ESPN's 2021 MegaCast plans.

After not having a film room for the College Football Playoff semifinals, ESPN will bring that back (on ESPNEWS) for the MegaCast of this year’s national championship game (set for Monday, and it sounds like it will happen then despite previous concerns). And they’ll use a number of current coaches this time, which they haven’t always done. But the coaches they’re using are interesting. Here are more details on that from ESPN’s MegaCast release:

Film Room returns to the National Championship MegaCast on ESPNEWS, with SEC Network college football analyst and former BCS Champion head coach Gene Chizik, Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson, Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze and North Carolina A&T’s Sam Washington joining the telecast. Follow every play of Alabama-Ohio State through the minds of those who live and breathe the game every day. Please note: the lineup of coaches is subject to change.

Chizik, of course, already works for the ESPN family of networks, so the other three are the only active coaches here. And Freeze is an interesting inclusion considering how much discussion there’s recently been about him as a head coaching candidate elsewhere. At any rate, though, it’s certainly notable to see another Film Room, and one including active coaches, after ESPN chose not to do that for the semifinals. (However, they did announce earlier this week that they’ll have a Film Room with ESPN NFL analysts for their NFL wild-card game Megacast this coming weekend.) So this is a return to the coaches’ film room tradition, and that will please many.

Beyond that, maybe the most notable new feed here is “CFP Live,” which will air on ESPN2. Last year, ESPN2 featured “FieldPass” with Adam Amin and Steve Levy roaming the sidelines, joined by Dan Orlovsky, Pat McAfee and other guests. This time around, they’re going with a rather different approach, bringing in the NFL Live cast:

CFP Live debuts this year on ESPN2, utilizing the NFL Live crew of Laura Rutledge, Marcus Spears, Dan Orlovsky and Mina Kimes to bring their trademark analysis and wit to Championship Monday. Joining the quartet is ESPN college football analyst and NFL Draft expert Todd McShay, who will provide Draft projections and analysis throughout the game.

We’ll see how this MegaCast works out for ESPN, and how their 14 different presentations (eight on conventional TV distribution, six only available through the ESPN app) do in terms of viewers. But it’s definitely notable to see them have a film room, and it’s also definitely notable to see them working in the NFL Live cast for the main alternate feed on ESPN2.

[ESPN Press Room]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.