Saturday NBC and Peacock will start their new deal with the Big Ten Conference with the first full weekend of college football. The showcase program for the conference will be B1G Saturday Night featuring West Virginia going to State College to face Penn State in the game of the day.
NBC will roll out their new broadcast team of Noah Eagle (play-by-play), former Penn State quarterback Todd Blackledge (analyst) in his NBC Sports debut, Kathryn Tappen (sidelines) with Terry McAulay serving as the rule’s analyst. For Blackledge as a former star quarterback at Penn State calling his first at Beaver Stadium is very special.
“When I was at Penn State, we finished the year against Pittsburgh every year. It was a great rivalry,” said Blackledge We played West Virginia every year and, in the years, we played at West Virginia, there was a little more added intrigue to that matchup because Don Nehlen was the head coach at West Virginia. He’s from Canton, Ohio. And he and my dad went to college forever. I knew Don when I was growing up.”
Blackledge recalled that both he and Jeff Hostetler and were battling it out for the starting quarterback at Penn State. “We came in the same recruiting class, and he ended up traveling to West Virginia. So, we played against each other for the last couple of years in that rivalry and so I think it’s great. I think West Virginia will have a good number of fans in State College for the game, because they love their team. I think they’ll be well represented, and it will be kind of fun to see that game taking place again.”
When asked about being the lead analyst for B1G Saturday Night Blackledge pointed out that it was something that really excited him about the new primetime showcase on NBC. “When I made the move from ESPN to the Big Ten, I was thrilled just where the conference was, the fact that we had two teams in the College Football Playoff a year ago. I knew USC and UCLA were coming in, and that was exciting. Then came Oregon and Washington, you have four marquee programs joining the Big Ten, as far as game matchups, you have multiple, more possible outstanding game matchups for us on Saturday nights.”
NBC Sports’ Big Ten package kicks off this Saturday at Noon ET exclusively on Peacock as Michigan hosts East Carolina from Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. That game will be followed by Notre Dame (1-0) hosts Tennessee State in their 2023 home opener on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.
Then it’s showtime Saturday marks the on-campus debut of NBC Sports’ B1G College Countdown on-site studio show, featuring host Maria Taylor, analysts Matt Cassel, Joshua Perry, and Michael Robinson, co-host Ahmed Fareed, and the NBC Sports debut of college football insider Nicole Auerbach live from Penn State’s Beaver Stadium.
Meanwhile, CBS for years the home of the SEC will be the new home of Saturday afternoon 3:30 p.m. for the Big Ten starting today with Ohio State on the road to face Indiana. Coming back for CBS will be the signature broadcasting duo of Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson.