Being one of, let alone the best college football announcer is an almost thankless task. Charged with bringing the environment of the game into millions of homes around the world, it’s predominantly when you make a mistake on the call that you’re dragged into the spotlight. Nevertheless, the very best find a way to illuminate the game and conjure up a heady mix of emotion, excitement, and education as they describe the game in their unique way. Ahead of the 2022 CFB season, we take a look at the best announcers whose voices will permeate our homes this fall.
Who are the top 5 best announcers in college football?
Subjectivity is the name of the game when discussing the best CFB announcers. What might enthrall one pair of ears might grate on another. While you might not agree with the rankings listed below, we’ve hopefully explained the decisions enough that people can understand the “why” behind them. With some of the greatest names in college football announcing no longer behind the microphone — we’re looking at you in particular Verne Lundquist — there’s a mix of emerging and established talent within our rankings.
5) Robert Griffin III
Just one year into his broadcast career — and with an eye still firmly on a return to the NFL — it might seem strange to find Robert Griffin III on a list of CFB’s best announcers. However, the former Baylor quarterback made a spectacular start to this commentating chapter of his career during the past college football campaign. RG3 combines the right level of excitement, informed analysis, and poise in his assignment. Meanwhile, he avoids the bias that often clouds former players when they transition from the field to the booth.
4) Eric Mac Lain
Former Clemson offensive lineman Eric Mac Lain is blossoming into a media starlet as one of the key components of the ACC Network’s coverage of CFB. However, he isn’t pigeonholed into that conference alone, providing in-depth and exciting analysis of Group of Five football, such as the “Sun Belt Showdown” between Coastal Carolina and Louisiana in 2020. Mac Lain’s playing experience helps him eloquently explain the intricacies of the game. Meanwhile, his warm and humble personality breeds interpersonal engagement.
3) Chris Fowler
Since taking over the Saturday Night Football job from Brent Musberger — himself worthy of a place atop these rankings — in 2014, Chris Fowler’s voice has become synonymous with the biggest events in college football.
Coinciding with the onset of the College Football Playoff era, he’s emphatically described some of the most memorable moments in the sport’s recent history. Fowler’s calm, detailed, description of events gives way to a crescendo of excitement with the unraveling of a key play, such as Alabama’s comeback in the 2018 National Championship.
2) Sean McDonough
It might seem strange to call an announcer whose career spans 40 years underrated, but in many respects, Sean McDonough doesn’t get the credit as a CFB announcer that he deserves. He regularly manages to find the sweet spot between being impressively informed and capturing the excitement of the game.
McDonough’s knowledge is particularly impressive given the vast array of sports that he covers. Additionally, his admission that he prefers college football to the NFL gives him an extra special place in my heart.
1) Gus Johnson
Gus Johnson could probably make a trip to the toilet sound like the most exciting and electrifying event in the history of the world. For that alone, he deserves to perch upon the plinth of the best announcers in CFB. Granted, Johnson’s sometimes over-zealous screams can prove a little much for some. But for me, that’s the job of the CFB announcer. They’re paid to capture and convey the excitement of the sport. It’s a testament to his ability to do so that his voice is unmistakable even if you don’t know his name.
Honorable mention for CFB’s best announcers
- Joe Tessitore
- Anish Shroff
- Brad Nessler
- Todd Blackledge
- Tim Brando
- Spencer Tillman
- Gary Danielson
- Kirk Herbstreit
- Brian Griese
- Beth Mowins