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December 7, 2016

(For Immediate Release)


(Bristol, CT) Due to the number of questions, ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in Sports, wishes to address the surprising number of questions that were directed to the ESPN Media Zone with regards to the announcing crew of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Following the press release of the announcing crews for all of the 2016-17 college football bowl season, there was much reaction to Mike Golic and Mike Golic, Jr. serving as co-analysts in the booth with game caller Ryan Ruocco and sideline reporter Paul Caracaterra.

The combination of the co-host of ESPN’s morning radio show Mike & Mike in the Morning with his son is in no way a stunt or nepotism. Mike Golic is a well-respected voice in sports and we feel that Mike Golic, Jr. is a rising star in the broadcast of college football.

This decision was made with the full support of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl organizers and sponsors.

“When ESPN approached us with the idea of Mike Golic and his son working the game from the broadcast booth, we were very excited,” said Pinstripe Bowl Executive Director Mark Hozman. “The idea of two Notre Dame alum and partisans talking about Northwestern and Pitt seemed ideal.”

“Northwestern is located in a suburb of Chicago,” Hozman continued, “The epicenter of Notre Dame subway fans. The idea of not being able to escape Notre Dame references and discussions of Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly for even one game has to be a tremendous incentive to attend the actual event to avoid hearing such sparkling conversations.”

“For Pitt fans, Mike Golic only reads quick summaries of teams in the AP top-10 to effect a knowledge of college football. This year, that includes Penn State, who we fully expect him to confuse with Pitt during the game.”

“You don’t want to hear these morons? Buy a damn ticket,” added New York Yankees Chairman Hal Steinbrenner.

October 6, 2016

In a few years when Florida State fans, boosters and probably their board of trustees complain that the TV money from the ACC Network isn’t enough/keeping up with the SEC (because we all, damn well know they will be first in line to complain), we can all remind them that they were the ones leading the charge to leave the money on the table to keep their extra non-con game.

Not that they will care or even accept any blame.


May 20, 2016

Pitt announced yesterday the start times for the first two games of the season (and the Thursday night game hosting VT, but we all knew that was going to be a 7pm game).

The season opener against Villanova will be at 1:30 and shown on ESPN3.

The September 10 game against Penn State will be at noon and shown on ESPN or ABC. Disappointing, but not too surprising.


May 17, 2016

Recapping ACC Meetings

Filed under: ACC,Conference,Media,Mouse Monopoly — Chas @ 7:21 am

Reminder Pitt on the Prowl alumni events kick off this Thursday in Cleveland (hope to see some people there) and then to Chicago on May 23 and NYC on May 25. Coaches Pat Narduzzi, Kevin Stallings and Suzie McConnell-Serio will be at all the events.

Script unveiling is tomorrow. At least May has been somewhat active.

ACC meetings from last week didn’t reveal anything earth-shattering.


April 29, 2016

No, nothing about Laremy Tunsil’s moment of honesty — before a PR (or assistant agent) hurriedly hustled him out of his press conference. Good times coming to Ole Miss.

The satellite camps are still allowed. This has been one of the sillier controversies of the spring.

The SEC and ACC pushed for a complete ban — and got one — on the camps because of paranoia and wanting to protect their natural recruiting areas. They can dress it up however they want, but it was only about protecting their own self-interests. And yes, Coach Pat Narduzzi was fully in support of such a ban, but  I still don’t get it.


November 18, 2015

Later than I wanted, but time has been limited during daylight.

Pitt planned for a sleepwalk of a game after traveling back from Okinawa, and they delivered. The Pumas of St. Joe’s College (somehow, apparel and shoe company Puma does not sponsor them) were the big patsy on Tuesday. A subpar D-II team that came for a beating and delivered on their end.

The first half was extremely sloppy and you could see the lack of energy from Pitt. They missed a lot of shots from outside. Struggled at times with defense. Yet still led by 14 at the half.


October 26, 2015

Did not see this coming. Rumors had percolated that the winner of this Thursday’s UNC-Pitt game would be in line to host College Gameday on November 7. There seemed to be some logic to it. Gameday tries not to go back to the same location more than once a season when possible — which would rule out going to FSU-Clemson.

Whichever team won would be in the driver seat for the ACC Coastal. Kind of a big game that ESPN has the rights to.

