Friday, December 17, 2010

Weekend watchdog

It's college bowl season. Thirty-five bowls spread over 24 days, starting Saturday with a tripleheader on ESPN. But don't wear yourself out watching too much early bowl football. You've got to pace yourself to make it to the national championship game Jan. 10. The first bowl champion will be crowned at the New Mexico Bowl, with BYU facing UTEP at 2 p.m. Then it's Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State in the Humanitarian Bowl, and Troy faces Ohio in the R&L Carriers Bowl from New Orleans.
Tuesday is the famous Beef O'Brady Bowl, with Southern Mississippi going against Louisville.
ESPN is your home for almost every bowl game - CBS is down to the Sun Bowl and FOX keeps the Cotton Bowl - ESPN produces the Capital One Bowl on ABC New Year's Day.
The former I-AA has its semfinals, with Villanova meeting Eastern Washington Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 with the other semifinal Saturday on ESPNU. The Division II final matches Delta State and Minnesota-Duluth Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.
On Sunday, FOX has only one NFL game and some good choices - the NFC East battle between the Giants and Eagles, and a potential Super Bowl preview as the Saints and Ravens meet in Baltimore. Sorry Fishersville fans, but you'll get the Redskins and Cowboys fighting for last place in their division.
The CBS doubleheader will be Jacksonville meeting Indianapolis with the AFC South title basically on the line, followed by the slumping Jets at the Steelers.
In primetime, the Packers visit the Patriots on NBC Sunday night, and the traveling Vikings play the Bears on ESPN Monday night. Might be a bit chilly for Viking fans outdoors.
NBA Friday on ESPN has the Heat meeting the Knicks at 7 p.m., then the Suns visit the Mavericks in the nightcap. The Wizards visit New Jersey on Thursday on Comcast, then host LeBron and the Heat Saturday.
The college basketball schedule is limited with the exams finishing and holidays looming. Virginia gets back into action Friday, hosting Oregon on Comcast at 8 p.m. Saturday, Comcast hangs out in Florida for Miami vs. Central Florida at 1 p.m. and Florida-Kansas State at 3:30 p.m.
ESPN has USC-Kansas Saturday at noon, while ESPN2 offers Arkansas-Texas A&M at 2 p.m. followed by Gonzaga vs. Baylor and Alabama-Oklahoma State.
MASN offers four games from the Big East Saturday, starting with Loyola at Georgetown at noon. Cleveland State visits West Virginia at 2 p.m., then Gardner-Webb plays Louisville. The day concludes at 7 p.m. with Maryland Eastern Shore against Pittsburgh.
Women's hoops takes center stage Sunday at 7 p.m. when Stanford visits Tennessee.
The Capitals are on the road this weekend, visiting Boston Saturday on Comcast-plus and Ottawa Sunday on Comcast.
The NCAA women's volleyball champion will be crowned Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

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