BTN Communications, August 25, 2021
Following back-to-back seasons as the second highest-rated cable network for college football, the Big Ten Network welcomes a deep lineup of knowledgeable personalities and respected voices for its 15th season covering the Big Ten Conference. The season features more than 40 game broadcasts, surrounded by studio coverage, and begins on Thursday, Sept. 2, when Temple visits Rutgers at 6:30 p.m. ET. Week 1 also includes an AP Top 25 battle on Saturday, Sept. 4, at 3:30 p.m. ET between No. 17 Indiana and No. 18 Iowa.
Brandon Gaudin, the voice of Madden NFL for EA Sports, will once again team with two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-American James Laurinaitis, with Rick Pizzo serving as the on-field reporter. The trio will open the season with an AP Top 25 matchup when the No. 17 Indiana Hoosiers head to Iowa City to face the No. 18 Hawkeyes at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 4.
Mark Followill, in his 10th season calling college football in addition to his role as the lead play-by-play announcer for the Dallas Mavericks, will pair with two-time NFL All-Pro and four-time Super Bowl Champion Matt Millen with Elise Menaker handling reporting duties. Followill, Millen and Menaker will be on the call for the Huskers season opener when Fordham visits Nebraska on Saturday, Sept. 4, at noon ET. Cory Provus, who will begin the season calling games on FS1, will replace Followill on BTN once he departs for the NBA season.
Lisa Byington, now in her fifth-year handling play-by-play duties for football, will be partnered with former Iowa Hawkeye Anthony Herron and reporter Coley Harvey. The crew will handle the Big Ten Network's first primetime game of the season, as UTSA visits Illinois at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 4.
Former NFL Vice Presidents of Officiating Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino will also return as rules analysts.
2021 Big Ten Network broadcast teams (play-by-play/analyst/reporter):
Brandon Gaudin - James Laurinaitis - Rick Pizzo
Mark Followill/Cory Provus - Matt Millen - Elise Menaker
Lisa Byington - Anthony Herron - Coley Harvey
Additional Play-by-Play Announcers: Chris Vosters and Joe Beninati
Additional Analysts: J Leman, Stanley Jackson, and Matt McGloin
Additional Reporters: Krystle Rich and Michelle McMahon
B1G Tailgate is back on Saturday mornings for its sixth season, hosted by Dave Revsine and featuring analysts Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and Joshua Perry. New this year, former first-team All-Big Ten safety Brock Vereen joins the show as an analyst along with host Annie Sabo. B1G Tailgate is the home for Big Ten football fans on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. ET to noon ET with original features, special guests and Big Ten analysis live from campus.
B1G Tailgate's on-site location has been confirmed for the first three weeks:
Saturday, Sept. 4
No. 17 Indiana vs. No. 18 Iowa - Southeast Corner of Kinnick Stadium
Saturday, Sept. 11
Youngstown State at Michigan State - Munn Field
Saturday, Sept. 18
Northern Illinois at Michigan - Pioneer High School, Southwest of Michigan Stadium
Hosts Mike Hall, Revsine and Pizzo will once again anchor studio coverage for the network. The trio will be joined by an accomplished group of analysts, including former NFL head coach Dave Wannstedt, DiNardo, Griffith, Herron and Perry. Journalists Nicole Auerbach (The Athletic) and Pat Forde (Sports Illustrated) will also regularly join studio programming as guests.
The Big Ten Network's fall football programming lineup includes The B1G Show, B1G Tailgate, B1G Today, B1G Live: Football Game Break, B1G Live: Football Postgame and The Final Drive.