Thursday, June 30, 2016

Geno's all-time Top Five College Football television themes

                                  Photo Credit: Geno Green

One of the more underrated aspects of college football over the years has been the theme songs from various networks and how it can shape a viewer's feel of a game.

I decided to do a countdown of the top five college football themes of all-time and hope everyone enjoys.

5) ESPN College Football Theme (1994-2000)

With expansion in terms of coverage and the number of games in the 1990's on ESPN, this theme is generally associated.

Hearing the dolcid tones of Ron Franklin every Saturday night at 7:45 p.m. was must watch viewing and served as the precursor to ABC's Saturday Night Football.

4) ABC College Football Theme (1999-2006)

This bombastic theme can be associated with moments such as Michigan State's walk-off win against Michigan in 2001 and the Texas/Ohio State classic in 2005.

Before the name change to ESPN on ABC in 2006, this was the last college football theme to be associated with the ABC Sports brand.

3) Notre Dame Football on NBC Theme (1993-2005)

Back in the days, when the majority of Notre Dame's home games started at 2:30 p.m. ET and the theme music went hand and hand on NBC.

Most fans associate this theme with big games such as 1 vs 2 in 1993 between Florida State/Notre Dame and the Bush Push game between USC/Notre Dame in 2005.

2) BCS/Saturday Night Football on ABC Theme (1999-2012)

When you think of the Bowl Championship Series on television, this classic theme comes to mind.

Initially used for BCS games from 1999-2004, this nostalgic theme began to make its way on Saturday afternoon telecasts on ABC in 2005, then re-appeared during ESPN/ABC's 2006 bowl coverage before becoming the Saturday Night Football theme from 2007-12.

1) College Football on CBS Theme (1987-Present)

Most fans might assume this song first appeared on a college football telecast, but instead, the up-tempo theme made its debut during Super Bowl XXI on CBS in 1987.

The theme song moved over to college football telecasts later that season and has been in place ever since.

Moments such as the peak of the Catholics vs Convicts series from 1987-1990 and the Kick Six game in 2013 have aired in this time period.

Hard to believe this theme song will enter its 30th season in September as UCLA and Texas A&M meet to kick off CBS's slate of SEC/College Football games.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Week 1 Big 12 schedule highlights

                                  Photo Credit: Geno Green

While everyone enjoys the fruits of summer vacations across the country, the aroma of charcoal grills and tailgates on Saturday afternoons in the fall are closer than you think as the first full weekend of games begin on Sept. 1.

Here are some of the key Big 12 non-conference games to watch for:

Oklahoma vs Houston at NRG Stadium, Sept. 3, 11 a.m., ABC

If you are a fan of great quarterback play, than this game could satisfy anyone's appetite as Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Houston's Greg Ward Jr. will duel it out in Houston.

After transferring from Texas Tech after the 2013 season and redshirting in 2014, Mayfield's impact was made last fall with a career-high 36 touchdown passes. 

Oklahoma's run to the College Football Playoff semifinal round helped play a key role in Mayfield being named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.

Ward Jr. proved to be a dual threat in 2015 by finishing second in the nation in rushing yards (1,108) and touchdowns (21) from under center.

Notre Dame at Texas, Sept. 4, 6:30 p.m., ABC

In a rare, high-profile Sunday night game, Texas will be out for revenge on Notre Dame after a 38-3 in South Bend to begin last season.

With a new offensive coordinator on the Longhorns' staff and a tough non-conference road trip to California two weeks later, coach Charlie Strong needs this win if any momentum can be made towards winning more than five games this season.

Kansas State at Stanford, Sept. 2, 8 p.m., FS1

One of the more underrated games of opening weekend takes place in Pao Alto as two of the more successful teams this decade meet.

Wildcats coach Bill Snyder oversaw a Big 12 championship in 2012 and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl, while Cardinal coach David Shaw is fresh off leading a 45-16 thrashing of the Iowa Hawkeyes in last season's Rose Bowl Game.

Expect points to be at a premium in the opener, or maybe not.

Social Media:

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Week 1 Pac-12 schedule highlights

While everyone enjoys the fruits of summer vacations across the country, the aroma of charcoal grills and tailgates on Saturday afternoons in the fall are closer than you think as the first full weekend of games begin on Sept. 1.

