CSN hires Susannah Collins as full-time reporteranchor

CSN hires Susannah Collins as full-time reporteranchor

COMCAST SPORTSNET HIRES SUSANNAH COLLINS AS FULL-TIME REPORTERANCHOR FOR SPORTSNET CENTRALAND ADDITIONAL ON-AIRONLINE INITIATIVES

Chicago, IL (September 18, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, today officially announced the full-time hiring of anchorreporter Susannah Collins as its newest on-air talent member (effective September 20) for the networks signature nightly sports news program, SportsNet Central. Collins will also handle on-site, post-game reporting duties throughout the year at home games for all four of CSNs pro team partners. In addition, Collins will frequently host viewer interactive studio segments on the networks post-game shows, along with a variety of digital initiatives that will be showcased on CSNChicago.com. Collins can also be followed via Twitter @SusannahCollins. The announcement was made by Charlie Schumacher, Senior News Director for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

We are very pleased to bring someone of Susannahs experience and local sports enthusiasm to our network on a full-time basis, said Schumacher. Providing the very best live, daily local sports news coverage continues to be our focus and Susannah has certainly done an excellent job for us on a free-lance basis over the past several months and will no doubt be a terrific full-time addition to our already solid on-air team.

Currently the co-host of Comcast SportsNets popular Gas Money sports trivia show, Collins has already been handling post-game reporting duties for CSNs White Sox telecasts, along with reporting and anchoring on SportsNet Central. Previously, Collins gained national attention for her on-air work at Showtime Sports, where she appeared as a special correspondent for the networks weekly studios shows Inside the NFL and Inside NASCAR. At Showtime, Collins primarily reported on both topical and light-hearted stories, along with frequent on-set studio interaction with the programs hosts and analysts. Over the past two years at Showtime Sports, Collins reported from both Super Bowls in Dallas and Indianapolis interviewing numerous athletes and celebrities. Collins also covered MMA and boxing events for Showtime as a live event reporter and web-feature contributor.

In addition to her work at Showtime, Collins also served as a correspondentreporter for the NFL Network, NBC and CBS over the past two years. In 2011, Collins anchored the weekend sports broadcasts at WCBS-TV in New York. This past summer, Collins hosted numerous Fan Fest events for MLB.com at the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City.

Collins, who grew up in the Chicago western suburb of Downers Grove, IL, attended Downers Grove North H.S. She graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in 2001, where, as an undergraduate, worked extensively on both ends of the microphone for student radio station WPGU-FM 107.1.

Expansion of the College Football Playoff field continues to seem inevitable

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USA TODAY

Expansion of the College Football Playoff field continues to seem inevitable

There were six teams deserving of reaching the College Football Playoff this season. But there were only four spots.

But what if there were more spots?

An expansion of the Playoff field to eight teams has seemed inevitable from the day the four-team system was announced. Four more Playoff games means oodles more TV viewers, which means oodles more dollars.

And then we wouldn't be having all these arguments, either — but that's nonsense because of course we would, trying to figure out who got snubbed from the expanded bracket.

But this season's emphasis on the conference-champion debate might kick the efforts to expand the Playoff into high gear. Just take it from NCAA president Mark Emmert.

Now, technically speaking, there are 10 FBS conferences, each of which crowns a champion at the end of every football season. Emmert is obviously referring to the Power Five conferences: the Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, Pac-12 and SEC. He might want to pick his words a bit more carefully, considering he represents the other five conferences — the American, Conference USA, the MAC, the Mountain West and the Sun Belt — too, but his point remains understood.

This season has sparked a ton of controversy as the Playoff selection committee opted for the first time to include a team that did not win its conference, Ohio State, and it picked the Buckeyes over the Big Ten champs, Penn State. Plus, Big 12 champion Oklahoma was passed over in favor of non-champion Ohio State, too, actually falling behind another non-champion from the Big Ten, Michigan, in the final Playoff rankings.

With that decision brought the reasonable question of how much a conference championship should matter in getting a team into the final four and competing for a national championship.

The Playoff committee's mission is to pick the country's four best teams, and there aren't many people out there that will argue that Ohio State isn't one of the country's four best teams. But there's something to be said for winning a conference championship because if the Buckeyes can waltz into the Playoff without even playing in the Big Ten title game, why even have a conference championship game — besides, obviously, earning one more night of big-time TV money.

And so the call for an expanded Playoff bracket has reached perhaps its greatest volume in the short time the Playoff has existed. The obvious solution to Power Five conference champions continually being boxed out is to lock in five spots on the bracket for the five conference champions. Then, guarantee a spot for the highest-ranked team from the Group of Five conferences, and you're left with two "at-large" spots that this season would've gone to Ohio State and Michigan, two of the highest-profile programs in the country sure to drive TV viewership in battles against conference-champion Alabama, Clemson, Washington, Penn State and Oklahoma teams. And P.J. Fleck's undefeated Western Michigan squad takes the final slot.

That's quite the field. But if you think it would've solved all this year's problems, you're wrong. Still there would've been outcry that red-hot USC didn't make the field. The Trojans are playing so well that they could very well win the whole thing, despite their three early season losses. That debate over snubs will exist forever, no matter the size of the field, something we see play out each and every season in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Also, what a damper an expanded bracket would put on the final few weeks of the regular season. Ohio State's game against Michigan, the highest-rated game of the college football season with more than 16 million people watching, would've been effectively meaningless. No matter who won or lost, both teams would've made that eight-team field, right?

Additionally, another round of Playoff football would expand the season to 16 games for some teams. That means more physical demands on student-athletes and a season cutting deep into January, which would impact their educational and time demands.

But again, an expansion of the Playoff bracket has always seemed inevitable. There's too much money to be made, and at the same time fans seem to be all about that idea. People love the postseason for good reason, and the win-or-go-home nature of the NFL playoffs make those games the most-watched sporting events of the year.

Now the NCAA president is chiming in with hopes of an expanded field. So really isn't it just a matter of time?

Road Ahead: Blackhawks dealing with rash of injuries

Road Ahead: Blackhawks dealing with rash of injuries

CSN's Chris Boden and Tracey Myers have the latest on the Blackhawks in the Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda Dealers.

From an injury standpoint, it's been a tough few weeks for the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks are down two key players in captain Jonathan Toews and goaltender Corey Crawford, and now may be without defenseman Brent Seabrook who sustained an upper-body injury in Tuesday's victory over the Arizona Coyotes.

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While the Blackhawks haven't had much luck on the injury front, their upcoming two opponents are in the same boat.

"You look at the New York Rangers, a very talented team, but this is what every team goes through every season. Your depth gets tested," Myers said.

Check out what else Boden and Myers had to say about the team's upcoming matchups in this week's Honda Road Ahead