Then it was announced that this weekend College Gameday would be in Philly for ND-Temple. That ended the Gameday dream, but I couldn’t get too bothered. I’m glad Temple gets some love for once. If for no other reason than the joy they brought me on the opening weekend of this season.

Besides, a ND-Pitt game at worse would be a 3:30 start. ESPN/ABC would want the ratings.

What’s that?


June 3, 2014

Who Are The Other 24?

Filed under: Basketball,Coaches,Media,Mouse Monopoly — Chas @ 7:43 am

It’s only June and it is coming to this. I’m not proud.

ESPN is doing a list of the top-50 college basketball coaches in recent years. The standards seem very nebulous and hard to pin down.

We’ve been thinking about that question this offseason, looking for the best way to quantify the answer. Luckily, we’ve got ESPN Forecast. Last week, we asked a panel of nearly 100 ESPN writers, editors, broadcasters and researchers to rate college basketball coaches on all aspects of running a program, on a scale of 1-10. (The crucial distinction here is that the prompt was not career-oriented. This isn’t about legacy. It’s all about the present.) We compiled their scores and ranked the names, and now comes the fun part: The big reveal.

Right from the start there are some odd rankings — Scott Drew (Baylor at 50 should be higher based on what he has done) and Bruce Weber (K-State at 40 is ridiculously high) — that seem as based on liking or disliking some coaches as their actual performance.

Tom Crean was completely left off the list which seems ridiculous, but then, no one really seems to like Crean these days.

[And given this is and ESPN project, they have to have start the debate with this and immediately start questioning their own compilation to fan the debate.[


November 3, 2013

Gametime for ND-Pitt

Filed under: Football,Media,Mouse Monopoly,Schedule,TV — Chas @ 12:19 pm

ESPN could wait until noon today to announce. And by god they did. Actually they went 15 minutes past it. Holding ND and Pitt writers and fans hostage with the delay.

Faced with the reality that they have no great options they opted for the ratings bet with ND at night. With VT flopping — Pitt faced Logan Thomas 2 weeks too early it seems — and Miami being crushed by FSU, the VT-Miami showdown lost any real luster of meaning in the ACC Coastal Wheel of Destiny. That sends them to a noon 7pm start.

As I said earlier, there was no value putting ND-Pitt on at 3:30 with two Big 10 games already in that slot. That puts ND-Pitt at night. Not just night. It’s the 8 pm ABC national broadcast. ESPN opted for the guarantee of ratings with ND involved. Even if the game itself will be, um, hard to sell as compelling.

Three home night games this year. Really can’t complain about nooners this year.

October 29, 2013

Per the intricacies of the ACC deal with the Mouse Monopoly, game times are supposed to be announced no later than 12 days before the day of the game. Not just the time, but the channel. So a game on Saturday, November 9 should be announced by Monday, October 28. But… out of the more than 100 ACC games that ABC/ESPN has the right to air, they can designate up to three of them for a decision only six days before the game.

ABC/ESPN chose November 9 as the day to play random flux. VT-Miami, FSU-WF and ND-Pitt are in the blender. All three will be shown by ABC or ESPN. But the when and which channel is a mystery until early Sunday afternoon. Which also happens to be when Daylight Savings Time ends, so you can add another hour to it.

So the sold out ND-Pitt game could be at noon. It could be at 3:30. It could be at 7 or 8 at night.


June 10, 2013

In case you weren’t already aware of this, there won’t be an ACC Network for at least 3 or 4 years. There are some issues to overcome. There is a whole infrastructure to set up. Even the SEC Network that has been announced was more than two years in the works.

For the ACC, there are some added layers that complicate thing. Such as their deal with Raycom.

The Sports Business Daily did a fine — if somewhat pessimistic piece — detailing the hurdles to a ACC Network.

The main roadblock is rights. When it signed its ACC deal in 2010, ESPN and Charlotte-based Raycom Sports cut a deal that grants Raycom the ACC’s digital and corporate sponsorship rights, plus a heavy dose of live football and basketball games. Through a sublicensing agreement, Raycom owns the rights to 31 live football games and 60 live men’s basketball games.

Even if the conference is able to buy back those rights from Raycom, a second roadblock remains. Raycom sublicensed 17 of those football games and 25 of those basketball games to Fox, which carries the games on its regional sports networks throughout the ACC footprint. Live local sports programming is important to Fox’s RSNs, and they are not likely to give up those games cheaply.

