Thursday, January 05, 2012

Giants/Falcons & Cotton Bowl Previews on FOX

From FOX Sports -

AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic Goes Under the Primetime Lights Friday Night on FOX
No. 8 Kansas State vs. No. 6 Arkansas

NFC Wild Card Battle Sunday on FOX
Falcons Travel to New York for Showdown with the Giants Sunday at 1:00 PM ET

SPEED Debuts Biography on Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip’s Racing & Broadcasting Career Friday at 8:00 PM ET 

AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC FEATURES TOP 10 BATTLE FRIDAY NIGHTFOX Sports presents one of college football’s most prestigious bowl games this Friday Jan. 6 at 8:00 PM ET when the No. 8 Kansas State Wildcats (10-2, 6-2 Big 12) and No. 6 Arkansas Razorbacks (10-2, 6-2 SEC) invade Cowboys Stadium for the 76th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.  Country music star Trace Adkins kicks off the show with a look at historical Cotton Bowl moments and a preview of this year’s incredible matchup, one of only four bowl games to feature two Top 10 teams. 

Pregame show host Kevin Frazier is joined by college and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen and former Dallas Cowboys great Daryl Johnston.  As the trio counts down to kickoff, fans get a look at two of Arkansas’ most famous graduates.  FOX NFL SUNDAY analyst Jimmy Johnson and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reminisce about their days at Arkansas and how the school helped them to become the great leaders they are today.  A second feature looks at consumer advocate Erin Brockovich’s purple pride which grew from her days attending Kansas State.  The national anthem is sung by The Band Perry.  FOX Sports Media Group Vice Chairman Ed Goren handles the ceremonial opening coin toss.

Friday’s matchup is the only bowl game this season that pits a Big 12 team against an SEC opponent.  Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and sideline analyst Tim Brewster, FOX Sports’ lead college football broadcast team, call the action.  They’re joined by FOX Sports’ rules analyst Mike Pereira, who offers his perspective on rules interpretation and controversial plays.

Kansas State is led by quarterback Collin Klein who had 26 rushing touchdowns this season.  Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson led the SEC in passing yards with 3,422 and is only the second Razorbacks quarterback in school history to pass for over 3,000 yards in a single season.  Both Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino and Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder are finalists for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. 

FOX Sports has been the television home of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic since 1999.

NFL ON FOX: WILDCARD WEEKENDFOX Sports’ coverage of its 18th NFL postseason begins Sunday, Jan. 8 (12:00 PM ET) when Eli Manning and the NFC East champion Giants host Matt Ryan and the Wild Card Falcons. NFL on FOX’s lead broadcast team of Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver are joined by Chris Myers to call this matchup from MetLife Stadium. The winner moves on to the divisional round to face either the Packers or the 49ers next week on FOX.

Coverage begins at 12:00 PM ET with America’s most-watched Sunday afternoon pregame show, FOX NFL SUNDAY. Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee co-host the Emmy Award-winning program and are joined by analysts Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson.  NFL Insider Jay Glazer presents the latest league news and scoops from the FOX NFL SUNDAY studio while comedic prognosticator Frank Caliendo contributes his weekly “Frank’s Picks” segment.

During Sunday’s special Wild Card edition, Strahan returns to New York to talk with the Giants’ Manning, Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul and discuss the possibility of New York winning its first SB since he left. Also, Oliver sits down with Falcons’ Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and head coach Mike Smith to find out how Atlanta plans on finally being a successful playoff team.  NFL on FOX analyst John Lynch reports live from Denver before the Broncos and Steelers clash and preview the matchup with Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu, Tim Tebow and Champ Bailey.  

For instant updates during the week and games from the entire NFL on FOX crew, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NFLONFOX. Follow the NFL on FOX on-air personalities @Buck, @Jay_Glazer, @JimmyJohnson, @CurtMenefee, @MikePereira, @MichaelStrahan, @TroyAikman, @KennyAlbert, @CoachBillick, @TimBrewster, @CFD22 (Charles Davis), @DarylJohnston, @The_ChrisMyers, @LauraOkmin, @ChadPennington, @TimRyan99 & @TonySiragusa on Twitter as they provide insight and analysis all weekend. Fans can gain more access to exclusive FOX Sports content by logging on to www.facebook.com/foxsports.

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants - 1pm                                              
Joe Buck, Troy Aikman,   Pam Oliver & Chris Myers
MetLife Stadium – East Rutherford, NJ

BILLICK:  PRESSURE IS ON FALCONS QB AND GIANTS SECONDARY – NFL on FOX analyst and FOXSports.com’s NFL writer Brian Billick believes the pressure is on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan this Sunday in East Rutherford, NJ when they take on the New York Giants.  “The Falcons offense has gotten hot at just the right time, but Ryan carries a lot of pressure on his back until he proves he can win a playoff game,” said Billick.  On the other side of the field, Billick wonders if the Giants defense can effectively stop the Falcons offense, particularly running plays.  “On defense, I worry about the Giants’ secondary and the defense’s ability to stop the off-tackle running plays.  Their passing defense starts with pressure up front, their rush ends often run themselves too far upfield and out of run support.”    

