ESPN Networks’ Thanksgiving Weekend CFB Schedule Announced

Corutesy: ESPN

ESPN is giving football fans plenty of ways to pass the time safely at home this Thanksgiving weekend.

Approximately 16 of college football’s Top 25 ranked teams are scheduled to face off this weekend in an extensive broadcast schedule across the ESPN networks. This weekend’s schedule is set to launch at noon Friday on ABC, with No. 20 Texas hosting No. 15 Iowa State.

Over on ESPN3, Liberty, which has surprised many fans and other teams this season, will host UMass, also at noon.

Following the conclusion of the Iowa State – Texas game, No. 25 North Carolina will host No. 2 Notre Dame at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. South Florida will host in-state rival UCF in an American Athletic Conference matchup, also at 3:30 p.m., on ESPN.

No. 9 Oregon will visit in-state rival Oregon State at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN to round out the day’s college football broadcast schedule.

The action continues at noon Saturday with 10 games set to take place across the ESPN networks. Michigan will host winless Penn State on ABC, while No. 6 Florida will play host to Kentucky on ESPN2. No. 12 Indiana will host Maryland at noon on ESPN2.

The ACC Network will feature a conference matchup between N.C. State and Syracuse. Meanwhile on the SEC Network, Missouri will host Vanderbilt.

ESPN3 will offer two options at noon: Georgia Southern at Georgia State, and Ball State at Toleo.

East Carolina, which won its second game of the season last week, will host Southern Methodist University (SMU) as one of three games featured at noon Saturday on ESPN+. The other two games slated to stream in the noon time slot on ESPN+ are: Bowling Green at Ohio, and Northern Illinois At Western Michigan.

The gridiron action will continue well past noon into the evening, with the #7 ranked University of Cincinnati on the road against Temple at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU. #4 Clemson is scheduled to host Pittsburgh at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

No. 14 Oklahoma and West Virginia will headline the weekend’s schedule on ABC’s Saturday Night Football Presented by Capital One. Coverage is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET.

This weekend’s full college football broadcast schedule is noted below.

DateTime (ET)Game/TalentNetwork
Fri, Nov 27NoonNo. 15 Iowa State at No. 20 Texas
Matt Barrie, Mike Golic Jr., Kris Budden
ABC
 UMass at LibertyESPN3
3:30 p.m.No. 2 Notre Dame at No. 25 North Carolina
Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Katie George
ABC
 UCF at South Florida
Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer
ESPN
7 p.m.No. 9 Oregon at Oregon State
Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore, Shelley Smith
ESPN
Sat, Nov 28NoonPenn State at Michigan
Dave Pasch, Mike Golic Sr., Paul Carcaterra
ABC
 Kentucky at No. 6 Florida
Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek, Quint Kessenich
ESPN
 Maryland at No. 12 Indiana
Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer, Jerry Punch
ESPN2
 NC State at Syracuse
Wes Durham, Roddy Jones
ACC Network
 Vanderbilt at Missouri
Dave Neal, DJ Shockley, Taylor Davis
SEC Network
 Georgia Southern at Georgia StateESPN3
 Ball State at Toledo
Michael Reghi, Devin Gardner
ESPN3
 SMU at East Carolina
Lincoln Rose, LaDarrin McLane
ESPN+
 Bowling Green at Ohio
David Wilson, Ryan Cavanaugh
ESPN+
 Northern Illinois at Western Michigan
Dan Gutowsky, Marcus Ray
ESPN+
1 p.m.Miami (Ohio) at Akron
Anthony Lima, Jerod Cherry
ESPN3
 UTEP at RiceESPN3
3 p.m.South Alabama at Arkansas StateESPN3
 No. 23 Louisiana at Louisiana-MonroeESPN3
 No. 16 Coastal Carolina at Texas StateESPN+
3:30 p.m.Colorado at No. 19 USC
Anish Shroff, Tom Luginbill, Allison Williams
ABC
 Pittsburgh at No. 4 Clemson
Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Todd McShay, Molly McGrath
ESPN
 No. 11 Northwestern at Michigan State
Clay Matvick, Rocky Boiman, Taylor McGregor
ESPN2
4 p.m.No. 7 Cincinnati at Temple
John Schriffen, Rene Ingoglia
ESPNU
 Louisville at Boston College
Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich, Eric Wood
ACC Network
 Mississippi State at Ole Miss
Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic
SEC Network
7 p.m.LSU at No. 5 Texas A&M
Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky, Kris Budden
ESPN
 Kansas State at Baylor
Jason Benetti, Andre Ware, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN2
 Duke at Georgia TechESPN3
7:30 p.m.No. 14 Oklahoma at West Virginia
Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy, Holly Rowe
ABC
 No. 13 Georgia at South Carolina
TV: Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb, Alyssa Lang
Radio: Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones
SEC Network/ESPN Radio
8 p.m.Troy at Appalachian State
Bill Roth, Dustin Fox
ESPNU
 Virginia at Florida State
Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck, Katie George
ACC Network
10:30 p.m.TBD at Washington
Beth Mowins, Kurt Morrison, Stormy Buonantony
ESPN

Note: Not all digital games are exclusive

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 CFB Conference Championship Broadcast Schedule

Corutesy: ESPN

ESPN will broadcast five college football conference championships this season.

