College football season is nearly here.
Forget last Saturday. It’s called Week 0 for a reason. Do you really want to believe the first game of the 2022 season was 3-9 Northwestern and 3-9 Nebraska playing halfway around the world?
Here at Barrett Sports Media, we are celebrating college football from a media angle. All week long, our editors and resident college football superfans, Arky Shea, Demetri Ravanos and Garrett Searight, will be looking at the best the media has to offer in terms of college football coverage.
The entire schedule is as follows:
MONDAY: Best Local Show
TUESDAY: Best National Radio Show
WEDNESDAY: Best College Football Podcast
THURSDAY: Best TV Show
FRIDAY: Best TV Play-by-Play Booth
The national college football conversation is all about the headliners. Who has the most unique way of saying “Alabama is good”? Who can deliver a take so well-thought-out and nuanced that you walk away convinced that Kirby Smart just may be on the hot seat?
College football, like Star Wars, happens across vast geography with storylines that are only loosely connected. If you can keep fanbases of multiple teams playing for wildly different stakes engaged with the same conversation, you are doing something right.
Here are our choices for the best nationally syndicated sports radio shows covering college football.
THE PAUL FINEBAUM SHOW by Arky Shea
You are allowed to say whatever you want about The Paul Finebaum Show but unless it’s a compliment, it’s going to fall on deaf ears with me. Finebaum is who introduced me to sports talk radio over twenty years ago and I absolutely see how he is still a powerhouse today. No one is more for the fans of college football than Paul Finebaum and his show. No one talks to more fans of college football than Paul Finebaum. The rapid pulse of the sport is measured in sound bytes recorded on his airwaves.
Finebaum has long been a very good interviewer that asks the most important questions a wandering mind might fancy. He’s also a very funny, self-deprecating host. His flare is for taking the listeners on a ride with the callers being the driver. He allows for the caller, the college football fan, to scream all of their most passionate battle cries without judgment while maneuvering them alongside callers of their rivals, all in attempt to show that this sport, college football, is NOTHING without its fans. It’s genius radio and a doorway for those unaware of the constant hustle, that is daily, to be a fan of a team in the South.
THE DA SHOW by Garrett Searight
In a radio world hyper-polarized by roughly 4 teams per league — outside of the NFL — The DA Show bucks all the trends. Damon Amendolara doesn’t subscribe to the theory that you should only talk about the Lakers, Warriors, Nets, and Celtics, just like he doesn’t believe college football talk should only be about Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, and USC.
Many will say you shouldn’t have an interview with Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson or Tennessee’s Josh Huepel. “Nobody is talking about them. They’re not relevant nationally,” is the argument frequently given. Well, they’re not relevant nationally because nobody is talking about them. So DA talks about college football as a whole, not just the power players, and interviews more coaches than anyone. If you’re a college football fan, not just a fan of a team or a conference, The DA Show is a must-listen during the football season.
THE HERD by Demetri Ravanos
Colin Cowherd talks to big names and he asks unique questions. What more do you want from a national sports radio show when it covers college football? He gives opinions that are interesting, maybe not always right, but interesting. Isn’t that valuable in a sport where being right has meant picking Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia or Clemson every week of every year?
Colin may not talk about everything in the world of college football, but it is so clear that he likes the sport a lot. And I really like that in a time when everyone is bemoaning so much change, he is asking people to justify and explain their bitching. He is the one national voice that genuinely likes college football that isn’t constantly telling me that the sport is about to go down the toilet.
Howard Eskin: Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce Dating Rumors Are ‘All A Little Game’
“The producer of their podcast will say, ‘Hey, let’s play this up; it’s great for the podcast.'”
Whenever Taylor Swift performs a concert or goes out, there is generally a swarm of paparazzi that surrounds her. As one of the preeminent superstars in the world of music, there is considerable public interest in her life and upcoming projects. For years, fans of the artist have followed her dating life, which has included boyfriends such as Joe Jonas, John Mayer and Harry Styles.
Recently, many people are starting to believe that she could be dating Kansas City Chiefs star tight end and two-time Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce. In an appearance on Thursday’s edition of The Pat McAfee Show, Kelce was asked about the rumors and relayed that he invited her to a Chiefs game to watch him play.
“I’ve seen you rock the stage in Arrowhead [Stadium],” Kelce said his message read. “You might have to come see me rock the stage at Arrowhead and see which one is a little more lit.”
Although Howard Eskin’s guest appearance on SportsRadio 94WIP took place before Kelce’s public comments, he diffused the dating rumors by recounting the situation that started the ensuing chain of events. Kelce attended Swift’s concert at Arrowhead Stadium and tried to pass along a friendship bracelet with his phone number on it to the multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning artist. Since then, reports from The Messenger have indicated that Kelce and Swift have conversed and hung out several times. Additionally, Swift reportedly thinks that Kelce is “very charming,” and the duo is “seeing where things go.”
