College football Week 11 in the L.A. market: How all this affects Week 12 (hint: USC-UCLA)

Let’s get the obvious out of the way (and use the latest College Football Playoff rankings):
== No. 20 USC (6-3, 5-2) at No. 4 Washington (9-0, 6-0): Saturday at 4:30 p.m., Channel 11, with Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Shannon Spake. It’s big enough to where ESPN College GameDay is going to land in Red Square in front of Suzzallo Library on the Seattle campus to set up the live remote from 6-to-9 a.m.
== UCLA (3-6, 1-5) vs. Oregon State (2-7, 1-5) at the Rose Bowl: Saturday at 6 p.m., Pac-12 Network, with Ted Robinson, Yogi Roth, Cindy Brunson. It’s small enough to where we’re not sure there will be many complaints that it’s overlapping with a USC broadcast. You’ll still see the miserable ending.

1950s_magic_8_ballSo not to get caught looking ahead, but some of us will because of the when, why and why involved with how our Nov. 19 USC-UCLA game continues to be a TBD situation, with a lot of it determined by what happens this Saturday.
USC sent out an explanation this week to alert the media:
Fox and ESPN will opt into their six-day-ahead-of-kickoff right to determine not only when the Trojans-Bruins game at the Rose Bowl will happen, but also five other Pac-12 games that day.
The announcement should come Sunday morning. Or late Saturday night.
The way it falls this weeks, Fox has the first choice of either USC-UCLA, Washington State-Colorado, Oregon-Utah, Stanford-Cal or Arizona-Oregon State for its 12:30 p.m. window.
ESPN gets the next pick, and has either a 7 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. window to fill.
The Pac-12 Net would then get the last three games for their 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. slots.
Arizona State at Washington is already picked for a 4:30 p.m. Fox game.
You can see how if the Trojans lose to Washington and the Bruins lose to Oregon State, this could drop into a Pac-12 Net also-ran game, with that 11 a.m. kickoff staring us in the face again. Yet, there’s a 40 percent chance it will have a 7:30 p.m. kickoff, too.
Whatever they decide on a kickoff, the fans must feel like they’re kicked to the curb in the thought process.

The rest of this week’s Pac-12 games (with CFP rankings):
= No. 15 Utah (7-2, 4-2) at Arizona State (5-4, 2-4), Thursday at 6:30 p.m., FS1 (Joe Davis, Brady Quinn, Bruce Feldman)
= Stanford (6-3, 4-3) at Oregon (3-5, 1-5), Saturday at 1 p.m., Pac-12 Network (Guy Haberman, Anthony Herron, Lewis Johnson)
= No.12 Colorado (7-2, 5-1) at Arizona (2-7, 0-6), Saturday at 7 p.m., FS1 (Justin Kutcher, Petros Papadakis)
= Cal (4-5, 2-4) at No. 23 Washington State (7-2, 6-0), Saturday at 7:30 p.m., ESPN (Mark Jones, Rod GIlmore, Quint Kessenich)

The best of the rest with the latest CFP rankings:
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Play It Forward Nov. 7-13: A vote for college hoops is a vote for …

UCLA head coach Steve Alford, second from right, watches action against Cal Poly with his assistant coaches in the first half of a game in 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Baker)

UCLA head coach Steve Alford, second from right, watches action against Cal Poly with his assistant coaches in the first half of a game in 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Baker)