Here are some of the key Pac-12 non-conference games to watch for:

USC vs Alabama at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Sept. 3, 7 p.m., ABC

In a weekend full of top-tier games, this one could stand out amongst all with two traditional powers meeting in Arlington.

The venue for the Crimson Tide has become a home away from home as they won both games last season (35-17 vs Wisconsin on Sept. 5 and 38-0 vs Michigan State in the College Football Playoff semifinal on Dec. 31).

With the interim tag removed, USC coach Clay Helton has the tough task of pulling a upset and monkey wrench in the early rankings of the AP and Coaches' polls.

UCLA at Texas A&M, Sept. 3, 2:30 p.m., CBS

Texas A&M opens its second straight season against a Pac-12 opponent and UCLA comes calling to Kyle Field.

After completing 60 percent of his passes and throwing for 23 touchdowns as a freshman, Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen will look to take things to the next level as a sophomore and what better place to begin a potential run at the Heisman Trophy than at an SEC site.

Kansas State at Stanford, Sept. 2, 8 p.m., FS1

One of the more underrated games of opening weekend takes place in Pao Alto as two of the more successful teams this decade meet.

Wildcats coach Bill Snyder oversaw a Big 12 championship in 2012 and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl, while Cardinal coach David Shaw is fresh off leading a 45-16 thrashing of the Iowa Hawkeyes in last season's Rose Bowl Game.

Expect points to be at a premium in the opener, or maybe not.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Week 1 Big Ten schedule highlights

                                      Photo Credit: Geno Green

While everyone enjoys the fruits of summer vacations across the country, the aroma of charcoal grills and tailgates on Saturday afternoons in the fall are closer than you think as the first full weekend of games begin on Sept. 1.

Here are some of the key Big Ten non-conference games to watch for:

LSU vs Wisconsin at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Sept. 3, 2:30 p.m., ABC

The highly touted SEC/Big Ten debate usually gets settled in head-to-head meetings during bowl season, but things begin right out the gate with the Tigers and the Badgers.

Throw in the bonuses of these two playing at legendary Lambeau Field in Green Bay and ESPN's College Gameday appearing on-site that day and we have ourselves a de facto New Year's Six game to start the season.

Despite 10 wins in 2015, the Badgers look to start 2016 on a good note after losing to another SEC school in Alabama 35-17 to begin last season.

After being ranked as high as No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings, LSU finished 2015 losing three of its last five games and calls for coach Les Miles to be fired.

Both teams have plenty to prove in the opener and a win will go a long way in impressing the pollsters across the country short-term.

Hawaii at Michigan, Sept. 3, 11 a.m., ESPN

The Michigan Wolverines come into the 2016 season with lofty expectations after a 41-7 drubbing of the Florida Gators in the Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day.

However, this matchup will be the only game on opening weekend where a team will have played in the prior week in the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (vs California, Aug. 26).

No matter how many fall practices occur, there is nothing like live game film to evaluate and Michigan should have an advantage in that department.

Expect the Wolverines to come away with a win, but do not be surprised if the final score is a bit closer than expected.

Oregon State at Minnesota, Sept. 1, 8 p.m., BTN

Oregon State's Gary Andersen returns to familiar territory as the one-time Wisconsin coach returns to TCF Bank Stadium to take on Minnesota.

Both teams could be sleepers in the Pac-12 and Big Ten races, respectively and the winner could go a long way in terms of boosting morale for later games in the 2016 season.

Minnesota hosts the opening game on its schedule for the fourth straight season. The most recent opener came on Sept. 3, 2015 as Minnesota fell to TCU 23-17 in 2015.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Pittsburgh Panthers 2016 outlook

Pittsburgh Panthers

2015 record: 8-5, 5-3 ACC Coastal

2016 schedule:

Sept. 3 vs Villanova

Sept. 10 vs Penn State
Sept. 17 at Oklahoma State
Sept. 24 at North Carolina
Oct. 1 vs Marshall
Oct. 8 vs Georgia Tech
Oct. 15 at Virginia
Oct. 27 (Thu.) vs Virginia Tech
Nov. 5 at Miami (FL)
Nov. 12 at Clemson
Nov. 19 vs Duke
Nov. 26 vs Syracuse

Fresh off an 8-5 campaign in 2015, coach Pat Narduzzi is looking to bring back the 1980's era of when players such as Dan Marino and Tony Dorsett put the Pittsburgh Panthers on the map as National Championship contenders year in and year out.

