ESPN Announces 2009-10 College Football Announcing Teams – Lions Fans Prepare to Boycott

ESPN has announced its multiple announcing teams for college football this season. There are a lot of them. This includes the studio teams from College Gameday to ESPNU. There have been a few shakeups among the teams. For instance, Brad Nessler no longer works with Bob Griese and Paul Maguire, however, Pam Ward returns. You’ll be quite surprised at the assignments. Get ready to see which team you’ll like and which team you’ll most likely hate at the end of the season.

College Football Commentators Include Millen Joining, Nessler on ESPN Saturday Nights, Palmer in ABC Studio

Also New: Huard on ESPNU SEC Primetime; Two New Teams: Pasch, Griese and Spielman, Patrick, James and Cox; Andrews Adds ESPN Saturday Prime Time

Returning: Musburger, Herbstreit and Salters on ABC
Saturday Night Football; Fowler, James, Palmer and Andrews on ESPN Thursday Primetime

ESPN’s 2009 college football game and studio announcer assignments will include the addition of Matt Millen and new roles for several commentators for coverage across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU,, ESPN Regional Television syndication – including the new weekly SEC over-the-air package — ESPN Classic, ESPN Radio and ESPN Mobile TV. Highlights of changes:

  • Matt Millen, who will also provide analysis on ESPN’s NFL studio coverage, will work Saturday telecasts on ABC with Sean McDonough, who called select Friday and Saturday games last year, and reporter Holly Rowe who moves from ESPN’s Saturday prime time games.

  • Brad Nessler, who called top games on ABC last year, will work ESPN Saturday prime time telecasts (primarily at 7:45 p.m. ET) with analyst Todd Blackledge and reporter Erin Andrews, who adds the Saturday game to her ESPN Thursday night series role.

  • Jesse Palmer will add Saturday studio analysis on ABC to his Thursday night ESPN game telecast. In the new position, Palmer will provide pre-game, halftime and post-game analysis for every telecast on ABC and on the half-hour College Football Countdown at 3 p.m.

  • Analyst Brock Huard and commentator Eric Collins will work the new exclusive ESPNU Saturday night SEC game (generally at 7 p.m.), part of the recent landmark 15-year agreement with the conference.

  • Craig James, who will continue as an analyst on ESPN’s Thursday night series, Mike Patrick, the voice of many top events on ESPN for 27 years, and reporter Heather Cox will form a new team for Saturday telecasts on ABC.

  • Analysts Bob Griese and Chris Spielman will join Dave Pasch on the Saturday noon telecast on ESPN. Last year, Spielman called select Friday and Saturday games while Bob Griese worked Saturday games on ABC.

  • Andre Ware will provide analysis on the new ESPN Regional Television Saturday SEC over-the-air syndication package — also the result of ESPN’s agreement with the conference — with commentator Dave Neal, a long-time voice of the SEC, and reporter Cara Capuano. Coverage will begin at noon with Rob Stone and Matt Stinchcomb in the studio.

  • Veteran radio play-by-play commentator Bill Rosinski will join ESPN Radio to call the weekly game broadcast with returning analyst Dennis Franchione and reporter Joe Schad.
In addition to the new assignments, commentator pairings will return on two popular series. Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Lisa Salters will work ABC’s Saturday Night Football series, broadcast television’s only weekly primetime game (8 p.m.). Chris Fowler, Palmer, James and Andrews will call the ESPN College Football Primetime Thursday telecast (generally at 7:30 p.m.).
In addition to the Thursday game, Fowler will host College GameDay (Saturdays at 10 a.m.) for his 20th season. Lee Corso, who has contributed to the show since its debut in 1987, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard will also return to provide analysis.
Host Rece Davis and analysts Lou Holtz and Mark May will return to work ESPN’s Saturday pre-game, halftime, post-game and College Football Final (Saturdays at midnight) studio coverage, as well as call select ESPN and ESPN2 weekday games.
Returning announcer pairings to television’s deepest field of commentators include: Mark Jones and Bob Davie; Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham; Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore; Clay Matvick and David Diaz-Infante; and Charlie Neal and Jay Walker.

ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Regional Television and Game Pairings

Note: Additional commentators will be utilized throughout the season.

