Ranking Each Network’s Lead CFB Announcers
With six weeks’ worth of college football in the books for 2012, now is a good time to assess how each network’s announcers are doing. We rank the lead crews for the four major networks plus ESPN.
Shamrock Series uniforms aside, there’s nothing particularly flashy about Notre Dame football. Just as there’s nothing particularly flashy about Hammond and Mayock, who call the Fighting Irish games for NBC.
Which isn’t to say that they’re bad. Hammond’s dulcet tones have long been a staple on the peacock network, while Mayock provides the well-researched analysis that he is most widely known for. It’s also empowering for anybody with a lisp to see Mayock take on a broadcast role.
Still, we wish that Hammond got as excited for football as he does for the Olympic 100-meter dash.
The cosmic forces that seemed to bless Gus Johnson with the most exciting games when he was calling college basketball for CBS seem to have transferred over to football. There was last year’s manic Big Ten title game. The last two weeks, Johnson has called the Texas-Oklahoma State thriller and the West Virginia-Texas shootout.
The knock on Johnson is that he's not the most well-researched play-by-play man and is prone to errors, a stigma he will have to fight to overcome.
Johnson’s partner in the booth, Davis, brings the knowledge for the game that comes with having been a former defensive back at Tennessee. It’s basic facts that most fans can glean on their own, but it comes from a trustworthy source in Davis so the average viewer will be satisfied.
One thing that FOX does have going for it is that it has the best promotional commercial airing right now. Tell us you don’t wish you could hit a button for “The Gus Effect” and have your dimly lit apartment turn into a magical penthouse.
It's pretty amazing that Nessler is in his 20th season calling games for The Worldwide Leader and that he’s only 56. Tell the truth: Do you have any other announcer’s voice in mind when you think of the phrase “down the sideline” as it applies to college football? We didn’t think so.
While Nessler is as pure a play-by-play man as they get, booth partner Todd Blackledge is at ease pontificating on this or that. It’s befitting of a man who graduated from Penn State with a 3.8 GPA in speech communication. Sometimes he runs the gamut, but more often than not you’re appreciative of what you learn from him.
What we most like about these two is that they never try to insert themselves into the broadcast at the expense of attention paid to the game itself. It’s delightfully old-fashioned, if unspectacular.
This duo is probably the most polarizing announcing crew on our list. But whether or not you like them as people, you have to acknowledge their talent.
Particularly with Musburger. He’s the only announcer of the ten featured on this list with a “Controversies” section to his Wikipedia page. Yet despite his occasional lapse into being insufferable and overdramatic, his down-home announcing style has won him a lot of fans, as has his hyperbolic cries of “Holy Toledo!” and the like.
Herbstreit started out his broadcasting career with ESPN “College GameDay” as the crew's "Golden Boy" with good looks and keen insight. As an in-game color commentator, he’s a likeable guy equipped with a lot of knowledge and a desire to have as much fun as possible with his job.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, these two who will be calling the biggest games of the season.
In our opinion, Verne Lundquist remains the finest play-by-play man in all of college sports. At 72 he’s still sharp as a tack and maintains a childlike reverence for the game. In the chaotic world of SEC football, he brings a calm and joy to each CBS telecast. His nicknames of “The Golden Throat” and "Uncle Verne" are both well-earned.
What also makes Lundquist such a joy to listen to is how much he seems to get along with his broadcast partners. On the hardwood that’s been the case with him and Bill Raftery forever, and he shares a similar relationship with Gary Danielson when it comes to SEC football.
Danielson, a former Purdue quarterback, is great at articulating those little anecdotes that fill the time during each game broadcast. But he’s not just a great storyteller. He’s very prophetic. If he mentions a key factor to the game, it’s impressive how often such a moment transpires just a few plays later.
What we wouldn’t give to hear these two call the college football playoff when it starts up in 2014.
Best of the Web