Dan Lanning Nov 18, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Mountain America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Many fans found it strange that Oregon coach Dan Lanning appeared on ESPN’s pregame and halftime shows for the CFP National Championship.

By most accounts, Lanning did a fine job in his role as guest analyst, and many fans predicted a future in broadcasting might be in store.

It’s Lanning’s role in serving as analyst for a game featuring his rival, the Washington Huskies, that fans found odd. He almost faced a no-win situation. If he said something bad about the Huskies, he must be bitter that he’s 0-3 in two seasons against them, including a loss in the recent Pac-12 Championship.

If Lanning were to say something nice about them, he’s just a shill for the Pac-12 Conference.

Lanning’s ESPN colleagues joked about how he could even handle watching the game, given No. 5 Oregon’s heartbreaking three-point loss to Washington in the Pac-12 title game.

‘That’s the fuel,” Lanning succinctly replied.

Lanning has done a great job with the Ducks, going 22-5 in two seasons, and if not for that trio of three-point losses to the Huskies, he’d be garnering even more attention.

As noted earlier, most fans thought Lanning did a good job for ESPN Monday night. And there’s precedent for a coach serving as analyst for a bitter rival in a high-profile game; Alabama’s Nick Saban served a similar role for SEC rival Georgia’s CFP title win in 2023.

Fans had plenty to say about Lanning’s work Monday night.

[Ralph Amsden; Photo Credit: ESPN]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.