- Top Teams Return: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Maria Taylor & Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe
- ESPN Re-signs Multiple Analysts Ahead of the 2019 Season, Adds Former All-American Ryan Leaf to Roster
- Matt Hasselbeck is New Thursday Night Football Analyst
- Louis Riddick, Gene Chizik and Jim Mora to Rotate on Friday Night Games
- Nearly 30 Commentating Teams Form Deepest, Most Accomplished Broadcasting Roster in the Sport
ESPN has solidified its commentator teams for the 2019-20 college football season, the network’s most comprehensive college football season to date with the addition of CFB150 programming, to its already robust slate of approximately 1,000 regular season games, 35 bowl games and the complete College Football Playoff. The nearly 30 commentating teams are comprised of respected voices, accomplished former players and intrepid reporters, which together form the deepest commentator roster in the sport. Fans this season will see ESPN unveil new commentator groups for Thursday and Friday games, while Saturdays will see several booths reunite from past seasons.
Top Commentating Teams Return to Call ABC’s Saturday Night Football, ESPN Saturday Primetime and College Football Playoff
ESPN’s top college football commenting trios — Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Maria Taylor & Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe — return this season, calling ESPN’s marquee games each week of the season. Most weeks, Fowler, Herbstreit and Taylor will be onsite for ABC’s Saturday Night Football, while McDonough, Blackledge and Rowe will call ESPN’s primetime game. The two highly accomplished commentating groups will again call the College Football Playoff Semifinals on Saturday, Dec. 28.
For Fowler and Herbstreit, the 2019 season will mark their sixth in the booth together and the duo’s 24th season as college football counterparts, having begun their kinship in 1996 on College GameDay. The two are the only television play-by-play and analyst pairing to call the College Football Playoff National Championship. Taylor was added to the championship commenting team prior to the 2017 season and works on a number of high profile events for the network throughout the year, including the NCAA Women’s Final Four as the studio voice. Tom Rinaldi will join the trio for select games throughout the season, as he has done in past years.
McDonough, Blackledge and Rowe return for their second year together, as McDonough joined the duo last season. Overall, McDonough has called college football games for more than 20 years. Blackledge and Rowe have been broadcasting games together for 12 of the past 13 seasons, including calling a CFP Semifinal together each year of the system.
ESPN Re-Signs Dusty Dvoracek, Tom Luginbill, and Dan Orlovsky to New Contracts
ESPN solidified its 2019 college football commentators, in part, by signing new contracts with analysts Dusty Dvoracek, Tom Luginbill and Dan Orlovsky.
- Dvoracek will team up with Mark Jones for the second consecutive year; this season, Olivia Dekker joins their crew. The former two-time Oklahoma Sooner captain and NFL Draft pick joined ESPN in 2016, having previously called Friday night games before shifting Saturdays last season.
- Luginbill joins Dave Pasch and Greg McElroy again this season, the trio’s fourth year working together. As part of the new deal, Luginbill will also have a role on ACC Network in addition to appearing on other ESPN shows and platforms. Luginbill has been with ESPN for more than 15 years.
- Orlovsky will join Bob Wischusen and Allison Williams this season, his second calling games for ESPN. Orlovsky will also continue to appear across a number of shows, including Get Up! and NFL Live.
All three teams will call Saturday games on ESPN and ABC.
Matt Hasselbeck Becomes Regular Thursday Night Analyst, Joins Adam Amin and Molly McGrath
ESPN’s Thursday night game slate will have a new commentating team this season, as Matt Hasselbeck – who has been with ESPN since 2016, mainly as an NFL analyst – adds a regular college football game assignment to his studio work. The former Boston College quarterback will join Adam Amin and Molly McGrath on Thursday nights, while also continuing his prominent role on ESPN’s NFL studio programming. Amin moves to the new franchise, having previously called the network’s Friday and Saturday packages and McGrath adds Thursdays to her weekly schedule, while also joining a new Saturday crew. Hasselbeck appeared on multiple Thursday night college football telecasts the last two seasons as part of ESPN’s rotational analyst approach.
Louis Riddick, Gene Chizik and Jim Mora Part of New Commentating Team for Friday Nights
Fans on Friday nights will hear analysts Louis Riddick, Gene Chizik or Jim Mora, as the three will rotate appearances throughout the season, teaming with Dave Flemming and Paul Carcaterra this season. All three analysts will continue to appear in studio for ESPN, with Riddick remaining prominently on NFL programming and Chizik and Mora mainly on college football. In addition to his college football game assignments, Riddick will be part of the crew with Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Laura Rutledge calling the late game of ESPN’s Monday Night Football doubleheader on September 9.
