Montana resident Brent Musburger will be on the call for the Aug. 29 Montana Grizzlies-North Dakota State Bison FCS showcase, a tremendous move for all parties involved.
— Bob Stitt (@CoachBobStitt) August 3, 2015
Though Musburger was moved from the prime time ABC game to SEC Network duties in 2013, he’s been the voice of college football since Keith Jackson’s retirement in the mid-2000s. Pairing him with Jesse Palmer, a first-string color commentator for ESPN, suggests the Worldwide Leader is treating the Week Zero contest like a big deal — which it is.
Last year’s telecast bordered on embarrassing at times, with the broadcast crew diverting attention away from Eastern Washington and Sam Houston State to talk about the College Football Playoff. With Brent Musburger having the opportunity to call a game in his home state, I’d expect no deviation of focus from the Grizzlies and Bison, two of the best programs in the Championship Subdivision.
Montana’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium is one of, if not the premier venue in FCS. Montana regularly attracts the top average attendance in the subdivision, last year outpacing No. 2 James Madison by almost 4,000 fans per contest.
Four-time defending national champion North Dakota State’s visit is sure to have Missoula rocking, and few are as equipped as Brent Musburger to convey the atmosphere there to the home audience.
The Week Zero FCS showcase has the potential to be something truly special, and ESPN assigning a big-time broadcast booth to call the action demonstrates an investment on its part to make it happen. And who knows? With Montana and rival Montana State both expected to compete for FCS Playoffs berths, perhaps this sets the stage for Musburger to call some postseason action, as well.
I can hope.