A year ago, ABC’s college football studio coverage was shuffled, with Booger McFarland replacing Mark May and Kevin Negandhi taking over as host. This year, with McFarland heading to Monday Night Football, that coverage will reportedly be shuffled again.
The New York Post reports than Jonathan Vilma will be replacing McFarland on the ABC coverage alongside the returning Negandhi and Mack Brown.
Vilma’s been with ESPN since the 2016 season, working in the studio with host Chris Cotter and now departed analysts Butch Davis (in 2016) and Chip Kelly (in 2017).
Moving onto the ABC afternoon show seems like a big step up for Vilma, but it seems like ESPN was grooming him for bigger things during the College Football Playoff coverage – Vilma was featured on a couple of Championship Drive shows before and after the College Football Playoff selection show in early December, and was also part of the stable of analysts at the Rose Bowl semifinal.
ESPN has still not announced their plans for college football studio coverage this fall. However, earlier this week, they revealed their main broadcast teams for the season, headlined by Sean McDonough’s return to college football, teaming with Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe as the #2 team behind Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, and Maria Taylor.