ESPN is dropping the Coaches Film Room from its mega cast coverage of the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night. Instead, viewers of ESPNEWS will see Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, and Booger McFarland as part of the MNF Film Room.
The Coaches Film Room has been one of the most popular subjects on Twitter since the broadcast was first rolled out. The semifinals featured Mack Brown’s final game on ESPN before leaving for North Carolina, Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson, recently retired Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, and Memphis’s Mike Norvel for the Cotton Bowl, and Boston College’s Steve Addazio, Arizona State’s Herm Edwards, Boise State’s Bryan Harsin, and TCU’s Gary Patterson for the Orange Bowl.
Two significant factors in the decision could be timing and ratings. The availability of top name coaches is affected by the American Football Coaches Association conference, which usually happens around the National Championship Game. Also for all of its hype on Twitter, the Coaches Film Room is not a ratings winner for ESPN.
This could be a cost cutting measure. It could be the network finding another spot to promote its embattled Monday Night crew. Booger McFarland did split time as a college football and NFL analyst for ESPN last season. Joe Tessitore was the play-by-play partner for Todd Blackledge last season on the network’s primetime college football crew. It’s not like these guys are so far removed from the college game that they can’t jump back in. Still though, the loss of the Coaches Film Room is already uniting social media in grief.