Forget FS1! Fox is mounting a challenge to ESPN’s College Gameday, and it is going to do it on network television.
The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand says the network has put together a cast that sources claim it feels represent the “Mount Rushmore of college football over the last fifteen years.” Maybe it could be more accurately called a “Mount Rushmore of college football over the last fifteen years if Nick Saban didn’t exist.”
Taking the places of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt are former USC teammates Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, and former Ohio State and Florida coach Urban Meyer. Rob Stone will serve as the host of the show.
Leinart and Stone are being relocated from FS1, where they hosted studio coverage on Saturday’s alongside Robert Smith and Dave Wannsteadt. Quinn had been providing color commentary on games on Fox and FS1.
The model is similar to the one Fox employs for the NFL and Major League Baseball. The show is anchored by a respected broadcaster and analysis is provided by multiple hall of famers (or hall of famers-to-be) in the respective sports.
Urban Meyer is an interesting addition. He retired last year after another Big Ten championship at Ohio State, but a cloud of suspicion and controversy hung over him and his team all season due to his handling of domestic violence accusations against wide receivers coach Zach Smith.
He is considerably older than his castmates. He and Stone will be the only two on the show over 40. Meyer is the only one over 50.
Whatever the pregame show ends up being called, it is an interesting experiment in college football broadcasting. ESPN’s College Gameday has long been considered the sport’s gold standard, and a gold standard amongst pregame shows in general. ESPN has never had a true competitor in the college football realm though.
CBS provides an hour long preview of their SEC game each week, but that airs while ESPN and FS1 are airing live games. The new Fox show will be the first time ESPN has faced serious competition in the form of another national pregame show looking to set the stage for the entire day.