SiriusXM will air a special eight-part radio series focused on the history behind several of the most storied rivalries in the history of college football. Gridiron Grudges: College Football’s Fiercest Rivalries will debut on Monday, November 23, and air throughout Thanksgiving Week, leading up to this season’s versions of these rivalry games.
Each episode of the series will be devoted to capturing the history, intensity and emotions of a different rivalry. Those featured will be:
- Ohio State-Michigan (Series dates back to 1897)
- Auburn-Alabama (1893)
- Clemson-South Carolina (1896)
- UCLA-USC (1929)
- Florida-Florida St. (1958)
- Georgia-Georgia Tech (1893)
- Ole Miss-Mississippi St. (1901)
- Oklahoma-Oklahoma St. (1904)
Listeners will get an in-depth look at the origins of each long-standing matchup and be able to re-live historic moments and memorable game highlights. They will hear the perspectives of players and coaches who have been participants in these contests on the field, as well as the fans who have watched year after year and cheered and cried over the outcome.
The series will air nationwide on SiriusXM’s 24/7 college sports channel, SiriusXM College Sports Nation (channel 84 on satellite radios and on smartphones via the SiriusXM app). Each 30 or 60-minute episode will air multiple times, and will also be available on SiriusXM On Demand.
“Few things stir fans’ emotions the way these classic rivalries do. Every fall these games represent either the highlight or the heartbreak of the season for so many,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer. “On SiriusXM College Sports Nation we are able to delve deeper into the history and excitement of these matchups in a way nobody else on radio can. As the anticipation for this year’s games builds, this series will enable fans to re-live fond memories of these rivalries, and maybe learn something new, as we tell the stories behind them.”
Gridiron Grudges: College Football’s Fiercest Rivalries – Series Schedule
Ohio State-Michigan, narrated by Mark Packer
Air dates: Nov. 23 (4:00 pm & 8:00 pm ET), Nov. 25 (10:00 pm ET), Nov. 26 (11:00 am & 3:00 pm ET)
Interviews include: Former Ohio State RBs Eddie George and Robert Smith, former OSU LB Chris Spielman, former Michigan lineman Dan Dierdorf, former Michigan QB Chad Henne, former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, former Michigan DB Marcus Ray, and others
Auburn-Alabama, narrated by Taylor Zarzour
Air dates: Nov. 23 (7:00 pm ET), Nov. 24 (4:00 pm ET), Nov. 26 (2:00 pm ET)
Interviews include: Former Alabama QB Joe Namath, Alabama coach Nick Saban, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, former Alabama QB Greg McElroy, former Auburn WR Sammie Coates, former Alabama coach Gene Stallings, former Auburn coach Pat Dye, and others
Clemson-South Carolina, narrated by Mark Packer
Air dates: Nov. 24 (9:30 pm ET), Nov. 25 (4:30 pm & 8:30 pm ET), Nov. 26 (12:30 pm ET)
Interviews include: Former South Carolina coach Lou Holtz, former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, former South Carolina RB George Rogers, country music star Tim McGraw, and others
UCLA-USC, narrated by Chris Childers
Air dates: Nov. 25 (7:30 pm ET), Nov. 26 (10:30 am & 4:30 pm ET)
Interviews include: Former UCLA coach and player Rick Neuheisel, former USC QB Matt Leinart, former UCLA QB Matt Stevens, and others
Florida-Florida State, narrated by Jack Arute
Air dates: Nov. 24 (9:00 pm ET), Nov. 25 (4:00 pm & 8:00 pm ET), Nov. 26 (12:00 pm ET)
Interviews include: Former Florida St. head coach Bobby Bowden, former FSU DBs Deion Sanders and Samari Rolle, former Florida QB Chris Leak, country music star Jake Owen, and others
Ole Miss-Mississippi State, narrated by Taylor Zarzour
Air dates: Nov. 24 (10:30 pm ET), Nov. 25 (9:30 pm ET), Nov. 26 (1:30 pm & 5:30 pm ET)
Interviews include: Former Ole Miss QB Archie Manning, former Mississippi St. head coach Jackie Sherrill, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, Mississippi St. head coach Dan Mullen, and others
Georgia-Georgia Tech, narrated by Chris Childers
Air dates: Nov. 24 (10:00 pm ET), Nov. 25 (9:00 pm ET), Nov. 26 (1:00 pm & 5:00 pm ET)
Interviews include: former Georgia QB Buck Belue, former Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson, former Georgia coach Jim Donnan, and others
Oklahoma-Oklahoma State, narrated by Jack Arute
Air dates: Nov. 25 (7:00 pm ET), Nov. 26 (10:00 am & 4:00 pm ET)
Interviews include: Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, Oklahoma St. head coach Mike Gundy, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, and others
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at [email protected].
ESPN 97.5 in Houston Announces New Lineup
“The station had to make some very tough & unfortunate economic decisions last week.”
ESPN 97.5 in Houston announced they will have a new lineup starting Monday Feb. 26. The drive time slots will continue to feature John Granato and Lance Zierlein in mornings and The Killer B’s, Jeremy Branham and Joel Blank, in the afternoon.