Flemming moves to Fridays after working Thursday nights for multiple years. Carcaterra previously worked on both Friday and Saturday games last season. Jason Benetti, who called Friday games last year, now moves to Saturday, teaming up with Rod Gilmore and Quint Kessenich on ESPN and ABC.
ESPN Signs Former Heisman Trophy Finalist and First Team All-American Ryan Leaf to Analyst Role
ESPN has signed former Heisman Trophy Finalist first team All-American Ryan Leaf as a college football analyst. The former Washington State quarterback will appear on ESPN2 and ESPNU game telecasts and on College Football Live during the season. Leaf will team up with Clay Matvick in the booth.
Leaf led the Cougars to their first then-Pac-10 Championship in 1997 earning the school its first Rose Bowl Game appearance since 1931. The Montana native was the second overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. His story, both on and off the field, was recently documented by ESPN’s E:60.
Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Todd McShay & Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, and Rocky Boiman Among Teams Reuniting this Season
Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Todd McShay will once again work together this season, their fourth, and will welcome in McGrath on most weeks as a fourth member of the squad. Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht and Rocky Boiman team up for their third consecutive season together. Both of these groups will continue to call Saturday games airing on ESPN or ABC. Tiffany Greene and Jay Walker return as a duo this year and will call ESPNU’s HBCU telecasts.
Additional Broadcaster Teams Highlights:
- New commentating teams also include:
- Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer and Lauren Sisler (ESPN and ESPN2)
- Anish Shroff and Ahmad Brooks team up again and welcome Kris Budden, who was part of the SEC Network crew last season (ESPN and ESPN2)
- Returning broadcasting teams also include:
- Kevin Brown and Andre Ware (ESPN2 and ESPNU)
- Mike Corey and Rene Ingoglia (ESPN2 and ESPNU)
- Mike Couzens and Kirk Morrison (ESPN2 and ESPNU)
- SEC Network returns its Saturday Prime crew of Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers and Cole Cubelic. The remaining SEC Network teams can be found here.
- ACC Network, which will have 14 games over the first three weeks of the season following its August 22 launch date, will announce their commenting teams in the coming days.
- Longhorn Network’s two game telecasts, including Texas’ season opener on August 31, will feature Lowell Galindo, Ahmad Brooks and Taylor Davis.
- ESPN Radio will debut a new team this year — Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones and Ian Fitzsimmons.
ESPN 2019 Game Commentators
|ABC’s Saturday Night Football||Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor|
|ESPN Saturday Night Primetime||Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe|
|ESPN and ABC Saturday||Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay, Molly McGrath|
|ESPN and ABC Saturday||Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill|
|ESPN and ABC Saturday||Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky, Allison Williams|
|ESPN and ABC Saturday||Jason Benetti, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich|
|ESPN and ABC Saturday||Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek, Olivia Dekker|
|ESPN and ABC Saturday||Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman|
|ESPN Thursday||Adam Amin, Matt Hasselbeck, Molly McGrath|
|ESPN and ESPN2 Friday||Dave Flemming, Louis Riddick, Gene Chizik, Jim Mora, Paul Carcaterra
Note: Analyst will Rotate
|ESPN and ESPN2 Saturday||Anish Shroff, Ahmad Brooks, Kris Budden|
|ESPN and ESPN2 Saturday||Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer, Lauren Sisler|
|ESPN2 and ESPNU Saturday||Clay Matvick, Ryan Leaf|
|ESPN2 and ESPNU Saturday||Kevin Brown, Andre Ware|
|ESPN2 and ESPNU Saturday||Mike Corey, Rene Ingoglia|
|ESPN2 and ESPNU Saturday||Mike Couzens, Kirk Morrison|
|SEC Network Saturday Night
|Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic|
|SEC Network||Dave Neal, DJ Shockley, Dawn Davenport|
|SEC Network||Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb, Alyssa Lang|
|Longhorn Network||Lowell Galindo, Ahmad Brooks and Taylor Davis|
|ESPNU Thursday – HBCU||Tiffany Greene, Jay Walker|
|ESPN Radio||Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones and Ian Fitzsimmons
Commentating teams subject to change. Additional commentators will be used throughout the season