CSN to air live coverage of 'IHSA Playoff Pairing Release Show' on Oct. 20

CSN to air live coverage of 'IHSA Playoff Pairing Release Show' on Oct. 20


CSN to carry LIVE announcement for every first round match-up on Saturday, October 20 at 8:00 PM; to also be streamed live on CSNChicago.com & IHSA.tv

For the second-straight year, network to also carry live coverage of all eight IHSA Football Championships from Memorial Stadium in Champaign, IL (Nov. 23 & 24)

Bloomington, ILChicago, IL (October 16, 2012) -- In conjunction with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and the IHSAs production partner, PlayOn! Sports, Comcast SportNet Chicago, the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, has announced it will once again be the home for postseason high school football in Illinois in 2012. This joint partnership will include the airing and live stream of the IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Release Show on October 20 and the IHSA Football State Championship games on November 23-24.

Comcast SportsNet will be the first media outlet to reveal the first round match-ups of all 256 playoff qualifiers across eight classes during the IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Release Show, which will air LIVE from CSNs downtown Chicago studios on Saturday October 20 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fans can also watch the brackets unveiled via live interactive stream on the internet at IHSA.tv and CSNChicago.com.

Five weeks later, Comcast SportsNet will air the culminating event of the season as 16 teams from around the state converge upon the University of Illinois Memorial Stadium in Champaign. The Class 1A-4A championships will unfold on Friday, November 23, with the Class 5A-8A tilts coming on Saturday, November 24. The first game will kickoff at 10 a.m. each day, with each subsequent game to follow.

We are always focusing on providing our viewers with the very best local sports coverage available and being able to feature some of the finest preps athletes in the state of Illinois is something were definitely excited to showcase once again, said Phil Bedella, VPGM of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. The IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Release Show and our live coverage of all eight state title games will be an excellent addition to our already stellar line-up of local sports programming. We also appreciate the support of the IHSA and PlayOn! Sports in helping us make the pairings show and the championships available to our viewers.

High school football in Illinois is a special tradition, said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. From the unique playoff pairing show, to the state championships, it is a very special time for so many communities. Comcast SportsNet Chicagos commitment to the IHSA and our member schools means that we will be able deliver a superior product to a larger audience in Illinois and beyond.

The pairings show and title games will be distributed to Comcast SportsNet Chicagos entire viewing territory. Viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com to find the exact channel locations in their area.


Fans will be able to interact with the playoff pairing show in a real-time chat on Saturday, October 20 by visiting CSNChicago.com, where they can make comments or ask questions that may be read on the air. Fans can also interact via Twitter by using the hashtag IHSA. Teams who are gathering to watch the program are encouraged to submit photos to be shown during the program, by tweeting them with IHSA or directly to @IHSA_IL or emailing them to mtroha@ihsa.org. All submitted photos will be included in CSNChicago.coms online gallery.

The show will be hosted by Comcast SportsNet anchorreporter and Downers Grove North High School alum Susannah Collins, along with longtime IHSA TV Network personality Dave Bernhard and Kankakee Daily Journal prep writer & the states resident high school football bracketologist, Steve Soucie.

The show will feature:

-The release of the 32-team brackets in all eight classes, as all 256 playoff qualifiers find out their first round playoff opponents and path to Champaign for the first time.
-Highlights from nearly 100 schools from around the state
-Analysis from experts on nearly 100 teams from across Illinois
-Live look-ins and photos from schools hosting playoff pairing parties
-Interviews with coaches and media
-State Championship game picks from a statewide media panel
-CSN Interactive segments with fans

Nicole Darin will host IHSA on CSN Interactive, a live web stream and chat that will offer viewers the opportunity to interact directly with Collins, Bernhard and Soucie. Viewer questions and comments will be featured throughout the show and posted on CSNChicago.com.

Follow IHSA on Twitter @IHSA_IL (IHSA)

Follow Comcast SportsNet Chicago on Twitter @CSNChicago

Become a fan of IHSA on Facebook at http:www.facebook.comIHSA.IL

Become a fan of CSN Chicago on Facebook at http:www.facebook.comCSNChicago

Bears get Jay Cutler back as QB competition with Brian Hoyer fades to black

Bears get Jay Cutler back as QB competition with Brian Hoyer fades to black

If there was any quarterback “controversy” swirling about the Bears – and one likely will be after this season – this one is safely resolved with Jay Cutler cleared by team medical staff to return from his injured thumb and begin practicing this week, all of this about the time that Brian Hoyer was undergoing surgery for his broken right arm suffered in the loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Whether Cutler would have been re-installed as the starter had Hoyer remained healthy, and throwing for 300 yards per game, is a moot point now. Indications were that Hoyer would not lose the job if he was playing well.

But now, “obviously Jay’s our starter,” said coach John Fox. “He was injured, not permitted to play medically. And now that he’s healed he’s back to being our starter.

“That’s really the facts and kind of what happened and where we’re at now. So I don’t know that there was a ‘competition’ to speak of. Just like there wasn’t a competition when Matt Barkley went in [at Green Bay]; he was our only quarterback left. So it’s good to have Jay back. We’re excited to have him back and hopefully he can remain healthy.”

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Team chemisty is difficult if not impossible to gauge from the outside. And whether teammates prefer Cutler or Hoyer personally is only marginally relevant anyway.

But Cutler was voted an offensive co-captain (along with Alshon Jeffery) and the offense ostensibly is more dangerous with Cutler and his deep-threat capability. Still, the Bears scored just 21 points in the combined seven quarters behind Cutler, while reaching 17-17-23-16 in whole games under Hoyer.

Cutler’s return is expected to have a ripple effect on the rest of the team.“We don’t really play into that much,” said center Cody Whitehair. “[Whoever’s] back there, we’re going to try and do our best to protect them and do our thing on the run.

“But you know, it is nice to have him back. He’s been a leader on the sideline even while he wasn’t playing and it’ll be nice to have him back out there.”

Badgers' leading tackler Jack Cichy out for rest of season


Badgers' leading tackler Jack Cichy out for rest of season

Wisconsin trails Nebraska by two in the loss column in the Big Ten West Division standings and has a huge showdown with the top-10 Huskers on Saturday night in Madison.

But the road to Indy just got a little tougher, the Badgers announcing Monday that leading tackler Jack Cichy will miss the remainder of the season with a torn pectoral muscle.

Cichy had 60 tackles on the campaign as part of a world-class Wisconsin defense that ranks fourth in the country in scoring (14.3 points allowed a game) and ninth in yardage (300.6 yards allowed a game). His seven tackles for loss rank second on the team, and his 1.5 sacks rank third. He also forced a pair of fumbles in his seven games.

The Badgers have been plagued by injuries in the linebacking corps this season. Cichy's season-ending injury is the second that unit has experienced this year, as Chris Orr was knocked out for the year following an injury in the season-opening win over LSU. T.J. Edwards has been working his way back to full strength after suffering a foot injury this summer. And Vince Biegel missed a couple games with injury but returned to the lineup this past weekend, registering one tackle in the win over Iowa.

The Badgers, ranked 11th in the most recent AP poll, play host to the No. 7 Huskers on Saturday night at Camp Randall Stadium.