My wife likes to joke that Chris, Kirk and Lee of ESPN GameDay moves in with us in late August and refuses to leave until early January. There’s a lot of truth to that statement. When you stop and think about it, the television personalities that invade our homes during college football season play a big role in our enjoyment of the game. There are those that we love to hate, those that we love to look at and some that actually make intelligent conversation.
I’ve given it some thought and come up with my top ten favorite college football television personalities. They are ranked in no particular order. These are the people who play a big role in making college football great. On Friday, I’ll share my list of the 10 least favorite college football television personalities. How does my list compare to yours?
- Chris Fowler - He’s hands down the best studio host in the history of college football. In a lot of ways, he’s the voice of college football, coming into our homes to kickoff the college football weekend each Saturday morning. Fowler is without question the most talented of the three ESPN GameDay personalities.
- Rece Davis - He’s an Alabama graduate and one of the best. His College Football Final show on ESPN at midnight Saturday is mandated viewing for all true fans. He works more than any other studio host, doing live cut-ins from early afternoon to after midnight. Should Fowler leave, Davis is next in line for his seat.
- Erin Andrews - She’s hands down the best looking person to ever grace a college football sideline. This Florida graduate gets better looking each year. She’s the only person on the planet that can make a Vanderbilt-Miss State game must see TV.
- Todd Blackledge - Who would have guessed that a former Penn State quarterback could become an SEC favorite? He’s the best color analyst in the game and his Todd’s Taste of the Town turns good, hole in the wall restaurants into major tourist attractions around the country.
- Vern Lundquist - Admittedly, Lundquist is an acquired taste. For the first two or three seasons on CBS Sports he was a train wreck. He’s still not great today. But now that he’s been around for so long, it’s hard to imagine him not calling games on Saturday afternoon. As for his partner, Gary Danielson, that’s another story completely.
- Ron Franklin - The biggest mistake ESPN ever made was taking Franklin away from the Saturday night SEC broadcasts. For my money, he’s the best play-by-play man in the business when it comes to the SEC. The Ole Miss graduate is rarely seen these days, often being relegated to second-tier games on ABC Sports.
- Tim Brando - The Louisiana native brings college football to the mainstream with his weekly national radio show and continues to anchor CBS Sports coverage of the SEC. His stock has dropped in the last year because of weekly appearances on The Paul Finebaum Radio Show. More than once, he’s lost his cool with callers and seems reluctant to accept the changing media landscape.
- Bonnie Bernstein - Not as widely known as Andrews, Bernstein made her way over to college football on ESPN after a stint as a sideline reporter for CBS Sports. The Maryland graduate has the brains and the football knowledge to go with her incredibly good looks.
- Lee Corso - The man everyone loves to hate gave fans a scare this off-season when he suffered a mild stroke. Sure his logic is nuts and his picks are rarely on target, but College GameDay would just be another show without him. Let’s hope he’s around for many years to come.
- Brent Musburger - If the phrase, “You are looking live,” doesn’t send chills down your back then you are not a true college football fan. Musburger stepped in for legendary play-by-play man Keith Jackson a few years ago and has kept the ABC Sports franchise going strong. Let’s hope the new SEC contract with ESPN means more opportunities for Musburger to call games down South.