Much like ’Bama and Georgia, CBS To Treat SEC Championship as Just Another Game
With college football’s highly anticipated four-team playoff system just a couple of years away, fans are getting, essentially, the equivalent of the “Plus-One” format this year. Notre Dame is unofficially locked into the BCS National Championship Game in Miami on Jan. 7. This Saturday, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia will battle it out for the SEC Championship and the presumed second spot to play for the national title.
In the face of such a big opportunity, the famous coaching axiom says to treat this game just like any other. CBS Sports Coordinating Producer, College Football, Craig Silver couldn’t agree more. He says viewers should expect the same level of telecast they get every week from the network’s coverage of the SEC.
‘The simple answer is, we are not going to treat it any differently,” he says. “We have a big game almost every single week. If there would be maybe one minor difference, it’s a championship game, [and] we’re playing at a neutral site, so some of the normal stuff that we touch upon with tradition and pageantry don’t necessarily play here. We’re going to be concentrating on covering a championship football game where the winner will be going on to play for the national championship. We’re going to cover football top to bottom.”
The production team, lead by Executive Producer Harold Bryant and director Steve Milton, will again work out of F&F Productions’ GTX-16 HD, the same mobile unit that has been on the road for the duration of the SEC on CBS season.
CBS will deploy 19 cameras throughout the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, and, inside the truck, the crew will work off of 12 replay machines and two graphics engines.
As is the norm, Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson, CBS Sports’ lead college-football announce team, will call the action, with Tracy Wolfson reporting from the sidelines.
CBS Sports will give the title game a special touch by bringing many of its studio shows inside the Georgia Dome.
CBS Sports’ pregame, halftime, and postgame studio offering, College Football Today, will broadcast live from the field of the Georgia Dome beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. Tim Brando will be joined by analysts Spencer Tillman, Archie Manning, and Tony Barnhart. Vin DeVito produces and Linda Malino directs.
The day’s coverage officially begins at 3 p.m. with CBS College Football Championship Saturday with Brando and the team. The show previews the SEC Championship and includes a feature on Georgia’s All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones, who talks about overcoming the murder of his brother in 2005. In addition, there will be a feature on Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, focusing on the winning and losing fourth-quarter drives he led against LSU and Texas A&M, respectively. CBS Sports’ Joseph E. Zapulla and Mark Burghart produced the features.
Following the game, CBS Sports Network will air SEC Tonight, providing highlights and analysis of the game, as well as postgame interviews and coverage from the Georgia Dome. Brent Stover hosts alongside analysts Houston Nutt, Randy Cross, and Bruce Feldman. Brian Jones will issue reports from Atlanta.
As was the case throughout the season, CBSSports.com will provide live streaming coverage of the SEC Championship. The game is available exclusively on CBSSports.com and CBS Sports Mobile and can be accessed through a link on the Websites of all CBS affiliates.
Karen Hogan contributed to this report.