Ranking the Best and Worst of College Football Announcers for 2012 Season
Several aspects of the college football home viewing experience are essential.
One must have the appropriate seating—without it, the entire experience can turn into a disaster.
Food must be provided that can last the three-hour game and still taste great.
If you are watching the game with someone, it has to be a person you actually enjoy.
The television must be the correct size, batteries have to be in the remote and the DVR must be recording other contests for later.
And then there is the game itself.
A critically important aspect of the experience is the broadcast team.
This list lets you know which announcers you want to have on mute, as well as the gentlemen and ladies who will add to your experience with witty commentary, concise reporting and accurate stats.
So while you debate whether to have the nachos or the buffalo wings, take a minute to carefully consider the broadcasting talent available this season.
Best: Tom Hammond, NBC
Hammond has been the voice of Notre Dame football for some time.
He's extremely underrated as a broadcaster, always bringing an incredibly knowledgeable point of view to every broadcast, but never slowing things down with inane babble.
The only reason he is not further up this list is because he and broadcast partner Mike Mayock only cover Notre Dame home games for NBC.
Hammond keeps his calm while bringing an intensity to the game and keeping us interested.
Clearly (for the discerning fan), one of the best.
Worst: Mark Jones, ESPN
Jones is a solid NBA reporter but seems to lack the basic knowledge needed to cover college football.
At times, he seems to struggle to make routine calls involving players everybody knows, and he can appear to be at a loss.
He's not incredibly annoying, nor is he overly irritating in any way, but his call of the game lacks a flow to keep us interested.
Worst: Mike Patrick, ESPN
What does the average announcer do before a pivotal play during overtime?
Concentrate on the game, the players, the atmosphere or the drama?
If this was your answer, you are correct, unless of course, the announcer we are discussing is Mike Patrick.
The man seems to get key games—in spite of his lack of talent—and pulls stunts like talking about Britney Spears during overtime.
Enough is enough—Patrick should be relegated to the Kalamazoo softball league, ASAP.
Worst: Craig Bolerjack, Joel Klatt, Petros Papadakis, FSN/FX
Some people like Bolerjack, and some hate him.
He spent several years announcing for CBS when they had SEC doubleheaders, and just never seemed to quite pull it off with the panache we might have liked him to display.
Joel Klatt is average, but this team is really pulled down by Papadakis.
The man is boisterous, crude and sometimes clueless, and probably will do just fine as a sideline reporter.
We can all be thankful that we only have to catch occasional glimpses of this guy and that he is not a large part of our viewing experience.
Best: Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe, ESPN
Sometimes, the success of a broadcast team is largely a product of that team's chemistry.
And I mean that in a strictly platonic way.
Nessler and Blackledge have that chemistry that not all announcers have.
Holly Rowe is great whenever she gets time on camera, and is intelligent, well informed, smart and entertaining.
This ability to entertain, inform and analyze has earned this team a spot on ESPN's primetime coverage on Saturdays.
Worst: Rod Gilmore, ESPN
Gilmore, as an analyst, is not the best ESPN has to offer.
He sometimes leaves us wondering if we are watching the same game, and he repeats himself unnecessarily.
During South Carolina's bowl game last season, after Alshon Jeffery was ejected, Gilmore must have mentioned the ejection eight times, each time as if it was the first time he had let us know the man was out of the game.
When he stops repeating himself and actually pays attention to the game, he's pretty solid, but that doesn't happen very often.
Best: Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, CBS
I get that some people don't like Gary Danielson, but he's always seemed a more than competent guy to me.
Lundquist has a knack for letting the game speak for itself, not dominating the broadcast and overshadowing the actual event.
The duo calls the premiere game every week for the premiere conference in America—the SEC—and deserves kudos for pulling this off with considerable flair and panache.
There are few announcers that have this duo's skill and experience, and it shows every week.
Best: Beth Mowins, ESPN
While Pam Ward was the first lady to knock down the door for female college football broadcasters, Mowins is the best to ever call a game.
Mowins does a great job describing what is happening in the game, clearly, and with a style all her own.
She also does this without sounding like Marv Albert, unlike another female announcers, who shall remain nameless.
If you haven't heard her yet, make it a point to check her out on ESPN's Saturday action.
Best: Rece Davis, ESPN
I'm really looking forward to hearing not only from Davis, but also from his entire team: Jesse Palmer, David Pollack and Samantha Steele.
Davis has some of the most spot-on analyses and insight into the game today, and he has an uncanny ability to actually add to the broadcast coverage of a game rather than detract, as many do.
Together with Palmer, Pollack and Steele, this group has the potential to become one of the best working any game on Saturdays.
Worst: Pam Ward, ESPN
Alas, Pam Ward is gone from ESPN's coverage of college football.
Problems, such as her lack of respect for an injured player, may have precipitated her departure.
While she was a pioneer for women in the field, as the first female announcer to cover the sport, she had a hard time garnering a fan base and has been relegated to ESPN's early Saturday coverage in recent seasons.
Best of luck to her in her future, and let's move on...
Best: Gus Johnson, Fox
Johnson is one of the best all-around sports announcer there is.
His appeal lies in the fact that he relates to the average fan.
At the points where we get excited, Johnson is blowing his gasket, yet he still manages to remain strangely unbiased.
Last season, he called games for Fox, and is again this season.
With more moments such as his call of this pivotal play in the Big Ten title game, his legend continues to grow.
Best: Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN
Calling the prime time game for ESPN on ABC every week is a huge tribute to this team's football knowledge and announcing acumen.
The classic voice of the great Brent Musburger, coupled with the exuberance and insight of Herbstreit keeps us entertained, regardless of which teams are on the field.
Musburger is more than experienced, and has now anchored the prime time game for ABC since 2006.
His "down home" style and ability to bring the game to the level of the viewer make him the best there is.
You would be hard pressed, in spite of Herbstreit's Ohio State affiliation, to find an instance where these two display an unprofessional bias.
The duo's call of Michigan State's thrilling win over Wisconsin is an example of how good they really are.