Ranking the 10 best SEC Network commentators
The SEC Network is almost a week old now, and has given us a lot to talk about in light of its record-breaking debut in over 100 million homes.
In addition to the historic carriage deals network suits brokered, ESPN execs also signed A-list talent.
We love ranking things at SDS, so we’re going to rank the network’s 10 best commentators. And there’s one name you might surprised to find missing…
1. Brent Musburger
“You’re looking live…” That phrase never gets old to open a broadcast. Musburger tops our list of the SEC Network’s best commentators because he’s a legend, which is why it what somewhat of a surprise when ESPN announced he was leaving (or getting moved) ABC’s Saturday Night Football for the SEC Network. Musburger will provide a familiar voice and big-game feel to a network that’s likely to have some production hiccups in its infancy.
2. Dari Nowkwah
Nowkwah is perhaps the most underrated broadcaster at ESPN. The man has done everything from SportsCenter to ESPNU programming, from studio work to play-by-play. Nowkwah will provide stability and versatility to the SEC Network.
3. Dave Neal
Neal is known by SEC fans dating back to his days calling the 12:19 EST game on Jefferson Pilot. Neal has made his career around the SEC calling football, basketball and baseball and will bring his top-notch professionalism and preparation to his broadcasts.
4. Tim Tebow
This selection is based on upside. Tebow has been very good from what we’ve seen from him so far, and knowing his work ethic and desire to be good, he’ll work his tail off to succeed in television. Reports say Tebow’s been taking the lead in production meetings and has texted and called Tessitore to no end asking questions.
5. Joe Tessitore
Tessitore is the consummate professional and a fantastic broadcaster. We’ll get to see his versatility with the network due to his studio and play-by-play responsibilities. Over his years at the Worldwide Leader, Tess has called some of the most epic games, so hopefully he’ll bring some of his magic to the SEC Network.
6. Tony Barnhart
Barnhart has covered the SEC for over 20 years for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ESPN, CBS and now with the SEC Network. Barnhart’s profile is similar to that of Tim Brando’s, but without the ego which should make him far more bearable. He’ll do a great job providing insight on the conference.
7. Jesse Palmer
No matter your opinion of him, Palmer actually is a great broadcaster. He’s knowledgeable and communicates well. He’ll add some of that star power to the primetime games with Musburger, but won’t be as good as Kirk Herbstreit.
8. Andre Ware
Ware has been paired with Neal for the past five years, and the two have formed a dynamic team. Ware’s a Heisman Trophy winner and the man knows quarterback play. Having been working on the pseudo-SEC Network recently with Neal, he’ll be another familiar voice for fans on the new-look network.
9. Tom Hart
Hart’s profile with ESPN is rising with his new role on the SEC Network. Hart has called some football and baseball games on ESPNU over the past couple of years in addition to his role on Fox Sports South covering the Braves, but will be much more visible with the SEC Network.
10. Greg McElroy
McElroy has shone potential to be a great broadcaster, but still has work to do. There’s no denying his credentials and knowledge of the league having just played at Alabama, but he needs to form his thoughts and communicate them more precisely.