPN Deportes
Wed, Dec. 30NoonDuke’s Mayo Bowl
Wake Forest vs. Wisconsin
Bank of America Stadium Charlotte, N.C.
Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb, Marty Smith
ESPN / ESPN Deportes
 4 p.m.TransPerfect Music City Bowl
Iowa vs. Missouri
Nissan Stadium – Nashville, Tenn.
Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic
Radio: Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones
ESPN and ESPN Radio / ESPN Deportes
Thu, Dec. 31NoonLockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl*
Tulsa vs. Mississippi State
Amon G. Carter Stadium – Fort Worth, Texas
Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN / ESPN Deportes
 4 p.m.AutoZone Liberty Bowl
West Virginia vs. Tennessee
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium – Memphis, Tenn.
Wes Durham, Roddy Jones, Eric Wood
Radio: Jay Alter, Brad Edwards
ESPN and ESPN Radio / ESPN Deportes
 1 p.m.Vrbo Citrus Bowl
Auburn vs. Northwestern
Camping World Stadium – Orlando, Fla.
Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore, Paul Carcaterra
ABC
Fri, Jan. 1NoonTaxSlayer Gator Bowl
N.C. State vs. Kentucky
TIAA Bank Field – Jacksonville, Fla.
Anish Shroff, Tom Luginbill, Lericia Harris
ESPN
Sat, Jan. 212:30 p.m.Outback Bowl
Ole Miss vs. Indiana
Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Fla.
Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic
ABC
    

* — ESPN owned and operated event

More information on the ESPN networks’ college football coverage is available online along with all of the latest college football news at:

Websitehttp://www.espn.com/college-football

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Twitterhttp://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.

Nominees Announced For ‘The Home Depot College Football Awards’

Courtesy: ESPN

And the nominees are….

ESPN officials announced the nominees Tuesday, for the network’s annual Home Depot College Football Awards. the nominees for each category are noted below.

The Home Depot College Football Awards Finalists

NCFAA awards announced during The Home Depot College Football Awards:

Chuck Bednarik Award
College Defensive Player of the Year  
Zaven Collins, Tulsa (Jr.)
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame (Sr.) Patrick Surtain II, Alabama (Jr.)
Biletnikoff Award
Outstanding Receiver
Elijah Moore, Ole Miss (Jr.)
Kyle Pitts, Florida (Jr.)
DeVonta Smith, Alabama (Sr.)
Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award
Nation’s Outstanding Placekicker  
Jose Borregales, Miami (Sr.)
Jake Oldroyd, BYU (So.)
Will Reichard, Alabama (So.)
Ray Guy Award
College Punter of the Year  
Jake Camarda, Georgia (Jr.)
Pressley Harvin III, Georgia Tech (Sr.)
Lou Hedley, Miami (Jr.)
Maxwell Award
College Player of the Year  
Mac Jones, Alabama (Jr.)
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (Jr.)
DeVonta Smith, Alabama (Sr.)
Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award
Nation’s Best Quarterback  
Mac Jones, Alabama (Jr.)
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (Jr.)
Kyle Trask, Florida (Sr.)
Outland Trophy
Nation’s Most Outstanding Interior Lineman  
Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame (Gr.)
Alex Leatherwood, Alabama (Sr.)
Daviyon Nixon, Iowa (Jr.)
Paycom Jim Thorpe Award
Nation’s Best Defensive Back  
Richie Grant, UCF (Sr.)
Trevon Moehrig, TCU (Jr.)
Patrick Surtain II, Alabama (Jr.)
Doak Walker Award
Nation’s Premier Running Back  
Travis Etienne, Clemson (Sr.)
Breece Hall, Iowa State (So.)
Najee Harris, Alabama (Sr.)