“She’s in Kansas City – he’s Travis Kelce,” Eskin said. “There’s people there, I’m sure, that handed her a number and she said, ‘Who is this?’ I would bet – yes – she doesn’t follow football.”
Amid his statement, Eskin was reminded that Swift is a Philadelphia Eagles fan, something she revealed at Lincoln Financial Field on her acclaimed slate of shows within “The Eras Tour.” The sports radio luminary then shared that Swift wore his Super Bowl LII ring after the team won the championship in 2018 and that he was invited to the premiere of the tour movie on Oct. 13 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Reacting to comments made by Philadelphia Eagles’ center Jason Kelce during in an interview with McAfee on Wednesday, he believes the disclosure of the dating rumors are helping fuel increased notoriety. Each week, the Kelce brothers record and release episodes of their podcast, New Heights, with Wave Sports + Entertainment, and Eskin thinks that reacting to the reports could equate to a simple publicity stunt.
“The producer of their podcast will say, ‘Hey, let’s play this up; it’s great for the podcast,’” Eskin said. “It’s all a little game. Entertainment Tonight did a story on Taylor Swift and her former boyfriend who was married to somebody else, and they played this small clip of the audio and said nothing because there is nothing to report other than Jason Kelce said, ‘I think it’s 100% true.’”
Steak Shapiro: Chris Russo’s Gummy Comment an ‘All-Time TV Moment’
“I’m going to tell you, jaws dropped, folks high-fived me and you’re just like, ‘did that just happen?’”
Steak Shapiro told his audience that he has been in the media business for a long time. What he saw on First Take on Wednesday was “one of the all-time TV moments that I have ever seen.”
That moment was Chris Russo’s admission that he will eat a THC gummy, drink a cocktail in the middle of the day and bet $10,000 on Coach Prime and the Colorado Buffaloes to beat Oregon on Saturday.
“I’m going to tell you, jaws dropped, folks high-fived me and you’re just like, ‘did that just happen?’” He said Thursday morning on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta.
He joked that promoting get drunk, betting thousands of dollars and taking drugs should be proof to critics that “ESPN ain’t that woke.”
Drew Butler, Shapiro’s co-host for the Thursday edition of The Steakhouse, said that what caught most people’s attention was the facial expressions and reactions of NFL analyst Marcus Spears.
He added that he was shocked to see something like that on ESPN, who just went through some very public layoffs which have drawn real criticism.
“They take a lot of heat for having to be righteous, politically correct, kind of milquetoast at times,” Shapiro agreed. “Listen, I don’t know that they’re related.”
He added that it would be different if Russo had said that he was going to roll a joint a get high. He said the afternoon that was described though is something that isn’t just unobjectionable to many, it is probably very appealing to a lot of people.
“Any women listening now may envision your husband just like this and any dude listening right now? Again, there’s plenty of guys that’ll wake up and run a marathon, right? Or just go hike for 4 hours. And that’s great, too,” he said. “But then there are other guys that want this out of their Saturday.”
“There’s certain entertainment in listening to a man who simply has nothing to lose,” Butler concluded.
Noah Eagle: I Don’t Know if Notre Dame Fans Expect Homer Call From NBC Crew
“I will be Neutral Noah, and that is the case throughout the year, no matter who we’re doing.”
This is the first year in a long time that Notre Dame fans have had to share NBC with other college football teams. The network is carrying Big Ten games every Saturday night. The two worlds collide this week when Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge call the Fighting Irish’s visit to Ohio State.
“Do Notre Dame fans understand that this is not going to be a homer broadcast this week and that Tom Hammond, Dick Enberg, Dan Hicks, Don Criqui, they’re not walking through that door?” Anthony Lima asked Eagle Thursday morning on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.
Eagle said it is a question that could best be answered by Notre Dame fans, but he is a professional. Last week, he and Blackledge called Purdue vs. Syracuse, which is Eagle’s alma mater.
“I will be, as I said last week, when I got to call my alma mater, I will be Neutral Noah, and that is the case throughout the year, no matter who we’re doing,” he said.
He added that he isn’t really sure what it is Notre Dame fans expect from the broadcast on Saturday night. The Big Ten is now just as much a part of NBC’s sports portfolio as Fighting Irish football. He added that his only agenda is capturing the excitement of two top-ten teams facing off in an historic venue.
“I would quote the wonderful and amazingly talented Biggie Smalls that ‘if you don’t know, now you know,” Eagle said. “It’s going to be a neutral game. It’s going to be a neutral call. I mean, this is big time Saturday night.”
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