TD’s Game Corner

Have you ever stopped to notice how many different bloggers out there that start a series or two for the season? Well, this is my first official season as a blogger, so I’ll be attempting a few here and there to see how they go.

We’ve all started to figure out our game plans for this weekend. Some plan on driving their RVs down around Thursday evening, others will stay in hotels or just drive early in the morning to the game. But, for those of you who are not able to make it to the game, I have decided to peruse through the TV listings for you. I will list the games I feel are the best overall experience while watching from your sofa. The games I list won’t include Alabama, since I’m already assuming that you plan to watch UA play. I promise I won’t recommend games that conflict with the start of the Alabama game that week.

Thursday

Louisiana State @ Missisippi State (ESPN 7:00 Central)

Synopsis: A no brainer for most College Football fans. This is the first big conference game of the season, meaning that there will be plenty of build up and special features to discover. The Mad Hatter attempts to squelch the dreams of Coach Sly in the middle of Scott Field.

Broadcasting Team: Chris Fowler, Doug Flutie, Craig James, and Erin Andrews. Yes, I know he does work for the evil ESPN, but Chris Fowler does a very solid job when you consider how the network ships him to every horse race, tennis match under the sun. I do not subscribe to the church of Erin Andrews worship, but I know people who do. If you’re into watching a game for just a sideline reporter, well this is your lucky day. Thinking of Doug Flutie talking causes me to fall asleep, so I don’t know what he actually brings to the table. Craig James is another one of those “insert generic line here” kind of commentators. Overall, it is an ok broadcasting line-up.

Broadcasting the Game: Since this is the season opener for a team playing for a national title, I imagine the Starkville crowd will be pretty excited. The Bulldog fans are hoping for 6 wins this season, which means that they will want to get off to a good start as quickly as possible. Remember how bad they looked against South Carolina? Croom and the dawgs will be doing everything they can to avoid another night like that. Unfortunately, they’re playing against the most talented team this side of California, so that might be harder than it sounds. ESPN will have plenty of crowd reaction to hype up the game since it is their first game of the season. Just turn your volume down low at the start of the game in order to ignore those stupid cowbells.

Likelihood of a Competitive Game: Well, I would have to say the odds aren’t to good if you want to see a tie game in the 4th quarter. At best I’d say it will only be close for 2 quarters since this is the first game of the year for LSU. Hey, stranger things have happened, but I doubt you’ll see a tight game Thursday night.

Watchability: I give this game a High watchability rating. It’s College Football! We haven’t had any since Florida bucked the nuts. Of course you should watch the first big game of the year. Some of us will watch the entire game even if LSU wins by 30.

Friday

You could watch Washington play Syracuse, but I wouldn’t recommend it. First off, both teams are still going to be horrible. Wouldn’t you rather watch the local high school team play? The next reason to avoid this game is the fact that Colin Cowherd will be in the broadcast booth. Yes, ESPN has decided to force the scrutebag on the poor fans who live in Washington and New York. Take the wife out for dinner and movie, or go support your kids are they participate in cheer leading, playing in the marching band, or playing on the football field.

Saturday

The big day has finally arrived folks! There is a fairly solid selection of games this weekend, so you should have a few games to look forward to. BTW, don’t forget the kick-off for the Alabama game (6:07 pm PPV). I would suggest Kansas State @ Auburn, but it is a conflicting time slot.

Any SEC Game

Live it, learn it, love it. Always try to watch an SEC team over another match-up, unless it has national implications. They are our rivals, so that means that what they could effect what happens to Alabama later one down the road. Unfortunately, CBS won’t start broadcasting SEC games until Florida vs Tennessee. Back to the subject matter, JUST WATCH SEC FOOTBALL!

But, if you feel like a mix of BCS conference games, here are a few more you might find interesting…

Georgia Tech @ Notre Dame (NBC 2:30 pm Central)
Synopsis: This is a game to see since both teams are starting new QBs. Georgia Tech fans seem to feel that their team will actually improve with a new QB not named Reggie Ball. Irish fans are wondering who will actually end up playing behind Center throughout the season. Plus, if Georgia Tech is actually able to win this game, I know most of you love to see a beatdown of Notre Dame. The spread for the game is -3.5 Notre Dame.

Broadcasting Team: Bob Papa, Pat Haden, and Alex Flanagan. Papa does the play-by-play for the New York Giants radio broadcast, so he does has experience calling football games. If I remember correctly, Pat Haden did the Orange Bowl for Fox last year, so he does have some experience. Alex Flanagan used to work for ESPN during the early part of this decade. She will now be doing every Notre Dame home game. An unknown team overall. I’m not really sure what to expect from them; I fear it could be more generic broadcasting.

Broadcasting the Game: Notre Dame usually has a pretty good game environment. You will of course have to listen to NBC discuss the great tradition, the student section, and how wonderful a person Charlie Weis is (sarcasm). You will also end up seeing a Leprechan doing push-ups with the help of cheerleaders/students.

