By Ben Krakow
While there are many quality broadcasting play-by-play commentators, color analysts and sideline reporters, some stand out more than others. Over the next few weeks, KCOU Sport’s Ben Krakow will be highlighting some of his favorites across several sports starting this week with college football.
Play by Play (no order):
– Chris Fowler – Fowler is the consummate professional who delivers a quality broadcast and is very prepared for the game he calls each week. While some might prefer if he were more exciting in big moments, Fowler stays under control in the big moments; and you know it’s a big game when Chris Fowler is calling your team’s game on ESPN or ABC.
– Sean McDonough – Back calling college football after a brief run on Monday Night Football, McDonough has been a big-game announcer for a decades, calling several different sports for ESPN. His voice always seems to crack in big moments; but he brings that classic announcer voice and is excellent in big moments. When you see him on-air with his giant spotter charts you see him holding in the booth, you know he’s prepared.
– Dave Pasch – He’s better known for somehow calling PAC-12 college basketball with Bill Walton, but Pasch has busy weekends in the fall between college football for ESPN on Saturdays and Arizona Cardinals radio broadcasts on Sundays. He also calls NBA and college basketball game for ESPN. Pasch is a very “down the middle” announcer who interacts well with a variety of color analysts. He seems to put all his energy into every broadcast even with his very full schedule.
Color Analysts (no order):
– Kirk Herbstreit – Paired with Fowler on ESPN/ABC’s top crew, Herbstreit is the lead analyst on ESPN’s College GameDay in the morning, and then calls a marquee matchup in prime time on Saturday nights. Herbstreit seems to be a common target among fans for years, but in my opinion, he provides good insight on the games he calls. He is excellent in breaking down replays and focusing on what play call could be coming next.
– Joel Klatt – Klatt works with Gus Johnson on FOX’s top crew each Saturday. Klatt is not for everybody; he is brutally honest and is not afraid to call players, teams or coaches out about certain plays and decisions. He has also been a very vocal opponent of the NCAA and how they are run as an institution. Klatt is a bit of an odd pairing with Johnson, but he does an excellent job describing the action and making it easier for the viewer to understand in my opinion.
– Greg McElroy – fairly new to the broadcasting scene, the former Alabama quarterback seems like a perfect fit for television. He brings an easy style and engaging personality. He does a fantastic job breaking down quarterbacks during games and seems like a guy any football junkie would want to watch a college football game with.
Sideline Reporters (no order):
– Holly Rowe – Rowe is a pro’s pro, covering many different sports for ESPN. As a part of ESPN’s number two team for college football, I think Rowe does an excellent job. She is an excellent interviewer and provides sideline reports that are helpful and interesting to the viewer. It is very clear that players and coaches have great respect for her and take her questions seriously.
– Maria Taylor – Taylor has been a very fast riser over the last few years and is now part of the number one team for both ESPN’s college football and basketball coverage. She is also plays a role on GameDay. Taylor seems to connect with players very well, and they seem to really enjoy engaging with her. Her interviews are always upbeat, and she creates some great social media videos with players prior to the games on her schedule.
– Tom Luginbill – Luginbill is a great fit for the newer field analyst/sideline reporter role that ESPN seems to be using more and more in their football coverage. Luginbill is a good interviewer while providing quality insights from the field. He isn’t afraid to chime in and engage with Pasch and McElroy, but he knows when to pick his spots.
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org