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College football

Don't forget Army-Navy

By JOHN C. COTEY, Times Staff Writer
Published December 2, 2005

Thoughts on the sports TV world It's a big college football weekend: ABC has the Big 12 and ACC championship games as well as the USC-UCLA tilt, and CBS will broadcast the SEC title game.

Oh, and there's a little game between Army and Navy too.

The ratings for the three games on ABC as well as the SEC title game almost surely will dwarf those of Army-Navy on CBS, but that meeting could be the most competitive game in the bunch.

It's not the game it was in the 1950s, but there remains something special about the Army-Navy game. While the others play for championships and future riches in the NFL, the service academies always seem to be playing for something a little extra.

Respect. Pride. Glory.

And the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, provided they can keep it safe until game time.

The trophy, awarded each season to the winner of the football competition among the three major service academies, was stolen from Navy's locker room Monday. In its place was a note that read, "Before we win the football game on Saturday, we thought we would take the trophy. By the time you read this, it will be halfway to West Point." It was recovered Wednesday night.

That beats a BCS game any day.

PAGING BILL HALEY: The NFL, known for pushing the envelope and putting on daring and exciting halftime shows (tongue plante d very firmly inside cheek), has landed the cutting edge Rolling Stones to perform in the Super Bowl XL halftime show on ABC.

What, Bill Haley couldn't get the Comets back together soon enough to be ready for the big game?

I KNOW YOU: It's a good week for ex-Bucs on ESPN. Sunday's NFL Countdown show will have features on quarterback Brad Johnson (4-0 as the Vikings' starter) and running back Warrick Dunn , an d Monday Night Countdown looks at receiver Joe Jurevicius ' career-year in Seattle.

Number of Bucs features this weekend: zero.

RATINGS: UConn or no UConn, it's still all about Florida-Florida State here in Tampa Bay.

While USF tried to keep its BCS hopes alive, the Gators and 'Noles drew a TV audience four times that for the Bulls' loss to the Huskies.

Going head to head, Florida-FSU averaged a 13.48 rating compared 3.88 for the Bulls. On a positive, the Bulls doubled the ratings of two Cops reruns on Fox.

IT'S THE GAME, STUPID: Monday Night Football has had its share of stinkers the past two or three years, casting gloom over the franchise, but a good game still makes it must-see TV.

Monday's game between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh had a 13.95 rating, even beating CSI: Miami head to head.

--John C. Cotey can be reached at cotey@sptimes.com

[Last modified December 2, 2005, 01:14:18]


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