Additional honors recognized during The Home Depot College Football Awards:

The Home Depot Coach of the YearWinner announced January 5
William V. Campbell Trophy Presented By Mazda
Scholar-Athlete
Full list of finalists available here.
Disney Spirit Award
Most Inspirational Player or Team
Darien Rencher, Clemson (Sr.)
The Allstate AFCA Good Works TeamFull list of team members available here.
Walter Camp All America Team Full team announced on January 7.
John Mackey Award
Outstanding Tight End
Charlie Kolar, Iowa State (Jr.)
Kyle Pitts, Florida (Jr.)
Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M (So.)
Rimington Trophy
Outstanding Center
Landon Dickerson, Alabama (Sr.)
Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa (So.)
Josh Myers, Ohio State (Jr.)
Wuerffel Trophy
Community Service
Sam Ehlinger, Texas (Sr.)
Teton Saltes, New Mexico (Sr.)
Shai Werts, Georgia Southern (Sr.)  

 Other awards given this postseason:

Broyles Award
Assistant Coach of the Year
Marcus Freeman, Cincinnati
Jeff Grimes, BYU
Mike Hankwitz, Northwestern
Steve Sarkisian, Alabama
Kane Wommack, Indiana 
Burlsworth Trophy
College football’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on
Dax Milne, BYU (Jr.)
Grant Morgan, Arkansas (Sr.)
Jimmy Morrissey, Pitt (Sr.)

The Home Depot College Football Awards is scheduled to broadcast at 7 p.m. ET on Jan. 7 on ESPN. The 90-minute broadcast will honor the accomplishments of some of the game’s top student-athletes.

Chris Fowler will anchor the broadcast. Reporter Holly Rowe will provide additional stories and commentary for the program.

Pete Derzis, ESPN Senior Vice President of College Sports Programming and Events said in a prepared statement, the upcoming broadcast will not feature a live audience, but stressed that will not lessen the program’s content.

The Home Depot College Football Awards will continue to be what they have always been, and that is a celebration of elite performances in college football,” said Derzis.  “While the award show will look different this year due to COVID-19, the spirit of the show remains the same. We look forward to honoring the stellar performances produced by these student-athletes this season.”

National College Football Awards Association President Mark Wolpert added to Derzis’ statements with his own comments.

“With all of the challenges faced in the 2020 season, we are looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate the game, its players, coaches and the amazing performances that have taken place,” said Wolpert. “This season’s award show will truly be a recognition of not only the top players, but more importantly the incredible efforts involved in making this season possible.”

More information on the ESPN networks’ college football coverage is available online along with all of the latest college football news at:

Websitehttp://www.espn.com/college-football

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

Twitterhttp://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.

Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl Cancelled

Courtesy: ESPN/ESPN Events

Yet another of 2020’s scheduled college football bowl games has been cancelled.

ESPN announced late Tuesday, that the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl has been cancelled. The game is now the fourth bowl game cancelled this month and 15th this season. The game, which was scheduled to take place at noon Saturday, was to feature a matchup between South Carolina and the University of Alabama Birmingham.

According to a press release distributed by ESPN, the cancellation happened due to “an increased number of COVID-19 cases.” The bowl game is one of 17 total that is owned and operated by ESPN and ESPN Events.

Scott Glaser, Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl Executive Director, addressed the cancellation in a prepared statement.

“The current environment has presented many challenges,” said Glaser. “We looked into a number of options for UAB, but ultimately could not identify any opportunities for them to play at this time. We are appreciative of the many supporters in the community, including our new title sponsor – Union Home Mortgage, and look forward to staging the game in 2021.”

According to information in the noted press release, ticket refunds are available through Etix. Refunds can take up to five business days to process, depending on the banking institution.

The Military Bowl was the latest bowl game cancellation, coming Monday. The game is not owned and operated by ESPN and ESPN Events. According to information about the cancellation, it was due to a lack of teams to play in the bowl.

Tulsa, which fell to Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game, and Virginia Tech were originally believed to be the potential opponents for the game, but the Hokies opted out. The Golden Hurricane meanwhile will now play in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 31 against Mississippi State.

The list of bowl games cancelled is noted below.

