- Games galore this weekend. Some things never end. College football ends too quickly.
- Just a shade under 100 TV games listed here. Before the Supreme Court’s 1984 decision, you’d have a handful of telecasts on a Saturday, at best.
- Trey Bender has Air Force at New Mexico on ESPN3. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas and is the son of Gary Bender, a veteran network broadcaster who too graduated from KU. Trey’s wife, Amy, like Trey and dad is also a sportscaster. Their daughter Landry is named for Tom Landry, who was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. For those who might not remember, Gary Bender was CBS’ lead play-by-play voice for a few years in the 80s. He did Final Fours, the NFL and the NBA. When his contract wasn’t renewed, he kept busy. For years, Gary did the home telecasts for the Phoenix Suns. He’s now retired.
- Amanda Balionis, well known for her very capable work on golf for CBS Sports, is assigned to the sidelines of the Miami -FIU game on CBS Sports Network. The weather is relatively cool in South Florida this week. Think she’ll get a few holes in?
- Allen Bestwick, Mr. Motor Racing has Dartmouth-Brown.
- Doug Flutie has his alma-mater, Boston College at Notre Dame on NBC. It will take more than just one Flutie prayer for the Eagles to win in South Bend.
- ESPN’s Dave LaMont works a doubleheader this weekend, tonight and Saturday.
- ESPN’s Mark Jones, who celebrated his 58th birthday last Saturday has a wonderful command of the language. He credits his grandpa for it. He was an English professor.
- ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit (Herbie Pulpit) has Game Day in Columbus on Saturday, Penn State-Ohio State. He then has a prime-timer with Chris Fowler, Oregon at Arizona State.
Jake Baskin profiles John Strong who works the Rutgers-Michigan State game this week. Strong is a soccer voice. This weekend he’ll be calling real football, what appears to be for the first time for Fox. Profile is below the schedule.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 13
Tuesday, Nov. 19
Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN2 Matt Barrie, Cole Cubelic
Ohio at Bowling Green | 7:30 p.m. | ESPNU Jay Alter, Rocky Boiman
Wednesday, Nov. 20
Akron at Miami (OH) | 7:30 p.m. | ESPNU Mike Corey, Dustin Fox
Toledo at Buffalo | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN2 Dave LaMont, Ray Bentley
Thursday, Nov. 21
N.C. State at Georgia Tech | 8 p.m. | ESPN Adam Amin, Matt Hasselbeck, Pat McAfee
Friday, Nov. 22
Colorado State at Wyoming | 9:30 p.m. | ESPN2 Dave Flemming, Tom Ramsey
Saturday, Nov. 23
Penn State at Ohio State | 12 p.m. | FOX Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt
Kansas at Iowa State | 12 p.m. | FSN Mark Followill, Jordan Palmer
Ball State at Kent State | 12 p.m. | ESPN+ Michael Reghi, Dustin Fox
Liberty at Virginia | 12 p.m. | ACC Network Extra Evan Lepler, Dave Archer
Western Carolina at Alabama | 12 p.m. | ESPN Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer
Samford at Auburn | 12 p.m. | SEC Network Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb
Minnesota at Northwestern | 12 p.m. | ABC Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky
East Carolina at UConn | 12 p.m. | ESPN3 Robert Lee, Matt Chatham
Michigan State at Rutgers | 12 p.m. | FS1 John Strong, Evan Moore
Oklahoma State at West Virginia | 12 p.m. | ESPN2 Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman
UCF at Tulane | 12 p.m. | CBSSN Ben Holden, Ross Tucker
Illinois at Iowa | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network Kevin Kugler, Matt Millen
BYU at UMass | 12 p.m. | FloSports Josh Maurer, Andy Gresh
Dartmouth at Brown | 12 p.m. | ESPN+ Allen Bestwick, Nick Coit
Harvard at Yale | 12 p.m. | ESPNU Wes Durham, Roddy Jones
Wofford at The Citadel | 12 p.m. | ESPN+ Kevin Fitzgerald, Matt Dean ?
