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Commentary: Can Fox Give Viewers a BCS Title Game Production Worth Watching?

Athens, GA (Jan 7, 2008) - Watching the college football bowl games on Fox Sports has not been well received or reviewed by fans and sportswriters around the country (with one exception to be noted below). Anyone who watched the Sugar Bowl game between Hawai'i and Georgia, and managed to stay up until it ended, had to be underwhelmed. What is surprising is that even with the production pedigree that producer Mike Burks and director Rich Russo have, something seems to be missing from the product.

Both were groomed and cut their teeth at CBS Sports, yet the quality of the broadcast has not seemed to rise to the occasion. It could be that Burks has a tendency to schedule call times for his technical and production staffs that seem like he wants you there they day before to work straight through to the game, and everyone is exhausted. I once had a call time of 5 or 6 in the morning for a Burk's produced Michigan-Ohio State game, after working the night before till after two in the morning.

So is the lackluster production because of this or is it that Fox just does not have the learning curve to present quality college football on the air? Is it because their on-air talent, gifted as they may be, do not do enough homework on teams that are not broadcast on The Big Ten Network, where they call regular season games? With Ohio State tonight, they should have no excuse for missing information or getting it wrong there. But what will they do with LSU?

And what sports writer loves the Fox Lead BCS talent? That would be Teddy Greenstein, who has taken over the sports media beat for the Chicago Tribune. Yes, he has to earn his living covering the Big ten and the Big Ten Network, but does he have to gush over Thom Brennamen and Charles Davis the way he does. Instead of writing that Fox Sports President Ed Goren (another ex-CBS sports guy) saying "we found our guy" (refering to Davis) and that "Fox Chief Executive Officer David Hill then popped in a tape and quickly emerged with a one-word review: "Terrific."", could he maybe be more objective and fess up to the fact that Fox was not going to be able to lure someone over from ESPN/ABC Sports or CBS Sports to call the games when there is only a couple games they could call each year.

So what else is on the tube tonight....

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