Network officials announced the broadcast schedule for the conference championships Tuesday. Opening this year’s coverage is the MAC Championship. The conference title game is scheduled to take place at 7:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 18 on ESPN. The game is scheduled to take place at Ford Field in Detroit, MI.

The other four title games are scheduled to take place the following day, Dec. 19. Opening the day-long schedule is the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship. Coverage is scheduled to start at noon on ABC. It will simulcast on ESPN Radio.

The start time for the day’s next game — the Sun Belt Championship — is under consideration. Conference officials are determining whether to play the game at noon or 3:30 p.m. ET. Additionally, the game site is under consideration along with network (ESPN/ESPN2).

The ACC Championship continues the day’s action at 4 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN Radio. Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC is the scheduled site for the game.

The American Athletic Conference Championship rounds out the weekend’s Championship coverage for the 2020-21 college football season. Coverage is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. The game site is under consideration.

The full weekend schedule for the conference championship coverage is noted below.

College Football Conference Championship Games on ESPN and ABC:

DateTime (ET)Matchup/CommentatorsNetwork
Fri, Dec 187:30 p.m.MAC Championship Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.ESPN
Sat, Dec 19NoonDr Pepper Big 12 Championship AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TexasABC ESPN Radio
Noon or 3:30 p.m.Sun Belt Championship campus site TBDESPN or ESPN2
4 p.m.ACC Championship Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.ABC ESPN Radio
8 p.m.American Athletic Championship campus site TBDABC

* The Pac 12 Championship on Dec. 18 will also be available on ESPN Radio

In other college football news, ESPN officials have released a statement in regards to the game site for the upcoming New Mexico Bowl. It notes that COVID-19 restrictions in New Mexico have forced the game’s site to move out of state.

“Due to current state guidelines in New Mexico regarding intercollegiate athletics and travel, the 2020 New Mexico Bowl will be staged in Frisco, Texas, at Toyota Stadium, on Thursday, Dec. 24, at 3:30 p.m. ET,” the statement reads.

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 Early Broadcast Schedule For 2020-21 College Basketball Season

Courtesy: ESPN

College basketball is back!

The ESPN networks will kick off the 2020-2021 college basketball season at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The season opens with Illinois on the road against No. 23 Ohio State on ESPN and Kansas State hosting Drake on ESPNU. Memphis and St. Mary’s will face off in the Quarterfinal #2 of the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic on ESPN2.

Play continues at 4 p.m. ET as Louisville hosts Evansville on the ACC Network. Quarterfinal #1, featuring a matchup of Northern Iowa and Western Kentucky follows at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU. No. 10 Kentucky will host Morehead State at 6 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.

Over on ESPN+, Northwestern State will visit No. 14 Texas Tech. That game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. An hour later at 8 p.m. ET No. 19 Texas will host UT Rio Grande Valley on The Longhorn Network.

The opening day of ESPN’s college basketball opening day winds down at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Quarterfinal #4 of the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic, featuring a matchup of VCU and Utah State, finishes the day.

The full broadcast schedule for the ESPN networks’ first two weeks of the 2020-2021 college basketball season is noted below.

ESPN Networks Television Schedule (subject to change)
Please note: Due to the ongoing changes related to the college basketball season, ESPN will unveil TV and digital schedules on a week-to-week basis. Schedule changes will be reflected here, as well as @ESPNPR.

