The SEC Network has finalized their staff for the upcoming football season. It’s an impressive group that includes two Heisman Trophy winners, six All-American first team awards, eight All-SEC first team awards, four National Championships, six SEC Championships, five NFL first round picks and two Super Bowl rings.
Each Saturday we’re going to have “SEC Nation” which is the SEC Network’s version of College Gameday. It will be hosted by Joe Tessitore, Tim Tebow and Booger McFarland….and Paul Finebaum will be featured too. With this new start to Saturdays in the fall I don’t see the need to ever watch College Gameday again. This show will broadcast from each of the 14 schools this year – so it will come to Starkville!
Joe Tessitore is going to pull a Kirk Herbstreit and fly to another location to do play-by-play from a game but it won’t be a SEC Network game. Here are the broadcast pairings:
- Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer
- Dave Neal and Andre Ware
- Tom Hart and Matt Stinchcomb
If you’ve been a sports fan over the last 35-40 years you know exactly who Brent Musburger is. He begins the final chapter of his career likely on the prime time game of the SEC Network. One has to assume Dave Neal will continue his tradition that dates back into the mid-90s of broadcasting the 11:30 games – he has been teaming with Andre Ware for the last five years. Tom Hart does wear pastel colored pants but he’s pretty knowledgeable – if you’re a Braves fan you recognize him from his in-game reporting on FSN telecasts; Stinchcomb has been doing ESPNU games for a few years now.
Other notable SEC Network staff will include Greg McElroy, Marcus Spears and Kaylee Hurtung (who you may remember from her sideline reporting during the 2013 College World Series).
Tim Brando announced about a month ago that he had agreed to a deal with the network but the contract hadn’t been signed yet, only to accept a deal with Fox Sports about a week later. This comes as no surprise when you consider Brando’s ego. While there’s no denying he is a part of the fabric of the SEC, I can’t say I’m disappointed by his lack of presence on this network or CBS.
Last but not least is Tony Barnhart, Mr. College Football. I think of Barnhart as Tim Brando with only 50% of the ego which makes him much more tolerable….and I’m glad he’ll be apart of the new network. Probably my favorite SEC sports TV show was Talkin’ Football on CSS which aired for the last five or six years – Barnhart was on that show and delivered interesting news and tidbits that I enjoyed. He knows college football and the SEC through and through and is as well-connected as any reporter can be.
It all starts on August 14th. C’mon DirecTV!