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SI View The Week in TV Sports


Thursday 11/26

Between the Madness

Real World, Fresno: Guard Chris Herren is in rehab for substance
abuse. Forward Terrance Roberson dozes off as a faculty member
helps him write a term paper. Forward Larry Abney and guard
Rafer Alston chuckle as a coach catches them with four women in
their hotel room. Center Avondre Jones is suspended three times,
once for assault. Now Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes are on
campus.... Follow Jerry Tarkanian (right, with Herren) and his
underachieving 1997-98 Fresno State basketball team on its
journey from Midnight Madness to March Madness. As engrossing as
1994's acclaimed Hoop Dreams, these two hours of cinema verite
show the ill effects of putting all your dregs in one basket.


Saturday 11/21

Florida at Florida State
--ABC & PPV 3:30 PM

Funny, the Burt Reynolds Bowl--he was a halfback for the
Seminoles and starred in Gator--is never played on a rug. With
Florida State (10-1 and ranked No. 5) boasting the nation's
top-rated defense, which allows 215.8 yards per game, and a
39-game home unbeaten streak, the grass at Doak Campbell Stadium
is, for visitors, the longest yard. No yard seems too long for
Seminoles kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who has booted 24 field
goals. Quarterback Doug Johnson of Florida (9-1 and ranked No.
4) must be more than semi-tough if the Gators are to keep their
Fiesta Bowl hopes alive.

--ABC & PPV 3:30 PM

The characters change but the script does not, making this the
Melrose Place of college football rivalries: Lots of scoring,
cliffhanger endings and far too many suntanned folks having good
hair days. Other college football rivalries may be
harder-hitting or nastier, but none is more entertaining. At Los
Angeles Memorial Coliseum, quarterback Cade McNown will lead the
Bruins (9-0 and ranked No. 3), who have won the last seven
episodes of this Tinseltown tussle, against the resurgent
Trojans (7-3), whose freshman quarterback Carson Palmer is
coming off an 18-for-25 passing day in USC's 34-9 win against

Thursday 11/26

Vikings at Cowboys
--FOX 4 PM

Clad in a purple number 98 Vikes jersey, Jesse (the Body)
Ventura spent his first Sunday as Minnesota's governor-elect
sitting in Vikings owner Red McCombs's luxury box, exhorting
Minnesota to open a can of whupass on the Saints. Cooking tip
number 1: In 30 Thanksgiving Day outings Dallas's one overtime
game was against the Vikings--a 44-38 loss in 1987--so you might
put the bird in the oven a few minutes later than usual. Cooking
tip number 2: Cowboys cornerback Kevin Smith will get roasted if
Dallas places him in isolation coverage against Vikings wideout
Cris Carter. Or Randy Moss. Or Jake Reed.

Friday 11/27

Texas A&M at Texas
--ABC 11 AM

Running back Ricky Williams of Texas (7-3 and ranked No. 25)
needs just 63 yards to break Tony Dorsett's Division I-A career
rushing record. The dreadlocked one will line up across from
linebacker Dat Nguyen of the Aggies (10-1 and No. 6), marking
the first time a Heisman Trophy favorite has squared off against
a Butkus Award favorite in a game with bowl bids on the line
since...last November (see Woodson versus Katzenmoyer).


COLOR PHOTO: ROCKY WIDNER [Chris Herren and Jerry Tarkanian during game]


Fox NFL Sunday's average rating for the season's first 10 weeks.
Its noncable pregame competitor, The NFL Today on CBS, averaged
a 2.5.


On turkey day give thanks that Kirk Herbstreit, analyst for ESPN
College GameDay, cares more about doing a solid job than getting
off a rim shot; that CNN/SI anchors Vince Cellini and Fred
Hickman, who have pledged to keep their faces hairy during the
NBA lockout, haven't been joined in their protest by colleague
Inga Hammond; that there are no Autumn X Games; and that when
you screw up on the job, the nation doesn't read about it as a
"dreaded glitch."