Feel the excitement AA, because we are officially one step closer to the Pammies! Today, ESPN released their college football announcing assignments for the upcoming season. Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit are back as the A team on ABC Saturday Night Football along with Erin Andrews. Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge stay put on ESPN's primetime game. Below are all the announcer pairings for ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU and then some thoughts on the pairings and the changes after the jump.
***Update: Evidently ESPN made a slight boo-boo with the initial announcement. The one and only Pam Ward won't be working with Danny Kanell. Kanell will team with Rob Stone while Matt Stinchcomb gets a nice parting gift on his way back to the ESPNU studio. Instead, Pam will be joined by former Colorado coach Dan Hawkins. A-ma-zing. Just imagine the possibilities with Hawkins' slightly imbalanced yet brilliant mind. Who can forget this?
Just once let me hear the words, "IT'S DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL, PAM!!"
*The namesake of the Pammies and head of AA's Mount Rushmore, Pam Ward, sticks with Danny Kanell on ESPNU afternoon games. Her old slot on ESPN2 is now filled by Beth Mowins and former Oregon coach Mike Belotti, who has now been given a full-time analyst role. Mowins' promotion was well-received around Twitter by those in the business. Time will tell whether or not this new pair gets over with college football fans.
*ESPN split up my favorite college football announcing team (and you may laugh at this), Mark Jones and Bob Davie. Cue the sad music. Ed Cunningham joins Mark Jones for the primetime ESPN2 slot and Bob Davie goes to ABC regional coverage with Bob Wischusen, also getting a bump from ESPN2. The top ABC afternoon team will be Sean McDonough and (shudder) Matt Millen. What we've done as a nation to deserve that is beyond me.
*The most intriguing team will certainly be ESPN's noon trio of Dave Pasch, defending Pammies champion Chris Spielman, and the debuting Urban Meyer. Those three will predominantly work Big Ten games and it will be interesting to see how it works out. I'm a bit of a homer in liking Spielman in the booth and I think the partnership with Meyer and Pasch has potential. If Meyer is good, I also wouldn't be surprised to see him move up the pecking order and appear for more prestigious games as the season goes on.
*And finally, the lead analyst of the underworld, Craig James, gets not one but TWO nationally televised games once again. He's on Thursday Night Football with Chris Fowler and Jesse Palmer and Saturday afternoons with Mike Patrick on ABC (who he defeated earlier this month in Round 1 of our Joe Morgan Memorial Tournament). James' continued exaltation by ESPN is maddening considering everything that has happened this summer, and the revelations about James' behavior in the Mike Leach saga. What would he have to do to get removed from ESPN's college football coverage? I'll leave that to any commenters that want to take a stab...