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Countdown to Coverage: College Football’s Best TV Booth

“With so much to choose from, it makes sense we waited till the end to unveil our choices for the best TV crews in college football.”

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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

This one is the big magilla. With so many games on TV every Saturday, college football offers fans their pick of a variety of talented broadcast crews.

Diversity reigns in college football television. That isn’t just about the way the people on each crew look. It’s about style and presentation.

That’s what happens when there is no single governing body to dictate the tone they want set for their sport. Fans are the winners for that!

With so much to choose from, it makes sense we waited till the end to unveil our choices for the best TV crews in college football. Here they are!

BRAD NESSLER & GARY DANIELSON ON CBS by Arky Shea

No one calls a college football game better than Brad Nessler. Period. In a land of immensely talented play-by-play talents, Nessler sits atop. He has one of the rare voices in college football that comforts you because you know college football is happening and it’s happening on a massive stage. If Nessler is in the booth, it’s a big damn deal. It’s the biggest reason I was so thrilled that he was the guy that replaced Verne Lundquist on the SEC on CBS games. I never wanted Verne to leave but since he retired, Nessler brought the gravitas.

Gary Danielson is way more talented than he his given his just due for and honestly, I have not heard a single reason why he shouldn’t be considered at the top of everyone’s board. He’s smart, well-prepared and was predicting plays before Tony Romo told you all that was a thing. He uses his time on-air wisely and points out the biggest reasons a play did or not work while at the same time, readily admitting when something doesn’t make sense to him if that moment arises. He has been the lead game analyst for the best league’s best game since 2006. If you think that’s an accident, you’ve had one too many Boilermakers.

GUS JOHNSON & JOEL KLATT ON FOX by Demetri Ravanos

Someone long ago decided that sports were not fun and that if they involved amateurs, they were sacred and should sound like church. I don’t know who that someone was, but I hate their guts and hope they roll over in their graves every time Gus Johnson is on the call of Ohio State and Michigan.

College football is a fun sport. Johnson makes it sound fun. Add in Joel Klatt, and the duo form a team that balances excitement with insight. I’m not a fan of FOX’s pregame show, but each Saturday you can bet, no matter who is playing, I will always check out Big Noon Saturday. Johnson and Klatt can make even a 20-point Nebraska loss sound interesting.

CHRIS FOWLER & KIRK HERBSTREIT on ABC by Garrett Searight

I could him-haw around what I think or I can just come out and say it. So it’s option number two. Kirk Herbstreit is the best television sports analyst of all time. His ability to understand the game and put it into terms that John Q. Public understands is unrivaled. Often times while watching a broadcast, I’ll notice something the color commentator doesn’t. I don’t ever have those moments with Herbstreit. He sees everything, and sees it before the instant replay so he can convey what he saw to you. His ability to see the entire field and see everything on the field, plus his ability to diagram plays on the telestrator after seeing it live is a masterclass in football broadcasting. Chris Fowler isn’t the world’s best play-by-play announcer, but he knows his role is to set up Herbie to shine week after week. Mission accomplished.

I gave strong consideration to Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt. I can’t pretend to be unbiased there because, as an Ohio State fan, I see an awful lot of Gus & Joel. Gus yells a bit too much nonsense for my taste, but that’s what he’s best known for. I’m always appreciative of his energy, but the star of the show is Klatt. He teaches me more about the game than any other analyst. He’s fantastic. But he’s not better than Herbstreit.

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Sports TV News

‘NFL Total Access’ Comes to an End After 21 Years on NFL Network

“Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network.”

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‘NFL Total Access’ has been a part of the NFL Network since 2003 and today it is set for its final episode. The news of the show coming to an end came down earlier this month. Many of the current show participants took to social media to post their thoughts including hosts Mike Yam and Kimmi Chex along with analyst Chase Daniel.

“Tonight marks the last ever episode of NFL Total Access,” said Chex. “I was 7 years old when this show aired meaning that I spent my life watching. Co-hosting our flagship program this past season has been the honor of my career. I’m not going anywhere but for now, it’s goodbye TA.”

Yam said, “It’s been an absolute thrill hosting NFL Total Access. Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network. “Thank you” isn’t nearly enough to express the gratitude I have for the team. See you at 7est for 1 more run.”

A report from The Athletic said the show would be replaced “at least in the interim” by Insiders with Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero.

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NBCUniversal Names Olympic Hosts for USA, CNBC and E!; Kathryn Tappen Headlines

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games.”

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NBC Olympics Logo and photos of Cara Banks, Laura Britt, Trenni Casey, Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno, and Kathryn Tappen

NBCUniversal announced its hosts for coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 on USA Network, CNBC and E! Cara Banks, Laura Britt and Trenni Casey will all be a part of the coverage on CNBC and E! Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno and Kathryn Tappen will all take part in the USA Network coverage.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics is Friday, July 26 on NBC, Peacock, and Telemundo.

Coverage on USA Network, CNBC, and E! is expected to include Team USA men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, and volleyball, as well as swimming, gymnastics, and track & field, and more.

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games,” said Rebecca Chatman, Vice President and Coordinating Producer, NBC Olympics Production in a release.

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Mike Tirico, Danica Patrick Return to Host Indy 500 for NBC Sports

Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson will join NBC’s pre-race and race coverage. When his broadcasting duties are completed, Johnson will be flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

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Logos for Indy 500, NBC Sports and photos of Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick
Photos Courtesy: NBC Sports

With less than two weeks until the event, NBC Sports has officially announced its team of race and studio commentators for the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500. For the sixth year in a row, we can expect to see familiar faces such as host Mike Tirico and studio analyst Danica Patrick contributing to pre-race, in-race, and post-race coverage.

The race will air at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 26, on both NBC and Peacock.

Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson will join NBC’s pre-race and race coverage. When his broadcasting duties are completed, Johnson will be flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe will call the race for the sixth consecutive year. Marty Snider, Dillon Welch, Dave Burns, and Kevin Lee will serve as pit reporters. Former NASCAR driver Jeff Burton and Kim Coon will serve as roaming reporters.

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