ABC and ESPN's Distinct Voices of Fall
As we emerge from the Keith Jackson era, ABC/ESPN have finally announced their broadcasting crews for college football's largest schedule. Disney's boys will feature games across five channels this year providing wall to wall coverage of Autumn's Passion.
As announced before, ABC enters the Saturday night primetime frey with a lead crew of the ageless Brent Musberger and Bob Davie as lead color man. Kirk Herbstreit will also be in the booth when ESPN's College GameDay is in town as well. Lisa Salters gets the sideline honors.
The Alphabet Network has made Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, and Paul Maguire of ESPN Sunday Night Football, the main crew for the traditional 3:30 games as Nessler and Griese get the lead regional game. Stacy Dales plays sideline reporter.
Other ABC crews feature Dan Fouts debut as a play-by-play guy as he is paired with Tim Brant and Jack Arute on the sidelines. (No word if Arute gets to deck Fouts the first time he calls him partner.) Gary Thorne returns this year with Andre Ware, Todd Harris draws the sideline assignment. (Lloyd Carr cringes in the corner.) Mark Jones makes the jump back to the mothership from ESPN as he and David Norrie make up ABC's last crew along with Sam Ryan.
ESPN's anchor team of Mike Patrick and CBS alumni Todd Blackledge draw ESPN's College Football Saturday Primetime package, Holly Rowe gathers the sideline dirt. Ron Franklin shifts to ESPN2's primetimer with Ed Cunningham, Dr. Jerry Punch roams the sidelines. (I'd have moved Franklin to ABC for their big game, he is vastly underrated.) Sean McDonough and Chris Spielman get ESPN's noon game, mostly Big Ten, Rob Stone will stare at cheerleaders on the sideline. Pam Ward keeps her ESPN2 noon date, she shares the booth this year with Mike Gottfried and sideliner Jimmy Dykes.
Thursday night's Primetimer on ESPN draws Chris Fowler and Herbstreit, Erin Andrews draws the sideline. Dave Pasch, Rece Davis and John Saunders will call weekday games. By the way, what happened to Mike Tirico?
Chris, Kirk, and Lee Corso return to ESPN College GameDay, Rece Davis, along with Lou Holtz and Mark May sit in studio on ESPN during games. John Saunders, also higly underrated, Craig James, and newcomer Doug Flutie hold court on ABC.