Last week we reported the departure of Tim Brando from CBS. Now comes word of a shake-up at ESPN. It appears Brent Musburger has called his last game as the lead college football announcer for ABC (aka: ABC's Saturday Night Football). The 74-year old’s broadcast contract ends later this year. But don’t celebrate yet. There are reports that Musburger has been offered a job with the upcoming SEC Network, the capacity of which is unknown at this time. However, it is unclear as to whether he will accept the offer. Some sources have said that Musburger was not too happy with the decision to expel him and how it all went down inside the walls of Bristol, Connecticut. The new job, still under the ESPN/ABC umbrella, could be perceived as a demotion. At his age, Brent may just want to hang it up.
(I have never been a fan of Musburger, mostly due to the ways he threw his hyperboles around and the times he tried to get cute and charming when he was clearly always meant to be the straight man. I will say though that he has mellowed in the last few years and rates as "tolerable".)
College GameDay host Chris Fowler seems like the leading candidate to take over the top spot in the booth with Kirk Herbstreit. Fowler also has a contract expiring this summer and will likely ask for and get whatever he wants. If he does get this prime time ABC gig, does that mean he will move on from College GameDay hosting duties? It might be a big risk to remove Fowler from the chemistry of this show that has become an institution in college football.
If not Fowler, Rece Davis might be another candidate for the top spot. He already calls the ESPN Thursday Night Football games and has called other games for the network. He too has a contract expiration coming up and is a favorite among the ESPN brass and fans alike.
One scenario has Fowler moving up and Davis taking over the lead microphone at College GameDay leaving some other poor soul to referee Lou Holtz and Mark May on College Football Live. Joe Tessitore or Dari Nowkhah may be next in line.
Speaking of old guys at ESPN getting long in the tooth, Lou Holtz is 77 and getting less bearable with every spray of saliva that flies from his mouth. I always figured the ESPN honchos think he is funny (the "E" in ESPN does stand for "Entertainment" after all) and mistakenly believe that the fans all just "love to hate him". Not this guy. It is time to take him out back and end our suffering.