Weekend Watchdog: Best NFL weekend of the year
Four games. The four winners are the final four teams alive for the Super Bowl.
You can hear Chris Berman’s excitement from here.
The weekend starts with a big bang – Baltimore at Pittsburgh Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on CBS. The Ravens won by three points in early October, then the Steelers took the Sunday night contest in Baltimore by three. The Ravens haven’t lost since then.
In primetime, FOX has the Packers visiting Atlanta. Matt Ryan won the first outing, but the perfect mark at the Georgia Dome ended on the final Monday Night game of the season.Sunday starts with the surprising Seahawks taking on Chicago at 1 p.m. Seattle won there early in the season.
CBS closes the weekend with the rubber match between New England and the New York Jets at 4:30 p.m. Both teams won at their home stadiums, with the Patriots putting a real thumping on the Jets in early December.
With college football done, ESPN calls this week “Conference Tip-off.” Thursday, Virginia Tech heads to North Carolina at 9 p.m. on ESPN after Minnesota-Purdue. On ESPN2, West Virginia takes on Providence at 7 p.m. followed by Mississippi State-Mississippi and Loyola Marymount at Portland.
Saturday, the day starts at 11 a.m. on ESPN2 with Marquette battling Louisville. Then it’s Missouri-Texas A&M, the SWAC battle between Jackson State and Texas Southern and the MEAC contest of Morgan State and South Carolina State at 5 p.m.
ESPN offers Tennessee-Vanderbilt at noon, then Virginia has to battle top-ranked Duke at 2 p.m.
NBC29 has a pair of ACC games Saturday – N.C. State at Florida State at 4 p.m., then Wake Forest heads to Virginia Tech at 8 p.m.
CBS brings Maryland’s trip to Villanova Saturday at 1 p.m., and Sunday it’s Purdue at West Virginia.
Comcast has Southern Cal at Oregon late Thursday, and has three games Saturday from the CAA. The day begins with Northeastern against VCU at noon, followed by Georgia State-George Mason and Old Dominion traveling to Hofstra.
Sunday night, North Carolina visits Georgia Tech in the ACC game of the week at 7:30 p.m. followed by Washington at California.
MASN has WAC basketball Thursday, with Hawaii at New Mexico State at 9 p.m. Saturday, there’s three games from the Big East, starting at noon with Cincinnati at Syracuse. Connecticut battles DePaul at 2 p.m., and Seton Hall’s visit to Pittsburgh gets coverage at 7 p.m.
Sunday, Notre Dame takes on St. John’s at noon.
In women’s basketball, ESPN gives the showcase to Vanderbilt-Tennessee Saturday at 8 p.m. Sunday, there’s a doubleheader on ESPN2 with UCF-SMU at 2 p.m. followed by Illinois-Penn State.
Georgetown faces Providence Saturday at 4 p.m. on MASN.
There’s a pair of high school basketball games added to the weekend mix. ESPN2 shows St. Patrick of New Jersey vs. Winter Park of Florida Friday at 7 p.m., and Saturday at 4 p.m. St. Anthony’s meets DeMatha.
The Wizards visit Minnesota Thursday at 8 p.m. on Comcast, then host Toronto Saturday at 7 p.m. and Utah Monday at 1 p.m. in an Martin Luther King Jr. holiday special.
A pair of Canadian teams visit the Capitals this weekend, with Vancouver in town Friday at 7 p.m. on Comcast. Ottawa takes the ice Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Australian Open kicks off its two-week run Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
The PGA tour’s Sony Open is on Golf Network this weekend.