The 2021 college football bowl season is upon us! The regular season has come and gone, conference champions have been crowned, and the College Football Playoff field has been set.
ESPN will carry 41 bowl games this season. That begins Dec. 17 at noon with the Bahamas Bowl featuring Middle Tennessee and Toledo and ends Jan. 10 with the CFP National Championship game in Indianapolis.
The network announced on Wednesday its broadcasting teams on the TV and radio sides for the CFP semifinal games, the Capital One Orange Bowl featuring top-seeded Alabama versus number four seed Cincinnati, and the Cotton Bowl Classic featuring a 2 vs. 3 seed matchup in Michigan and Georgia.
In Miami Gardens for the Orange Bowl, Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will be in the TV broadcast booth while Holly Rowe and Marty Smith will handle sideline reporting duties. For ESPN Radio, Mark Jones, Robert Griffin III and Quint Kessenich will be on the call.
In Arlington for the Cotton Bowl, play-by-play will be handled by Sean McDonough, color commentary from Todd Blackledge, with Molly McGrath and Laura Rutledge reporting from the sidelines. Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones and Ian Fitzsimmons will handle radio duties.
Kevin Winter and Kirk Morrison will be back in Bristol, Conn. handling pre-game, halftime and post-game festivities for ESPN Radio.
The network has yet to announce its broadcast crews for the national championship game.
But ESPN did announce who would be calling the New Year’s Six lineup of games, which includes the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One, the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
In Atlanta for the Peach Bowl will be Mark Jones, Robert Griffin III and Quint Kessenich. Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky and Kris Budden will be in Glendale for the Fiesta Bowl. Fowler, Herbstreit and Rowe, along with Tiffany Blackmon, will call the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, while in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl will be Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy and Katie George.
The full lineup of broadcasters being used for all 41 bowl games the ESPN family of networks is carrying can be found at this link.
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.
NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer
“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”
According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.
The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.
The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options.
A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.