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Could College GameDay Lose Kirk Herbstreit After 2022?

“This column is not a criticism at all. It is more of a therapy session.”

Demetri Ravanos

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A new college football season is here and that means we are in Comin’ to Your Ci-tay season. I poke fun at College GameDay and its god-awful soundtrack regularly, but I would be lying if I tried to convince you that I don’t genuinely like the show. It has been part of my Saturday morning routine for decades at this point. That is why I come into this season with some trepidation.

If you are a college football fan, you have been living with the reality that any season could be the last one for Lee Corso on the show. A recent study from The Athletic’s Chris Vannini confirmed what we all know: no one wants to see the coach go. But the reality is that he is 87 years old. At some point, he won’t be on the show anymore.

This season, we enter uncharted territory. What if this is Kirk Herbstreit’s last year on College GameDay?

ESPN has always asked a lot of Herbie on Saturdays. There is a reason that College GameDay is sponsored by a rent-a-jet company. Getting from the site of a top-five SEC matchup Ann Arbor for the Michigan/Penn State game ABC is obligated to carry in prime time requires precise logistic planning on the part of ESPN and a dedication to a lack of rest from Herbstreit.

Now, we add the wrinkle of Amazon’s Thursday Night Football to the mix. I have no doubt Herbstreit will succeed in the NFL calling games alongside Al Michaels. They already scored rave reviews in their preseason debut.

My concern is just how long will he want to maintain this insane go-go-go schedule.

Who knows? Maybe Kirk Herbstreit is looking down the road and thinking “I won’t have to spend Saturday afternoons in the air traveling from Tuscaloosa to Iowa City for much longer. I can deal with it for another year.”

But maybe one year of living on the road is enough. Maybe the Saturday commitment makes it harder to prepare for Thursday or vice versa.

Kirk Herbstreit is a pro. I am not demanding you declare him the greatest football analyst in the history of television, but no one can deny that 1 – he is very good at what he does and 2 – being that good requires he dedicate a lot of time to studying game film, scouting reports and other materials provided to him.

College football will always be my favorite sport. You can put a game between the Buccaneers (the NFL team I grew up rooting for) and the Saints (the team I kinda hate the most) on one screen and a meaningless MAC game on another, and I cannot honestly say the Bucs would have my undivided attention.

I love college football. I want the best for college football. I think when it comes to game analysts, Herbstreit is undeniably the best.

But my fear is that if Herbie starts to feel burnout setting in, it will be college football that is sacrificed. After all, what more does he have to prove to the Saturday audience?

He and Corso have been the anchors of College GameDay for the entirety of my adult life. He has been in the primary ABC college football booth, first with Brent Musburger and now with Chris Fowler, since 2006 and has called the majority of National Championship Games in that timespan. Hell, he was one of the signature voices of EA Sports’ NCAA Football video game series! What on Earth is there left for him to do as a college football broadcaster?

Maybe I am not giving Kirk enough credit. Maybe he is a machine that not only loves the work, but actually needs it. Maybe staying busy doesn’t give him time to realize how tired he is mid-season.

Or maybe there is a happy medium. He could experience some level of burnout and find relief by giving up Saturday night games in order to still be on the GameDay set every Saturday morning. I know that is what I would prefer in the event something absolutely HAS to give.

The fact is, if Kirk Herbstreit needs some relief by season’s end and is ready to move on from College GameDay, ESPN has a two-fold problem. First, the show loses one of its two icons. Second, how do you replace Kirk Herbstreit on that show?

Desmond Howard’s star has risen to the point that he is seen as equally knowledgable and nearly as integral to the show’s structure. David Pollack has proven that he is a pro and knows how to create fun on set. They are both very capable, but neither are going to be able to assume the place that Herbstreit holds in college football fans’ minds. They have been the support players for too long. It would be like going to see Queen now. Sure, everyone else is there, but without Freddie Mercury, it doesn’t even really feel like Queen.

This column is not a criticism at all. It is more of a therapy session. I want Kirk to succeed in everything he does. He is such an important part of my favorite sport that it is impossible to root against him, even when I completely disagree with what he is saying.

‘mI don’t want to think about a college football world without Kirk Herbstreit in it, or even with less Kirk Herbstreit in it, but in my role with BSM, that is kind of part of what I get paid to do.

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

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Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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