The return of running back James Conner (lymphoma) will provide a big boost to a Pittsburgh offense which ranked 44th in the FBS on the ground with 186.9 yards per game last season.

Players To Watch For- Junior running back James Conner:

As mentioned earlier, Conner returns for the Panthers after sitting out last season.

In 2014, Conner finished with 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns on the ground and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

Senior offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty:

For Conner to return to his old form, Bisnowaty's presence as the leader of the Pittsburgh offensive line will play a critical role in the process.

Named second-team All American last season, the senior has started 30 games and is also a pre-season candidate for the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, presented to the country's best offensive lineman.

Key Game- Sept. 10 vs Penn State:

The in-state rivalry stands out as the game to watch for this season as Pittsburgh and Penn State meet for the first time since Sept. 16, 2000 when the Panthers had their way with a 12-0 shutout of the Nittany Lions at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA.

The rise of independent schools bolting to power conferences in the 1990's led to the end of the rivalry on a yearly basis as it became difficult for Penn State and Pittsburgh to schedule with only three to four non-conference games per season, but for the next four seasons, the two teams will meet again on the gridiron.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Geno Green Experience- Sean Baligian

On this edition of The Geno Green Experience, Sean Baligian from Detroit Sports 105.1 FM and FOX 2 Detroit comes on to reflect on the life of Detroit Red Wings great Gordie Howe, who died Friday at the age of 88.

Topics Covered:

The impact of Howe on legends such as Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky.
How international hockey has evolved in the years after Howe's final NHL game.
The influence of Howe on the city of Detroit/Hockeytown.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Indiana Hoosiers 2016 outlook

Indiana Hoosiers

2015 record: 6-7, 2-6 Big Ten East

2016 schedule:

Sept. 1 (Thu.) at Florida International
Sept. 10 vs Ball State
Sept. 24 vs Wake Forest
Oct. 1 vs Michigan State
Oct. 8 at Ohio State
Oct. 15 vs Nebraska
Oct. 22 at Northwestern
Oct. 29 vs Maryland
Nov. 5 at Rutgers
Nov. 12 vs Penn State
Nov. 19 at Michigan
Nov. 26 vs Purdue

The story of the 2015 Indiana Hoosiers turned out to be close call after close call in losses to teams such as the Michigan Wolverines and the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Despite the tough breaks, Indiana made its first bowl appearance since the 2007 season in the Pinstripe Bowl, but lost a nail-biter to Duke, 44-41 in overtime.

After signing a 6-year deal to remain at Indiana in the off-season, coach Kevin Wilson will look to build upon the improvement and take the next step towards being relevant in the stacked Big Ten Eastern division, which features Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. 

Players To Watch For- Redshirt senior right guard Dan Feeney:

After being named to the Associated Press All-American first team last season, Feeney will look to continue to be leader of the offensive line.

In 37 career starts, Feeney has allowed one sack in 2,719 snaps and did not a allow one in 2015.

Redshirt junior quarterback Richard Lagow:

Lagow comes to Indiana with lofty expectations after passing for 2,285 yards last season at Cisco Community College (Texas).

The connection between Lagow and senior wide receiver Ricky Jones will be vital to the success of the Hoosiers in 2016.

Senior wide receiver Ricky Jones:

Jones finished sixth in the conference last season with 906 yards and is expected to be one of Lagow's go-to guys.

Three games of 100 yards or more against Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky and Rutgers, along with an 89-yard performance on four catches against Duke in the Pinstripe Bowl could give Jones enough momentum to break out for multiple touchdowns in 2016.

Key Game- Oct. 1 vs Michigan State:

With the possibility of Indiana being 3-0 going into conference play, a primetime home game against defending Big Ten champion Michigan State could make or break the season.

Michigan State has won the last seven in the series, including a 52-26 win against Indiana on Oct. 24, 2015 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, MI.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Kentucky Wildcats 2016 outlook

Kentucky Wildcats

2015 record: 5-7, 2-6 SEC East

2016 schedule:

Sept. 3 vs Southern Miss
Sept. 10 at Florida
Sept. 17 vs New Mexico State
Sept. 24 vs South Carolina
Oct. 1 at Alabama
Oct. 8 vs Vanderbilt
Oct. 22 vs Mississippi State
Oct. 29 at Missouri
Nov. 5 vs Georgia
Nov. 12 at Tennessee
Nov. 19 vs Austin Peay
Nov. 26 at Louisville

For the last five seasons, the Kentucky Wildcats have been at the bottom of the SEC Eastern division.

