Commentator Teams Announced for ESPN’s Exclusive Coverage of the College Football Playoff, New Year’s Six, and Complete 35-Game Bowl Slate

College Football

Commentator Teams Announced for ESPN’s Exclusive Coverage of the College Football Playoff, New Year’s Six, and Complete 35-Game Bowl Slate

 

  • CFP Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual:
    • Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor and Tom Rinaldi
  • CFP Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and Allstate Sugar Bowl:
    • Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe for Both; Laura Rutledge Joins Trio for the CFP Semifinal
  • Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic:
    • Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek and Olivia Dekker
  • Capital One Orange Bowl:
    • Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay and Molly McGrath
  • Bowl Season Begins Friday, Dec. 20, Continues through Monday, Jan. 6
  • ESPN Radio Broadcasts 22 Bowl Games; ESPN Deportes 12 Games; ESPN3 Streams Trophy Presentations

ESPN’s postseason college football coverage is highlighted by the exclusive presentation of the College Football Playoff, which begins with the Semifinals on Saturday, Dec. 28. The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will feature No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (4 p.m. ET) from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. The Peach Bowl precedes the CFP Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Clemson (8 p.m.) from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. The winners will play in the CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T (8 p.m.) from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Monday, Jan. 13.

All three games will air on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, with alternate telecasts available across ESPN’s other networks. ESPN Radio will broadcast all three games.  

ESPN’s entire 35-game bowl slate begins Friday, Dec. 20, and adds to more than 1,000 games already carried across ESPN’s platforms this year. Each of the College Football Playoff, New Year’s Six and bowl games will be called by broadcasting teams comprised of respected voices, accomplished former players and intrepid reporters, all who have documented the 2019 regular season.

Additional production details for both the College Football Playoff and the New Year’s Six will be announced in the coming days

Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit Call PlayStation Fiesta Bowl; Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge on Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
In the broadcasting booth, Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will call the Fiesta Bowl, while Sean McDonough and Todd Blackledge team up for the Peach Bowl. Fowler, Herbstreit and Blackledge have called a CFP Semifinal all six years of the system, with Fowler and Herbstreit working together in each of those years. McDonough is calling his second consecutive CFP Semifinal with Blackledge.

Veteran Reporters Maria Taylor and Tom Rinaldi in Arizona; Holly Rowe and Laura Rutledge in Atlanta
ESPN will utilize reporters Maria Taylor and Tom Rinaldi at the Fiesta Bowl, their third and sixth CFP Semifinal, respectively. At the Peach Bowl, Holly Rowe and Laura Rutledge will report, also their sixth and third, respectively. Taylor will be with Clemson, Rinaldi reports on Ohio State, while Rowe is with LSU and Rutledge has Oklahoma.

CFP Semifinal Commentators to Call the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual and Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day
Fowler, Herbstreit, Taylor and Rinaldi will head to Pasadena to call the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual between No. 6 Oregon and No. 8 Wisconsin (5 p.m.), and McDonough, Blackledge, and Rowe travel to New Orleans for the Allstate Sugar Bowl featuring No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 7 Baylor (8:30 p.m.) on New Year’s Day. At the Rose Bowl, Taylor will report on the Ducks and Rinaldi on the Badgers.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and Capital One Orange Bowl Complete Presentation of New Year’s Six
ESPN’s presentation of the New Year’s Six will begin with the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between No. 16 Memphis and No. 10 Penn State (noon) on Saturday, Dec. 28, which will lead into the CFP Semifinals. The Capital One Orange Bowl between No. 9 Florida and No. 24 Virginia (8 p.m.) on Monday, Dec. 30, will precede the New Year’s Day bowls and follow the CFP Semifinals.

Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek and Olivia Dekker will call the Nittany Lions-Tigers matchup, with Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay and Molly McGrath on the Gators-Cavaliers.

ESPN Radio Commentators for the CFP Semifinals
Levy, Griese, McShay and McGrath will also call the CFP Semifinal at the Peach Bowl on ESPN Radio, while Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones and Ian Fitzsimmons call the Fiesta Bowl for the network. ESPN Radio will broadcast all New Year’s Six games, with complete assignments included below.