Some take up the challenge of trying to rank all 351 colleges and universities playing Division I college basketball before this season even starts. Knock yourselves out.
To show the discrepancy in this exercise, we extract just the Southern California teams to review their work as the college hoop season begins Friday night:
v404_cbk_ucla= UCLA: No. 10 by, No. 16 by the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated, and No. 20 in the USA Today coaches poll. Opener: vs. Pacific, at Pauley Pavilion, Friday at 6 p.m., Pac-12 L.A.
The rationale: Whether it’s the logo, the incoming freshman class (Lorenzo Ball, TJ Leaf), the current starters coming back (Isaac Hamilton, Bryce Alford, Thomas Welsh, Aaron Holiday) or the coaching of Steve Alford (65-40 after three seasons, still the lowest winning percentage by any UCLA coach in the post-Wooden era), the remnants of last season’s 15-17 mess seems to be forgotten. The focus apparently is on the foundation of a roster that last season managed a Top 25 ranking and defeated then-No. 1 Kentucky in December.
= USC: No. 39 in the USA Today coaches’ poll, No. 50 by SI and No. 66 on Opener: vs. Montana, at Galen Center, Friday at 4 p.m., Pac-12 Network
A 21-13 season last season and No. 8 seed in the tournament apparently gave Julian Jacobs and Nikoa Janovic the belief they were ready to jump early and go pro. How did that work? Chimezie Metu and Jordan McLaughlin now do the heavy lifting for coach Andy Enfield (44-54 in his first three seasons).
= Long Beach State: No. 73 by, No. 91 by SI. Opener: vs. Cal State L.A., at the Walter Pyramid, Friday at 7 p.m.
The best in the Big West? Given. And likely a result of another brutal non-conference, character-building schedule. Justin Bibbins and Evan Payne will inflict some pain for coach Dan Monson (155-140 going into his 10th season; coming off a 20-15 season and first-round NIT loss).
= Loyola Marymount: No. 136 by, No. 216 by SI. Opener: vs. Vanguard, Friday at Gersten Pavilion, Friday at 7 p.m.
Transfers and Brandon Brown boost the Westchester Lions for coach Mike Dunlap (22-40 in two seasons).
= Pepperdine: No. 150 by, No. 179 by SI. Opener: vs. Cal Poly, At Firestone Fieldhouse, Friday at 7 p.m.
The Malibu Waves are built around Lamond Murray with coach Marty Wilson (76-91 in six seasons).
= Cal State Northridge: No. 188 by, No. 196 by SI. Opener: vs. Pomona PItzer, at the Matadome, Friday at 7 p.m.
Coach Reggie Theus (36-62 in three seasons) launched a rather modest 945 3-point shots in his 13-season NBA career. His Matadors are even more shy about it, having taken the fewest 3-point tries over the last three seasons (1,165) than any other school in the country. In a 94-75 exhibition win over Cal State L.A. last week, the Mats took 11 3-pointers, while the visitors tried 41.
More college games for Friday’s tipoff and the rest of the week for USC and UCLA football, the Rams in New York, the NHRA Auto Club Finals in Pomona, UFC 205 and more at this link.


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Sunday media: The Magic Johnson HIV announcement, 25 years later … how would this reveal unravel?

At the 15th anniversary of Magic Johnson’s HIV announcement in 2006, we talked to L.A. reporters such as Jim Hill, Fred Roggin and the late Joe McDonnell to reflect on that day.
At the 20th anniversary mark, we caught up with Johnson as ESPN released a documentary, “The Announcement,” and the former Lakers star, who had been working as an ESPN NBA studio analyst at the time, wanted the message to be: Don’t forget, this still happens.
Monday marks the 25th anniversary of that dreadful day at the Forum Club. Our approach this time: If it happened today, who might break it first, and how would the public react based on media technology?
Our go-to sources for this one are Dr. Dan Durbin, the director of USC’s Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media and Society, and Will Leitch, the founding editor of who writes these days for as well as New Republic and New York magazine.
See this link …

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It’s Out of the Question: A write-in candidate can make a difference … right, Steve Garvey?

