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College Football Week #8: Better late than never, Big Ten and Mountain West finally open their seasons

The Big Ten takes the spotlight this weekend.

After being shut down for Covid19, the league is on the football field for the first time in 2020. There will be a renewal of Ohio State and Michigan after all! Ohio State has won the last eight against its biggest rival. The programs will clash on December 12th.

In this improvised season, each Big Ten school will play an eight-game Conference-only schedule starting Friday. A ninth game, engaging all 14 teams, is slated during a newly developed Big Ten Champions Week, the weekend of December 19th.

The Big Ten Network runs the opener this Friday night when #14 Wisconsin hosts Illinois. Last October, the Illini shocked the then #6 Badgers, 24-23.

The Mountain West Conference also starts its delayed season this Saturday.

Fox which holds some Big Ten rights runs six telecasts this weekend on either Big Fox or FS1.

A Fox spokesperson says that the network generally travels its announcers to the site but not all the time. Its number one college broadcast team, Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt open Saturday with a high-noon game, Nebraska at #5 Ohio State.

ESPN which travels its on-air crew to feature games and to some others each week is telling us that its voices will be on site for these special games this weekend, Oklahoma at TCU, Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, Baylor at Texas and Michigan at Minnesota.

Chris Fowler and Herbie, both of whom didn’t work last week because LSU-Florida was postponed due to Covid-19 will have the Saturday night ABC game when the Gophers host the Wolverines.

Women who will work in the booth this weekend: Fox is using Lisa Byington and the steady Beth Mowins will be in place for ESPN.

The Pac-12 season starts an abbreviated slate starting on November 7th.

CBS announced proudly this week that its primetime college football game last Saturday between #2 Alabama and #3 Georgia scored with an average of 9.611 million viewers, making it the most-watched college football game of the season on any network.

Joe Tessitore sounds comfortable and relaxed back in the college play-by-play booth after a couple seasons calling Monday Night Football.

Cory Provus working Purdue at Iowa for the Big Ten Network is one of the radio voices of the Minnesota Twins. He’s a cousin of the Dallas Cowboys’ legendary announcer, Brad Sham.

Football is in full swing. There are eleven 12 noon games alone, this Saturday. No shortage of what to watch.

My “TK Show” conversation with 49ers great Randy Cross: On Eddie D, Jed York, Bill Walsh, Jim Harbaugh and much more – The Mercury NewsIf the name Randy Cross, 66, sounds familiar, it’s because he was heard and seen prominently on the main CBS Network and NBC for years as an analyst on NFL broadcasts. Cross was an offensive linesman for the 49ers in the 70s and 80s. He now does college games for CBS Sports Network. His partner is John Sadak. They’ll be on Houston at Navy this Saturday.

Here’s the weekend’s full schedule:

Thursday, Oct. 22

Arkansas State at Appalachian State | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN, Matt Barrie, Mike Golic Jr.,

Friday, Oct. 23

Jacksonville State at FIU | 7 p.m. | ESPN3, A.J. Ricketts, Cam Lynch 

Tulsa at South Florida | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN, Jason Benetti, Andre Ware 

Illinois at No. 14 Wisconsin | 8 p.m. | Big Ten Network, Brandon Gaudin, James Laurinaitis

Louisiana at UAB | 8 p.m. | CBSSN, Dave Ryan, Corey Chavous

Saturday, Oct. 24

Syracuse at No. 1 Clemson | 12 p.m. | ACC Network, Wes Durham, Roddy Jones

No. 23 NC State at No. 14 North Carolina | 12 p.m. | ESPN, Dave Pasch, Mike Golic

Nebraska at No. 5 Ohio State | 12 p.m. | FOX, Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt

Auburn at Ole Miss | 12 p.m. | SEC Network, Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers

Rutgers at Michigan State | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network, Lisa Byington, Matt Millen

Oklahoma at TCU | 12 p.m. | ABC, Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy

Temple at Memphis | 12 p.m. | ESPN+, Lincoln Rose, Keith Moreland

UTEP at Charlotte | 12 p.m. | ESPN+, Dave Friedman, Reggie Walker

Georgia Southern at No. 25 Coastal Carolina | 12 p.m. | ESPNU, Courtney Lyle, Rene Ingoglia

Florida State at Louisville | 12 p.m. | ESPN3, Tom Werme, James Bates

Kansas at No. 20 Kansas State |12 p.m.| FS1, Eric Collins, Ben Leber

Southern Miss at Liberty | 1 p.m. | ESPN3, Matt Warner, Joe Jauch

Mercer at Army | 1:30 p.m. | CBSSN, Ben Holden, Ross Tucker

Tulane at UCF | 2 p.m. | ESPN2, Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer

Florida Atlantic at No. 22 Marshall | 2:30 p.m. | Sinclair, Chris Hassel, A.J. Hawk

No. 2 Alabama at Tennessee | 3:30 p.m. | CBS, Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson

No. 3 Notre Dame at Pitt | 3:30 p.m. | ABC, Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge

No. 17 Iowa State at No. 6 Oklahoma State | 3:30 p.m. | FOX, Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman

No. 8 Penn State at Indiana | 3:30 p.m. | FS1, Aaron Goldsmith, Mark Helfrich

No. 19 Virginia Tech at Wake Forest | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN3, Evan Lepler, Brian Jordan

Middle Tennessee at Rice | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN3, David Saltzman, Taylor McHargue

Houston at Navy | 3:30 p.m. | CBSSN, John Sadak, Randy Cross

Baylor at Texas | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN, Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek

Iowa at Purdue | 3:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network, Cory Provus, Anthony Herron

Georgia State at Troy | 4 p.m. | ESPNU, Clay Matvick, Rocky Boiman

Georgia Tech at Boston College | 4 p.m. | ACC Network, Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich

Chattanooga at Western Kentucky | 4 p.m. | ESPN3, Graham Doty, Brandon Doughty

Kentucky at Missouri | 4 p.m. | SEC Network, Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb

West Virginia at Texas Tech | 5:30 p.m. | ESPN2, Anish Shroff, Tom Luginbill

South Carolina at LSU | 7 p.m. | ESPN, Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky

Utah State at Boise State | 7 p.m. | FS1, Kevin Fitzgerald, Robert Smith

Wyoming at Nevada | 7 p.m. | CBSSN, Rich Waltz, Aaron Murray

UL Monroe at South Alabama | 7 p.m. | ESPN+, JD Byars, Pat Greenwood

Hawai’i at Fresno State | 7:30 p.m., SPEC PPV, Robert Kekaula, Rich Miano

No. 18 Michigan at No. 21 Minnesota | 7:30 p.m. | ABC, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit

Maryland at Northwestern | 7:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network, Chris Vosters, J Leman

Virginia at No. 11 Miami | 8 p.m. | ACC Network, Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck

Louisiana Tech at UTSA | 8 p.m. | ESPNU, Mike Couzens, Jay Walker

No. 9 Cincinnati at No. 16 SMU | 9 p.m. | ESPN2, Beth Mowins, Kirk Morrison

Texas State at No. 12 BYU | 10:15 p.m. | ESPN, Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore

UNLV at San Diego State | 10:30 p.m. | CBSSN, Carter Blackburn, Aaron Taylor

Air Force at San Jose State | 10:30 p.m. | FS1, Alex Faust, Petros Papadakis

New Mexico at Colorado State — POSTPONED

David J. Halberstam

David is a 40-year + industry veteran who served as play-by-play announcer for St. John's University basketball in New York and as radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat in South Florida. He is the author of Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History and The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

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