ESPN Bowl Schedule Consists of 35 Games, Many Highlights
ESPN Bowl schedule will see 35 games played in a 17-day window. Among the highlights:

  • ESPN Owned and Operated Bowls:
    • Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
    • Celebration Bowl
    • Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
    • Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl
    • TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl
    • Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl
    • Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl
    • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
    • SoFi Hawai‘i Bowl
    • Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
    • Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl
    • New Mexico Bowl
    • Camellia Bowl
    • SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
  • Viva Las Vegas: Herbstreit calls the Las Vegas Bowl featuring No. 19 Boise State vs. Washington with Bob Wischusen and Molly McGrath, airing in primetime (7:30 p.m.) on Saturday, Dec. 21 on ABC
  • New Year’s Day:
    • Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy and Tom Luginbill call the Vrbo Citrus Bowl between No. 14 Michigan vs. No. 13 Alabama (1 p.m.) on ABC
    • Jason Benetti, Rod Gilmore and Quint Kessenich call the Outback Bowl featuring No. 18 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Auburn (1 p.m.) on ESPN
  • First-Time Matchup: Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky and Allison Williams call the Camping World Bowl between 15 Notre Dame vs. Iowa State (noon) who are playing each other for the first time, December 28 on ABC.
  • Alma Mater: Ryan Leaf will make his ESPN bowl debut calling his alma mater as Washington State plays Air Force in the Cheez-It Bowl (10:15 p.m.) Friday, Dec. 27 on ESPN. Leaf teams with Clay Matvick on the call.
  • Multiplatform: ESPN Radio will broadcast 22 games; ESPN Deportes airs 12 games.

ESPN Carries Championship Games from Multiple Levels of College Football
ESPN has exclusive coverage of the NCAA Division I Football Championship, including the NCAA FCS Championship game on January 11 on ABC (noon). ESPNU will televise the Division III Football Championship on December 20 (8 p.m.) and the Division II Football Championship on December 21 (3 p.m.). The NAIA Football Championship will be streamed on ESPN3, also on December 21 (7 p.m.).

