Media Notebook: College Gameday, '03 Cubs Doc, DePaul Fox Sports 1 event

ESPN College Gameday set up shop this morning at Lakeside Field on the Northwestern University campus in Evanston.

Tonight at Ryan Field, not be confused with the Fox Sports 1 anchor named Ryan Field, the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes, favored by a touchdown, will take on the #16 Wildcats. Kickoff at 7pm on ABC with OSU alum Kirk Herbstreit and NU alum Brent Musburger on the call. Heather Cox will be on the sidelines.

I love College Gameday, but the best part of it, in my opinion, would be the signs.

I’ve led this post with a great sign about Kain Colter. And posted a few in gallery. You can see a few more signs here.

NU will look to upset the Red Menace tonight, and have a much better outing than the last time College Gameday was on site for a NW home game. That was the infamous “we conveniently forgot about the lack of space in Wrigley Field, so we’ll have both teams go one way/the same way the whole time” game.

The Illini shredded NU 48-22 at the Friendly Confines as Mikel Leshoure ran for an Illinois record 330 yards rushing. Here's to hoping the Cats don't have a repeat of that performance tonight; and cut shut down Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde.

-From Crain’s, Northwestern sells the naming rights to their Athletic Director position. They've come such a long way in Evanston. Three decades ago, they were considering abandoning big time sports entirely to join the Ivy League. According to the Wall Street Journal.

Other great College Gameday signs: "I only have a A- in Chem."

"Urban Liar"

"You know what else is in Columbus? Neither do we"

"I'm Smart"

"I Love Lamp"

"Show us your Tats"

"We Came to Play School" but the WINNER is........

"Nickelback World Tour 2005: NEVER FORGET"

-Here’s my preview and prediction of tonight’s big game.

-On the 10th anniversary of the 2003 Chicago Cubs season-ending defeat to the Florida Marlins in Game 7 of the NLCS, Comcast SportsNet will air a documentary about that memorable season highlighted by the Steve Bartman game. “5 Outs” premieres Tuesday, October 15 at 9:00 PM CDT on Comcast SportsNet. CSN will also re-air this documentary special on Wednesday, October 23 at 7:00 PM and on Wednesday, October 30 at 7:00.

Here’s a lot more on “5 Outs.” Mark Prior on the Bartman ball play:

“I have heard all the theories and whatever you want to call them. I looked at the tapes. I thought it was fan interference and that is an honest opinion. I don’t think he (Bartman) changed the course of the game, history, or all the other things that have been blamed on this person. In my mind, Moises would have 100% got it, but that play doesn’t define the series or what happened after the fact.”

-"5 outs" will no doubt draw comparisons to the ESPN Films “Catching Hell.” Just like CSN’s production “25″ about Ben Wilson was compared to the ESPN’s “Benji.”

-Susannah Collins will make her first appearance on the airwaves since Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz ordered Comcast SportsNet to terminate her in the middle of the night during the first round of the NHL playoffs. Collins will work the sideline for CBS Sports Network tonight, calling UTEP vs. Louisiana Tech. Here’s more details on that.

Sources who have worked with Collins in the past told me this week that CBS Creative Director Pete Radovich is a big fan of Susannah’s work, so maybe she’ll parlay this into a full-time gig?

Either way, Collins has now left Chicago and moved back to New York City.

-It’s really weird how much sportscasters Dave Zirin and Darren Rovell sound alike, and even somewhat lookalike. It’s strange because they are as close to pure good versus true evil in the sports media world as you could ever find. Complete polar opposites. The former strives to make the world a much better place, the latter is everything that's wrong with corporatization run amok.

-White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson is a finalist for the Ford C. Frick award in broadcasting excellence. Say it with me…..WTF???!!!!!! Giving Harrelson a broadcasting award is like granting Reilly O'Toole the Heisman Trophy.

-The Wall Street Journal had an interesting college football study on Thursday. The Illini are first in the nation in NFL starters produced to wins ratio.

When the Chicago Bears host the New Orleans Saints Sunday, you’ll see former Fighting Illini Pierre Thomas starting at tailback. On the other side, the Saints have another former Illini, Martez Wilson who is a part time starter at right outside linebacker (he’s two on the depth chart now) Thomas, a T.F. South product from the Chicago suburbs, were on Illini teams that went 8-38 in Champaign. Wilson’s Illini teams went 15-22.


-Former Illini football player Mike Hopkins is currently in space. Whoops I meant to say INNNNNN SPAAAAAAAAACEEEEE. You can follow him on Twitter @AstroIllini.

-DePaul will host a special midnight madness event at McGrath Arena on October 25th, working with Fox Sports 1. FS1, who have broadcasting deals with the Big East, will televise madness events from all the campuses in the conference. I’ll have more details on this in a separate post upcoming.

Is this a make or break year for Oliver Purnell? Here is what Purnell has done in the Big East Conference: 1-17 his first year, 3-15 his second, and 2-17 last year he program is 7-82 in league play since 2008. They haven’t reached the NIT since 2007 or the NCAAs since 2004.This is very reminiscent of Northwestern football between 1976 and 1981. The Wildcats went 3-62-1. At one point NU lost 34 straight games, a mind-boggling run of futility that remains the longest losing streak in major-college football history.

DePaul held the annual D-Club gold outing and dinner at Ruffled Feathers Country Club in Lemont (the course where the DPU golf team competes) this past week. Purnell said of Fox Sports 1:

“They’re clearly trying to be on par, if not better than ESPN, we’re talking worldwide and national exposure.”

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and Facebook,subscribe to his RSS feed here

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