College football season is almost here.
Forget last Saturday. It’s called week 0 for a reason. Do you really want to believe the 2022 season opener was 3-9 Northwestern and 3-9 Nebraska playing halfway around the world?
At Barrett Sports Media, we celebrate college football through a media lens. Throughout the week, our resident college football editors and superfans, Arky Shea, Demetri Ravanos and Garrett Searight, will take a look at the best the media has to offer in terms of college football coverage.
The full schedule is as follows:
MONDAY: Best local show
TUESDAY: Best National Radio Show
WEDNESDAY: Best College Football Podcast
THURSDAY: Best TV Show
FRIDAY: Best Play-by-Play TV Booth
College football, like all politics, is local. That’s why it’s important to spotlight shows that really capture the vibe of a fanbase.
Fans all over the country know Ohio State is really good. They know that Lincoln Riley is here to prove football isn’t dead on the West Coast and they know that every NFL general manager licks their lips and fights the urge to pitch 17 games in order to be able to recruit Will Anderson Jr.
The best local shows are the ones that will give you three hours of uninterrupted fun with the local team vying for an invite to the Sun Bowl! They know College GameDay and Midday kick-off will have the top ten matchups covered.
Which shows do best? Here are our picks.
OFF THE BENCH – 104.5 ESPN IN BATON ROUGE by Garrett Searight
This will look like a sales pitch for Guaranty Media, but I found off the bench while searching for radio shows using video feeds of their shows. I found myself staring off the bench Daily.
off the bench is one of the few radio shows that isn’t “a radio guy paired with a former gamer”. He’s a former player paired with a former player as former LSU greats Jacob Hester and T-Bob Hebert. Their ability to talk about the most important topics in college football — not just LSU or the SEC — puts them at the top of the list. They are fun, energetic, knowledgeable and above all entertaining. I’ve always found it’s harder than you think to make it look like two guys are having a conversation that a listener is listening to. Hester and Hebert do it perfectly. The pair are rising stars in the industry.
THE OG – 99.9 THE FAN IN RALEIGH by Demetri Ravanos
College football, whether we admit it or not, is mostly misery. There are 131 teams in the FBS and at the start of each season; about 128 of them have no chance of winning a national championship. Every team at North Carolina State is part of those 128, so it makes sense that no one has more fun with that misery than Joe Ovies and Joe Giglio on 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh. It’s a show that resembles the market it serves when it comes to college football.
Where else can you go from hearing about a host’s private texts with UNC’s athletic director to taste test unopened cans of Carolina-themed blue soda and Neon Red-themed soda the state of North Carolina in the 1980s? The series is subversive as hell, but it’s the kind of subversion that’s only possible if you really love the institutions and people in your line of sight.
MCELROY & CUBELIC IN THE MORNING – JOX 94.5 IN BIRMINGHAM by Arky Shea
There is simply no more fervent market for college football, and only college football, than that of Birmingham, Alabama. The show that talks about it the best is that of the WJOX flamethrower from Birmingham. McElroy is former Alabama quarterback Greg McElory and Cubelic is former Auburn center Cole Cubelic. What these two do goes beyond sticking two state rivals players on the same radio show and expecting good talk. WJOX is fortunate to have two extremely smart analysts who also serve as traveling television analysts during the season. They take real-world gaming experience and pair it beautifully with what they see on the road every week during the fall.
The show, while very much about college football, doesn’t become stale because the show’s two hosts aren’t sitting on the laurels of the past. Every day is a chance to watch a movie about draft picks, current college production superstars, and future names you’ll want to know. No one uses their access to tailor their show better to the knowledge and frivolity of college football than McElory and Cubelic. They bring in top-notch analyst guests through their well-deserved connections across the country and have the power to nab any college football coach they desire in the salivating football capital of Magic City. Nothing is left to chance to bring you more football information, because they also want it for themselves.