Hampton at Monmouth | 12 p.m. | ESPN3 Matt Harmon, Emory Hunt
Illinois State at Youngstown State | 12 p.m. | ESPN+ Drae Smith, Chris Sammarone
Princeton at Penn | 1 p.m. | ESPN+ Tom Hannifan, Coffee Jones
Stetson at Morehead State | 1 p.m. | ESPN+ Tanner Hesterberg, Jim Tom Trent
Point University at Furman | 1 p.m. | ESPN+ Bob Mihalic, Sam Wyche
Morgan State at Howard | 1 p.m. | ESPN3 Charlie Neal and Henry Frazier
South Carolina State at Norfolk State | 1 p.m. | ESPN3 Ross Gordon, Woube Gebre
North Carolina Central at North Carolina A&T | 1 p.m. | ESPN3 Shawn Kenney, Forrest Conoly
Columbia at Cornell | 1:30 p.m. | ESPN+ Barry Leonard, Buck Briggs
Air Force at New Mexico | 2 p.m. | ESPN3 Trey Bender, Tyoka Jackson
South Alabama at Georgia State | 2 p.m. | ESPN+ Matt Stewart, Wayne Gandy
Eastern Kentucky at Jacksonville State | 2 p.m. | ESPN3 Kevin Ingram, Bob Belvin
Murray State at Southeast Missouri State | 2 p.m. | ESPN+ Erik Sean, Rick Wieser
Marist at Valparaiso | 2 p.m. | ESPN+ Brian Jennings, Dave Huseman
Gardner-Webb at Kennesaw State | 2 p.m. | ESPN+ Brian Katrek, Nathan McCreary
St. Francis (PA) at Delaware State | 2 p.m. | ESPN3 Gary Lang and Michael Walker
Boston College at Notre Dame | 2:30 p.m. | NBC Mike Tirico, Doug Flutie, Chris Simms
Texas State at Appalachian State | 2:30 p.m. | ESPN+ Harrison Battle, Pierre Banks
Tennessee State at Tennessee Tech | 2:30 p.m. | ESPN+ Dylan Vazzano Analyst: Sam Brooks
Georgia Southern at Arkansas State | 3 p.m. | ESPN+ Roger Twibell, Pete Cordelli
Eastern Illinois at Austin Peay | 3 p.m. | ESPN+ Barry Gresham, Patton Cook
South Dakota State at South Dakota | 3 p.m. | ESPN+ Jay Elsen, Kurtiss Riggs
North Dakota State at Southern Illinois | 3 p.m. | ESPN+ Brian Shawn, Lee Timmerman
Indiana State at Missouri State | 3 p.m. | ESPN+ Scott Warmann, Danan Hughes
Texas A&M at Georgia | 3:30 p.m. | CBS Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson
UCLA at Southern California | 3:30 p.m. | ABC Steve Levy, Brian Griese
Nebraska at Maryland | 3:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network Brandon Gaudin, James Laurinaitis
SMU at Navy | 3:30 p.m. | CBSSN John Sadak, Randy Cross
North Texas at Rice | 3:30 p.m. | NFL Network Dan Hellie, Michael Robinson,
Western Kentucky at Southern Miss | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+ Jason Baker, Marchant Kenney
Campbell at Charleston Southern | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+ Evan West and Killian McClatchey
Marshall at Charlotte | 3:30 p.m. | Stadium Chris Hassel, AJ Hawk
Mercer at North Carolina | 3:30 p.m. | ACC Network Extra Tom Werme, James Bates
East Tennessee State at Vanderbilt | 3:30 p.m. | SEC Network Alt Dave LaMont, Ray Bentley
Louisiana Tech at UAB | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+ Curt Bloom, Chad Pilcher
UT Martin at Kentucky | 3:30 p.m. | SEC Network Dave Neal, D.J. Shockley
Michigan at Indiana | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge
Pitt at Virginia Tech | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN2 Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek
Texas at Baylor | 3:30 p.m. | FS1 Brian Custer, Robert Smith
Florida A&M vs. Bethune-Cookman (Orlando, FL) | 3:30 p.m. | ESPNN
Purdue at Wisconsin | 4 p.m. | FOX Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman
San Jose State at UNLV | 4 p.m. | AT&T Sportsnet Drew Goodman, Sed Bonner
Syracuse at Louisville | 4 p.m. | ACC Network Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich
Memphis at South Florida | 4 p.m. | ESPNU Clay Matvick, Ryan Leaf