ESPN 2019-20 Bowl Season

Date Time (ET) Matchup/Commentators Network
Fri, Dec 20 2 p.m. Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl
Buffalo vs. Charlotte Steve Levy, Greg McElroy, Dianna Russini
ESPN
  7:30 p.m. Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl
Utah State vs. Kent State Anish Shroff, John Congemi, Kris Budden
ESPN2
Sat, Dec 21 Noon Celebration Bowl
Alcorn State vs. North Carolina A&T Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek/Jay Walker, Roddy Jones/Tiffany Greene
ABC
  2 p.m. New Mexico Bowl
Central Michigan vs. San Diego State Clay Matvick, Ryan Leaf, Dr. Jerry PunchRadio: Dave Neal, DJ Shockley, Dawn Davenport
ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio
  3:30 p.m. Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl
SMU vs. Florida Atlantic Tom Hart, Joey Galloway, Pat McAfeeRadio: Dave LaMont, Rene Ingoglia, Ed Aschoff
ABC and ESPN Radio
  5:30 p.m. Camellia Bowl
Florida International vs. Arkansas State Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb, Alyssa LangRadio: Kevin Winter, Ben Hartsock, Brad Edwards
ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio
  7:30 p.m. Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl
No. 19 Boise State vs. Washington Bob Wischusen, Kirk Herbstreit, Molly McGrath
ABC
  9 p.m. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
No. 20 Appalachian State vs. UAB Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky BoimanRadio: Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN and ESPN Radio
Mon, Dec 23 2:30 p.m. Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
UCF vs. Marshall Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer, Lauren Sisler
ESPN
Tue, Dec 24 8 p.m. SoFi Hawai’i Bowl
Hawaii vs. BYU Jason Benetti, Rod Gilmore, Quint KessenichRadio: Kevin Winter, Brad Edwards/Trevor Matich
ESPN and ESPN Radio
Thu, Dec 26 4 p.m. Walk-On’s Independence Bowl
Louisiana Tech vs. Miami Wes Durham, Roddy Jones, Eric Wood
ESPN, ESPN Deportes
8 p.m. Quick Lane Bowl
Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan Mike Corey, Rene Ingoglia, Allison Williams
ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Fri, Dec 27 Noon Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman North Carolina vs. Temple
Mike Couzens, Kirk Morrison, Kelsey RiggsRadio: Kevin Winter, Ben Hartsock/Brad Edwards
ESPN and ESPN Radio
  3:20 p.m. New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Michigan State vs. Wake Forest Adam Amin, Matt Hasselbeck, Paul CarcaterraRadio: Chris Carlin, Jack Ford, CJ Papa
ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio
  6:45 p.m. Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
No. 25 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M Kevin Brown, Andre Ware, Alyssa LangRadio: Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb, Taylor Davis
ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio
  10:15 p.m. Cheez-It Bowl
Air Force vs. Washington State Clay Matvick, Ryan Leaf, Cole CubelicRadio: Mark Neely, Tom Ramsey, Taylor McGregor
ESPN/ESPN Radio
Sat, Dec 28 Noon Camping World Bowl
No. 15 Notre Dame vs. Iowa State Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky, Allison WilliamsRadio: Dave Flemming, Tim Hasselbeck, Katie George
ABC/ESPN Radio
  Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
No. 16 Memphis vs. No. 10 Penn State Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek, Olivia DekkerRadio: Brad Sham, Jordan Rodgers, Kris Budden
ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio
  4 p.m. College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 LSUSean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe/Laura RutledgeRadio: Steve Levy, Brian Griese/Todd McShay, Molly McGrath
ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio
  8 p.m. College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 2 Ohio StateChris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor/Tom RinaldiRadio: Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio
Mon, Dec 30 12:30 p.m. SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan Dave Neal, DJ Shockley, Dawn Davenport
ESPN
  4 p.m. Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Mississippi State vs. Louisville
Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole CubelicRadio: Dave O’Brien, Mike Golic Jr, Jerry Punch
ESPN and ESPN Radio
  8 p.m. Capital One Orange Bowl
No. 9 Florida vs. No. 24 Virginia  Steve Levy, Brian Griese , Todd McShay/Molly McGrathRadio: Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN and ESPN Radio
Tue, Dec 31 Noon Belk Bowl
Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky BoimanRadio: Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich, Kelsey Riggs
ESPN and ESPN Radio
  3:45 p.m. AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Navy vs. Kansas State Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer, Lauren SislerRadio: Bill Roth, Dustin Fox, Taylor Davis
ESPN and ESPN Radio
  7:30 p.m. Valero Alamo Bowl
No. 11 Utah vs. Texas Dave Flemming, Louis Riddick, Paul CarcaterraRadio: Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic
ESPN and ESPN Radio
Wed, Jan 1 1 p.m. Vrbo Citrus Bowl
No. 14 Michigan vs. No. 13 Alabama Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom LuginbillRadio: Adam Amin, Matt Hasselbeck, Molly McGrath
ABC and ESPN Radio
  Outback Bowl
No. 18 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Auburn Jason Benetti, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich
ESPN
  5 p.m. Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual
No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Wisconsin Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor/Tom RinaldiRadio: Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky, Allison Williams
ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio
  8:45 p.m. Allstate Sugar Bowl
No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 7 Baylor Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Holly RoweRadio: Sean Kelley, Barrett Jones, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio
Thu, Jan 2 3 p.m. TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl
Boston College vs. No. 21 Cincinnati Kevin Brown, Andre Ware, Dawn Davenport
ESPN
7 p.m. TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
Indiana vs. Tennessee Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck, Katie George
ESPN
Fri, Jan 3 3:30 p.m. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Ohio vs. NevadaAnish Shroff, John Congemi, Kris Budden
ESPN
Sat, Jan 4 11:30 a.m. Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Southern Mississippi vs. Tulane Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich, Kelsey Riggs
ESPN
Mon, Jan 6 7:30 p.m. LendingTree Bowl
Louisiana vs. Miami (Ohio) Dave LaMont, Gene Chizik, Lauren Sisler
ESPN

Networks and Commentators are subject to change

Capital One Bowl Mania Contest
College football fans can compete to win more than $1 million and a trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship in Miami, FL, for the 2020 season by entering the Capital One Bowl Mania contest on ESPN.com and the ESPN Fantasy App. Fans can pick the winner of all 41 college football bowl games straight up or ranked by confidence 1 through 41, with 1 being the least confident selection. Picks must be made only once and players can compete in up to 10 groups with friends, family or colleagues.

 

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

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Derek Volner

I work in college sports, which includes football and basketball, with an emphasis on Olympic Sports. Additionally, I handle ESPN’s coverage of high school athletics and recruiting.
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