Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Gus Johnson and Bruce Feldman reflect on Ohio State-Michigan highlighting FOX Sports' deepest TV schedule ever

 Photo Credit: Geno Green

CHICAGO— As another college football season dawns, Big Ten media days serves as the ultimate bridge to the final frontier of the off-season and for the Big Ten and new broadcast partner FOX Sports, things could have not gotten off to a better start with its 2017 schedule.

At the network’s media college football breakfast on Tuesday at McCormick Place, FOX Play-by-Play announcers and Analysts reflected on its deepest coverage of games since its inception in 2011— highlighted by the Ohio State-Michigan game on Nov. 25 at Michigan Stadium.

A Detroit, Mich. native, lead announcer Gus Johnson knows about the significance of the Ohio State-Michigan game, but never got an opportunity to visit Michigan Stadium in person and relishes the chance to call the game for the first time ever.

“Whenever you get a chance to call a game like (Ohio State-Michigan), it is a benchmark for you in your career,” Johnson said.

“Growing up in Detroit, I never went to a Michigan game in Ann Arbor and it will be a first for me on a number of different levels for me. It is the greatest rivalry in all of college football and arguably sports in America and hopefully the guys will be playing for something important.”

Fox Sports sideline reporter and Sports Illustrated writer Bruce Feldman, who was elevated to the secondary broadcast team with Joe Davis (Play-by-Play) and Brady Quinn (Analyst) this upcoming season felt enthused about having an opportunity to potentially be a part of “The Game”.

“We were at a dinner with other FOX and FS1 colleagues in the off-season and everyone was talking about the possibility of us getting the game and Joel Klatt mentioned that we could be calling Ohio State-Michigan and how big that would be,” Feldman said.

“We all grew up watching the game— probably more than any other. Growing up in the Northeast, there wasn’t any real college football outside of Boston College and Syracuse. Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame would be the schools on television all the time. In an era where you can basically watch every game and just to have this one is big because the Ohio State-Michigan game is a national brand.”

Outside of the OSU-Michigan game, FOX will carry other notable games, such as Texas-USC (Sept. 16), Notre Dame-Michigan State (Sept. 23), Penn State-Ohio State (Oct. 28) and the Bedlam Series with Oklahoma-Oklahoma State (Nov. 4). Also, the reinstated Big 12 championship game joins the Big Ten in the network’s championship slate on Sat. Dec. 2.

Johnson believes FOX will become a major player this season and close the gap with ESPN in terms of game inventory and brand recognition/

“Overall, I think we are really excited about our schedule given we have three of the five major conferences in college football,” Johnson said. “To have those games and to have a chance to make a statement as a college football network as the place to go watch games is something we are looking really forward to.”

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.