Let’s Talk College Football: ESPN Commentators for 2017 Season

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Let’s Talk College Football: ESPN Commentators for 2017 Season

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  • ABC’s Saturday Night Football: Maria Taylor Joins Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit
  • Veterans and Newcomers Round Out Roster of More than 70 Commentators

College football fans will be entertained and informed by ESPN’s roster of more than 70 well-versed commentators, ranging from veterans to newcomers, as they watch the sport’s most compelling games across the company’s various networks this season.

Maria Taylor Joins 2016’s Most-Watched College Football Franchise
Maria Taylor will join Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN’s lead play-by-play commentator and analyst, on the call of ABC’s Saturday Night Football, the most-watched franchise on any network last season. As it was announced in May, Taylor will be the reporter on the telecasts, as the former Georgia Bulldog shifts back to college football sidelines after hosting SEC Nation on SEC Network last football season. For Fowler and Herbstreit, it is their fourth college football season working together.

New Season, Similar Faces Across ESPN and ABC
Fans will hear familiar voices in the upcoming season on ESPN and ABC, with several broadcast teams remaining the same from last season, including ESPN’s prime-time commentators Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe. The trio comes off their first year working together which concluded in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.  

Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Todd McShay are among the other trios returning, as well as:

  • Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy and Tom Luginbill
  • Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard and Allison Williams
  • Mark Jones, Rod Gilmore and Quint Kessenich

Huard, Gilmore, Luginbill, and McElroy all signed new contracts with ESPN, which was announced last week.

Beth Mowins, who is set to become the first female to call an NFL game since 1987, will once again work with Anthony Becht and Rocky Boiman this season.

Tommy Tuberville, Dusty Dvoracek Among Commentator Changes; Thursday Night Gets New Twist
A familiar face becomes a new voice as Tommy Tuberville, a head coach for more than 20 seasons, becomes an analyst, joining Mike Patrick and Paul Carcaterra this year. Additional elements to look for:

  • Friday Night Lights: Dusty Dvoracek, a former two-time captain at Oklahoma, will be an analyst on ESPN’s Friday night telecasts, teaming up most weeks with Adam Amin and Molly McGrath, who return for their second season to call Friday night games. Mack Brown will be an analyst on a number of Friday night telecasts, appearing mostly in weeks which ESPN has multiple games on the night. The former national champion head coach’s game analyst work is in addition to his ABC studio work, which was previously announced. A second play-by-play person for Friday nights will be named in the coming weeks.
  • Thursday Night Twist: New this year, ESPN will rotate analysts to be paired in the booth with play-by-play voice Dave Flemming. Flemming, who returns to the Thursday night telecast with a new contract this season, will be paired with a variety of personalities. Laura Rutledge will be the sideline reporter each week in addition to her new gig hosting SEC Nation each Saturday.

Additional Notes:

  • SEC Network: In addition to the SEC Saturday Night team – Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, and Cole Cubelic –   which was announced at SEC Football Media Days, SEC Network will have two additional regular commentating teams: Taylor Zarzour, Andre Ware, Olivia Harlan and Dave Neal, Matt Stinchcomb, Dawn Davenport
  • Longhorn Network: Former Texas Longhorn Ahmad Brooks will be the analyst alongside play-by-play man Lowell Galindo to call Longhorn Network’s two games this season: vs. San Jose State (Sept. 9) and vs. Kansas (Nov. 11).

2017 College Football Commentator Teams

Game Commentators
ABC Saturday Night Football Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor
ESPN Saturday Night Primetime Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe
ESPN or ABC Saturday Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay
ESPN or ABC Saturday Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill
ESPN or ABC Saturday Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard, Allison Williams
ESPN or ABC Saturday Mike Patrick, Tommy Tuberville, Paul Carcaterra
ESPN or ABC Saturday Mark Jones, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich
ESPN or ABC Saturday Jason Benetti, Kelly Stouffer, Kris Budden
ESPN or ABC Saturday Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman
ESPN or ABC Saturday Anish Shroff, Ahmad Brooks, Roddy Jones
ESPN Thursday Dave Flemming, Rotating Analyst, Laura Rutledge
ESPN Friday Adam Amin, Dusty Dvoracek, Molly McGrath

(plus Mack Brown on select extra Friday games)

SEC Saturday Night Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic
SEC Network Saturday Taylor Zarzour, Andre Ware, Olivia Harlan
SEC Network Saturday Dave Neal, Matt Stinchcomb, Dawn Davenport
ESPNU Saturday Clay Matvick, Kirk Morrison
ESPNU Saturday Mike Couzens, John Congemi
ESPNU Saturday Roy Philpott, Tom Ramsey
ESPNU/ESPNNEWS Sat. Mike Corey, Rene Ingoglia
ESPNU Thursday Eric Clemons, Jay Walker
ESPN/ESPN2 Midweek Chris Cotter, Desmond Howard, Quint Kessenich
ESPN/ESPN2 Midweek Kevin Negandhi, Tom Luginbill/Rocky Boiman
Longhorn Network Lowell Galindo, Ahmad Brooks
ESPN Radio Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPNU Friday – High School Football Kevin Brown, Craig Haubert

Commentating groups subject to change; Game assignments for week 1 will be announced soon


Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner

Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
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