DateTime (ET)Matchup/CommentatorsNetwork
Feast Week Presented by Lowe’s (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU)
Wed, Nov 252 p.m.Illinois State at No. 23 Ohio State
Anish Shroff, Cory Alexander
ESPN
 Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic
Quarterfinal #2
Memphis vs. St. Mary’s
Rich Hollenberg, Dan Dakich
ESPN2
 Drake at Kansas State
Chuckie Kempf, Tim Welsh
ESPNU
4 p.m.Oklahoma State at UT Arlington
Mark Neely, Fran Fraschilla
ESPN
 Bowling Green at No. 25 Michigan
Jason Benetti, Robbie Hummel
ESPN2
 Evansville at Louisville
Mike Couzens, David Padgett
ACCN
4:30 p.m.Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic
Quarterfinal #1
Northern Iowa vs. Western Kentucky
Rich Hollenberg, Dan Dakich
ESPNU
6 p.m.College of Charleston at No. 16 North Carolina
Jay Alter, Malcolm Huckaby
ACCN
 Morehead State vs. No. 10 Kentucky
Paul Sunderland, Jimmy Dykes
SEC Network
7 p.m.2K Empire Classic
Semifinal #1
No. 18 Arizona State vs. Rhode Island
Jon Sciambi, Jay Bilas
ESPN
 Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic
Quarterfinal #3
South Dakota State vs. No. 15 West Virginia
Doug Sherman, Chris Spatola
ESPN2
 Northwestern State at No. 14 Texas TechESPN+
8 p.m.Jacksonville State at Alabama
Richard Cross, Mark Wise
SEC Network
 UT Rio Grande Valley at No. 19 Texas
Lowell Galindo, Lance Blanks
Longhorn Network
 Charleston Southern vs. NC StateACCN
 Houston Baptist at TCUESPN+
 9:30 p.m.2K Empire Classic 
Semifinal #2
No. 3 Villanova vs. Boston College
Jon Sciambi, Jay Bilas
ESPN
 Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic 
Quarterfinal #4
VCU vs. Utah State
Doug Sherman, Chris Spatola
ESPN2
Thu, Nov. 26NoonBad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic 
Semifinal #1
Rich Hollenberg, Dan Dakich
ESPN
2:30 p.m.Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic 
Semifinal #2
Rich Hollenberg, Dan Dakich
ESPN
5 p.m.Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic 
Consolation Game
Doug Sherman, Chris Spatola
ESPN or ESPN2
7 p.m.2K Empire Classic 
Third Place Game
Jon Sciambi, Jay Bilas
ESPN
7:30 p.m.Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic 
Consolation Game
Doug Sherman, Chris Spatola
ESPN2
9:30 p.m.2K Empire Classic 
Championship
Jon Sciambi, Jay Bilas
ESPN
Fri, Nov. 2711:30 a.m.HomeLight Classic  ESPN
1:30 p.m.Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic 
Championship
Rich Hollenberg, Dan Dakich
ESPN
 Sam Houston State vs. No. 14 Texas Tech
Mark Neely, TBD
ESPNU
3 p.m.Bryant at Syracuse
Jay Alter, Malcolm Huckaby
ACCN
4 p.m.Seton Hall at Louisville
Mike Couzens, Fran Fraschilla
ESPN2
 Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic
Seventh Place Game
Rich Hollenberg, Dan Dakich
ESPNU
6:30 p.m.Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic
Fifth Place Game
Doug Sherman, Chris Spatola
ESPN2
7 p.m.Valparaiso at VanderbiltSEC Network
 Longwood at Wake ForestACCN
8:30 p.m.Colorado at Kansas State
Chuckie Kempf, Tim Welsh
ESPNU
9 p.m.Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic
Third Place Game
Doug Sherman, Chris Spatola
ESPN2
 Sat, Nov. 284 p.m.Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker 
Semifinal #1
South Carolina vs. Liberty
Chuckie Kempf, Mark Adams
ESPNEWS
5:30 p.m.Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic 
Rhode Island vs. South Florida
Kevin Brown, Jon Crispin
ESPN3
7:30 p.m.Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker
Semifinal #2
Tulsa vs. TCU
Chuckie Kempf, Mark Adams
ESPN3
Texas Southern vs. Oklahoma StateESPN+
8 p.m.Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic 
Virginia Tech vs. Temple
Kevin Brown, Jon Crispin
ESPNEWS
Sun, Nov. 291 p.m.Richmond vs. No. 10 Kentucky
Dan Shulman, Jimmy Dykes
ESPN
Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Iowa StateESPN+
 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker 
Third Place Game
Chuckie Kempf, Mark Adams
ESPN2
3:30 p.m.Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker  Championship
Chuckie Kempf, Mark Adams
ESPN2
 5:30 p.m.No. 17 Houston vs. No. 14 Texas Tech
Mark Neely, Fran Fraschilla
ESPN2
 Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic  
Jon Sciambi, Jon Crispin
ESPNU
6 p.m.North Florida at Miami
Dave O’Brien, Jordan Cornette
ACCN
8 p.m.Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic  
South Florida vs. Virginia Tech
Jon Sciambi, Jon Crispin
ESPN2
Mon, Nov. 30NoonCamping World Maui Invitational 
Quarterfinal #1
No. 19 Texas vs. Davidson
ESPN2
2:30 p.m.Camping World Maui Invitational 
Quarterfinal #2
Indiana vs. Providence
ESPN2
6 p.m.Bubbleville  
St. John’s vs. Boston College
ESPNU
7 p.m.Camping World Maui Invitational 
Quarterfinal #3
No. 16 North Carolina vs. UNLV
ESPN2
 William & Mary at NC StateACCN
8 p.m.UM Kansas City vs. Kansas StateESPNU
 Texas State at Mississippi StateSEC Network
9:30 p.m.Camping World Maui Invitational 
Quarterfinal #4
Stanford vs. Alabama
ESPN2
Tue, Dec. 11:30 p.m.Camping World Maui Invitational 
Semifinal #1
ESPN
2:30 p.m.Roman Legends Classic
Semifinal #1
USC vs. BYU
ESPN2
4 p.m.Camping World Maui Invitational 
Semifinal #2
ESPN
 Saint Francis at No. 4 VirginiaACCN
5 p.m.Roman Legends Classic 
Semifinal #2
UConn vs. Vanderbilt
ESPN2
6 p.m.Western Kentucky at LouisvilleACCN
7 p.m.Camping World Maui Invitational 
Consolation Game
ESPN2
7:30 p.m.State Farm Champions Classic  
No. 13 Michigan State vs. No. 9 Duke
ESPN
9:30 p.m.State Farm Champions Classic  
No. 6 Kansas vs. No. 10 Kentucky
ESPN
 Camping World Maui Invitational 
Consolation Game
ESPN2
 Wed, Dec. 21:30 p.m.Camping World Maui Invitational
Third Place Game
ESPN
4 p.m.Camping World Maui Invitational 
Championship
ESPN
 Troy at Wake ForestACCN
5 p.m.Florida vs. OklahomaESPN2
6 p.m.South Carolina State at ClemsonACCN
7 p.m.Jimmy V Men’s Classic Presented by Corona  
No. 12 Tennessee vs. No. 1 Gonzaga
ESPN
 Camping World Maui Invitational 
Fifth Place Game
ESPN2
 Tarleton State at Texas A&MSEC Network
8 p.m.North Florida at No. 21 Florida StateACCN
9 p.m.UT Arlington at ArkansasSEC Network
9:30 p.m.Camping World Maui Invitational 
Seventh Place Game
ESPN2
10 p.m.Jimmy V Men’s Classic Presented by Corona 
No. 8 Illinois vs. No. 2 Baylor
ESPN
 7 p.m.South Dakota State vs. Iowa StateESPN+
 Youngstown State vs. No. 15 West VirginiaESPN+
Thu, Dec. 37 p.m.Roman Legends Classic 
Championship
ESPN
9 p.m.St. John‘s vs. No. 14 Texas TechESPN
9:30 p.m.Roman Legends Classic 
Third Place Game
ESPN2
8 p.m.VMI vs. Virginia TechACCN
 Northwestern State vs. TCUESPN+
Fri, Dec. 42 p.m.UNCG at LouisvilleACCN
4 p.m.Rhode Island at Boston CollegeACCN
6 p.m.Kent State at No. 4 VirginiaACCN
7 p.m.Jacksonville at GeorgiaSEC Network
8 p.m.No. 12 Tennessee at Notre DameACCN
9 p.m.South Alabama at AuburnSEC Network
Sat, Dec. 5NoonBubbleville
NC State vs. UConn
ESPNU
TBDOakland vs. Oklahoma StateESPN+
8 p.m.UNLV vs. Kansas StateESPN+
Sun, Dec. 6NoonElon at No. 9 DukeACCN
1 p.m.No. 3 Villanova at No. 19 TexasESPN
2 p.m.Missouri at Wichita StateESPN2
 Grambling State at No. 14 Texas TechESPNU
 Stetson at FloridaSEC Network
3 p.m.Xavier at CincinnatiESPN
4 p.m.Oklahoma at TCUESPN2
 UTRGV at Texas A&MSEC Network
5 p.m.Hoopsgiving  
No. 10 Kentucky at Georgia Tech
ESPN
6 p.m.DePaul at Iowa StateESPNU
 Louisiana Tech at LSUSEC Network
8 p.m.Oklahoma at TCUESPN+

ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by Continental Tire

DateTimeMatchupNetwork
Tue, Dec. 85 p.m.Purdue at MiamiESPN2
7 p.m.Boston College at MinnesotaESPNU
7:30 p.m.North Carolina at IowaESPN
 Ohio State at Notre DameESPN2
9 p.m.Penn State at Virginia TechESPNU
9:30 p.m.Illinois at DukeESPN
 Syracuse at RutgersESPN2
 Wed, Dec. 95 p.m.Maryland at ClemsonESPN2
7:15 p.m.Louisville at WisconsinESPN
 NC State at MichiganESPN2
 Georgia Tech at NebraskaESPNU
9:15 p.m.Michigan State at VirginiaESPN
 Indiana at Florida StateESPN2
 Pittsburgh at NorthwesternESPNU

More information on the ESPN networks’ men’s college basketball coverage is available online now along with all of the latest men’s college basketball headlines at:

Websitehttp://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ESPNCBB

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 Awards Ceremony To Cap Off 2020-21 College Football Season

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN will honor the cream of this year’s college football crop in January.

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.”

Sixteen awards will go to players during the ceremony. The finalists for each award will be announced Dec. 22. The award categories are listed below.

Chuck Bednarik Award
College Defensive Player of the Year  
Biletnikoff Award
Outstanding Receiver  
Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award
Nation’s Outstanding Placekicker  
Ray Guy Award
College Punter of the Year
 
Maxwell Award
College Player of the Year
 
Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award
Nation’s Best Quarterback
 
Outland Trophy
Nation’s Most Outstanding Interior Lineman
 
Paycom Jim Thorpe Award
Nation’s Best Defensive Back
 
Doak Walker Award
Nation’s Premier Running Back
 
The Home Depot Coach of the Year
William V. Campbell Trophy Presented By Mazda
Scholar-Athlete
Disney Spirit Award
Most Inspirational Player or Team
Walter Camp All-America Team

 The show will also recognize recipients of the following awards:

John Mackey Award
Outstanding Tight End
 
Rimington Trophy
Outstanding Center  
 
Wuerffel Trophy
Community Service

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.

First 2020 College Football Playoff Rankings Revealed Tonight On ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

College football fans and teams alike will get their first view of the post season tonight.

ESPN will broadcast the College Football Playoff Top 25 Ranking Show Presented by Allstate at 7 p.m .ET. Rece Davis will anchor the program. Analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Joey Galloway, Jesse Palmer, and David Pollack will join Davis for the broadcast.