  1. Bahamas Bowl (C-USA vs. MAC)
  2. Celebration Bowl (MEAC vs. SWAC)
  3. Fenway Bowl (AAC vs. ACC)
  4. Hawaii Bowl (AAC vs. Mountain West)
  5. Holiday Bowl (ACC vs. Pac-12)
  6. Las Vegas Bowl (Pac-12 vs. SEC)
  7. Los Angeles Bowl (Pac-12 vs. Mountain West)
  8. Pinstripe Bowl (ACC vs. Big Ten)
  9. Quick Lane Bowl (ACC, Big Ten, MAC)
  10. Redbox Bowl (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
  11. Sun Bowl (ACC vs. Pac-12)
  12. Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl (AAC vs. WAC)
  13. Ticketmaster Birmingham Bowl (SEC vs. AAC)
  14. Perspecta Military Bowl (AAC vs. ACC)
  15. Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl (SEC vs. C-USA)

ESPN’s Capital One Bowl Mania schedule is underway. The month-long schedule is in its third day. Appalachian State defeated North Texas in the schedule’s opening game, the inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl, Monday.

Nevada defeated Tulane 38-27 Tuesday in the first of two games, in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. BYU defeat UCF 49-23 in the Boca Raton Bowl, the second of the day’s games.

Bowl action continues today with another double header. Up first is the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at 3 p.m., featuring a matchup of Louisiana tech and Georgia Southern. Coverage is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN Deportes/ESPN Radio.

Memphis and Florida Atlantic are set to face off in the day’s second game, the Montgomery Bowl, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

The remaining schedule for Capital One Bowl Mania is noted below.

DateTime (ET)Event/CommentatorsNetwork
Wed, Dec. 233 p.m.R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Louisiana Tech vs. Georgia Southern
Mercedes-Benz Superdome – New Orleans, La.
Matt Barrie, Mike Golic Jr, Dawn Davenport
Radio: Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones
ESPN and ESPN Radio / ESPN Deportes
7 p.m.Montgomery Bowl*
Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic
Cramton Bowl – Montgomery, Ala.
Clay Matvick, Rocky Boiman, Lauren Sisler
ESPN / ESPN Deportes
Thu, Dec. 243:30 p.m.New Mexico Bowl*
Hawai‘i vs. Houston
Toyota Stadium – Frisco, Texas
John Schriffen, Rene Ingoglia, Kris Budden
Radio: Kevin Winter, Craig Haubert
ESPN and ESPN Radio / ESPN Deportes
Fri, Dec. 252:30 p.m.Camellia Bowl*
Marshall vs. Buffalo
Cramton Bowl – Montgomery, Ala.
Bill Roth, Dustin Fox, Lauren Sisler
ESPN
Sat, Dec. 26NoonUnion Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl*
South Carolina vs. UAB
Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Fla.
Jason Benetti, Andre Ware, Paul Carcaterra
ABC / ESPN Deportes
3:30 p.m.SERVPRO First Responder Bowl*
Louisiana vs. UTSA
Gerald J. Ford Stadium – Dallas, Texas
Anish Shroff, Tom Luginbill, Quint Kessenich
ABC / ESPN Deportes
 LendingTree Bowl
Western Kentucky vs. Georgia State
Ladd-Peebles Stadium – Mobile, Ala.
Mike Couzens, Jay Walker, Dawn Davenport
ESPN
7:30 p.m.FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl*
Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina
Camping World Stadium – Orlando, Fla.
Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer, Alex Chappell
ESPN
Tue, Dec. 295:30 p.m.Cheez-It Bowl
Oklahoma State vs. Miami
Camping World Stadium – Orlando, Fla.
Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck, Katie George
Radio: Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones
ESPN and ESPN Radio / ESPN Deportes
9 p.m.Valero Alamo Bowl
Texas vs. Colorado
Alamodome – San Antonio, Texas
Dave Pasch, Mike Golic Sr., Kris Budden
Radio: Marc Kestecher, Trevor Matich
ESPN and ESPN Radio / ESPN Deportes
Wed, Dec. 30NoonDuke’s Mayo Bowl
Wake Forest vs. Wisconsin
Bank of America Stadium Charlotte, N.C.
Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb, Marty Smith
ESPN / ESPN Deportes
4 p.m.TransPerfect Music City Bowl
Iowa vs. Missouri
Nissan Stadium – Nashville, Tenn.
Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic
Radio: Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones
ESPN and ESPN Radio / ESPN Deportes
Thu, Dec. 31NoonLockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl*
Tulsa vs. Mississippi State
Amon G. Carter Stadium – Fort Worth, Texas
Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN / ESPN Deportes
4 p.m.AutoZone Liberty Bowl
West Virginia vs. Tennessee
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium – Memphis, Tenn.
Wes Durham, Roddy Jones, Eric Wood
Radio: Jay Alter, Brad Edwards
ESPN and ESPN Radio / ESPN Deportes
8 p.m.Mercari Texas Bowl*
Arkansas vs. TCU
NRG Stadium – Houston
Jason Benetti, Andre Ware, Dawn Davenport
Radio: Marc Kestecher, Ben Hartsock
ESPN and ESPN Radio / ESPN Deportes
Fri, Jan. 11 p.m.Vrbo Citrus Bowl
Auburn vs. Northwestern
Camping World Stadium – Orlando, Fla.
Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore, Paul Carcaterra
ABC
Sat, Jan. 2NoonTaxSlayer Gator Bowl
N.C. State vs. Kentucky
TIAA Bank Field – Jacksonville, Fla.
Anish Shroff, Tom Luginbill, Lericia Harris
ESPN
12:30 p.m.Outback Bowl
Ole Miss vs. Indiana
Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Fla.
Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic
ABC