Likelihood of a Competitive Game: I’d say there is a pretty good chance of this. Notre Dame will have some offensive pains to start off the season. Considering that Tech will be returning most of their defense from last season, that could give ND some problems. Tech did lose Calvin Johnson last season, so you know they’ll lose some production from the recievers. Yes, I’m sure Tech fans will remind me of redshirt freshman Demaryius Thomas and their O-line returning, but you can’t tell me they’ll have the same punch they had last season. I feel that Georgia Tech will win this game.

Washington State @ Wisconsin (ABC/ESPN 2:30 Central)

Synopsis: This is the best game available at it’s designated kick-off time. I hope that ABC broadcasts this game in the Southeast over Wake Forest and Boston College. I’m not high on Wazzu, but I would like to see what Wisconsin has to offer since they have a distant shot at the National Title. Plus, you may see a larger gathering of drunk people compared to the rest of CFB.

Broadcasting Team: Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, Paul Maguire, and Bonnie Bernstein. Brad Nessler and Bob Griese do a very respectable job when it comes to broadcasting. Plus, you have to like Brad Nessler after his comments on Peyton Manning. Paul Maguire leaves me wondering what hiring process he went through in order to get that job. “Ok, Paul, can you read the names of players and coaches off of a sheet of paper while thinking up unorthodox comments to make about football? You can? Excellent.” Bonnie Bernstein is one of the better sideline reporters ESPN has out there today, so I’m sure she’ll do a respectable job.

Broadcasting the Game: ESPN on ABC isn’t that different from ABC sports to be honest with you. All they did was shift jobs and change a graphic or two. I don’t imagine there will be a large number of Wazzu fans at this game, so it will probably be one sided. Wisconsin fans will be singing drinking song, although I doubt you’ll hear most of them. All in all I would predict a solid broadcast, which is typical ESPN fashion for their major games. Sure, you’ll hear some stupid comments, but this is the world we live in now.

Likelihood of a Competitive Game: Not a great change of a competitive game if Wisconsin is what the talking heads claim they are. This is just a better option game considering that I don’t care to watch Wake Forest and BC play, as I mentioned earlier.

Tennessee @ California (ABC/ESPN 7:00 Central)

Synopsis: I know I told you to never watch a game if it conflicts with Alabama football, and I don’t expect you too. But, the game against WCU might not last as long as a typical game would considering that Alabama will be up by 20+ points at halftime. When the Bama game ends you can catch the 2nd half. Cal wants revenge on Tennessee, who humiliated them last season. Can the Vols bring SEC pride? Or will the Bears spank the Vols? Maybe Phil will get a wife of the “mary jane” and envision Jeff Tedford with a donut head, it is Berkeley after all.

Broadcasting Team: Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, and Lisa Salters. Brent Musburger is good at what he does, my biggest problem with him is how he constantly starts to bandwagon for the team that is winning the game. Herbstreit can rub certain fans the wrong way sometimes, but I actually like his opinions and input. Lisa Salters is a sideline veteran, so I’m sure she’ll do fine as well. All in all a good broadcast team by the standards of today.

Broadcasting the Game: This will be similar to the Wisconsin game since it is ABC. There will probably be a very good crowd for this game since the Cal fans want some revenge. If Cal gets off to a hot start, I imagine that stadium will be rocking as far as Berkeley standards go. Be careful, you may witness a rare shot of Winnie the Pooh’s older brother.

Likelihood of a Competitive Game: I would say fair since both teams had a high average of points per game. But, Tennessee does have a few new starters in the Secondary. Mix that with possible QB and RB issues, and things could easily get ugly for UT on the west coast. It’ll either be a very close game, or a blow out favoring Cal.

Monday

Yes, there are a few games on Monday.

Florida State @ Clemson (ESPN 7:00 Central)

Synopsis: This is the best match up of the night (the other one being SMU @ Texas Tech). This has to be the earliest Bowden Bowl since they started playing each other a few years ago. Should be an entertaining match up on several levels: father and son, Jimbo Fisher, both teams will compete for the ACC title. I imagine this will be the most hyped Monday night game of the year for ESPN.

Broadcasting Team: Mike Patrick, Todd Blackledge, and Holly Rowe. Mike Patrick is a recycled Sunday Night Football broadcaster. While he does a good job, something I can’t put my finger on what it is about him that bugs me. I wish Todd Blackledge was still with CBS (Gary Danielson is ok, but not as good as Todd). Holly Rowe, your ESPN female sideline reporter will be there as well.

Broadcasting the Game: I imagine you’ll have to sit through some father-son photo montage. It will be a good broadcast since ESPN isn’t forcing one of their lower tier hack crews to broadcast the game. Besides, I imagine this is the only game they’re showing that night since Monday Night Football won’t start until September 10th.

Likelihood of a Competitive Game: I imagine this will be a competitive game, even though I know little about both teams. I do remember that Clemson had some studs in the RB position last year, so it’ll be interesting to see how their backfield looks. Will Drew Weatherford screw up this game, or has Jimbo done enough with him to fix whatever has been wrong with him the last 2 years? Maybe Xavier Lee will get a shot as well. Bowdens, Bowdens, Bowdens baby!

Wow, that was longer than I expected to be honest with you. I hope you’ve found this useful. Please leave a comment if you would like to see this again or not. BTW, I discovered the broadcast teams via Awful Announcing, a great blog to check out. Have a good day!

(HT: Awful Announcing)

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