Archives for category: College Football

The 2020 NFL Draft will be presented across ABC, ESPN and NFL Network, April 23 through April 25 – the second straight year that The Walt Disney Company has worked with the National Football League to offer a multi-network presentation for all seven rounds. The 2020 NFL Draft will serve as a three-day virtual fundraiser benefitting six charities that are battling the spread of COVID-19 and delivering relief to millions in need. The National Football League, ESPN and ABC hope the 2020 NFL Draft will bring fans a small but welcome diversion in the middle of a difficult and unprecedented time.

ESPN and NFL Network will combine to offer a singular presentation across both networks, while ABC will present its own distinctive, prime-time telecasts for rounds 1 through 3, in addition to simulcasting the ESPN and NFL Network telecast of rounds 4-7.

The 2020 NFL Draft telecasts – originally scheduled to be on-site in Las Vegas, Nevada – will now originate from ESPN’s Bristol, Connecticut., studios and adhere to proper social distancing guidelines and local workplace rules due to COVID-19. Draft hosts and a limited number of commentators will be in-studio while a majority of the analysts, reporters and other experts will contribute remotely from home studios. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will introduce the picks from his home.

As previously announced, the NFL Draft will also feature a “Draft-A-Thon” which will pay tribute to healthcare workers and first responders in a variety of ways – including raising funds for the work being done to combat the impact of COVID-19. Funds will help support six national nonprofits and their respective COVID-19 relief efforts.

“We recognize the challenging times we are living in but we are looking forward to presenting the 2020 NFL Draft and providing some hope for football fans everywhere,” Seth Markman, ESPN vice president, production told USA Today and the Hartford Courtant. “For the past couple of years, ESPN’s NFL and college teams have worked together on our draft coverage, and it has been a win for our viewers. This year, we are further excited to collaborate with the NFL Network creating an All Star broadcast. We are also committed to producing the ESPN/NFL Network and ABC shows in the safest possible environment for our announcers and production teams.”

“We are excited to partner with ESPN to present a unique and collaborative broadcast of the 2020 NFL Draft,” said Mark Quenzel, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production, NFL Network. “By bringing the exceptional on-air talent and production staffs of both ESPN and NFL Network together, we hope to deliver a unified presentation of the draft that not only helps raise awareness and funds for the COVID-19 relief efforts but also provides entertainment that millions of sports fans have been craving.”

NFL Draft Schedule (April 23-25, all times Eastern):

Thursday April 23 (8 – 11:30 p.m.): NFL Draft, Round 1 on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
Friday, April 24 (7 – 11:30 p.m.): NFL Draft, Rounds 2 and 3 on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
Saturday, April 25 (Noon – 7 p.m.): NFL Draft, Rounds 4 through 7 on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio

ESPN and NFL Network: Trey Wingo will host all three days of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage for the fourth consecutive year, based in Bristol. Wingo will be joined remotely by ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. (37th draft), Louis Riddick (sixth) and Booger McFarland (third). NFL Network host Rich Eisen (17th), Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah (eighth) and Pro Football Hall of Famers Michael Irvin (Ninth) and Kurt Warner (10th) will also contribute remotely all three days. ESPN NFL host Suzy Kolber will conduct remote interviews with NFL draftees from an ESPN studio and ESPN Senior NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will again be part of the three-day telecast, providing updates from their respective homes.

ABC: Hosts Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer and Maria Taylor will lead ABC’s unique prime-time presentation of the NFL Draft on April 23rd and 24th. Featuring NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay (12th draft, first commentating on all seven rounds) and college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit (third), Desmond Howard (third), David Pollack (third), and correspondent/feature reporter Tom Rinaldi, ABC will focus on storytelling and the journey draft prospects and their families have taken to get to the NFL. Davis, Palmer, Taylor and Rinaldi will be in-studio in Bristol.

McShay will join Wingo and the ESPN/NFL Network crew for Rounds 4 through 7 on Saturday, April 25.

ESPN reporters will cover the NFL Draft remotely for ABC, ESPN and NFL Network. Assignments include:

Josina Anderson (covering Minnesota, Washington, Cleveland and San Francisco)
Jeff Darlington (Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Kansas City)
Dan Graziano (Green Bay, Detroit, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina and Las Vegas)
Sal Paolantonio (New York Giants, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York Jets)
Mike Reiss (New England)
Dianna Russini (ATLANTA, Tennessee, Cincinnati and New Orleans)
Ed Werder (Denver, Seattle, Dallas and Arizona)

Digital: The 2020 NFL Draft will also be streamed live via a number of NFL and ESPN digital properties across devices (Phone, PC, tablet and connected TVs). NFL Network or ESPN authentication may be required.