* — ESPN owned and operated event

More information on the ESPN networks’ college football coverage is available online along with all of the latest college football news at:

Websitehttp://www.espn.com/college-football

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

Twitterhttp://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.

ESPN Announces CFP Selection Show, Companion Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2021 college football playoff picture will be set today.

The college football playoff selection committee will meet today to determine the field for the games leading up to the championship. ESPN will have full coverage of the field’s selection with the College Football Playoff Selection Show Presented by AT&T at noon ET. The show will simulcast on ESPNU.

The four-hour program will feature not only the reveal of the field for this year’s college football playoffs, but the field for the New Year’s Six matchups, too. The College Football Playoffs participants are expected to be revealed at 12:15 p.m. while the teams in the wo remaining games are expected for their reveal at 2:20 p.m. ET.

Rece Davis will anchor the broadcast. It marks the seventh consecutive year that Davis has hosted the program. Kirk Herbstreit, Joey Galloway, Jesse Palmer, and David Pollack will join Davis on set with additional commentary. Chris Fowler, Booger McFarland, Greg McElroy and Jim Mora are among the additional guest personalities who will provide even more commentary.

ESPN will have reporters Chris Low, Marty Smith, Jen Lada, and Gene Wojciechowski embedded with Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Ohio State respectively as each team awaits the announcement of their placement in the playoffs. CFP Insider Heather Dinich will join the broadcast from her home studio.

Sunday’s coverage continues after the selection show starting at 4 p.m. with Championship Drive Presented by Capital One. The three-hour broadcast continues the discussion on the playoff and bowl picture for the 2020-21 college football season.

Kevin Connors will anchor the broadcast. Tom Luginbill, Rod Gilmore, McElroy and Mora will join Connors for the broadcast. An even broadcast will follow the afternoon show at 8:30 p.m. ET., with Matt Barrie hosting the late edition. Analysts Desmond Howard, Andre Ware, Todd McShay, and McElroy will join Barrie for the airing.

Championship Drive: Countdown to the Playoff Presented by AT&T 5G launches things at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN. Kevin Negandhi will host alongside analysts Mark Sanchez, Dan Orlovsky, Mora, Galloway, Palmer, Fowler, and McFarland.

More information on the ESPN networks’ college football coverage is available online along with all of the latest college football news at:

Websitehttp://www.espn.com/college-football

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

Twitterhttp://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.

Another Bowl Cancellation Announced

Courtesy: ESPN/ESPN Events

The 2020-21 college football post season just got a bit shorter.

Officials with the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl announced Tuesday that the game will not take place this year. According to information provided to the media, the cancellation happened as a result of COVID-19 restrictions enacted in the Southern Methodist University (SMU) football program.

As a result of the game’s cancellation, SMU’s planned opponent, the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) will now play in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl. The game is scheduled to take place at 3:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 26 on ABC. UTSA’s opponent for the game will be announced in the coming days.

