CSN announces 2012 College Football schedule

CSN announces 2012 College Football schedule

COMCAST SPORTSNET ANNOUNCES 2012 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

17 Live Telecasts, including 4 games featuring Illinois State & NIUs Homecoming Game;
Plus Notre Dame & Northwestern weekly coaches shows

Chicago, IL (August 20, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, has announced its 2012 college football schedule highlighted by standout local match-ups featuring pre-season, nationally-ranked Illinois State of the Missouri Valley Conference, 2011 Mid-American Conference champion2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl winner Northern Illinois, plus additional action-packed match-ups from Conference USA and the SEC, along with weekly college coaches shows from Notre Dame and Northwestern.

Comcast SportsNets first of 17 live telecasts from its 2012 college football schedule takes place on Saturday, September 1 at 7:00 PM featuring Conference USA West Division standout Houston hosting Texas State. The following week, on Saturday, September 8 at 12 NOON, Comcast SportsNet will carry the first of four Illinois State Redbirds telecasts starting off with their visit to Eastern Michigan. Additional Illinois State games on Comcast SportsNets 2012 college football schedule this season include road match-ups against Western Illinois (Sept. 22 at 3:00 PM), Northern Iowa (Oct. 27 at 4:00 PM) and Indiana State (Nov. 3 at 1:00 PM).

On Saturday, October 13 at 2:30 PM, Northern Illinois Huskies fans will be in for a treat as Comcast SportsNet will carry the schools annual Homecoming Game as they take on MAC rival Buffalo. Please note the attached schedule for Comcast SportsNets complete 2012 college football schedule, including all Conference USA match-ups, along with scheduled datestimes for its SEC telecasts.

Comcast SportsNet will also provide college football fans with a pair of area team college coaches shows this season on Tuesdays beginning in September (air datestimes may vary during the season) Inside Notre Dame Football with Brian Kelly (4:30 PM) and Northwestern Football: The Pat Fitzgerald Show (11:30 PM).

COMCAST SPORTSNET CHICAGO
2012 College Football Schedule

1. Sat, Sept 1 7:00 pm CUSA: Texas State @ Houston LIVE
2. Sat, Sept. 8 12:00 pm Illinois State @ Eastern Michigan LIVE
3. Sat, Sept 15 3:00 pm CUSA: Florida Intl @ C. Florida LIVE
4. Sat, Sept. 22 3:00 pm Illinois State @ Western Illinois LIVE
5. Sat, Oct 6 6:00 pm CUSA: North Texas @ Houston LIVE
6. Sat, Oct 13 2:30 pm Buffalo @ Northern Illinois LIVE
7. Sat, Oct 20 7:00 pm CUSA: Central Florida @ Memphis LIVE
8. Sat, Oct 27 12:00 pm CUSA: Southern Miss @ Rice LIVE
9. Sat, Oct. 27 4:00 pm Illinois State @ Northern Iowa LIVE
10. Sat, Oct 27 6:30 pm SEC: Teams TBD LIVE JIP 7:00 pm
11. Sat, Nov. 3 1:00 pm Illinois State @ Indiana State LIVE
12. Sat, Nov 3 6:30 pm CUSA: UAB @ Southern Miss LIVE
13. Sat, Nov 10 TBA CUSA: Marshall @ UAB LIVE
14. Sat, Nov 10 6:30 pm SEC: Teams TBA LIVE
15. Sat, Nov 17 11:00 am CUSA: Houston @ Marshall LIVE
16. Sat, Nov 17 6:30 pm SEC: Teams TBA LIVE
17. Sat, Nov 24 2:30 pm CUSA: Southern Miss @ Memphis LIVE

Schedule as of 82012 -- Schedule subject to change

(Live JIP) Live, joined in progress
(TBA) To be announced

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.

[SHOP BLACKHAWKS: Get your Blackhawks gear right here]

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