You’ve got to hand it to the folks at Fox Sports. They actually decided not to start their pregame show for Sunday’s Super Bowl at 9 o’clock in the morning.
Leave that to ESPN and NFL Network.
There will “only” be a four-hour Fox pregame show before announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman take over at 5 p.m., a half-hour before kickoff between the Packers and Steelers. Compared to what some of the networks have done in the past, that’s actually not too bad.
There are a couple one-on-one battles in Sunday’s pregame show that could prove more entertaining than anything that happens on the Cowboys Stadium field.
About 3:30 p.m., Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly will square off against President Obama. There’s probably as much love between these two guys as there is between Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick.
It might be more fun to see the president and O’Reilly settle their differences in a game of H-O-R-S-E in the White House gymnasium. On the biggest sporting day of the year, wouldn’t that be more appropriate? O’Reilly probably doesn’t have much game anymore, so he likely wouldn’t go for that.
There might be more love in the Obama-O’Reilly chat than in the other one-on-one face-off at 4:30 p.m. Terry Bradshaw, who led the Steelers to four Super Bowl titles in the 1970s and is on Fox’s pregame show, taped an interview this week with current Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger.
Bradshaw slammed Big Ben earlier this year for Roethlisberger’s off-the-field escapades. Apparently, the pair has settled differences, but it still will be interesting to see if there is any lingering tension or resentment.
Fox also will have a red-carpet segment featuring movie stars such as Michael Douglas, Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler and Owen Wilson. No word if Joan and Melissa Rivers will be hosting.
College basketball: Ohio State at Minnesota (ESPN, Sunday 1 p.m.): The top-ranked Buckeyes have been sneaking by lately. Watch out for an upset in “The Barn.”
NHL: Blackhawks at Flames (Comcast, Monday 8:30 p.m.): Road seems to be better place for Toews, Kane and Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks to get rolling.
NBA: Lakers at Celtics (TNT, Thursday 7 p.m.): Two aging teams get together in rematch of last year’s NBA Finals. Cranky Kobe Bryant is probably not a good sign for rest of league.
Contact Jim Benson at email@example.com
The List: College hoops power rankings
Here are Pantagraph sportswriter Jim Benson’s power rankings of college basketball teams with last week’s ranking in parenthesis.
1. Ohio State (1): Beware Gophers on Sunday.
2. Kansas (2): Might be deepest team around.
3. Pittsburgh (7): 10 years in row of 20-plus wins.
4. Texas (8): Proving to be road warriors.
5. Duke (3): Singler been quiet most of season.
6. San Diego State (6): Headed for No. 1 seed in NCAA?
7. BYU (5): Many have fallen in The Pit.
8. Notre Dame (13): No rust after nine-day layoff.
9. Villanova (10): Three seniors with 1,000 points.
10. Connecticut (4): Two straight home losses.
11. Syracuse (14): Broke four-game skid at UConn.
12. Georgetown (19): Freeman sparks resurgent Hoyas.
13. Wisconsin (16): Leuer could play at next level.
14. Kentucky (11): Young Cats struggle on road.
15. Purdue (15): Blew chance to win at Madison.
16. Missouri (9): Big 12 road wins hard to get.
17. Texas A&M (12): Must recover from Texas spanking.
18. Louisville (21): Cards getting tournament ready.
19. Florida (22): Ready for Kentucky today.
20. Utah State (23): Rolling with 16 straight wins.
21. North Carolina (NR): Barnes looks like real deal.
22. Arizona (NR): Derrick Williams leading charge.
23. St. Mary’s (25): McConnell an overlooked star.
24. Wichita State (NR): Veteran Shocks back atop Valley.
25. Cleveland State (NR): Needs to beat Butler today.