Clint Overby, Vide President of ESPN Events, shared disappointment at the announcement, and offered consolation to audiences and fans in a prepared statement.

“While we are disappointed in having to cancel the game, our top priority is the health and safety of all parties involved,” said Overby. “We wish SMU, their student-athletes, coaches and administrators well during this time.”

Fans who bought tickets for the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl will receive full refunds automatically. Refunds could take as much as five business days to receive.

Tuesday’s announcement is the second this month involving cancellation of one of this season’s bowl schedule. The cancellation of the Las Vegas Bowl was announced early this month due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The game was scheduled to be the first college football bowl game to ever take place in the recently constructed Allegiant Stadium, which is the home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. It was set to feature a matchup of teams from the Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Las Vegas Bowl Executive Director John Saccenti was quoted at the time as saying he hoped the bowl would be able to be played next season.

“Unfortunately we will have to wait another year to present the Las Vegas Bowl in its new home,” said Saccenti. “This was a difficult decision but the right one considering that our game was founded nearly three decades ago to help drive tourism to the Entertainment Capital of the World during the month of December. We are looking forward to making our bowl week bigger and better than ever in 2021.”

Larry Scott, Pac-12 Commissioner shared Saccenti’s hopes for next year’s Las Vegas Bowl in his own comments.

“The Pac-12 is disappointed for our teams and fans that the Las Vegas Bowl has been forced to cancel this year’s game,” said Scott. “We look forward to next year’s game, which promises to be a fantastic national stage in one of the world’s best football stadiums, to showcase Pac-12 football.”

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey also expressed his disappointment at the announcement.

“We are disappointed the Las Vegas Bowl has been cancelled for the 2020 football season and will miss the opportunity for SEC student-athletes to experience an exciting new venue,” said Sankey. “We have no doubt the Las Vegas Bowl will be a great part of the future SEC bowl lineup and look forward to our partnership in the years ahead.”

The 2019 Las Vegas Bowl featured a matchup of the Washington Huskies and then No. 19 Boise State Broncos at Sam Boyd Stadium. Washington won the game 38-7.

The Las Vegas Bowl and Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl are two of 17 total bowl games that are owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

The cancellation of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl is now the 12th so far this year for the college football post season. The other 11 bowls, including the Las Vegas Bowl, cancelled are listed below.

  1. Bahamas Bowl (C-USA vs. MAC)
  2. Celebration Bowl (MEAC vs. SWAC)
  3. Fenway Bowl (AAC vs. ACC)
  4. Hawaii Bowl (AAC vs. Mountain West)
  5. Holiday Bowl (ACC vs. Pac-12)
  6. Las Vegas Bowl (Pac-12 vs. SEC)
  7. Los Angeles Bowl (Pac-12 vs. Mountain West)
  8. Pinstripe Bowl (ACC vs. Big Ten)
  9. Quick Lane Bowl (ACC, Big Ten, MAC)
  10. Redbox Bowl (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
  11. Sun Bowl (ACC vs. Pac-12)

More information on the ESPN networks’ college football coverage is available online along with all of the latest college football news at:

Websitehttp://www.espn.com/college-football

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

Twitterhttp://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.

ESPN Reaches New TV Deal With C-USA

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

College Football fans are going to get more of their favorite sport this fall.  That is because ESPN has signed a new television deal with Conference USA.

Beginning this fall ESPN will air five C-USA football games and the C-USA Conference Championship game.  The deal currently runs through the 2017 season.  Three of those five games will feature C-USA teams hosting non-conference teams in the early portion of the season.  The last week of the regular season will be comprised of two conference matchups.  The C-USA Conference Championship is currently scheduled to be played Saturday, December 3rd.

The 2016 schedule opens with Indiana at Florida International University on Thursday, September 1st.  It is scheduled to air at 7:30pm ET on ESPNU.  Two more games will be played Friday, September 16th.  Rice will host No. 7 Baylor at 8pm on ESPN in the night’s first game.  The second, UTSA hosting Arizona State, will be at 9:30pm ET on ESPN2. ESPN’s C-USA football schedule winds down with Louisiana Tech at Southern Miss on Friday, November 25th and Western Kentucky University on the road against Marshall on Saturday, November 26th.  Times for those two games and the conference championship will be announced at a later date.  The ESPN networks’ current C-USA football broadcast schedule is noted below.

