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BC schedule carries wait

Televised games to be determined

Take a look at BC's 12-game schedule and two things jump out at you. 1. Only six of the games have starting times.

2. And just two are scheduled for television, the Sept. 6 game at Penn State at noon on ABC (Ch. 5) and the Oct. 18 game at Syracuse on ESPN subsidiary ERT (ESPN Regional Television).

"College football is different from college basketball," said BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo. "In football, you have to play your way onto television."

In BC's world, ABC has first call on Eagles football games, followed by ESPN and ERT (picked up locally on Ch. 5).

A lot of the TBAs will stay that way for a while because the networks don't have to make their selections until 12 days before the game, great for putting good matchups on TV but not always so convenient for schools and spectators.

Two BC home games are locks for national TV -- Miami (Sept. 20) and Notre Dame (Oct. 25). A hot Miami team could make ABC take notice; if not, ESPN is likely to grab that matchup, perhaps as a prime-time game. And Notre Dame, with its home games all on NBC, always is attractive when it takes to the road.

"You know I'm praying for the Notre Dame game to come our way," said Ch. 5 GM Paul LaCamera.

When it comes to college football, ABC will be offering Ch. 5 a choice of games for tripleheaders the first three weeks of the season. But LaCamera's people always keep an eye on the local team.

"If you're winning, they [networks] want you," said DeFilippo. "They know a hot BC team can deliver the Boston market."

Of course, it takes two teams to make an attractive game. If BC is playing well near the end of the season, three of its final foul games fall into the "possible" TV category: the Nov. 1 home date with Pittsburgh, the following week's home game with West Virginia, and the season finale at Virginia Tech Nov. 22. As they say: Stay tuned.

While the BC TV schedule is subject to change (an understatement), the radio crew of John Rooke (fifth season) and Peter Cronan (well into his second decade in the BC booth) is entrenched with games either on WEEI (850 AM) or sister station WRKO (680 AM).

Time on their side

If tradition means anything in college football, Atlantic 10 favorite Northeastern has a leg up on most teams. Associate director of athletics Jack Grinold, Mr. NU, will be working his 42d football season (and 408 games without a miss). Radio play-by-play man Rob Rudnick (26th year) and analyst Bruce Ryder (18th year) will be making their calls on WJIB (740 AM) when the season kicks off Aug. 30 against Stonehill at Parsons Field in Brookline. NU has five scheduled TV dates -- Sept. 27 at Villanova (CN8), Oct. 11 at Hofstra (FSNE and DirecTV), Oct. 18 vs. Maine (FSNE), Nov. 1 at UMass (CSTV, available on DirectTV), and Nov. 22 at James Madison (FSNE) . . . The ESPN-pire has 108 regular-season games and 20 bowls. It all begins tomorrow with Grambling at San Jose State (ESPN2, 6 p.m.) and California at Kansas State (ESPN, 7:45 p.m.). A portion of the ESPN schedule will be simulcast in HD . . . Harvard football was a big loser when Comcast bought out AT&T as the main Boston-area cable provider. In recent years, AT&T3 had carried Harvard home games, but CN8, the Comcast house station, is planning to cover a smorgasbord of Northeast football. CN8 "Sports Pulse" host Ed Berliner will call the majority of the schedule. Comcast does show its Philadelphia roots with Villanova, Princeton, and Penn each scheduled for three appearances. Yale and Harvard each get two games, UMass, Northeastern, UNH, and Holy Cross each get a single exposure. Harvard-Princeton (Oct. 25) and Harvard-Penn (Nov. 15) are CN8 games, while Harvard-Columbia (Nov. 8) is on NESN . . . FSNE has a national schedule heavy on Pacific-10 Conference games . . . ESPN's "College GameDay" celebrates its 10th season with 14 road trips. Host Chris Fowler is back with analysts Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit . . . TV newcomers CSTV (College Sports TV) and TFN (The Football Network) have a full slate of Atlantic 10 games, starting next Saturday with Montana at Maine on CSTV (Ch. 610 on DirecTV). TFN still hasn't announced any carriage agreements, though it has contracted to produce eight A-10 games that will be carried elsewhere . . . CBS returns with a 17-game package revolving around the Southeastern Conference. The lead team of Verne Lundquist, Todd Blackledge, and Jill Arrington starts the season next Saturday with Southern Cal at Auburn (Ch. 4, 6 p.m.) . . . UMass has a CN8 date with Hofstra Oct. 18, plus three games (Oct. 25 vs. Villanova, Nov. 1 vs. Northeastern, and Nov. 15 vs. Delaware) on CSTV and TFN, games that can be found on DirecTV and FSNE.

Bill Griffith's e-mail address is griffith@globe.com

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