NFL Digital Platforms

NFL App
NFL.com
ESPN Digital Platforms

ESPN App
ESPN.com

ESPN Deportes: ESPN Deportes will also provide exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft. Commentators include Monday Night Football voices Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega. In addition, ESPNDeportes.com will have a team dedicated to covering the draft, providing pre-draft analysis, pieces written by Sebastian Martinez Christensen and videos of every selection.

Radio/Audio: Radio coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft will be provided by SiriusXM, Westwood One and ESPN Radio. Digital audio coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft will be available via the TuneIn app.

Following is the 2020 NFL Draft first round order.

2020 FIRST ROUND DRAFT ORDER

# Team (W-L-T, Pct.; Opp W-L-T, Strength of Schedule)
1. Cincinnati (2-14-0, .125; 141-114-1, .553)
2. Washington (3-13-0, .188; 128-127-1, .502)
3. Detroit (3-12-1, .219; 129-126-1, .506)
4. New York Giants (4-12-0, .250; 120-134-2, .473)
5. Miami (5-11-0, .313; 124-132-0, .484)
6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11-0, .313; 131-124-1, .514)
7. Carolina (5-11-0, .313; 140-115-1, .549)
8. Arizona (5-10-1, .344; 135-120-1, .529)
9. Jacksonville (6-10-0, .375; 124-132-0, .484)
10. Cleveland (6-10-0, .375; 136-119-1, .533)
11. New York Jets (7-9-0, .438; 121-135-0, .473)
12. Las Vegas (7-9-0, .438; 123-132-1, .482)
13. Indianapolis (7-9-0, .438; 126-130-0, .492)
14. Tampa Bay (7-9-0, .438; 127-127-2, .500)
15. Denver (7-9-0, .438; 130-125-1, .510)
16. ATLANTA (7-9-0, .438; 139-116-1, .545)
17. Dallas (8-8-0, .500; 122-133-1, .479)
18. Pittsburgh (traded to Miami)(8-8-0, .500; 128-127-1, .502)
19. Chicago (traded to Las Vegas)(8-8-0, .500; 129-125-2, .508)
20. Los Angeles Rams (traded to Jacksonville)(9-7-0, .563; 136-118-2, .535)
21. Philadelphia (9-7-0, .563; 116-139-1, .455)
22. Buffalo (10-6-0, .625; 118-138-0, .461)
23. New England (12-4-0, .750; 120-136-0, .469)
24. New Orleans (13-3-0, .813; 124-131-1, .486)
25. Minnesota (10-6-0, .625; 121-133-2, .477)
26. Houston (traded to Miami)(10-6-0, .625; 133-123-0, .520)
27. Seattle (11-5-0, .688; 135-119-2, .531)
28. Baltimore (14-2-0, .875; 126-129-1, .494)
29. Tennessee (9-7-0, .563; 125-131-0, .488)
30. Green Bay (13-3-0, .813; 115-139-2, .453)
31. San Francisco (13-3-0, .813; 128-126-2, .504)
32. Kansas City (12-4-0, .750; 130-125-1, .510)

Send in the clowns.

The circus in Ann Arbor that is known as the Michigan football program got a little stranger this week as athletic director Dave Brandon, who is on the hot seat to save his job, added a little more fuel to the fire when he alledgedly sent a series of emails to fans that expressed their displeasure with the program.

Let’s just say that right now Brandon does not play well with others.

The responses to the emails sent by fans include some of the following:

“I suggest you find a new team to support. We will be fine without you. Have a happy life … “

“I suggest you find a new team to support. I really don’t care about your opinions. Have a happy life.”

“If your wife’s message was her way of criticizing, then perhaps she needs to work on her people skills … I rarely receive hateful email like the one your wife sent.”

“Quit drinking and go to bed.”

Really? What the hell? Dave, you are not just biting the hand that feeds you, you’re ripping it off the bone.

The emails were posted on a local fan site MGoBlog, which writes that it believes the emails it has received, purported to be written by Brandon, are authentic but the website noted it could not verify with 100 percent certainty that Brandon sent them.

Brandon did not respond to numerous requests from CBS Detroit to either confirm or deny the email exchanges and told MLive “I don’t read blogs so I think it’s nonesense” Dave. Really? That’s the captain of the Titanic saying “it’s just an iceberg.”

First the issue with your quarterback getting hurt, Coca-Cola giving away tickets to a prior home game, then the stake in the ground at East Lansing last week and now this.

Brandon is taking the Marie Antoinette approach to this. You know, the kingdom’s falling, the peasants are getting ticked off and the response? Let them eat cake.

A once strong program is now the laughing stock of college football and has gone down the road of perdition since they lost to Appalachian State in 2007. The fans in Ann Arbor are ticked off and rightfully so. Madness has taken over in the Big House. The inmates are running the prison. It’s like “Breaking Bad” gone bad.

Even some students are taking ownership of this problem. The Michigan Daily reports that Craig Kaplan, a senior in public policy who helped lead the rally calling for the university to fire Brandon, plans to distribute 2,000 T-shirts with the hashtag #FIREDAVEBRANDON before the Indiana game Saturday. Kaplan told the Daily that a donor paid for the T-shirts.

Uneasy rests the crown. The Michigan problem at best right now is on life support and it wouldn’t be suprising if there are a few empty seats the rest of the year in the Big House. The Wolverines have home games left with the Hoosiers and newcomer Maryland after they travel to Northwestern and a bye week. After that, a date with Ohio State. In Columbus. At 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the Big 10 East, Michigan needs to get their house in order and do it QUICKLY.

There’s almost no way Michgan can win the Big 10 and the loss to Michigan State last week didn’t help the cause of Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke. Time to pull up stakes (bad pun, I know) on the circus and move on and if it means a new coach and AD, so be it. But stop the pettiness. It’s annoying and makes you look stupid. The college football world is getting tired of the soap opera. As Susan Powter once said, “stop the madness.”

Please.

In the name of all things decent and holy.

Dave. If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing. Stop being so snippy. The elephant’s in the room and you need to acknowledge that. Fix the problem. Get the Big House in order or those fans that are writing those checks will write them for your rivals in East Lansing. Money talks. Some of the emails you got may have been hateful but some are true. Know the truth. It will set you free.

Fighting with the people that sign your paycheck will get you nothing but headaches, heartburn, high blood pressure.

And a pink slip.

Brady Hoke has been in some hot water of late. First, a somewhat dismal season by Michigan standards. Then the Shane Morris concussion issue against Minnesota. Now the heat may be jacked up even more.

Pardon the pun… but Hoke’s Wolverines decided to “stake” their claim on Michigan State.

And Sparty was not happy about it.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Hoke issued a public apology for a stake that driven into the Michigan State playing surface before their contest last Saturday in East Lansing. Wolverine LB Joe Bolden drove the stake into the ground prior to the contest. Of course, this did not set well with Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio or the Spartan faithful. Not only did the deed make the Spartans angry, it prepared them for glory in a big way as they ran up the score on their instate and Big 10 rivals, taking Big Blue to the woodshed 35-11. The Spartans had planned to take a knee and end the game but Dantonio wanted to send Hoke and the Wolverines a message by running up the score in the contest. If Michigan State was ticked off about the “big brother” comment last year, this time they were really ticked off.

Expect Michigan to catch hell from the rest of the college football world and the Big 10.

In his statement after the contest, Hoke said “I want to publicly apologize to Coach Dantonio as well as the players and
supporters of Michigan State for our act of poor sportsmanship displayed pre-game yesterday. I spoke with Mark earlier today and expressed to him that we meant no disrespect to his team. During our regular Friday night team meeting, one of the topics presented to motivate our team was a history lesson addressing commitment and teamwork in a tough environment. A tent stake was presented to the team as a symbol of this concept. The stake was brought into our locker room as a visual reminder and one of our team leaders chose to take it out on the field.”

“As the leader of our football program, I take full responsibility for the actions of our team. We believe in displaying a high level of respect at the University of Michigan and unfortunately that was not reflected by this action prior to kickoff.”

“I can only be diplomatic for so long,” Dantonio said following the game. “The little brother stuff, all the disrespect, it didn’t have to go in that direction.”

Dantonio then took aim directly at the way Michigan’s football program is led. Dantonio was not launching a shot directly at his coaching counterpart, Brady Hoke but higher up.

“We try to handle ourselves with composure” Dantonio explained. “That doesn’t come from a coach. It comes from the program. Throwing the stake down in our backyard out here and coming out there like they’re all that. That got shoved up … It got shoved in the last minute and a half.”

It’s another sad and somewhat pathetic chapter in Michigan football. Big Blue is acting as though they are still kings of the mountain and everyone else is saying “No. Not only are you NOT kings of the mountain anymore, you’re not even the crown prince.” Not everyone likes Michigan and alumni and fans haven’t exactly been happy with the Maize and Blue of late. This time, they brought this on themselves. The act is getting old and tired and someone finally said “enough.”