 

ESPN Network’s Conference USA Television Schedule for 2016

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Network

Thu, Sept. 1

7:30 p.m.

Indiana at FIU

ESPNU

Fri, Sept. 16

8 p.m.

No. 7 Baylor at Rice

ESPN

9:30 p.m.

Arizona State at UTSA

ESPN2

Fri, Nov. 25

TBD

Louisiana Tech at Southern Miss

TBD

Sat, Nov. 26

TBD

WKU at Marshall

TBD

Sat, Dec. 3

TBD

C-USA Football Championship Game

TBD

Rankings are per ESPN.com’s “way too early top 25” (May 10)

 

More information on the ESPN networks’ coverage of C-USA football is available online along with all of the latest college football headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/college-football

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

 

 

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.

ESPN To Premiere FCS Kickoff August 23rd

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2014 college football season is still months away.  But ESPN announced this week that it will debut a new college football program this Fall.

Eastern Washington will host Sam Houston State University in the first broadcast of FCS Kickoff for the 2014 college football season.  The game will be broadcast on Saturday, August 23rd at 3:30pm ET on ESPN.  Eastern Washington fell to Sam Houston State 49 – 34 in the 2013 season.  The loss was Eastern Washington’s only loss to an FCS opponent in the 2013 season.  Both teams are expected to be included in the 2014 preseason FCS Coaches Top 25 poll.

The matchup between Sam Houston State and Eastern Washington will be only the first of many more games to come in ESPN’s FCS Kickoff.  AS Brent Colborne, ESPN Director of Programming and Acquisitions noted in an interview, “FCS conferences and member institutions are an important part of the overall fabric of collegiate athletics and ESPN’s programming schedule.  We regularly talk with our league partners on opportunities for increased exposure and expansion of our content offerings. The FCS Kickoff is one result that will further showcase the quality and depth of FCS football to our national audience.”

Updates on ESPN’s FCS broadcast schedule will be available online at http://espn.go.com and http://www.facebook.com/ESPN throughout the year.  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.

Tebow Added To SEC Network, ESPN Staff

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Former college football standout Tim Tebow had a hard time finding his place in the NFL.  But now, it looks like the former Florida Gator star will be hanging up his cleats in favor of a suit and tie.  That’s because he has been hired by the SEC Network.  Tebow will serve as an analyst for the networks’ pre-game show SEC Nation.  The terms of his deal also include contributions on ESPN’s SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, and ESPN’s annual Heisman Trophy award show coverage.  Tebow will make his ESPN debut on Monday, January 6th.  He will serve as an analyst for ESPN’s pre-game coverage of the 2013 Vizio BCS National Championship.  Audiences can catch his contributions on SportsCenter at 9am, College Football Live at 3pm, and College GameDay Built By The Home Depot at 7pm.

Along with his duties on ESPN, Tebow will also be part of the fledgling SEC Network’s studio coverage of college football’s new College Football Playoffs.  The new playoff system begins with the 2014 college football season.  Tebow is the first college football analyst signed by the new network.  He will be joined Joe Tessitore and Paul Finebaum.  Tessitore is the lead ringside announcer for ESPN’s Friday Night Fights and will be host of SEC Nation.  Finebaum is host of The Paul Finebaum radio show.  The very first edition of SEC Nation will broadcast live Thursday, August 28th from Columbia, South Carolina where the Gamecocks of South Carolina will host the Aggies of Texas A&M University.  The SEC Network will have exclusive coverage of the game.  The weekly pre-game show will make its two-hour Saturday debut on Saturday, August 30 from 10am – noon.  That broadcast will come live from the campus of Auburn, where the Tigers will host the Arkansas Razorbacks.  SEC Nation will air every Saturday throughout the college football season.  It will offer a comprehensive look at all of the biggest of each week’s college football matchups.

