Regardless of what you think of Verne Lundquist, he is one of the most experienced and versatile broadcasters alive today. (For the record: I enjoy his work.) He has been the primary play-by-play announcer for CBS's college football coverage since 2000 (and before that, called CFB for the network during the 80s), sliding into Sean McDonough's seat alongside Todd Blackledge as the network's #1 broadcast team and sticking around to call the SEC after the Big East went over to ESPN (Blackledge was replaced by Gary Danielson in 2007). Love them or hate them, Lundquist and Danielson have been a big part of Saturday afternoons for a while.
But after 2016, that team will be broken up. CBS announced today that Lundquist will be stepping down from his duties as SEC on CBS play-by-play man and will give way to Brad Nessler. Nessler will come over from ESPN where he was paired with - ironically! - Todd Blackledge and sideline reporter Holly Rowe.
The good news for Lundquist fans: he's still sticking around the network and will call college basketball (including March Madness) and golf:
"Being a part of the SEC ON CBS since 2000 has been the most significant assignment I've been given in my more than five decades in this business," said Lundquist. "Now, it's time to step back and take in the aroma of those tulips, those roses, and those daffodils that friends have been telling me about for years. In 2017, I'll happily step aside from college football and welcome Brad to the booth. I've known Brad for more than 30 years and have always admired his work ethic and his on-air presence. He shares the same passion for college football that I do. The SEC ON CBS is in great hands. Brad and Gary will form a great partnership in the years ahead."
While Uncle Verne's stepping away from the college football mic, he's not retiring altogether, so that's good. As for Nessler, he's been one of ESPN's strongest voices in whatever capacity he's served in (college hoops, college football, NFL), and while it will be strange to hear him on another network, CBS made the right call in bringing him in.
For now, we'll watch this on repeat a few times. Sorry, Bama fans.