The last three have been under the guidance of coach Mark Stoops and this season is a de facto do or die in terms of improvement in the win department.

The Wildcats have not made a bowl appearance since the 2010 season and in order for the drought to end, they must improve on offensive production after going for 209.3 yards/game in 2015 (79th in the FBS).

Players To Watch For- Redshirt freshman quarterback Drew Barker:

In order for the Wildcats to improve on offense, Barker will be counted on as the projected starter going into fall camp.

Barker stood out in the spring game on April 16 going 12-of-18 passing for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

After taking a redshirt, Barker steps in after outgoing starter Patrick Towles finished with nine touchdown passes and 14 interceptions last season.

Senior center Jon Toth:

Named to the Remington Trophy Spring Watch List on May 17, Toth headlines four returning starters on the Kentucky offensive line. 

Toth started in the last 35 games for the Wildcats and has excelled off the gridiron as a three-time SEC academic honor roll member.

Key Game- Sept. 10 at Florida:

The Wildcats' biggest hurdle in the last 29 seasons has been their inability to knock off fellow SEC East foes in the Florida Gators.

Despite coming close in a 14-9 loss last season to Florida, Kentucky's hopes to make some noise can happen at Florida in the second full week of action.

The game at Florida could be the first of many challenging opponents away from Commonwealth Stadium as Kentucky makes trips to schools such as Alabama, Tennessee and in-state rival Louisville.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

California Golden Bears 2016 outlook

California Golden Bears

2015 record: 8-5, 4-5 Pac-12 North

2016 schedule:

Aug. 26 (Fri.) vs Hawaii
Sept. 10 at San Diego State
Sept. 17 vs Texas
Sept. 24 at Arizona State
Oct. 1 vs Utah
Oct. 8 at Oregon State
Oct. 21 (Fri.) vs Oregon
Oct. 27 (Thu.) at USC
Nov. 5 vs Washington
Nov. 12 at Washington State
Nov. 19 vs Stanford
Nov. 26 vs UCLA

Exit Jared Goff, Enter Texas Tech transfer Davis Webb.

For the time being, California coach Sonny Dykes appears to have found another quality starting quarterback in Webb and will try to improve on 8-5 mark from 2014.

Players To Watch For- Senior quarterback Davis Webb:

The Bears appeared to have found a short-term solution at quarterback with Davis Webb.

Webb threw for 5,557 yards and 46 touchdowns from 2013-15 for Texas Tech.

The up-tempo system Dykes likes to run in Berkeley could pay dividends not only for California's chances to make a major bowl game, but Webb's NFL Draft stock for 2017.

Senior safety Damariay Drew:

With leading tackler Hardy Nickerson Jr.'s departure to Illinois and Kyle Kragen's eligibility expired, Drew will be counted on to be one of the main leaders of California's defensive unit.

Drew finished third for the Golden Bears with 71 tackles in 11 games last season after being kicked off in the 2014 season after an alleged assault on an on-campus student.

An undisclosed knee injury forced Drew to miss the rest of spring practice, but is expected back in time for a fall camp.

Key Game- Oct. 1 vs Utah:

California came into last season's meeting at Utah undefeated at 5-0, but a loss set things in a downward spiral going 1-4 in the final five Pac-12 league games.

Given its doable schedule in the first four games, the Golden Bears could be undefeated once more when Utah makes its trip to Memorial Stadium.

If the Bears want to be in contention for a spot in the conference title game, then the game against the Utes could go a long way as to how the rest of the schedule pays out.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Geno Green Experience- Terry Foster reflects on Muhammad Ali and Bill Bender

On a special edition of The Geno Green Experience, Terry Foster from 97.1 The Ticket in the Detroit area comes on to reflect on the life Muhammad Ali and growing up as a fan in the city.

Bill Bender from the Sporting News previews Game 2 of The NBA Finals and how Shawn Livingston has become the ultimate X-Factor for Golden State.