More information on Tebow, the SEC Network and SEC Nation is available online at http://www.secdigitalnetwork.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.

ESPNU Airing New “Storied” Special Next Week

ESPNU is presenting a very special presentation next Tuesday, September 25th as part of ESPN’s “Storied” series.  The network will premiere the special, “Croom” next Tuesday night at 7pm EST. 

“Croom” focuses on famed Mississippi State University coach Sylvester Croom.  He’s seen some very high and some low points.  Croom was part of three SEC Championship teams as a student athlete at the University of Alabama.  He was also the first ever African American Center on the football team.  Croom moved on to the NFL after his college career, where he served as an assistant coach for seventeen years before being considered for the head football coach of his alma mater.  Ultimately, he would be beaten out by Mike Shula.  It would be a year later when Croom took the helm of the embattled Mississippi State football program.  Three straight winning seasons and back to back wins against the Crimson Tide in ’06 and ’07 along with a Liberty Bowl win and Coach of The Year honors would seemingly secure his place at Mississippi State.  But that wouldn’t be the case, as he was surprisingly asked to step down from his post after the season that followed. 

Croom showed that despite being asked to step down from his coaching position, he wouldn’t let that adversity keep him down.  He returned to the NFL and now serves as part of the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff. 

This powerful story of success over great odds and adversity is perfect for any college football fan.  It airs on ESPNU next Tuesday night at 7pm EST. 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com

ESPNU debuts new special Monday

The 2012 London Summer Olympics are just around the corner.  And just in time to build anticipation for this year’s games, ESPNU will air its newest special, “Lolo.”  “Lolo” airs Monday night at 7pm on ESPNU.

“Lolo” centers on track and field star Lori “Lolo” Jones.  It tells the story of an athlete who started her life with nothing, but through sheer determination and hard work, became one of the greatest names in her sport today.  Director Rory Karpf uses interviews with Jones’ family and friends, and Jones herself to illustrate her story.

Lori “Lolo” Jones’ story starts in Des Moines, Iowa.  She and her siblings grew up hard.  Their father was constantly in and out of the family’s picture.  Their mom struggled to make ends meet.  Jones herself talks about the family’s struggles leading to her having to shoplift food just to make sure she had something to eat and how the family even had to sleep on the floor of a Salvation Army Church because they had nowhere else at one point.  She also recounts how when her father was around, they never had one stable car.  She notes that her dad was always buying cheap cars that broke down quickly.  In the colder months of the year, she would end up having to run from point to point as a result of this.  That, she says, is what started her love of running.  She said of running that, “it [running] was the friend that never left.”

Lolo’s love of running became not just a love, but a genuine talent.  It garnered her a scholarship to LSU.  Jones said of her move to Louisiana that for a girl from Iowa, it was a total culture shock.  As much as it was a culture shock, moving to Louisiana and attending LSU was a turning point for her.  LSU was where she met track and field coach Dennis Shaver.  Shaver would unwittingly become the father figure that Jones needed to nurture her gift.  And he did just that.

Coach Shaver was there for Lolo after she failed to qualify for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.  It was his motivation that kept her going and working her way to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  Her run in the ’08 Olympics was nothing short of miraculous.  It was also one of the most important moments in her life.  When she came up short of the Gold in her final event, Jones started to question herself.  That led her to doubt herself in other competitions.  But the reality was that her problems may not have been her fault after all.  As a matter of fact, it would turn out that Jones had a problem that came as a surprise to everyone including herself that led to her ups and downs since the ’08 Olympics.

When she went to see a doctor about everything she was going through, he discovered that Jones actually had a problem with her spine.  It turned out that a problem with her spine had caused her to lose sensation to her feet.  That explained her legs and feet not moving the way she had wanted.  She finally had an answer.  After a successful procedure and recovery, Lolo Jones made an amazing comeback with a win at the ’08 U.S. Open.  And now, she will try to make it to this year’s London Olympics at next month’s Olympic Trials, hoping that the third time will truly be the charm.  Needless to say that when she tries out next month, there will likely be a lot of people watching on television and at those trials chanting, “Go! Go! Lolo! 

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