Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Lee Corso nears Retirement, Who has next for College Gameday?
Lee Corso is a legend of college football as a player, a coach and, more importantly to fans, an ecstatic type of personality every Saturday morning to preview the slate of games that day. After recovering from a minor stroke in May 2009, the legend was able to transition back into his rightful spot next to Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler for the start of the season. Not missing a beat, he has yet to miss a day of ESPN's College Gameday on a Saturday morning ever since.
Like famous college football coaches, college football analysts age as well. Although fans mock the way Joe Paterno won't leave until he dies, how do fans feel if another college football legend, an analyst, worked until he sadly departs the world. So just like the speculations that analysts like to make everyday about new hires to head coach a college football program, which ESPN analyst will be next in line to replace "Coach" each Saturday?
The obvious answer is Desmond Howard, due to the fact ESPN already has him as part of their 3.5 stars of the show. He comes in to make predictions and analyze along with the other stars all show and somewhat has already become a star due to the exposure. But that is also his downfall in the "next in line" talk. If he was to replace "Coach," someone would have to fill in for him then as part of the 3.5 star analysts.
After week one of the 2011 college football season, it is pretty evident who ESPN has in place to take the reigns once Lee Corso decides to put the mascot heads down; David Pollack. Although the negative on him is that he is nowhere near as an ecstatic personality like Corso. Seeming more fit to be a better replacement for Kirk Herbstreit, but Kirk is ESPN's golden boy for the next two decades.
In case you were watching the analysis after the LSU-Oregon game in week one, Pollack took over the late-night seat for Corso. Sitting between Chris Fowler and Kirk delivering his own analysis as to why Oregon could not beat LSU that night while Corso went home to rest. With Pollack, along with former Bachelor Jesse Palmer, getting a weekday college football show, ESPN obviously wants to build exposure and groom the young, but experienced, college football analysts. Palmer is also a top candidate to sit at the Corso spot when the time comes in the next few years.
When looking to replace a retiree, young guys obviously pop into your head first. But what made the Gameday stars so good all these years was the fact that Herbstreit was a college football player while Corso was the aged college football coach. So will ESPN be looking for a ex-college football coach? ESPN is notorious for letting go analysts after a few years if they don't make a name for themselves. By "make a name for yourself," that is ESPN asking the analysts to create controversy. No ex-college coach will do that and that is why ESPN runs through coach-analysts quicker than their bottomline runs through news.
Who will replace Lee Corso? Not one analyst can replace Lee Corso. My guess is David Pollack gets the legendary seat in the coming years. "Not so fast though, David."
Let college football fans just hope Craig James is out of Bristol before Lee Corso goes back home to Florida.
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Posted by Travis Houser at 5:00 AM