ESPN made a pretty controversial decision for the College Football Playoff National Championship game, replacing the popular Coaches Film Room broadcast with a broadcast of the Monday Night Football crew. Beyond the fact that the grouping of Joe Tessitore, Booger McFarland, and Jason Witten has not been especially popular during its first year of calling NFL games, it’s kind of crappy that college football’s biggest game isn’t being analyzed by people who dedicate their lives to studying the sport at this level.
Our first miscue of the night by the MNF crew came on the very first play of the game. Alabama kicked the ball off to Clemson, and the Tigers return man decided to fair catch the ball so it would automatically go out to the 25-yard line. The issue was Witten, who has received the lion’s share of the criticism among members of the MNF team, didn’t know this was legal.