The first rankings presentation ahead of the post season, it will feature an interview with College Football Playoffs Selection Committee Chairman Gary Barta. The broadcast will also feature the unveiling of the first playoffs ranking from the selection committee in real time.

As an added viewing option, Rankings Reaction, sponsored by Cheez-It will air online through Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and the ESPN App. Mike Golic Jr., Jason Fitz, and Christine Williamson will host the program live from Studio E in Bristol, CT. The program will air throughout the remainder of the regular season and the post season right up until selection day, Dec. 30.

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.

PBS Distribution’s Debut ‘Molly Of Denali’ DVD Set Is Awesome

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

The wait is officially over for the first ever collection of episodes from PBS Kids’ animated series Molly of Denali.  The two-disc collection features 32 episodes from the series’ debut season released Tuesday, and it largely lives up to its title.  That is proven in part through its episodes, which will be discussed shortly.  The stories that are featured in the episodes build on the appeal formed through the compilation’s featured episodes.  They will be discussed a little later.  The set’s average price point rounds out its most important elements, considering the extensive content featured in this set.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the presentation of Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures.  All things considered, they make this double-disc set a great first collection from the Peabody Award®-winning series.

PBS Kids’ first-ever collection of Molly of Denali episodes, Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures is an impressive DVD debut from the series.  That is due in no small part to its featured episodes.  The collection features 32 episodes from the series’ debut season.  That equals to 16 full-length half hour episodes, which is almost half of the body of the series’ only season so far.  Season one consists of 40 full half-hour episodes.  For the most part, the featured episodes are presented in chronological order, though there is some jumping around at points.  Ironically, being that each episode is presented in full, one can’t help but wonder why they were split up in the presentation here rather than being presented exactly as they were on television.  That aside, it is still good to see so much of the first season presented together rather than just have a jumble of shorts from the bigger overall episodes.  Hopefully audiences will not have to wait too long to complete their Season One collections, keeping all of this in mind.

While the episodes that are featured in Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures (that’s a lot of alliteration, isn’t it?) do a lot collectively to make this collection appealing, they are just a part of what makes it so appealing.  The stories that are featured within the episodes play into the collection’s appeal in their own right.  That is because they are so diverse.  Case in point is the story featured in “Book of Mammoths.”  As Molly and her dad go on a camping trip, they meet a tourist named Travis who is a conspiracy theorist of sorts.  He has read a book that has led him to believe that mammoths are still alive in Qyah.  This is a sort of spoof of all the people who think aliens have been to Earth since prehistoric times.  On a completely different note, “Name Game” and “Grandpa’s Drum” focus on the importance of accepting, appreciating, and recording cultural diversity and history.  “Qyah Spy,” yet another featured entry in this set, offers audiences yet another enjoyable story.  Molly and Tooey play spies as a mysterious stranger comes to Qyah and she thinks some of the town’s residents are being very secretive.  She thinks someone in town is up to no good, but the reality is the exact opposite.  Between these stories and so many others featured in the collection’s episodes, audiences get so much wonderful variety throughout the course of the collection’s approximately six-and-a-half hour run time.  Keeping this and the sheer volume of content in the set in mind, the set’s average price point proves to be its own positive.

The average price point of Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures is $12.49.  That price was reached by averaging listings at Amazon, Best Buy, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ online store.  It was not listed through Walmart, Target, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ stores at the time of this review’s posting.  PBS’ listing and that of Books-A-Million are the most expensive, at $14.99 each.  Amazon and Best Buy each  list the set at $9.99, which is well below that average.  Considering again, the extensive amount of content featured in this collection, and the variety therein, a listing of roughly $10 is not bad at all.  Even $15 is not too bad though obviously lower prices are available.  Regardless of which retailer one chooses, PBS will still benefit in the end, so either way along with audiences.  To that end the set’s average and separate price listings prove their own value to this presentation just as much as the set’s content.  All things considered , PBS Distribution’s new Molly of Denali proves to in fact be awesome.

PBS Distribution’s debut Molly of Denali DVD set, Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures is an impressive first home release from the award-winning animated series.  That is proven in part through its extensive episode listing, which covers almost half of the series’ first (and only so far) season.  The variety presented within the episodes is certain to keep audiences engaged and entertained throughout.  The set’s average price point puts the finishing touch to its appeal, coming in at less than $15.  The separate listings each are less than $20, adding even more appeal to that note.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the double-disc set.  All things considered, the collection truly lives up to its name, leaving no doubt that it is in fact awesome.

More information on Molly of Denali is available along with games, activities, printables and more at:

Websitehttp://pbskids.org/molly

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/MollyOfDenali

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Shout! Factory, MLB Productions Announce Release Date, Specs For World Series Sets

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MLB Productions

Los Angeles Dodgers fans and baseball fans alike can relive history beginning next month.

Major League Baseball Productions and Shout! Factory have partnered to release 2020 World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers Dec. 8. The 90-minute presentation takes audiences through the Dodgers’ 2020 season all the way through the World Series.

Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully narrates the program, which culminates in the Dodgers’ first World Series Championship in 32 years.

Scully was humble as he talked about taking part in the production.

“It was 32 years since the Dodgers won a World Series and the seventh in the history of the organization, bringing great joy to their fans and the city of Los Angeles in particular,” said Scully. “This is their winning story against the Tampa Bay Rays, and it’s an honor for me to recount just how they did it.”

Media access was limited this year as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. However, approved access and other feeds allowed for this year’s production to happen. The set is expected to retail for MSRP of $19.98 (DVD) and $26.98 (Blu-ray/DVD combo pack).

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MLB Prouctions

As an additional bonus, the entire six-game world series is scheduled for release Feb. 9 through Shout! Factory and Major League Baseball Productions. The set will feature Game 3 of the National League Division Series and Game Seven of the National League Championship Series as bonus content.

2020 World Series Collector’s Edition is expected to retail for MSRP of $59.98 (DVD) and $74.98 (Blu-ray).

More information on these and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Websitehttp://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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‘Star Trek: Picard’ Falls Short Of Expectations In Its Debut Season

Courtesy: Paramount/CBS/CBS All Access/CBS DVD

CBS All Access’ latest entry in the ever-expanding Star Trek universe, Picard is another disappointment in the “new generation” of Star Trek series, next to Discovery.  The 10-episode debut season of Picard gives audiences little reason to remain engaged or even entertained in its writing and acting.  That is not to say that this season is a complete failure.  It is saved at least in part by its special effects and the packaging of its home release.  Other than those aesthetic elements, there is really no other reason for viewers to even try out this attempt to resurrect the TNG era of Star Trek.

The debut season of CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard is a rough first outing for the show.  It is not a complete failure, though.  It does have at least a couple of positives, one of which is its special effects.  Technology has come a long way in terms of the use of special effects, and they were used quite well throughout the course of Picard’s debut season.  Audiences will marvel at the upgrades made to the Borg cube that was so badly damaged in an epic battle with the Enterprise back in the days of TNG.  In a similar vein, the effects that were used to create the home world of the “synths” and the Federation headquarters is just as impressive.  The space battles that took place were just as  enjoyable to watch, even though they looked more like something out of Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5.  The effects that were used to create the early destruction of the Mars shipyards is worth acknowledging, too.  Those sequences are pretty brutal, even though again, one can’t help but think of BSG in this case, too.  Simply put, the special effects that were presented throughout the course of Picard’s debut (and hopefully only) season give viewers at least something to appreciate here.  Going back again to the mention of the BSG comparison, that item is just one of many that brings about the season’s one major detractor, its writing.

The writing that is featured in the first season of Picard is problematic to say the very least.  The whole thing starts off as essentially a “sequel” of sorts to Star Trek: Nemesis, the finale to The Next Generation’s cinematic universe.  That 2002 movie was the lowest point for the TNG franchise at the time, but Jean Luc’s desire to find Data’s consciousness here is just cheesy to say the very least.  The real Jean Luc-Picard did mourn for Data in Nemesis, but he ultimately would have accepted Data’s passing.  So to have this story open like this makes suspension of disbelief difficult to say the least.  From there, audiences are presented with the all too familiar topic of whether artificial intelligence can become fully sentient.  It is a topic that became central to TNG, but was addressed far before Star Trek was a thing, thus the reference to Isaac Asimov throughout this season.  It has been used and used again so many times throughout the sci-fi world that it has become little more than a trope.  The over-the-top preachiness that ensues in regards to the Romulans’ blind hatred of synths is yet another echo of something that has been addressed so many times in other movies and television shows that preceeded Picard.  To that end, it makes the topic that much more unengaging. 

Of course for all of the negative in the show’s writing, it does have some positives.  One positive element of the writing comes in Jean Luc’s revelation about the Borg being “victims, not monsters” as he visits the Borg cube in which he himself became a Borg in TNG.  He realizes that the Borg were in fact real, living beings who were transformed by the sentience.  That is a direct connection to the bigger discussion on the synths’ place in the universe, but is still far less preachy than the other noted talk.  Considering that the story line in Star Trek Discovery states the Federation essentially made the Borg when it created “Control,” Picard’s statement holds even more water so to speak.

Staying on the topic of Jean Luc’s revelations, his comment early on that the Federation does not decide which society survives is powerful in itself.  It echoes back to Luke Skywalker’s disillusionment with the Jedi order in the Star Wars universe.  The Federation’s Prime Directive was to not get involved directly in any society, so for his fellow Admiral to declare the Federation does hold that power makes Jean Luc a more sympathetic character.  It shows that there is at least a little bit of positive to the writing.  Sadly though, other than these revelations, most of the writing still poses its share of problems.  There is so much exposition and waxing philosophical throughout the season that the show’s pacing starts to suffer many times.  It isn’t the lighter but direct writing that audiences enjoyed in the “old days” of Star Trek.  Audiences are even made to endure an extensive discussion on mortality in the season finale (not to give away too much) that is way heavy. 

