ASA list dotted with broadcasters linked to Big 12
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
I came across an interesting list of the top 50 broadcasters in history, which was released earlier this week by the American Sportscasters Association. And by my count, at least 12 of the selections had some connection at one point in their careers with Big 12 football or earlier derivations of Big 12 schools in previous conferences.
The most notable inclusions are two announcers who made much of their livelihood broadcasting college football over the years. Keith Jackson of ABC Sports was listed as No. 8 in the poll. He provided a homey, traditionalist feel that really matched the sport. During his career, he often broadcast games from the old Big Eight and Southwest conferences. He punctuated his career with the broadcast of the memorable 2006 Rose Bowl national championship game between Texas and USC.
The late Chris Schenkel was listed at No. 25. He was the voice of NCAA Football when I was growing up in the 1960s and 70s. I still remember his broadcast of the legendary game between Nebraska and Oklahoma in 1971. And I feel fortunate that I've got a battered VHS tape of that game somewhere buried in my personal effects.
And current ABC-ESPN broadcaster Brent Musburger is listed at No. 44. He broadcasts most key Big 12 games and was at the conference's championship game in Kansas City last month. Although he's worked almost every sport during his career, college football seems to be a special passion for him.
Here's a look at the members of the top 50 with links to the Big 12 schools during their careers.
- Curt Gowdy (No. 4) -- Broadcast Oklahoma A&M and Oklahoma football and basketball games before leaving for the New York Yankees and other assignments.
- Keith Jackson (No. 8) -- Longtime voice of ABC's NCAA football.
- Jack Buck (No. 11) -- Occasionally called Missouri football games while working at KMOX radio in St. Louis.
- Ted Husing (No. 12) -- Broadcast college football games on CBS radio in the 1930s and 1940s.
- Harry Caray (No. 18) -- Occasionally served as play-by-play announcer for Missouri in the 1960s.
- Bill Stern (No. 20) -- Prime radio voice for college football on NBC Radio in the 1930s and 1940s.
- Chris Schenkel (No. 25) -- Voice of ABC's college football package in the 1960s and 1970s.
- Ray Scott (No. 28) -- Although more widely known for his work with the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s on CBS, he was a radio play-by-play announcer for Nebraska in the early 1980s.
- Harry Kalas (No. 41) -- Before becoming the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies, worked for the Houston Astros. While there, he called Southwest Conference football games.
- Brent Musburger (No. 44) -- Still calling Big 12 football games with ABC and ESPN.
- Pat Summerall (No. 45) -- While more widely known for his NFL broadcasts, he occasionally has called college games, most recently this year's Cotton Bowl.
- Merle Harmon (No. 46) -- An early play-by-play announcer for Kansas in the early 1950s.
I was a little disappointed that a couple of college football radio voices from back in the day weren't included. Kern Tipps, the legendary Texas broadcaster, deserved inclusion. And while Nebraska broadcaster Lyell Bremser didn't receive much national acclaim, Cornhusker fans still revere his memory and consider him the gold standard in broadcasters. You can still download his voice for telephone ring tones to this day.
Anybody else with a connection to the Big 12 merit entry onto the list? You can rank the top sportscasters yourself here.