California at Stanford | 4 p.m. | Pac-12 Network Ted Robinson, Yogi Roth,
UTEP at New Mexico State | 4 p.m. | FloSports Adam Young, Danny Knee
McNeese at Lamar | 4 p.m. | ESPN3 Dan Gresham, LaMont Williams
Old Dominion at Middle Tennessee | 4:30 p.m. | ESPN3 Jake Rose, Alex Myers,
Troy at Louisiana | 5 p.m. | ESPN+ Dan McDonald, Eric Mouton
Coastal Carolina at UL Monroe | 5 p.m. | ESPN3 Lyn Rollins hris MycCoskie
Florida Atlantic at UTSA | 6 p.m. | ESPN+ David Saltzman, LaDarrin McLane
Arkansas at LSU | 7 p.m. | ESPN Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy
Kansas State at Texas Tech | 7 p.m. | FS1 Aaron Goldsmith, Ben Leber
Temple at Cincinnati | 7 p.m. | ESPN2 Anish Shroff, John Congemi,
Miami at Florida International | 7 p.m. | CBSSN Rich Waltz, Aaron Murray
Tennessee at Missouri | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic
Duke at Wake Forest | 7:30 p.m. | ACC Network Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck
Abilene Christian at Mississippi State | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network Alt Mark Neely, Hutson Mason
Oregon at Arizona State | 7:30 p.m. | ABC Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit
Houston at Tulsa | 7:30 p.m. | ESPNU Kevin Brown, Andre Ware
TCU at Oklahoma | 8 p.m. | FOX Joe Davis, Brock Huard
Oregon State at Washington State | 9 p.m. | Pac-12 Ntk Roxy Bernstein, Anthony Herron,
Utah at Arizona | 10 p.m. | FS1 Cory Provus, Petros Papadakis,
Washington at Colorado | 10 p.m. | ESPN Jason Benetti, Rod Gilmore
Nevada at Fresno State | 10:30 p.m. | ESPN2 Mike Couzens, Kirk Morrison
Boise State at Utah State | 10:30p.m. | CBSSN Carter Blackburn, Aaron Taylor
San Diego State at Hawai’i | 11 p.m. | Spectrum Sports Robert Kekaula, Rich Miano
Jake Baskin’s profile of John Strong, photographed here
John Strong makes his college football debut for Fox Sports this week, calling Saturday’s FS1 Big Ten matchup between Michigan State and Rutgers. He’ll work alongside former Stanford and NFL wide receiver Evan Moore. This may possibly be Strong’s first Fox telecast in a sport other than soccer, the sport that has brought him considerable national recognition at the young age of 34.
Strong started his broadcasting career as a high school student in suburban Portland, Oregon, launching an internet stream of his school’s football and basketball games. At the University of Oregon, he did Ducks athletics for the student radio station and served as the play-by-play announcer for a junior hockey team in Eugene. After graduation, he returned to Portland as a radio host and producer on flagship sports station KXL.
At age 24, Strong became the voice of the Portland Timbers, and continued in the role when the club moved from the second division of the US Soccer pyramid to Major League Soccer in 2011. He left the team after the 2013 season. NBC was the first national network to take notice of the young broadcaster, appointing him as their lead MLS voice in 2012.
NBC lost the MLS rights after 2014, at which point Strong moved to Fox on an exclusive basis for the 2015 season. In contrast to ESPN, Fox wanted an American announcer to lead its soccer coverage. Fox had earlier experimented with Gus Johnson at the helm doing soccer and it failed. Strong stepped in as the lead broadcaster. To this point, he has called two MLS Cups, three UEFA Champions League finals, the 2018 World Cup final, and numerous important matches involving the US men’s national team.
This weekend, he gets a chance to show his versatility, and potentially adding new sports to call during MLS’ offseason.