The victors are not that valiant anymore and putting a stake into someone’s else’s field is the least of Brady Hoke’s worries. He needs to win and win badly if he wants to be around in 2015. It’s time that Michigan takes the stake out of their own eye before they put it in someone’s elses. Michigan needs to get its own house in order before they mess with someone else’s.

Wolverines by their very nature are greedy and gluttons and have been known to turn on their own. This latest chapter may mean that the tables are turning on what was once a proud program. Michigan, once feared, reviled and hated has now become a joke.

But no one’s laughing in Ann Arbor and if things don’t improve, fans may want to put a stake in Hoke.

It was the game of the ages. A pair of unbeaten teams. A pair of well-known names. Notre Dame. Florida State. It was like Rocky going up against Appollo Creed.

What suprised America wasn’t the fact that Florida State won barely at home against Notre Dame. It was the conversation that Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher had with his somewhat embattled QB Jameis Winston. The conversation that they thought was private on the field was picked up by an ABC/ESPN mike after the contest was over.

It was a conversation sort of like an older brother talking to the younger one. “Now here’s what you’ve got to do,” Fisher said into Winston’s ear. “Calm down, don’t give them …  act very passive right here and get people back on your side. Do you understand what I’m telling you? Humble, humble pie. You got me?”

Winston responded “I got you,” to which Fisher replied “Don’t get cranked up” before fireworks drowned out the end of their conversation.

That is what Winston needed to hear and Fisher was the man to utter those words to him. In the heat of a moment where Notre Dame and Florida State played in a game that will be talked about long after our grandchildren send their children off to college, it was a moment for celebration as well as a chance for Winston to re-focus his energy on what is next on his plate.

This has not been Jameis Winston’s year. First the allegations that he raped a student off campus in 2012, as the team was getting ready to play Auburn in the National Championship game (the school and Tallahassee police did investigate and found there was no assualt). Then the issue with the crab legs at a Publix in Tallahassee during baseball season (Winston was suspended and did community service for his actions) reared its head and put him in the spotlight.

Later on, Winston admitted was also suspended for the Clemson game earlier this season for shouting an obscene phrase in the student union. He suited up, thinking that he was going to play before Fisher told him that he would not. And now, the alledged autograph of 3,000 items that claims to have his signature on them, which is a violation of NCAA rules.

As if he has that problem to deal with, he’s got that university disciplinary hearing and possible code of conduct charges relating to allegations of sexual assault against him in December 2012 to deal with.

Jameis Winston is not perfect.

Let me say it again if you didn’t hear it the first time.

Jameis Winston is NOT perfect.

That’s fine. Neither are we. The one without sin should cast the first stone.

College students tend to stupid things at some point and time. Winston’s no exception. There are some that think that the police in Tallahassee tend to look the other way when it comes to a FSU football player. That’s not the case. They did the investigation and found nothing, so there were no charges. Florida State followed their guidelines to the letter and then some. The sytem may not be perfect but in the bigger scheme of things, the system worked. Jameis Winston is allowed to have due process, whether you think he’s the greatest thing to throw a football since the game was created, whether you think he’s scum and deserves to go to hell or whether you have no opinion one way or the other.

For one moment in time, while the garnet and gold crowd cheered and celebrated their win over Notre Dame 25 years after the Irish beat them in South Bend, Jimbo Fisher chose to be an ally for Winston, almost as though he were Jiminy Cricket being the concious of Pinocchio.

EPSN’s Tom Rinaldi asked Fisher what he said to Winston. Fisher’s response? “To understand what he did and just how special he is and the relationship he and I have, the relationship he has with the team and what he represents and to carry himself with class and dignity.”

“The heart and discipline in that room. There’s character, there’s heart, there’s a team full of great kids. It’s a high character program that’s ran the right way on class, on dignity, in the classroom, on the field and off the field and this team shows it.”

Humble pie. You won’t find it on any menu in any restuarant. It doesn’t have any calories and you can’t find it any cookbook. For Jameis Winston, Jimbo Fisher was his guide. He’s still has that university disciplinary hearing to deal with. When that time comes, he needs to be forthcoming, honest and tell his side of the story. He has that right and it can’t be taken from him. Jameis needs Florida State and Florida State needs him.

Jameis Winston heard a voice that he has been familiar with since he set foot on campus in Tallahassee. It’s a voice that he needs to continue to hear. For Jameis, honesty needs to be the best policy.

With a slice of humble pie.