img_6957Just when you think it’s time to write off this 2016 presidential election …
Write someone in.
Like … Steve Garvey?
He got more than a million write-in votes from fans to get into the 1974 MLB All-Star games, since the then 25-year-old first baseman had a relatively short career at the position starting that season.
Does he think too many voters trying to decide this binary election cast that write-in option away too arbitrarily?
1974“I think you do because the way things are set up, it’s so easy just to vote for what’s there in front of you,” said Garvey, left off the 1974 ballot of eight first basemen — including the assumption that Bill Buckner would be the Dodgers’ first baseman — he was moved to left field.
“Sometimes people think having to write in a name compounds the process. Or it’s a wasted vote. Or they write in ‘Babe Ruth’ or ‘Lou Gehrig’ as a joke. I think it can succeed because of the medium we’re in and the ability not to go through what some may think is a time-consuming process.”
For fairly obvious reasons, some have declared this the year of the write-in. Beyond the MLB universe of how to determine players in an exhibition game (as it was then), several presidential primary elections were changed by a few thousand write-ins over the past 100 years, launching many notable careers in the process.
In Garvey’s situation 38 years ago, he had just been converted to a first baseman almost by accident in 1973, just to get into Walter Alston’s lineup. … But then 1974 started …
Read more at this link …

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Weekly media notes version 11.03.16: If you were scoring alone at home during WSG7, you actually had company

In addition to a post soon today at with some insight from Mike Tirico on how he and NBC will cover the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday (5-to-6 p.m., Channel 4), we have these notes worthy of a post before the weekend (updated Thursday at 2 p.m.)

Chicago Cubs fans celebrate at the Cubby Bear bar across the street from Wrigley Field in Chicago on Wednesday after Javier Baez's fifth-inning home run against the Cleveland Indians during Game 7. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chicago Cubs fans celebrate at the Cubby Bear bar across the street from Wrigley Field in Chicago on Wednesday after Javier Baez’s fifth-inning home run against the Cleveland Indians during Game 7. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

== The Nielsen Media Research numbers report what most probably already assumed:  The Wednesday PM/Thursday AM World Series Game 7 between the Cubs and Indians was huge enough to generate a 25.2 rating and 40 overnight share for metered markets (not overall), which is the best since Game 7 of the 2001 World Series between the Yankees and Diamondbacks (27.0/38), which had the 9/11 theme and the Yankees going for it.
The overall ratings issued Thursday afternoon: a 21.8 rating and 37 share, translating to 40,045,000 million viewers. Combined with Fox Deportes and those streaming on Fox Sports Go, the number goes up to about 40.9 million.
That makes it the most-watched game in Fox MLB history and the most since Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, an extra-inning affair between the Braves and Twins in Minnesota (50.3 million viewers). Fox estimates that more than 75 million viewers saw all or part of the game Wednesday.
The seven-game 2016 average for Fox was 14.9/25 in the metered markets, the highest numbers since the Boston Red Sox’s first 2004 World Series win (a four-game sweep over St. Louis) which had a 17.3/26.
The Chicago market: 51.2 rating and a 71 share, and that doesn’t even count those watching in bars, pizza joints, sausage factory waiting rooms, jails or hospitals. It’s the best rating for an MLB telecast on record, Nielsen reports. The Cleveland market was right there at 48.6 and 69.
As for L.A. — which had no local ESPN Radio affiliate carrying Game 7 because of local rights agreements, which led to having to track down San Diego’s 690-AM or 1090-AM or stumble onto the ESPN phone app — the 22.6 rating and 38 share is quite impressive. For the whole series, L.A. ranked just 40th among the 56 metered markets with a 11.9 rating and 23 share average.
One last Fox nugget of ratings: The male 12-17 demographic had a 3.9 rating, which is more than a 100-percent jump over last year (1.9) and Fox’s best rating in that demo since the 2007 World Series (4.0, Red Sox over Rockies).

== If the Dodgers finally win another World Series, someone will have to splice together a Vin Scully call like this one (Warning: Cubs fans will cry in their beer listening to this):

== A link again to our take on the U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit filed against DirecTV in the Dodgers’ SportsNet LA distribution. Continue reading

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