Could Craig James actually be leaving the broadcast booth after the 2011 college football season? Last week, Bloguin's college football site Crystal Ball Run (where I also work as an Executive Editor at Bloguin.com) received word from a source close to the situation that James plans on leaving the network at the end of the college football season to run for political office.
CBR sought comment directly from James regarding a possible political campaign and exit from ESPN. To his credit, James responded to the inquiry. Actually, he offered a classic non-denial instead of merely a "no comment." James wrote this in an e-mail statement to CBR about a possibly imminent political campaign:
"There are a significant number of strong business leaders in Texas that want me to run for office. But I love my current job and am heavily involved in college football and focused on my analyst responsibilities."
James' statement is interesting in that it leaves the door wide open for more questions to be asked about a long-rumored run for office, especially promoting his business connections in Texas. After all, even Urban Meyer flatly denied the initial reports linking him with the Ohio State job. James' comments don't confirm or refute the information given to CBR about his plans for the future.
In the last six months, AA readers have continually voiced their criticisms of the analyst. James won our Joe Morgan Memorial Tournament in a landslide to put his face on AA's Mount Rushmore and he currently leads the Pammy Awards by a mile. We've written about the ethical problems and lack of trust revolving around James several times, so maybe politics is his true calling.
Reports have been spreading for some time regarding James' interest in public office as a Republican candidate. James himself has made no secret about his desire to save the country. His organization "Texans For A Better America" was seen by many as a prelude to a run for office and this video reeks of a campaign ad. In early August, James said this regarding a future political candidacy according to The Hill:
"It's been on my radar for two years. And I've gone around the state and I've listened to people," James said on the "Coffee and Markets" podcast published on the conservative blog RedState. "I do believe right now it's too early to make that decision. In the state of Texas, no one's paying attention to the U.S. Senate race right now other than the hardcores. And I believe that somewhere late in the fall, it will become important and people will start paying attention."
James' name has been associated with the US Senate seat held by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is not running for re-election in 2012. The deadline for candidates to file in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate race in Texas appears to be January 1, so a departure around the end of the bowl season would make sense. We'll be following this story closely and will seek more information as it becomes available.
A shoutout to the entire Crystal Ball Run staff for their work on this story.
"I've always thought that this game of football is so fun. One play can make a difference in a series, which can make a difference in a game." - Matt Millen with some real hard-hitting analysis
From @NewUserName19 @awfulannouncing 4th Q - Rutgers/Pitt - Pam Ward: "Pittsburgh starting to pick up some chunky gains"
From @dww1992 "This is why Lamar miller averages eight and a half carries per touch." -Craig James
"You have to read the play, then you have to play football" ~Matt Millen -- You have no idea how often I get upset when teams read the play and then play soccer!
"Plrenty of time and four timeouts" - Mike Patrick late in the Miami/Virginia Tech game when Virginia Tech was driving for the go-ahead TD.
Color analyst Keith Jones during the Clemson/BC game was describing Eagle LB Kevin Pierre-Louis..."He goes 6'1" 212 Yards." Pierre-Louis actually goes 221...That's a DD (Double Down/Double Dyslexia, however you want to describe it) for Jones.
Chris Fowler, during the Gameday introduction in Dallas: "The Cotton Bowl will be filled up, half burnt orange, half crimson. An atmosphere unlike any other. It feels like a home team for both games."
Pam Ward: "If you like defensive struggles, you'll think this is a beautiful thing." How about "bad football"? #Rutgers #Pitt
From @jhokanson Danielson: "There's an old saying, if the receiver is even, he's got him beatin'.
"Brad Wing tried to take flight, as he spread his wings at the 5" -Verne Lundquist (continues to amaze me with his stupid comments)
From @ZachJohnsonGI: Thinking their mics were off...Beth Mowins,"Yowtch,"....Mike Bellotti, "run the ball to run out the clock." LOL
"Oklahoma is in the Texas side of the football field." - Kirk Herbstreit before Oklahoma's 1st & 10 from their own 20 late in the first half.
Brent Musberger "You and I can participate in that ( going to the local pub) tonight in a promo for games tonight."