Nominations for Best and Worst CFB Commentator

I’m wanting to set up at least two polls (best and worst and perhaps others) for those people whose jobs would seem to require some objectivity coupled with above average knowledge of the College Football scene as it exists in the present moment.

Obviously their network or publication thought enough of them to hire them, but do we as fans think that was wise?

Rather than trying to locate every name that might fit the description of “commentator” by some definition, I thought we could just see who all gets to the top of such lists by asking the people most likely to vote in such a poll.

I’ll start with one each:

Best - Joe Tessitore
Worst - Kirk Herbstreit

Name as many as you like! This could get messy, but hopefully less messy than naming everybody who sits behind or holds a microphone or hammers on a keyboard.

I don’t mind Herbstreit. He’s certainly knowledgeable, and I think he brings a lot to the telecast.

Keith Jackson is far and away the best college football announcer EVER. Of course, he’d have to go in the “emeritus” category now … I’m still waiting for somebody to pick up his torch and go. Oh, those days of Jackson and Darrell Royal … or Ara Parseghian. Good times.

Brent Musberger is pretty darn hokey for my taste. I can take him or leave him, but I think I’d prefer to leave him most of the time.

I always thought Pam Ward was awful, and I’m glad to see ABC/ESPN has taken her off college football duties this year. And it’s not just because she’s a woman … I think Beth Mowins does a decent job.

Matt Millen … he’s almost as bad an analyst for ESPN college football as he was a general manager for the Lions. And that’s really bad.

I will have to think some more about other names. Heck, it’s only June … my brain isn’t quite into football mode yet, although I’m getting close.

(Blatant brag mode - I do radio play by play for high school football here in my local area, so I can pretend I have some standards to judge by.)

There’s a pretty good list to refresh your memory perhaps at

Okay. I can understand the lack of enthusiasm for this topic but before you jettison the entire idea, give some thought to the ideas expressed at


Assembling a Selection Committee: The Right Group to Decide CFB’s Postseason
By Adam Kramer(Featured Columnist) on June 21, 2012

There’s perhaps some worry that ESPN may have a big say in those selections. For me, that would be worse than what we have!

Best: Kirk Herbstreit. He’s simply an excellent color announcer with a great knowledge of the game.
Worst: Keith Jackson. He was the Joe Maddon of college football.

Others:

Bob Davie. As much as I hated him as an ND coach, he’s a pretty good announcer.

Mark May. He’s the worst kind of sports broadcaster. Everyone knows these guys have to be contrarians. But he’s an extremely predictable contrarian, making him just plain boring. He doesn’t add anything substantial to the pre-game.

Tom Hammond (the Notre Dame NBC guy). Terrible. He’s as stale as the 1:00pm broadcast he’s on every Saturday. Thankfully the Irish have thrown in some night games to mix it up a bit, but couldn’t they at least rotate in a decent announcer?

Kevin Harlan. He rarely gets assigned to a college game, but I think he’s one of the best football announcers in the business.

Bad: I can’t think of who it is right now, but that guy that’s an Oregon homer. You know… he thinks the Ducks walk on water with every play. Goodness, he’s annoying.

Good: The old white hair guy from ABC. Don’t know if he’s still around.

Agreed that Herbstreit is among the best. One of the few that doesn’t dumb everything down, explain how strategic decisions always involve tradeoffs, and does more than just look at results.

Jackson was great for entirely different reasons; he was a talking comic book, but a fun one.

Like Davie. Can’t stand Musberger. Mark May is horrible; Holtz looks so much better when he’s next to Mark May.

Does Brian Baldinger do any college? That guy makes me change the channel.
Pam Ward … well they named the award for her for a reason.

Worst: Brent Musberger. I can’t describe how much I hate him. Everything about him is like nails on a chalkboard.

The worst thing about him is that they reserve the better games for him and Herbstreit to cover. I mute those games.

I’m surprised Verne Lundquist has escaped comment so far.

I KNOW! I will never understand why that smarmy, mushy-mouthed pooface is considered a good announcer, let alone part of their “A” team. There are tons of announcers that do mediocre or sub-par jobs but who don’t make me want to claw my ears out when I hear them. Why can’t they use one of them?

They have to know where the bodies are buried, is my only guess.