The sports world was stunned in August 2022 when NBC named Jac Collinsworth as the play-by-play voice for Notre Dame football coverage. At just 27 years old, and with some USFL games for the network as his only major experience, it was a move that raised eyebrows. Was the son of Cris Collinsworth truly an elite level play-by-play announcer or was NBC giving him the assignment because of his last name and the fact that his father has been their top NFL analyst for years?

Two years later, the answer to that question has become apparent.

Via Andrew Marchand at The Athletic comes the news that NBC is moving the younger Collinsworth out of the Notre Dame broadcast booth where he partnered with Jason Garrett for the last two seasons. Dan Hicks, who previously called Notre Dame games for the network, will step in.

After two years as NBC’s Notre Dame play-by-play voice, Jac Collinsworth is out, officials briefed on the decision told The Athletic.

NBC veteran Dan Hicks will replace Collinsworth and team up with analyst Jason Garrett. Hicks had previously called Notre Dame games a decade ago. He is best known for his PGA Tour duties.

Starting next fall, NBC plans to have Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge as the No. 1 broadcast team on all of its college football coverage. Eagle, 26, and Blackledge, 62, earned strong reviews on their Big Ten and the NFL games they called.

The news isn’t all that surprising considering the work of Jac Collinsworth and Garrett were panned by fans and critics alike. The pair ranked in last place in the AA reader rankings of national college football announcers and they failed to meet the moment for the biggest games of the season.

Interestingly, another famous broadcasting son who works for NBC, Noah Eagle, is even younger than Jac Collinsworth at just 26 years old. However, his work with Todd Blackledge covering Big Ten football for NBC and an NFL playoff game was widely applauded. This coming season the Eagle-Blackledge tandem will call whatever NBC deems its game of the week, whether that be in the Big Ten or a Notre Dame broadcast.

For Hicks, it’s a return to college football where he spent time broadcasting Notre Dame games between the runs of Tom Hammond and Mike Tirico in the mid-2010s. Between his work on the PGA Tour, the Olympics, and elsewhere, Hicks is one of the most well-regarded announcers in the industry and should at least stabilize the network’s coverage of the Fighting Irish.

Nepotism runs amok in the sports media world. In fairness, perhaps it was unfair to the younger Collinsworth for NBC to put him in such a high-profile gig so early into his career when he clearly wasn’t the best person for the job. It’s the latest misstep from NBC after Drew Brees fizzled just one year into his analyst career.

The Athletic reports that Collinsworth will still call games for Peacock and maintain his role as a reporter for NBC’s variety of sports coverage, which are roles that are probably better fits for him at this point in his career.

[The Athletic]