As if everything noted was not enough, the blatant foul language and often gory content written into the scripts detracts from the writing even more.  TOS, TNG, DSN, Voyager, and Enterprise did not need violence and foul language in order to work.  To that end, why did the show’s creative heads think these elements were so necessary in this case?  It leaves one shaking one’s head in disbelief that much more.

Simply put, the writing detracts from the presentation of Picard: Season One noticeably.  That is even with its rare positives.  While the writing does considerable damage to this season’s presentation, there is at least one more positive for audiences.  It is the packaging of the season’s home release.

Audiences will note that Season One’s packaging actually is its own positive.  The set’s three discs sit on their own “plate” inside the box.  This protects them from being damaged in any form.  Brief but concise episode summaries are also printed on the inside of the set’s cover art.  This is where things get a little bit problematic.  Due to being printed on the inside of the case’s art, some of the summaries are partially covered by the package’s “bones.”  This leads to the need to shift the box so that they can be better read.  Even doing that is problematic because even in doing that, there is still some difficulty in reading said summaries.  Thankfully it doesn’t happen with all of the summaries.  To that end, the inclusion of the summaries is still mostly positive in its own fashion.  When all of this noted packaging presentation is considered along with the show’s special effects, the show’s presentation proves to have at least something to appreciate

The debut season of CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard is a rough start for this series.  It does not give audiences much to appreciate.  Rather, it comes across more as a cash grab attempt by someone to get fans of The Next Generation to welcome the “new age” of Star Trek.  That is evidenced in large part through the season’s central story and writing.  The writing comes across as some kind of attempt by the  show’s creative heads to see if they could make up for the failure that was Nemesis while also rehashing the far too familiar topic of artificial intelligence and the potential results of said intelligence becoming sentient.  It all feels so forced.  To the show’s defense, there are at least a couple of positives to the writing, but they are just not enough to make this season memorable.  The only real positives to this season are its special effects and the packaging of its home release.  Even as much as they do to help the season’s presentation, they just are not enough to save Season One.  Ultimately, one can only hope that considering all of the problems posed throughout the season, the now confirmed second season will be anything but the failure that is Season One.

More information on Star Trek: Picard is available along with all of CBS All Access’ latest news at:

Website: http://www.cbs.com/allaccess

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cbs

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

ESPN, SoCon Ink New Broadcast Deal

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and the Southern Conference have reached a new broadcast deal.

The announcement was made Tuesday. The new six-year deal runs through the 2025-26 season and will give the conference more visibility across the ESPN networks. Among the most notable of the coverage increases is an increase in the conference’s basketball games, including its semifinals and championship.

SoCon Commissioner Jim Schaus spoke positively about the new deal in a prepared statement.

“We are excited to continue our long-standing relationship with ESPN,” said Schaus. “This agreement represents the most national television exposure with ESPN in conference history, which is critical as we continue to grow our successful brand into our second century of excellence. The Southern Conference is truly on the rise and this new agreement will further propel the league to even greater heights in the future. Special thanks goes to ESPN’s Dan Margulis and our media consultant CSMG in artfully guiding this process.”

Dan Margulis, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions, echoed Schaus’ sentiments in his own statement.

“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with the Southern Conference through this new long-term agreement, especially on the verge of the league’s 100-year celebration in 2021. We look forward to showcasing even more SoCon events across our ESPN networks and digital platforms over the next six years,” he said.

The Southern Conference and ESPN have maintained a working relationship for almost 20 years.

More information on ESPN’s new deal with the Southern Conference is available along with all of the latest sports headlines at:

Websitehttp://espn.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ESPN

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/espn

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

ESPN Networks’ Week 11 College Football Broadcast Schedule Announced; ‘CGD’ To Air Live From Augusta

Courtesy: ESPN

A dozen of the NCAA’s Top 25 college football teams are on the ESPN networks’ broadcast schedule this week.

The networks’ Week 11 broadcast schedule was announced Monday. This week’s schedule gets off to an early start tonight with a matchup between Kent State and Bowling Green on ESPN2. Coverage is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET. Miami (OH) and Buffalo continue the MAC action tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The networks’ schedule continues Wednesday with two more games at 8 p.m. ET. The first of the night’s games — Toledo at Western Michigan — will air on ESPN. The other — Central Michigan at Northern Illinois — will air on ESPNU.

No. 7 Cincinnati (which fell from No. 6 to No. 7 in the AP standings over the weekend despite a dominating win over Houston and despite being the AAC’s only undefeated team at 6-0, 4-0) will host East Carolina University at 7:30 p.m. Friday on ESPN2.

Big 10 foes No. 13 Wisconsin and Maryland will headline this week’s schedule at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday night on ABC’s Saturday Night Football Presented by Capital One.

Another key matchup in this week’s schedule is a showdown between Notre Dame and Boston College. Game coverage is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

The ESPN networks’ full broadcast schedule for Week 11 of the 2020 college football season is noted below.

