Friday, December 30, 2011

Weekend watchdog

For the second straight year, the NHL brings its Winter Classic to Pennsylvania.
We'll see if it will be chilly enough in Philly.
The Flyers host the Rangers Monday at 1 p.m. on NBC in the fifth Winter Classic. The fourth Classic, last year in Pittsburgh, had to be moved to the evening due to rain.
Previous Classics in Buffalo, Chicago and Boston provided enough cold and thrills to make the contest a highlight of the schedule.
The festivities include an Alumni Game Saturday at 1 p.m. on Versus.
There's other ice hockey this weekend. Comcast has a pair of Capitals' games this weekend, Friday at 7 p.m. vs. Buffalo and Columbus Saturday at 7 p.m.
Versus shows college ice hockey between Boston University and Notre Dame Saturday at 7 p.m.
New Year's Day is supposed to mean college football bowls games. But not when it's on a Sunday. College defer to the NFL, which closes out its regular season Jan. 1 and everybody plays.
NBC has the NFC East showdown between the Cowboys and Giants in primetime.
The Redskins close out their season in Philadelphia at 1 p.m. on FOX, and the Falcons host the Buccaneers at 4:15 p.m. CBS in Washington shows the Jets at Dolphins at 1 p.m. and the Ravens' attempt to clinch the AFC North in Cincinnati at 4:15 p.m.
The bowl season continues Friday with four games, starting at noon with the Armed Forces Bowl between BYU and Tulsa. ESPN goes to the Pinstripe Bowl at 3:20 p.m. for Rutgers-Iowa State, then it's the Music City Bowl matching Mississippi State and Wake Forest. The night closes with the Insight Bowl at 10 p.m., as Iowa faces Oklahoma.
Virginia's game against Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl (7:30 p.m.) caps a busy Saturday on ESPN. The day begins with Texas A&M vs. Northwestern from Texas, followed by Illinois vs. 6-7 UCLA in the Fight Hunger Bowl. CBS has the Sun Bowl between Georgia Tech and Utah at 2:30 p.m., and ABC has the Liberty Bowl at 3:30 p.m. between Cincinnati and Vanderbilt.
Six games on January 2 start at noon on ESPNU, with Penn State against Houston in the Ticket City Bowl. At 1 p.m., ABC shows the Outback Bowl between Michigan State and Georgia, while ESPN has Nebraska vs. South Carolina from the Capital One Bowl. ESPN2 carries the Gator Bowl matching Ohio State and Florida. Wisconsin takes on Oregon in the Rose Bowl at 5 p.m. on ESPN, then it's the Fiesta Bowl between Stanford and Oklahoma State at 8:30 p.m.
The Wizards head to Milwaukee Friday at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast-plus. Monday, they play the Celtics at 7:30 p.m.
In college basketball Friday, Duke faces Western Michigan at 7 p.m., then it's a Big East contest between Seton Hall and West Virginia.
Saturday, ESPN2 goes from noon to midnight with hoops. Virginia Tech kicks it off at Oklahoma State, then Providence plays Georgetown. It's off to the Big Ten at 4 p.m. as Illinois takes on Purdue before Ohio State faces Indiana. Gonzaga meets Xavier at 8 p.m. before the West Coast finale between Oregon and Washington.
CBS starts Saturday with Louisville facing Kentucky at noon.
MASN has a Big East contest between St. John's and Connecticut Saturday at noon, then has the Big South game matching UNC-Asheville and Winthrop.
There's more Big East on Sunday, with Rutgers at South Florida at noon. The finish of Syracuse-DePaul airs at 5:30 p.m., then Pittsburgh plays Cincinnati at 7 p.m.

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