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Week #10, College Football: Pac-12 and Mid-American Conference are back but Covid cancels 10 games

Week #10- Despite the pandemic, the season flies!

With the Pac-12 and Mid-American Conference finally hitting the gridiron beginning Wednesday the college football schedule is as full as can be this weekend. The Mid-American is opening with a splash. The league will host six games tonight, five of which will be on one of the ESPN family of networks and one on CBS Sports Network. (See updated cancellations below)

Fox and CBS will be busy and the Big Ten Network runs a couple games.

NBC features a headline game without the headline player. It’ll run #1 Clemson at #3  Notre Dame in primetime Saturday. But due to Covid protocols, Tigers’ star quarterback Trevor Lawrence will be out.

CBS tells us that all its announcers will work from their assigned sites, including games presented on its cable network. CBS’ big game is #8 Florida vs #5 Georgia in Jacksonville. In pre-pandemic days, activities  off the field for this annual matchup included rowdy tailgating. It’s why Georgia-Florida has been dubbed as ‘the world’s largest outdoor cocktail party.’

Fox doesn’t disclose the games they’ll call live from site vs. announcers doing it remotely

Interestingly, the Pac-12 Network won’t have live telecasts. Its games will either be somewhere on one of ESPN’s or Fox’ family of networks. The Big Ten Network will air a couple games this weekend. Fox owns a piece of the BTN.

ESPN’s announcers don’t all travel:

ESPN will feature these games this weekend where the announcers will be present in-stadium: West Virginia-Texas, Houston-Cincinnati, Texas A&M-South Carolina and Stanford-Oregon (talent details below).

ESPN confirms that these broadcasters (play-by-play and analysts) will work their assigned games from their home studios. Only the reporters will travel and they’ll be on the field. You’ll see them wearing masks and interviewing guests from a distance. A sampling of ESPN telecasts this weekend where only the reporters are on site:

  • Miami-NC State (FRI night) … Benetti, Ware and Marty Smith (reporter)
  • Mich State-Iowa … Wischusen, Orlovsky and Paul Carcaterra (reporter)
  • Arizona-Utah … Pasch, Golic and Stormy Buonantony (reporter)
  • Wash-Cal … Flemming, Gilmore and Allison Williams (reporter)

In virtually all cases, folks working remote broadcasts make the best of it. They don’t complain and most often, viewers wouldn’t know that they’re not in the stadium.

For Bob Wischusen and Dave Pasch, working at home is in some ways a blessing in disguise. Bob does the Jets and Dave the Cardinals. Most NFL teams have their radio announcers calling road games from a make-shift studio in their home stadiums. In other words, this weekend neither Bob nor Dave will have to make tight flight connections to get to their road assignments. It’s home sweet home all weekend!

Per Eye on Sky and Air Sports, the ten cancellations/postponements breaks the record. In week #3, there were seven.

Wednesday, Nov. 4

Eastern Michigan at Kent State | 6 p.m. | ESPN+, David Wilson, John Gregory

Western Michigan at Akron | 6 p.m. | ESPN3, Michael Reghi, Dustin Fox

Buffalo at Northern Illinois | 7 p.m. | ESPN2, Anish Schroff, Tom Luginbill

Ohio at Central Michigan | 7 p.m. | ESPN, Kevin Brown, Mike Golic Jr.

Ball State at Miami (Ohio) | 7 p.m. | CBSSN, John Sadak, Ross Tucker

Bowling Green at Toledo | 8 p.m. | ESPNU, Mike Couzens, Rocky Boiman

Thursday, Nov. 5

Utah State at Nevada | 7 p.m. | FS1,  Alex Faust, Evan Moore

Wyoming at Colorado State | 9 p.m. | CBSSN, Jason Knapp, Malik Zaire

Friday, Nov. 6

No. 11 Miami at NC State | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN, Jason Benetti, Andre Ware

San Jose State at San Diego State | 9 p.m. | CBSSN, Rich Waltz, Aaron Murray

No. 9 BYU at No. 21 Boise State | 9:45 p.m. | FS1,  Aaron Goldsmith, Petros Papadakis

Saturday, Nov. 7

Air Force at Army | 11:30 a.m. | CANCELLED

No. 23 Michigan at No. 13 Indiana | 12 p.m. | FS1,  Joe Davis, Brock Huard

West Virginia at No. 22 Texas | 12 p.m. | ABC, Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy

Nebraska at Northwestern | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network,  Cory Provus, J Leman

North Carolina at Duke | 12 p.m. | ESPN2, Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer

Arizona State at No. 20 USC | 12 p.m. | FOX, Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt

No. 18 SMU at Temple | 12 p.m. | ESPN+, Dave Leno, Ken Dunek

South Florida at Memphis | 12 p.m. | ESPN+,  Lincoln Rose, LaDerrin McLane

Tulane at East Carolina | 12 p.m. | ESPN+,  Evan Leplar, Jay Sonnhalter

Tulsa at Navy | 12 p.m. | CANCELLED

UL Monroe at Georgia State | 12 p.m. | ESPN3, Chris Sylvester, Sam Crenshaw

No. 25 Liberty at Virginia Tech | 12 p.m. | ACC Network, Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich

Michigan State at Iowa | 12 p.m. | ESPN, : Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky

Arkansas State at Louisiana | 12 p.m. | ESPNU, Dave Neal, DJ Shockley

Troy at Georgia Southern | 1 p.m. | ESPN3, Matt Stewart, Danny Waugh

Boston College at Syracuse | 2 p.m. | ESPN3, Tom Werme, James Bates

UMass at No. 16 Marshall | 2:30 p.m. | ESPN+, Mark Martin, Jake Griffith

Appalachian State at Texas State | 3 p.m. | ESPN+, Brant Freeman, Steven Foster

North Alabama at Southern Miss | 3 p.m. | ESPN3, Jason Baker, Dustin Almond

No. 8 Florida vs. No. 5 Georgia (Jacksonville)| 3:30 p.m. | CBS, Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson

Houston at No. 6 Cincinnati | 3:30 p.m. | ABC, Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge

Purdue at No. 10 Wisconsin — CANCELLED

Kansas at No. 19 Oklahoma | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN, Anish Shroff, Tom Luginbil

Texas Tech at TCU | 3:30 p.m. | FS1, Eric Collins, Ben Leber, Eric Collins, Ben Leber

UTSA at Rice | 3:30 p.m. | CANCELLED

Maryland at Penn State | 3:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network, Lisa Byington, Matt Millen

Minnesota at Illinois | 3:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network, Mark Followill, Anthony Herron

Charlotte at Middle Tennessee | 3:30 p.m. | CANCELLED

Fresno State at UNLV | 3:30 p.m. | CBSSN,  Ben Holden, Ross Tucker 

No. 14 Oklahoma State at Kansas State | 4 p.m. | FOX, Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman 

Arizona at Utah | 3:30 p. m.  | CANCELLED

FIU at UTEP | 4 p.m. | CANCELLED

Pitt at Florida State | 4 p.m. | ACC Network, Wes Durham, Roddy Jones

Vanderbilt at Mississippi State | 4 p.m. | SEC Network, Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb

Western Kentucky at Florida Atlantic | 6 p.m. | Stadium, Chris Hassel, A.J. Hawk

Baylor at No. 17 Iowa State | 7 p.m. | FS1, Brian Custer, Robert Smith 

No. 7 Texas A&M at South Carolina | 7 p.m. | ESPN,  Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek

Louisiana Tech at North Texas | 7 p.m. | CANCELLED

UCLA at Colorado | 7 p.m. | ESPN2, Beth Mowins, Kirk Morrison

No. 1 Clemson at No. 4 Notre Dame | 7:30 p.m. | NBC, Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy

Stanford at No. 12 Oregon | 7:30 p.m. | ABC, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit

Rutgers at No. 3 Ohio State | 7:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network, Brandon Gaudin, James Laurinaitis 

Tennessee at Arkansas | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network, Tom Hart, Jordan Rodger

South Alabama at No. 15 Coastal Carolina | 8 p.m. | ESPNU, Courtney Lyle, Rene Ingoglia

Louisville at Virginia | 8 p.m. | ACC Network, Postponed

Washington State at Oregon State | 10:30 p.m. | FS1, Alex Faust, Petros Papadakis

Washington at California | 10:30 p.m. | CANCELLED

New Mexico at Hawai’i | 11 p.m. | Spectrum Sports,  Robert Kekaula, Rich Miano


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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