The Big Ten announced last week that it would play a conference-only schedule beginning on October 24. Right now, the Pac-12 is the only power conference left not playing. That could change.
The SEC will begin play this weekend and it is clear that not everyone is likely going to play the same amount of games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That topic came up on Saturday morning’s Marty & McGee show on the SEC Network and ESPN Radio.
During the segment, Ryan McGee told fans to not worry about the amount of games on the schedule, but instead keep the sole focus that college football is going to get played at all in 2020.
“The complaints about ‘well, my conference is playing 11 games or 10 games. If I win the conference championship, I can play 12 games. The Big Ten conference champion would play 9.’ My response to that is ‘do you really think they are going to play all those games?’ because the answer is they probably aren’t. You and I have said it a million times. Everything is written in pencil. Everything is written in markerboard. It’s a Jenga puzzle. You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.”
McGee pointed out how jam-packed the Big Ten schedule with no team getting a bye week between opening weekend and the Big Ten Championship Game (December 19). Of course, they had to do this in order to get in the College Football Playoff, but it is something to monitor.
“I hope everyone plays every game on their schedule, but that Big Ten calendar as it stands now is a tightrope. It is air-tight,” McGee said. “There is no room for poor Baylor. Today was supposed to be their 3rd different season opener, a game they put together in less than a week with Houston, and they had to cancel or postpone that game as well. The odds of everyone in the Big Ten getting in all of their games to me is zero. Just like I don’t believe everyone in the SEC, ACC, and Big 12 are going to play all of their games.”
When the College Football Playoff committee gets together, they go over the data to try to figure out the four best teams. However, if all of the schedules are not equal, McGee points out that “if there was ever a year for the eyeball test, son this is it.”
It is a good reminder that just the fact that sports are being played at all in 2020 is something to be appreciated rather than nitpicking how many games a team actually gets to play this year.
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Mark Chernoff: ‘I Didn’t Believe Mad Dog Was Going To Leave WFAN’
“I wish they hadn’t separated, because it was the most amazing team.”
Mark Chernoff offered some great stories and insight on the latest episode of The Jason Barrett Podcast. The former program director of WFAN in New York began his appearance by paying tribute to the station’s three soon-to-be Hall of Famers.
He reflected on Jeff Smulyan’s vision in creating sports radio, Suzyn Waldman’s gravitas and versatility as a reporter and talent, and all of the success he shared with Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.
Russo and his long time radio partner Mike Francesa split up in 2008 after Russo left WFAN for Sirius. Chernoff admitted that even as he was told it was about to happen, he still didn’t believe it.
“You know, I misread a little bit the situation with Mike and Chris,” he admitted. “Mike said ‘Dog’s gonna leave. I know he’s gonna leave.’ He even intimated that he had spoken to Mel [Karmazin, the then-CEO of Sirius], not Mike but Chris, and it was likely he was going to go over to Sirius. And I just couldn’t believe it.”
Mike and the Mad Dog is as dominant a show as local sports radio has ever produced. The duo was together from 1989 until 2008. When they split up, Mark Chernoff says that he took it personally.
“I was sad for a really long time. I was angry too.”
The move hurt his relationship with Russo for a while. The two did not speak for a long time.
He told Barrett that that is over now. They share occasional texts and always hug and catch up when they see each other. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t still some lingering disappointment.
“I wish they hadn’t separated, because it was the most amazing team,” Chernoff said of Mike & the Mad Dog. “But both [Chris] and Mike were certainly successful on their own.”
New episodes of The Jason Barrett Podcast are released each Tuesday morning.
Eli Gold To Miss Start of Alabama Football Season
He’s faced his share of health challenges recently. His streak of 409 consecutive Alabama football games was broken in 2020 after a COVID diagnosis.
Legendary Alabama play-by-play announcer Eli Gold will miss the beginning of the 2022 football season with health issues.
Jim Carabin, Vice President and General Manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing announced the news Wednesday. The school did not elaborate on Gold’s ailment, only saying he would be sidelined to begin the season.
Chris Stewart, who handles play-by-play duties for Alabama’s basketball and baseball teams will fill in during Gold’s absence. Stewart will also host The Nick Saban Show and Hey, Coach until Gold returns.
The 68-year-old Gold is a 2014 inductee to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Gold, who’s contract runs through the 2023 season, has been the Voice of the Crimson Tide since the 1988 season.
He’s faced his share of health challenges recently. His streak of 409 consecutive Alabama football games was broken in 2020 after a COVID diagnosis. Gold also had both shoulders replaced that same year.
In addition to his work with the Crimson Tide, Gold has served as an announcer for NASCAR, NFL, NHL, and the NBA G-League, among others.
Andrew Marchand: Mad Dog Has Surpassed Mike Francesa
“Russo, you could probably make the argument, he’s the best sports talk show host of all time. And the reason is he’s missing a screw.”
Chris “Mad Dog” Russo has been in the limelight recently after the announcement he’ll be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame later this year, and on the latest edition of the Marchand and Ourand Podcast, Andrew Marchand said Russo might have surpassed his former co-host in the annals of sports radio history.
“I feel like when you look at Russo and Francesa, Russo has surpassed Francesa,” The New York Post sports media columnist surmised. “He’s kinda Tom Brady’d to Peyton Manning of Francesa. They had their legendary, iconic, run in New York. They came up at the right time when sports radio exploded. They had tremendous chemistry and it was a great show. And so they’ll always have that, and that’s what they’ll always be most known for.”
While Francesa has bounced back and forth between retiring and hosting a show on WFAN, his digital show Mike’s On, and The Mike Francesa Podcast, Russo has hosted his afternoon show on his SiriusXM channel Mad Dog Radio. He also started a weekly appearance on ESPN’s First Take, and that, according to Marchand has put Russo past Francesa.
“A new generation is seeing Russo at work with Stephen A. (Smith). Russo, you could probably make the argument, he’s the best sports talk show host of all time. And the reason is he’s missing a screw. But for sports radio hosts, it’s a good screw to be missing,” Marchand joked.