When it was announced late last week that America’s favorite sideline reporter Erin Andrews was leaving ESPN, collectively, college football fans across America had the same response: How the heck are we supposed to get through college football Saturdays without EA this fall?
Well America, the national nightmare is over, and according to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, Andrews will be back in the college football fold come the beginning of September. After hitting the free agent market just days ago, Andrews was apparently picked up today by Fox Sports where she’ll host a 30-minute, primetime college football studio show in addition to various other responsibilities for the network.
Most importantly though, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief: Erin Andrews will again be part of our college football Saturdays.
Erin Andrews is moving to Fox Sports. SI.com has learned the network hired the former ESPN personality to host a new 30-minute prime-time college football studio show, which premieres Sept. 1 before Fox Sports’ coverage of Hawaii at USC. Andrews will also have other assignments at Fox Sports, including a role in its NFL and MLB coverage.
Frankly, this news isn’t all that surprising.
The first is that… come on, we’re talking about Erin Andrews here!
Few sports television personalities have transcended the sport they cover and the network they work for quite like Andrews has; at the end of the day, you knew she’d bounce back somewhere. Andrews has worked at ESPN since 2004, and since then has become as synonymous with the sport Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin or the ACC getting blown out in big BCS bowl games. She has worked the sidelines on both Thursday and Saturday nights (only Saturdays the last few years) and had a major role on College Gameday the last few seasons as well. In addition, she has had plenty of success away from college football too, becoming a crossover star thanks to her role on Dancing With the Stars a few years ago. Plus, could you really see Andrews walking away from college football? She is on the Crystal Ball Run banner after all! She would never dare do that to us.
Just as importantly though is Fox’s continued push into the college football realm. As Deitsch pointed out in his article, the network will carry more games this fall than ever before, as their contract with the Pac-12 kicks in, in addition to expanded coverage going forward with the Big XII. For the second year in a row the network will also host both the Pac-12 and Big Ten championship games.
So it only makes sense that after shelling out hundreds of millions for broadcast rights that they’d also shell out money for top-end talent as well. In addition to Andrews, the network also added the legendary (and I do mean legend—dary) Gus Johnson as a play-by-play man alongside Charles Davis last year.
Of course the one final question now becomes who will replace Andrews in the cushy primetime Saturday night college football broadcast alongside Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musberger?
While it’s total conjecture on our part, the logical name seems to be Jenn Brown, who has handled sideline duties for Thursday night broadcasts the last few seasons. In addition, the people’s choice does appear to the young, up-and-coming (and if you don’t mind me saying…stunning) Samantha Steele. However with Steele recently being named the Thursday night sideline reporter, it doesn’t seem likely. Look for Brown to takeover Andres spot.
Regardless college football fans, you can all breathe a sigh of relief.
There will be plenty of Erin Andrews in your lives on Saturday’s this fall.
For all his insight, analysis and opinion on sports, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.