To read Billick’s complete column, visit: http://tinyurl.com/7yayxar

WHITLOCK: LUCK'S RUN OUT FOR INDY FOOTBALL – In his latest piece, FOXSports.com national columnist Jason Whitlock warns that even Andrew Luck can’t save Indy from an inevitable fall.  “Andrew Luck should consider avoiding Jim Irsay and the Colts to avoid the seemingly inevitable bad fate that awaits the franchise.  Indiana’s football bubble is bursting,” writes Whitlock.  “I’m a Hoosier. I was born and raised in Indianapolis. For 15 years, I’ve watched in stunned disbelief as Peyton Manning transformed Indiana from a basketball state to a football state.  I say it’s over. I say it’s not a coincidence that the Manning era is crumbling in the same year my little hometown is hosting the Super Bowl. The whole thing is playing out like a movie script, a comedic satire. It’s Trading Places, and I’m Billy Ray Valentine with inside information on when it’s time to ‘sell, sell, sell.’  I love football. I played college football. But I’m a Hoosier. We’re basketball people. This Peyton Manning-Bill Polian-Tony Dungy thing never really made sense in Indiana. It can’t be sustained. Manning, Polian and Dungy were great imports. We produce Oscar Robertsons and Larry Birds naturally.  Suck for Luck was a nice little campaign, but smart Hoosiers really want to see Eric Gordon come home, wear the Pacers blue and gold and rekindle memories of Reggie Miller.  Someone warn Andrew Luck that Indy’s football era is dead. It’s time for ‘Boom, baby!’”

To read Whitlock’s complete column, visit: http://tinyurl.com/76ldovz

BILLICK:  SAINTS HAVE BEST OFFENSE IN NFL RIGHT NOW – In an appearance on Fox Sports radio’s The Dan Patrick show, NFL on FOX analyst Brian Billick agreed with Patrick’s assertion that the New Orleans Saints have the best offense in the NFL right now.  “I have to agree with you,” said Billick.  “As impressive as Green Bay has been under Aaron Rodgers, I think New Orleans’ ability to run the ball and not only with Darren Sproles out of the backfield but the combination of Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory.   They can run when they want to run in addition to all that Drew Brees delivers.  They have pure offensive firepower.”

BIG TEN NETWORK’S “THE JOURNEY” TAKES FLIGHT – The Big Ten Network’s first original series and its highest-rated last year, The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2012, presented by GMC, returns Sunday, Jan 8 (8:00 PM ET). The Emmy-nominated, documentary-style program takes viewers deep inside Big Ten basketball programs, spending consecutive days with different conference teams to follow the season’s most compelling storylines during the 10-week march toward the Big Ten Tournament. This is The Journey’s fifth season, following Minnesota Basketball, Illinois Football, Big Ten Basketball 2010 and Big Ten Basketball 2011. In 2010, the program was named co-winner of the best sports show/series by CableFAX magazine, along with ESPN’s 30 for 30 and received a Sports Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthology by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS).
                                             
A CITY DIVIDED AS MANCHESTER UNITED AND MANCHESTER CITY MEET IN FA CUP – Red and blue collide once again when Manchester United meets neighbor Manchester City in the third round of the FA Cup Sunday, Jan. 8 (8:00 AM ET) on FOX Soccer.  City’s 6-1 demolition of United in league play at the end of October coupled with an early exit from the Champions League bring Manchester United into this match with something to prove.  Manchester City surprised United in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final with a stinging 1-0 win, raising the stakes even higher for this third round match.   FOX Soccer’s Christian Miles, Warren Barton, Kyle Martino and Keith Costigan host the “Goals on Sunday” pregame show at 7:30 AM ET, leading right into kick-off.  The knockout-style FA Cup is the oldest organized soccer competition in the world.

BIOGRAPHY SPECIAL OF NASCAR HALL OF FAMER DARRELL WALTRIP AIRS FRIDAY ON SPEED – FOX Sports Media Group sister network SPEED reflects on the legendary racing career of current SPEED and NASCAR on FOX analyst Darrell Waltrip in a one-hour special airing Friday, Jan. 6 (8:00 PM ET).  Waltrip tells his own story in the NASCAR Media Group-produced biography special, from his early days at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway to being dubbed “Jaws” to his success with Junior Johnson and his transition into the television booth.  It was Waltrip’s flamboyant, over-the-top personality that won him legions of diehard fans and passionate “haters,” and the same personality traits set Waltrip off on the wrong foot with his new crew at Johnson’s team in early 1981.  “I bumped heads with him and he could see that,” said Waltrip’s former crew chief Jeff Hammond, who led DW to victory in the 1989 Daytona 500 and now serves as an analyst for FOX Sports and SPEED.  The special also incorporates interviews with Rick Hendrick, Junior Johnson, Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty, Buddy Baker and Bill Gardner

Waltrip is set to be inducted into the third class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 20 alongside the aforementioned Yarborough, Dale Inman, Glen Wood and the late Richie Evans.

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