0:53 Geno gives his commentary on the life of Ali
2:54 Terry Foster
19:10 Bill Bender

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Oklahoma/Texas to FS1 could mean a move for the Ohio State/Michigan game soon

For the last 17 seasons, the Oklahoma/Texas Red River Rivalry game in Dallas, TX has been associated with the ABC Network, but with big-time events making the move to cable, this season's installment makes the move to FS1 in a press release from FOX Sports on June 1.

One can only think of a potential Big Ten television contract with FOX receiving a select number of games this summer that would go in effect in 2017.

Let's assume FOX and ESPN/ABC (all games produced by ESPN) are partners in the new deal and both networks grab an equal number games from the Big Ten schedule, a possibility would exist where the coveted Ohio State/Michigan rivalry game could move from broadcast TV to cable through FS1 or ESPN for the first time since 1984 as soon as next season.

Even with the tradition of yesteryear (The 10-year war between Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler) to today (Urban Meyer vs Jim Harbaugh), viewing habits have expanded outside of watching the game at home on a TV screen to applications on smartphones and computers where fans can watch the game at different locations.

With the advent of the above mentioned devices, the significance of big games on network television have eroded as the acceptance of viewing games online or on apps on the phone can mitigate the lack of access to games on cable.

Sure, ratings could suffer a bit, but the Bowl Championship Series/College Football Playoff have been cable exclusive on ESPN since the 2010 season and dealt with the same fate early in the transition, but the ability for viewers to watch the games on multiple devices on the WatchESPN app have eased a lot of bitter feelings over time.

While the rivalry games are significant in terms of prestige and potential stakes in the upper-tier postseason bowls, the New Year's contests set the precedent for games like Oklahoma/Texas to move to cable for at least this season.

Fans will continue to watch the games no matter the outlet because college football Saturdays are de facto mini holidays.

So, sit back and plan the schedule now as the season is less than three months away.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Illinois Fighting Illini 2016 outlook

                                Photo Credit: Geno Green

Illinois Fighting Illini

2015 record: 5-7, 2-6 Big Ten West

2016 schedule:

Sept. 3 vs Murray State
Sept. 10 vs North Carolina
Sept. 17 vs Western Michigan
Oct. 1 at Nebraska
Oct. 8 vs Purdue
Oct. 15 at Rutgers
Oct. 22 at Michigan
Oct. 29 vs Minnesota
Nov. 5 vs Michigan State
Nov. 12 at Wisconsin
Nov. 19 vs Iowa
Nov. 26 at Northwestern

In the last couple of seasons, the Big Ten Conference has become the place where the big boys play.

In this case, the coaches are B1G, no pun intended, but with Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), Urban Meyer (Ohio State) and Jim Harbaugh (Michigan) running ship in the East division, it would only be fitting for the West division to get a coach with major NFL experience in Lovie Smith being named Illinois coach on March 7.

Smith's task could be daunting given the Illini's last appearance in a major came in the 2002 Sugar Bowl as the Big Ten Conference champions.

Players To Watch For (Offense and Defense)- Senior quarterback Wes Lunt:

The Illini's chances of making any headway this season could hinge on the back of Lunt.

The senior has shown the ability at times to play amongst the Big Ten's elite in the last couple of seasons.

Lunt produced a season-high 317 yards through the air in a 29-20 loss to eventual the Big Ten Conference Championship Game runner-up Iowa on Oct. 10, 2015.

Sophomore running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn:

With the departure of Josh Ferguson to the National Football League, Vaughn returns as the Illini's leading rusher from 2015 (723 yards on 4.6 per carry).

Vaughn's breakout performance came in the Purdue game on Nov. 7, 2015, where he rushed for 180 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns to help Illinois win 48-14.

Key Game- Sept. 10 vs North Carolina:

The Illini will be tested in the second week of the season as the North Carolina Tar Heels invade Memorial Stadium for a primetime meeting.

The Tar Heels came one game short of playing in the New Year's Six and possibly the College Football Playoff in a  loss to the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Title Game.

In the last meeting on Sept. 19, 2015 in Chapel Hill, NC, North Carolina led wire-to-wire in a 48-14 win over Illinois. The only bright spot for the Illini came courtesy of running back Josh Ferguson (now of the Indianapolis Colts) for 133 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.