Saturday Night Football (on ABC)Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit & Lisa Salters

ESPN College Football Primetime (Saturday)Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge & Erin Andrews

ESPN2 College Football Primetime
Mark Jones & Bob Davie

ESPNU SEC Saturday primetime
Eric Collins & Brock Huard

ESPN College Football Primetime
Chris Fowler, Craig James, Jesse Palmer & Erin Andrews

ABC Saturday Afternoon
Sean McDonough, Matt Millen & Holly Rowe

ABC Saturday Afternoon
Mike Patrick, Craig James & Heather Cox

ABC or ESPN Saturday Afternoon
– Ron Franklin & Ed Cunningham

ESPN College Football
(Saturday afternoons)
Dave Pasch, Bob Griese and Chris Spielman

ESPN2 College Football
(Saturday afternoon)
Pam Ward & Ray Bentley

ESPNU Saturday noon
Clay Matvick & David Diaz-Infante

ESPNU Saturday afternoon
Todd Harris & Charles Arbuckle

ESPNU late Saturday
– Carter Blackburn & TBD

ESPN and ESPN2 Fridays and select ABC Saturdays
– Joe Tessitore & Rod GIlmore

ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 Saturdays and select Fridays
– Terry Gannon & David Norrie

ESPN and ESPN2 midweek games
– Rece Davis,
Mark May, Lou Holtz & Rob Stone

ESPNU Thursday
Charlie Neal & Jay Walker

ESPN Radio games
Bill Rosinski, Dennis Franchione & Joe Schad

SEC Network (ESPN Regional Television syndicated games)
Dave Neal, Andre Ware & Cara Capuano

BIG EAST Network (ESPN Regional Television syndicated games)
Mike Gleason, John Congemi & Quint Kessinich

ESPN Regional Television MAC Syndication
Michael Reghi & Doug Chapman

Additional commentators include Bob Wischusen, Rob Stone, Dave Lamont and Clay Matvick providing play-by-play and analysts Shaun King, JC Pearson and Jon Berger.

ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Regional Television Studio Assignments

College GameDay (Saturdays at 10 a.m. on ESPN)Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard

Pre-game, halftime and post-game, College Football Countdown (Saturdays on ABC) – John Saunders & Jesse Palmer

ABC Saturday reports – Matt Winer

Pre-game, halftime and post-game, College Football Final (Saturdays on ESPN) – Rece Davis, Lou Holtz & Mark May

Pre-game, halftime and post-game (Saturdays on ESPN2) – Wendi Nix, Todd McShay & Robert Smith

Pre-game, halftime and post-game (Saturdays on ESPNU)Rob Stone & Matt Stinchcomb (afternoons)

Pre-game, halftime and post-game (Saturdays on ESPNU)Lowell Galindo, Jay Walker, Tom Luginbill & David Pollack (prime time)

College GameDay on ESPN Radio (Saturdays at noon)Ryen Russillo, Trevor Matich & TBD

ESPNEWS OverdriveDari Nowkah, Kordell Stewart & Shaun King

Inside the Polls
Lowell Galindo, Tom Luginbill & Tommy Tuberville

SEC syndication studio – Rob Stone & Matt Stinchcomb

SEC Weekly (ESPNU)
Cara Capuano, Matt Stinchcomb, David Pollack or Charles Arbuckle

Big 12 This Week (ESPNU) – Melissa Knowles & Jon Berger

The 2009 college football season on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic,, ESPN Radio, ESPN Mobile TV and ESPN Regional Television will total more than 400 regular-and post-season games, highlighted by the beginning of a new 15-year agreement with the SEC providing content across multiple platforms. The schedule will include weekly Saturday night games on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, weekly ESPN and ESPNU Thursday night contests and telecasts every Friday and select Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays.

My reaction to this? Nice to see Sean McDonough get out of the Friday night slot. I’m sad to see the Nessler, Griese and Maguire team dissolved. I thought they were a good team. And I’m not sure I like Matt Millen getting a major assignment here.

Also, Carter Blackburn comes over to ESPNU from CBS College Sports where he was languishing and misused. And nice to see the name Cara Capuano back with ESPN. I liked her on ESPNews.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.