Sean McDonough is taking Mike Tirico’s chair on Monday Night Football. Brad Nessler is reportedly on his way to CBS. The defections mean ESPN must fill the vacated play-by-play spots on two of its top three college football announcing teams.
Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will be back to helm the marquee game on Saturday night. The depth chart gets murkier after that. Nessler occupied the other prime time spot with Todd Blackledge. McDonough and Chris Spielman typically handed the featured afternoon broadcast.
Joe Tessitore, who called Thursday night games last season in addition to hosting SEC Nation and College Football Final on Saturdays, will move to the No. 2 team, sources tell The Big Lead. The No. 3 gig will be given to Steve Levy, two sources tell The Big Lead.
Levy is best known for his work on SportsCenter and has been primarily focused on hockey and the NFL in recent years.
An ESPN spokesperson said the network’s college football announcing roster has not been finalized.
Tessitore’s move would have a ripple effect. Adnan Virk is a possible candidate to step into the studio show but does not have strong ties to the SEC.
The wild card in all of this is Brent Musburger, who worked exclusively on the SEC Network last year and could pivot to higher-profile games on ESPN and ABC. ESPN declined comment on if his role would change.