In between the two shows will now have The Del Olaleye Show airing from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. followed by Gallant and George with Paul Gallant, who had been hosting the early midday slot previously and Joe George, the station’s Assistant Program Director.
Earlier this week, Josh Beard and Michael Connor confirmed they had been let go from the station after being in the midday slot for just six months. George posted on X at the time, “So here’s the deal. The station had to make some very tough & unfortunate economic decisions last week. It has nothing to do with the quality of their show and work they did. Programming on the station will be weird this week, then back to fully local from 7 am – 6 pm on 2/26.”
Former Toronto Blue Jays Announcer Ben Wagner Named to Baltimore Orioles Broadcast Team
A release from the Blue Jays says Wagner will appear on radio and select television broadcasts throughout the year.
The Baltimore Orioles announced the club’s broadcast talent lineup for the 2024 season, which includes former Toronto Blue Jays announcer Ben Wagner. Wagner had served as the radio voice of the Blue Jays for the last six seasons before Sportsnet announced it decided not to renew his contract. Prior to joining the Blue Jays broadcast team, Wagner spent 11 seasons with Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons. A release from the Orioles says Wagner will appear on radio and select television broadcasts throughout the year.
The Orioles will continue to use guest analysts throughout the season, including Orioles Hall of Famers Mike Devereaux and Brian Roberts, as well as former Orioles Brad Brach and Dave Johnson.
Geoff Arnold will return for his fifth season with the Orioles broadcast team and will be the primary play-by-play announcer. Kevin Brown will be in his third season as the primary television play-by-play announcer for MASN.
Other team members for the 2024 season include Scott Garceau, Brett Hollander, Rob Long, Ben McDonald, Melanie Newman and Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, who will be in his 32nd season as an analyst and 61st year as a member of the Orioles organization.
Fred Toucher: ‘I Would Feel Weird’ if Rich Shertenlieb Reached Out to Me
“Even if it was nice, I wouldn’t like it, so if he’s listening, don’t reach out to me.”
Fred Toucher is in the midst of co-hosting a new morning program on 98.5 The Sports Hub with Rob “Hardy” Poole. The Toucher & Hardy show made its premiere in January following the end of a 17-year run in which he worked alongside Rich Shertenlieb. Last November, Shertenlieb parted ways with the outlet that elicited questions and nostalgia from listeners, some of which continue to persist on the new program.
On Friday’s edition of the program, a caller asked Toucher about the last time he spoke to Shertenlieb and if there was still communication between them. The duo started hosting their radio program together at rock radio station WBCN-FM before making the move to the sports talk format with 98.5 The Sports Hub (WBZ-FM) for its launch in the summer of 2009. The caller wanted to specifically hear a “juicy story” and apologized if his broaching the topic was “a forbidden path.”
“I have not talked to Rich,” Toucher said. “I told you I got the text message the Saturday after they didn’t put him on the air anymore, and I haven’t talked to him.”
Toucher wondered who among former members of the Toucher & Rich program had heard from Shertenlieb, leading him to go around the studio and ask. Update anchor Jon Wallach revealed that Shertenlieb texted him on Thanksgiving Day to discuss how the music group Bell Biv DeVoe was performing, but he has not heard from him since. None of the others in the studio had heard from Shertenlieb in a considerable amount of time either.
“None of us were really friends with him so I don’t know what to tell you,” Toucher replied to the caller. “I wasn’t friends with him; I didn’t talk to him, so it’s not odd that I don’t talk to him.”
Toucher then began to hypothesize what would happen if Shertenlieb were to reach out to him. As he thought over such a potential occurrence, he realized that he would have a feeling in his stomach and get anxiety. He did concede, however, that if someone paid him a large sum of money to appear somewhere with Shertenlieb, he would do the 10 seconds.
“I would feel weird; I wouldn’t enjoy the process,” Toucher said. “Even if it was nice, I wouldn’t like it, so if he’s listening, don’t reach out to me. You’d make me incredibly uncomfortable. Just don’t do it.”
In thinking about the potential nostalgia from Toucher & Rich, the program briefly mentioned Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo and his relationship with former co-host Mike Francesa. Toucher believes that Russo is doing fine without Francesa, a sentiment Wallach concurred. Wallach also shared that he feels Russo is doing better after Mike and the Mad Dog than Francesa.
Russo hosts a SiriusXM program on the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel named after him, in addition to High Heat on MLB Network and a weekly appearance on ESPN’s First Take. The split between both shows elicited interest from the listening public, something Toucher completely understands because of the unique facets of radio.
“People consume you 20 hours a week or they conceivably could, so when there’s any change, your immediate reaction to it, even though it hasn’t been bad, a lot of people if you listen to an old thing all the time it’s going to be strange to you, a new thing, or when a component of it is missing,” Toucher explained, “even if it’s better than it was, which I contend Toucher & Hardy over the last three weeks is better than Toucher & Rich was in 2023 and 2022 certainly.”
The segment concluded with Toucher proclaiming that he had answered the question and now will not have to entertain it again. “I have no idea what he’s doing and no one I know does, and no one I know has seen him,” Toucher said. “I haven’t even had a listener email me and go, ‘I saw him.’”