Colin Cowherd is a self-professed college football fan. When the sport is interesting, he talks about it. The sport may never be more interesting than when the coaching carousel is spinning.
On Mondy’s edition of The Herd on FS1 and FOX Sports Radio, Cowherd dove in on USC’s hire of Lincoln Riley. He says that it is good for college football that Riley left Oklahoma for Los Angeles.
“My phone blew up yesterday, not only because people know I’m kind of a USC honk, but network people,” Cowherd said. “They’re like ‘do you understand how big this is for networks?’”.
Colin Cowherd pointed out that when USC is a contender, LA watches. He noted that when USC lost to Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl, ABC scored a 22.5 rating in the city.
“The networks want USC to be good. You know why? Because New York, DC, and Boston have never watched college football. Chicago does and LA does. So the Big Ten being good is good for college football TV ratings. But LA doesn’t watch college football anymore. They will now.”
As for the hard times USC has fallen on and been stuck in mostly since Pete Carroll bolted for the NFL, Cowherd is not particularly worried. He pointed out that Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame were all down before they hired the right coach. Programs at the blue blood level in the sport have a way of bouncing back quickly.
Network executives are hoping Cowherd’s assessment is correct. USC is the only brand on the West Coast capable of resonating on a national level.
The Los Angeles sports landscape has changed though. When USC was a celebrity program under Pete Carroll, the city did not have an NFL team. Now it has two. The Dodgers were not annual contenders in Major League Baseball. The Lakers had stars, but the Clippers didn’t. Now both do.
Does LA love college football enough for the Trojans to turn some heads in the city with the most stars in the sports world?
Paul Finebaum Writing Book on Nick Saban/Jimbo Fisher Feud
“I think there’s a lot that has not been uncovered, and I feel very confident we are well under way of breaking this code in many different ways,” Finebaum told AL.com’s Mark Heim.
ESPN’s Paul Finebaum is taking some time to work on a book, and some of the subject matter is going to be juicy.
Finebaum plans to work with John Talty of AL.com to write the book. This will be Finebaum’s first book since 2014.
Plans are to highlight the rivalry between Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher. That rivalry was amplified this past spring when the two coaches traded verbal jabs about recruiting and NIL.
“I think there’s a lot that has not been uncovered, and I feel very confident we are well under way of breaking this code in many different ways,” Finebaum told AL.com’s Mark Heim. “There is a great appeal. I’ve looked at other things in the past but, to me, this is the most intriguing story that I’ve seen in many many years.”
The book will be published by Penguin press and has a fall 2023 release date. Even Hollywood will be paying attention to the book, as a potential TV series or movie could arise.
Finebaum added that he hopes to take a deeper dive into NIL and talk to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey.
“The main goal is to get the truth, unvarnished and as accurate displayed as we can through individuals speaking on the record or through sources,” he said. “That’s all you can hope to do. The goal is to get beneath the surface and go where you can’t go in a 3-hour radio show or a 750-word column.”
Mason & Ireland Ink Contract Extensions with ESPN Los Angeles
The pair signed a multi-year contract and that will ensure they continue to be the longest-running duo in L.A.
The long-running West Coast sounds of Mason & Ireland will continue. The pair signed a multi-year contract and that will ensure they continue to be the longest-running duo for ESPN Los Angeles.
Steve Mason and John Ireland have been on-and-off partners in radio since 1992.
Mason said of the extension, “I love L.A. sports and I can’t imagine working anywhere else. I really appreciate ESPN and our new owner Good Karm Brands. We’ve got a really good team on Mason & Ireland with producer Greg Bergman and associate producer Jorge Briones. And I especially love doing the show every day with John Ireland, my friend of 30 years.”
Ireland also has a statement that read, “It’s both an honor and a privilege to continue this ride with ESPN. During the course of our last deal, the Lakers, Rams and Dodgers all won titles. Obviously, we were able to mistakenly convince our bosses that we had something to do with that, so they’re letting us continue. Please, nobody tell them.”
Mason & Ireland airs weekdays from 1-4p PT on 710 ESPN in Los Angeles.
Mike Francesa and Phil Mushnick Lock Horns Over Golf Bets
That led to a Mushnick article lambasting the “soothsayer of colossal doom”. Mushnick continued to attack Francesa and claiming his legacy was as a “self-deluded, boastful blowhard”.
Phil Mushnick of The New York Post, is no fan of Mike Francesa. The latest bout between the two was triggered by a series of erroneous golf bets that Francesa has given out in each of the last three majors.
Francesa, on his podcast with BetRivers Network, told folks that the best bet to win the Masters was Brooks Koepka. The best bet to win the PGA Championship was Scottie Scheffler. He also said the best bet to win The U.S. Open was Cameron Smith. Neither won. Neither even made the cut.
That led to a Mushnick article lambasting the “soothsayer of colossal doom”. Mushnick continued to attack Francesa and claimed his legacy was as a “self-deluded, boastful blowhard”.
Francesa heard about, or read, the piece and responded on Twitter, calling Mushnick “sad, pathetic” and said that Mushnick’s writings make him look “like the jealous old man that he is”.
Moments later, Francesa tweeted again, “Ask him to add up how much the horses I own have won the past two years. What a complete, obsessed fool.”
As AMNY points out, these two have rammed horns before.
Mushnick once said he had alleged tapes of Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo demanding loyalty oaths from Jews after 9/11.
The writer would also accuse Francesa of fighting with his then-boss Mark Chernoff, after losing to ESPN New York’s Michael Kay in ratings, an accusation Francesa denies.