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ESPN and ABC’s College Football Crews Might Look A Little Different Next Year

By / 01.20.14

The end of January approaches, which means Americans have only one more consumable football game before nuclear winter settles upon us. This time of year blows. While there are events like national signing day and the NFL Draft to look forward to, it’s tumbleweed blowing ’til late-July.

The question arises then, how do fans procrastinate in the meantime? Through educated gossip, of course! SI.com’s media reporter Richard Deitsch ran his “Media Circus” column last night, detailing some potential moves that could determine whom college football viewers listen to for the 2014 season.

Click the link above to imbibe all the wonk talk*, but below are the three biggest takeaways.

1. Brent Musburger’s ESPN future doesn’t look to include anymore Saturday night games

Apparently, ESPN wants Brent to man the lead announcer role on the network’s forthcoming SEC Network. Currently, Musburger covers ABC’s premiere Saturday night game with Kirk Herbstreit, and according to Deitsch Musburger isn’t too pleased with how things are turning out. That’s understandable since Musburger’s been an integral part of ABC’s coverage of college football since his arrival from CBS in 1990. This move seems like a Bobby Bowden-esque pushing out of established talent.

2. Chris Fowler might be the person to replace him

The level-headed Fowler is the purported heir to Musburger’s spot on the Saturday night game. While his contract expires in July, Deitsch believes it’s Fowler’s every intent to stay with the network. However, Fowler’s current gig as the lead guy for “College Gameday” presents some headaches for ESPN brass:

There are a couple of catches: Some in ESPN management do not want Fowler to host both GameDay and call a college football game the same night. Herbstreit performs the double as an analyst, but Fowler’s responsibility on GameDay are much more demanding than Herbstreit’s.

If Fowler were to move to the Saturday night game, ESPN would prefer that he relinquish his role with “College Gameday,” which, Christ, we wouldn’t want to see happen.

3. But Rece Davis could also be the man

Depending upon how things shake out, Davis’ role could change in a couple of different ways. If Musburger leaves, Davis is considered an option to do Saturday night football with Herbstreit, stepping away from his current announcer role for ESPN’s Thursday night games. If Musburger leaves and Fowler takes Saturday night and leaves “College Gameday,” then Davis could take Fowler’s role on “College Gameday.” Either move would benefit viewers and Davis, who’s been nothing short of superlative over the last few seasons.

Deitsch provided no indication that these moves would be completed soon, but his reporting–although not verified by ESPN–should help viewers understand who’s going to be announcing what come August.

Photo: Getty

* — And you should on a weekly basis if you’re concerned at all with sports media.


TAGSABCBRENT MUSBURGERCHRIS FOWLERCOLLEGE FOOTBALLESPNESPN College GameDayKIRK HERBSTREITRece DavisRichard DeitschSPORTS

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