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Maria Taylor, Matt Cassel Join NBC’s New Big Ten Pre-game Show

  • The B1G College Countdown studio show will air on NBC and Peacock as part of the Big Ten’s new media deals valued at $7 billion.
  • NBC has hired former NFL and Trojans QB Matt Cassel one year before USC and UCLA join the Big Ten.
Former USC QB Matt Cassel joins NBC one year before USC and UCLA join the Big Ten.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Maria Taylor will host the inaugural season of NBC Sports’ B1G College Countdown studio show as part of the network Big Ten Conference football coverage. The Saturday show will share pre-game and halftime commentary from that week’s primetime game site, spanning 11 Big Ten and two Notre Dame games.

The show’s analysts will include former USC and NFL quarterback Matt Cassel, former Ohio State and NFL linebacker Joshua Perry, and former Penn State and NFL fullback Michael Robinson. Flanking Taylor as a co-host will be Ahmed Fareed. 

B1G College Countdown will air on NBC and stream on Peacock as part of the network’s new broadcast deal with the Big Ten, whose media rights with NBC, FOX, and CBS have been valued at $7 billion. The studio show will be part of NBC’s B1G Saturday Night gameday programming. 

This fall’s upcoming college football season is the last before USC and UCLA jump from the Pac-12 into the Big Ten in 2024. That upcoming change makes Cassel’s NBC placement notable, as the Los Angeles native served as the backup quarterback to Carson Palmer and Matt Leinhart for the early 2000s’ Trojans.

B1G College Countdown’s debut show will come Saturday, Sept. 2, at 7:00 p.m. ET, a half hour before kickoff between West Virginia and Penn State in Happy Valley. Starting in 2024 with its expansion to 16 teams, the Big Ten has decided to eliminate divisions with a new scheduling format that will continue to feature key rivalries between schools.

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