I give Fox much credit for becoming a player in college football. More exposure over more networks is always good for any sport. They thought outside the box and tried producing games differently from what we are accustomed to. However at the end of the day, college football fans are conditioned to how ESPN portrays the game, and that is how we expect it every Saturday.
Walking onto the Land Shark Stadium field prior to the Hawkeye's battle with Georgia Tech I saw Holly Rowe, typically the sideline reporter on ABC's #2 college broadcast team. She, along with play by play man, Sean McDonough and analyst Matt Millen were handling the duties for ESPN radio. My first comment to her was that I wished she was there to be on television with her broadcast partners. Dick Stockton, Charles Davis, Laura Okmin and Chris Meyers had the call for Fox.
McDonough, Millen and Rowe have been around the college game all season long. Stockton and crew were calling their first college game together ever. They, along with Fox showed their inexperience during the night. Mispronounciations were common, especially that of Iowa head coach, Kirk Ferentz, facts were incorrect, and an introduction by Jimmy Carter seemed very odd and out of place.
Each year over half of the teams that earn BCS bowl games are not regulars to the party. It is unfortunate that a team like Iowa will remember a historic win with a broadcast team out of touch. Fox tries to show the college game in a different perspective than the traditional networks, but for less than five games a year, they risk ridicule for presentation. Beginning next year, the broadcasts will be more like what ESPN has made us believe the game should look like.
(Photo Courtesy, Scott Southmayd)