DateTime (ET)Game/TalentNetwork
Tue, Nov 107:30 p.m.Kent State at Bowling Green
Mike Couzens, Cole Cubelic
ESPN2
8 p.m.Miami (OH) at Buffalo
Matt Barrie, Mike Golic Jr., Paul Carcaterra
ESPN
Wed, Nov 118 p.m.Toledo at Western Michigan
Anish Shroff, Tom Luginbill, Eric Wood
ESPN
 Central Michigan at Northern Illinois
Mike Corey, Rocky Boiman
ESPNU
Fri, Nov 137:30 p.m.East Carolina at No. 7 Cincinnati
Jason Benetti, Andre Ware, Rocky Boiman
ESPN2
Sat, Nov 14NoonNo. 10 Indiana at Michigan State
Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Holly Rowe
ABC
 No. 12 Georgia at Missouri
Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek, Quint Kessenich
ESPN
  No. 9 Miami at Virginia Tech
Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer, Eric Wood
ESPN2
  No. 15 Coastal Carolina at Troy
John Schriffen, Rene Ingoglia
ESPNU
  Wake Forest at North Carolina
Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck, Katie George
ACC Network
  Vanderbilt at Kentucky
Dave Neal, DJ Shockley, Dawn Davenport
SEC Network
  Coast Guard at Merchant Marine
Dave Leno, Ken Dunek
ESPN3
  Western Carolina at No. 22 LibertyESPN3
  Army at Tulane
Joel Meyers, Brian Kinchen
ESPN+
 2 p.m.South Alabama at No. 25 LouisianaESPN+
 2:30 p.m.Georgia State at Appalachian StateESPN+
 3 p.m.South Florida at Houston
David Saltzman, Stan Routt
ESPN+
  UTEP at UTSAESPN+
  Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas StateESPN3
 3:30 p.m.No. 2 Notre Dame at Boston College
Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Todd McShay, Molly McGrath
ABC
  No. 5 Texas A&M at Tennessee
Kevin Brown, Mike Golic Sr., Marty Smith
ESPN/ESPN Radio
  Colorado at Stanford
Beth Mowins, Rod Gilmore, Shelley Smith
ESPN2
  Memphis at Navy
Clay Matvick, Jay Walker
ESPNU
  Louisville at Virginia
Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich, Jerry Punch
ACC Network
  Rice at Louisiana TechESPN3
  Texas State at Georgia SouthernESPN3
 7 p.m.Arkansas at No. 6 Florida
Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky, Allison Williams
ESPN
  No. 19 SMU at Tulsa
Anish Shroff, Tom Luginbill, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN2
  Pittsburgh at Georgia TechESPN3
 7:30 p.m.No. 13 Wisconsin at Michigan
Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor
ABC
  Temple at UCF
Mike Corey, Hutson Mason
ESPNU
  Florida State at NC State
Wes Durham, Roddy Jones, Lericia Harris
ACC Network
  South Carolina at Ole Miss
Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic
SEC Network
 10:30 p.m.California at Arizona State
Dave Flemming, Kirk Morrison, Kris Budden
ESPN2
Courtesy: ESPN

In related news, College GameDay Built by The Home Depot will air live Saturday from Augusta, GA, the home of the Masters.

The special edition of ESPN’s CGD will air live from Augusta National Golf Club. The broadcast will preview The PGA’s Masters Golf Tournament and will come specifically from the Par 3 course, the site of the Masters Par 3 Contest. The Masters Gold Tournament was postponed from its normal date in April to Saturday, Nov. 14 as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content, commented on this weekend’s broadcast in a prepared statement.

“Anytime College GameDay travels to a new destination it’s special, and the opportunity to be on the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club during the Masters is extraordinary,” said Pitaro.  “As this iconic event coincides with the college football season for the first time, we look forward to getting fans ready for a football Saturday, while also showcasing the Masters and the greatest golfers in the world.”

A “virtual pit’ will allow fans to take part in the broadcast from the safety of their own homes. Fans who want to take part in the ‘virtual pit’ can register for a chance for inclusion in the event here.

Rece Davis will anchor the broadcast. Five-time Emmy Award-winning analyst Kirk Herbstreit, Heisman Trophy winner and NFL MVP Desmond Howard, College Football Hall of Fame inductee and former Georgia All-American Georgia undergrad and MBA alum Maria Taylor, and Tom Rinaldi will join Davis for the broadcast. Additionally, Lee Corso will contribute remotely from his home.

Other contributors expected to appear on Saturday’s edition of College GameDay Built by The Home Depot are: Jen Lada, Pat McAfee, and Gene Wojciechowski. Along with appearing on Saturday’s broadcast, Rinaldi will also repot on The Masters for his 13th consecutive year.

This year is the first that ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot has aired from Augusta. However, the program has previously welcomed some well-known college golf athletes. PGA golfer Ricky Fowler (former Oklahoma State golfer), and fellow PGA star Justin Thomas (former Alabama golfer) have appeared on the program.

ESPN will air the first and second rounds of The Masters tournament from 1 – 5:30 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 12-13. ESPN will offer expanded PGA coverage this year from Nov. 9-15 on ESPN+, including exclusive practice round coverage on Nov. 10-11, and coverage of Holes 4,5, and 6 on all four days of the tournament. Additionally, SportsCenter will have special coverage from The Masters throughout the week of the tournament.

More information on ESPN’s college football and PGA coverage is available along with all of the latest PGA headlines at:

Websitehttp://espn.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ESPN

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/espn

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