Fox Hires ESPN's Brock Huard As It Continues College Football Push
College football analyst Brock Huard is leaving ESPN after 12 years to join Fox' No. 2 broadcast team. Huard will replace Brady Quinn next to play-by-play announcer Joe Davis, and he called the move a “huge opportunity.” He said, "They came knocking, and the timing was just really good.” Huard, who played at Washington, is based in Seattle, while the Pac-12 is one of the three conferences Fox has rights to. Huard: “I don’t like much change, but this opportunity was one I could not pass up” (“Brock & Salk,” ESPN Radio Seattle 710, 5/15). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Andrew Bucholtz noted Fox "needed another experienced voice for the #2 crew" with Quinn moving to the net's new pregame show, and Huard "certainly fits there" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 5/15).
AFTERNOON DELIGHTS: In N.Y., Andrew Marchand reports the Huard signing continues Fox' "big play into college football" this offseason. The net has "created a big-name broadcast television college football pregame show" and is now "trying to own the noon window by placing its best Big Ten or Big 12 game of the day there." CBS controls the 3:30pm ET slot with its SEC coverage, while ESPN/ABC has primetime, meaning Fox can "attempt to make the first game of the day its identity" (N.Y. POST, 5/16). In Dallas, Chuck Carlton noted Fox reps had "shared the new strategy" with Big 12 ADs during the recent spring meetings in Arizona. Fox' revamped pregame show makes the 12:00pm ET window "crucial" for the net. It is "highly doubtful that any Fox games from the Pac-12 will be forced" into starting at 9:00am PT local time, leaving the Big 12 and Big Ten "to fill the early time slot." Big 12 Assistant Commissioner/Communications Bob Burda said Fox told the conference's ADs it wants to "own the early (TV) window" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/15).
STARTING THINGS A LITTLE EARLIER: The AP reported the start time for ABC's "Saturday Night Football" franchise has been "moved up 30 minutes this season" to 7:30pm ET. Auburn-Oregon at AT&T Stadium on Aug. 31 will kickoff the "SNF" schedule this season, followed by LSU-Texas on Sept. 7 and Clemson-Syracuse on Sept. 14 (AP, 5/15). In Syracuse, Chris Carlson noted the Clemson game will mark "just the second time in Syracuse's football history that it will play in ABC's marquee slot." The only other appearance came in '14 against Notre Dame at MetLife Stadium as part of ND's Shamrock Series games. Having the game placed in primetime this far ahead is an "indication that ABC/ESPN view the game as one of the day's marquee options," and the placement should "only increase the chances of ESPN College GameDay visiting Syracuse's campus for a football game for the first time" (SYRACUSE.com, 5/15).
SIGNING OFF: Announcer Bill Rosinski this morning noted he was "informed last week by ESPN Radio" that he will not be returning to call college football and basketball games this coming season due to "budget cuts." Rosinski had been there for 10 years, and most recently was paired with analyst David Norrie (TWITTER.com, 5/16).