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Countdown to Coverage: College Football’s Best National Sports Radio Show

“If you can keep fanbases of multiple teams playing for wildly different stakes engaged with the same conversation, you are doing something right.”

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College football season is nearly here.

Forget last Saturday. It’s called Week 0 for a reason. Do you really want to believe the first game of the 2022 season was 3-9 Northwestern and 3-9 Nebraska playing halfway around the world?

Here at Barrett Sports Media, we are celebrating college football from a media angle. All week long, our editors and resident college football superfans, Arky Shea, Demetri Ravanos and Garrett Searight, will be looking at the best the media has to offer in terms of college football coverage.

The entire schedule is as follows:

MONDAY: Best Local Show

TUESDAY: Best National Radio Show

WEDNESDAY: Best College Football Podcast

THURSDAY: Best TV Show

FRIDAY: Best TV Play-by-Play Booth

The national college football conversation is all about the headliners. Who has the most unique way of saying “Alabama is good”? Who can deliver a take so well-thought-out and nuanced that you walk away convinced that Kirby Smart just may be on the hot seat?

College football, like Star Wars, happens across vast geography with storylines that are only loosely connected. If you can keep fanbases of multiple teams playing for wildly different stakes engaged with the same conversation, you are doing something right.

Here are our choices for the best nationally syndicated sports radio shows covering college football.

THE PAUL FINEBAUM SHOW by Arky Shea

You are allowed to say whatever you want about The Paul Finebaum Show but unless it’s a compliment, it’s going to fall on deaf ears with me. Finebaum is who introduced me to sports talk radio over twenty years ago and I absolutely see how he is still a powerhouse today. No one is more for the fans of college football than Paul Finebaum and his show. No one talks to more fans of college football than Paul Finebaum. The rapid pulse of the sport is measured in sound bytes recorded on his airwaves.

Finebaum has long been a very good interviewer that asks the most important questions a wandering mind might fancy. He’s also a very funny, self-deprecating host. His flare is for taking the listeners on a ride with the callers being the driver. He allows for the caller, the college football fan, to scream all of their most passionate battle cries without judgment while maneuvering them alongside callers of their rivals, all in attempt to show that this sport, college football, is NOTHING without its fans. It’s genius radio and a doorway for those unaware of the constant hustle, that is daily, to be a fan of a team in the South.

THE DA SHOW by Garrett Searight

In a radio world hyper-polarized by roughly 4 teams per league — outside of the NFL — The DA Show bucks all the trends. Damon Amendolara doesn’t subscribe to the theory that you should only talk about the Lakers, Warriors, Nets, and Celtics, just like he doesn’t believe college football talk should only be about Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, and USC.

Many will say you shouldn’t have an interview with Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson or Tennessee’s Josh Huepel. “Nobody is talking about them. They’re not relevant nationally,” is the argument frequently given. Well, they’re not relevant nationally because nobody is talking about them. So DA talks about college football as a whole, not just the power players, and interviews more coaches than anyone. If you’re a college football fan, not just a fan of a team or a conference, The DA Show is a must-listen during the football season.

THE HERD by Demetri Ravanos

Colin Cowherd talks to big names and he asks unique questions. What more do you want from a national sports radio show when it covers college football? He gives opinions that are interesting, maybe not always right, but interesting. Isn’t that valuable in a sport where being right has meant picking Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia or Clemson every week of every year?

Colin may not talk about everything in the world of college football, but it is so clear that he likes the sport a lot. And I really like that in a time when everyone is bemoaning so much change, he is asking people to justify and explain their bitching. He is the one national voice that genuinely likes college football that isn’t constantly telling me that the sport is about to go down the toilet.

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1 Comment

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    JD

    September 4, 2022 at 8:51 am

    What about Nick Kostos on BetQL?

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Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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