Who’s going to the Super Bowl?
Column by Mike Judge
Actually, four tickets. The losing coaches and some of their players will be at the Pro Bowl Jan. 31, when the winners arrive in town for the big game.
CBS gets the first game – Jets at Colts. The teams met in Super Bowl III and spent 32 years in the same division. Their Week 16 meeting ended the Colts’ perfect season and propelled the Jets into the playoffs.
FOX closes its NFL season with the Vikings at Saints. The Saints have never been to the Super Bowl and never hosted a conference championship game. Expect the Superdome to be super-loud.
Brett Favre won his Super Bowl at the Superdome XIII years ago. The Vikings have lost their four Super Bowl trips, the last during the waning days of the Ford administration.
The college champ may be crowned, but there’s still a few all-star games left to play. The East-West Shrine Game will be on ESPN2 Saturday at 3 p.m. from Orlando. Hopefully the Citrus Bowl grass will hold up this time.
If you’re gearing up for the Winter Olympics, NBC has the U.S. Figure Skating championships this weekend. There’s preliminary skating in the afternoon and finals Saturday and Sunday from 9 p.m. to 11.
State ACC teams will be on the TV Saturday. Virginia Tech hosts Boston College at 1:30 p.m., then Virginia goes to Wake Forest at 4 p.m. Sunday, it’s Georgia Tech vs. Florida State at noon on NBC29.
CBS has a triple-header Saturday. The noon slot offers either Michigan State at Minnesota or Mississippi State vs. Alabama. At 2 p.m., it’s either Ohio State-West Virginia or Oregon State-California, then 4 p.m. features Texas visiting Connecticut.
ESPN’s college basketball schedule starts Thursday with Louisville at Seton Hall at 7 p.m ., followed by Florida-Arkansas. ESPN2 has Indiana vs. Penn State at 7 p.m., then Friday it’s Wofford visiting Charleston.
Saturday, ESPN has five games on the schedule. St. John’s vs. Villanova starts the day at noon, followed by Kansas at Iowa State, Michigan-Purdue and South Carolina going to Florida. Duke’s trip to Clemson closes the night at 9 p.m. ESPN2 shows at Middle Tennessee meeting Western Kentucky at 1 p.m., then Maryland against N.C. State at 6 p.m. and Houston at Memphis at 8 p.m.
MASN offers late night hoops Thursday – Utah State at Fresno State – then starts Saturday with two Big East games – Rutgers at Georgetown at noon followed by DePaul-Notre Dame. Then it’s CAA (George Mason at Towson), Big South (Liberty at Radford) and more CAA (James Madison vs. UNC-Wilmington).
Two more Big East games kick off Sunday’s coverage – Cincinnati at Louisville at noon, then Pittsburgh at Seton Hall. Rider faces Niagara at 4 p.m.
ESPN2 has women’s basketball Sunday afternoon – Michigan State at Minnesota.
TNT’s NBA doubleheader has L.A. teams as the visitor – Lakers at Cavaliers at 8 p.m., then the Clippers at Denver. The Lakers invade New York Friday on ESPN, followed by the Bulls at Phoenix.
The Wizards host Miami Friday and then the Clippers Sunday afternoon on Comcast.
The Capitals visit Pittsburgh Thursday, then host the Coyotes Saturday on Comcast. NBC offers a choice Sunday – Penguins at Flyers or Bruins at Hurricanes.
It’s the middle of the Australian Open’s two week run. Coverage on ESPN2 begins at 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, at 10 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.
The PGA tour heads to California for the Bob Hope Classic on Golf Network. If you’re disappointed with your round, you can chat up Dr. Phil or some other celebrity.