The games that stay with Raycom make up the ACC’s long-running syndicated package that is distributed to more than 50 million households on over-the-air networks, and reaches 25 of the top 50 U.S. TV markets.

Those deals extend through 2027.

It’s unlikely that ESPN will try to launch a channel without those rights. ESPN brought all of those rights — TV, digital, sponsorship — together as it formed the SEC Network, which launches in August 2014.

That’s because a syndicated model that the ACC follows (and the SEC had been operating) really doesn’t work when you want your own channel.


April 23, 2013

The Grant of Rights put in place by the ACC does not stop expansiopocolypse. It does, however, severely slow it down and minimize it. The movement in the next five to ten years will almost entirely be by conferences and programs below the Big Five.

Oh, sure, it’s possible at some point that the Big 12 feels it has no choice but to actually go to 12, at which time it goes for Cinci and BYU or some other team from the Mountain West (Boise St.). And it is conceivable that the Big Ten could go to Mizzou and say, yeah, come into our playground — since the SEC does not have any exit fees or penalties.

And, yes, there is always a chance that some program locked into a Grant of Rights might mount a legal challenge. But unlike a challenge to an exit fee like Maryland is engaged, losing the challenge to a Grant of Rights contract is much bigger. Even if a challenge to the ACC Grant of Rights came with five years left (2023), the potential loss by the school challenging is $100 million. Not many schools are going to make that gamble.

But that is about it. Things are relatively locked in right now. There will be no easy way for the major conferences to poach teams from each other while the Grant of Rights (GoR) are in place. The Big 12 is at 10. The Big Ten will be 14.

As usual there is more to the story than mere stability.


October 1, 2012

Early, Early Homecoming

Filed under: Football,Media,Mouse Monopoly — Chas @ 12:04 pm

Well, for those who hate noon games, this is actually worse. The Saturday, October 13 Homecoming game of Louisville-Pitt is getting a start time of 11 am for an ESPNU game.

Thanks to our overlords at ESPN for that. Pitt has no say on the times for a conference game. That’s between ESPN and the Big East. Well, really, it’s all up to what ESPN wants.

I repeat 11 am. Not 11 Central. 11 am, Eastern.

If you are a student or in for Homecoming weekend, I recommend the all-nighter. What, with Midnight Madness that night.

Going to be a lot of fun to get up at 5 AM to drive to Pittsburgh that morning. Bitter venting at this not only permitted, but encouraged.

June 7, 2012

Football Start Times

Filed under: Football,Media,Mouse Monopoly,Schedule — Chas @ 3:46 pm

Well the gods have spoken for at least a few more games. ESPN has announced the start times for a slew of games, including 3 more Pitt games.

Previously unknown start times for VT-Pitt, Gardner-Webb-Pitt and Pitt-Buffalo have been set. So, here’s how the schedule now looks.

2012 Pitt Football Schedule

Date Opponent (TV) Time
Sept. 1 Youngstown State (ESPN3) 6 p.m.
Sept. 6 (Thurs.) @ Cincinnati* (ESPN) 8 p.m.
Sept. 15 Virginia Tech (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) Noon
Sept. 22 Gardner-Webb (ESPN3) 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 Open
Oct. 5 (Fri.) @ Syracuse* (ESPN) 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 Louisville* TBA
Oct. 20 @ Buffalo (Big East Network) 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 27 Temple* TBA
Nov. 3 @ Notre Dame (NBC) 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 9 (Fri.) @ Connecticut* (ESPN2) 8 p.m.
Nov. 17 Open
Nov. 24 Rutgers* TBA
Dec. 1 @ South Florida* (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2) TBA



June 1, 2012

ESPN has announced the match-ups for the SEC/Big East Challenge. Prepare to be awed.

Date Game
Thu, Nov 29 Kentucky at Notre Dame
  Marquette at Florida
  South Carolina at St. John’s
  Seton Hall at LSU
Fri, Nov 30 Syracuse at Arkansas
  Tennessee at Georgetown
  DePaul at Auburn
Georgia at South Florida
Sat, Dec 1 Alabama at Cincinnati
Villanova at Vanderbilt
Mississippi State at Providence
Rutgers at Mississippi



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