The 2020 NFL announcer rankings have landed, and here are some quick notes before we get into the nitty gritty.

  • The average rating for the six CBS teams included was 2.84. That’s up from 2.77 last year.
  • The average rating for the seven Fox teams included was 2.46. That’s slightly up from 2.44 last year.
  • Here are the vote totals and percentages.
  • Here are the rankings from 2018 and 2019.

And now, the 2020 rankings. Enjoy.

15. Dick Stockton & Brady Quinn (Fox) – 1.79

Most common grade: C (34.55% of votes)
Previous scores: N/A (Stockton and Mark Schlereth had a score of 1.97 in 2018 and 1.81 in 2019)
Previous rankings: N/A (Stockton and Mark Schlereth ranked 13th of 15 in 2018 and 13th of 14 in 2019)
Breakdown: This team only got three games this year, and Stockton has worked with several different partners over the course of the season. With that being said, it wasn’t a great ride.  No team got a higher percentage of F votes than Stockton & Quinn (14.90%), and this was also the one team to top 20% D votes (24.28%) and fail to reach 20% of B votes (19.17%). Given his legendary status in the industry, I don’t want to come down too harshly on Stockton, but Fox has plenty of better options to use on a weekly basis.

14. Spero Dedes & Adam Archuleta (CBS) – 2.07

Most common grade: C (41.21% of votes)
Previous scores: 1.94 (2018), 1.92 (2019)
Previous rankings: 14th of 15 (2018), 12th of 14 (2019)
Breakdown: The good news is that Dedes & Archuleta had their best score ever in 2020. The bad news is that didn’t lead to an increase in their overall ranking. They had the lowest percentage of A votes among all teams in the league (just 4.11%) and nearly 60% of you gave them either a C or a D. But given that this duo is getting something like the sixth-best game of the week on CBS, I don’t think the network is fretting too much about their ranking.

13. Chris Myers, Brock Huard, & Greg Jennings (Fox) – 2.09

Most common grade: C (34.70% of votes)
Previous scores: N/A (Myers and Daryl Johnston had a score of 2.21 in 2018 and 2.20 in 2019)
Previous rankings: N/A (Myers and Daryl Johnston ranked 10th of 15 in 2018 and 10th of 14 in 2019)
Breakdown: I feel like this is a team that’s going to get broken up in 2021. Huard’s addition seemed like it came because of the expected lack of college football. Then college football came back, and Huard was calling both sports for Fox. He’s a damn fine analyst, but that’s asking a lot from any broadcaster. This trio scored lower than Myers & Daryl Johnston in each of the last two years, and I can’t see them coming back in their current form next season.

12. Andrew Catalon & James Lofton (CBS) – 2.23

Most common grade: C (47.20% of votes)
Previous scores: 2.01 (2018), 2.10 (2019)
Previous rankings: 12th of 15 (2018), 11th of 14 (2019)
Breakdown: Catalon and Lofton notched their highest score ever, but still couldn’t break through into that next level of the rankings. I don’t have a lot to say about these guys. 47.20% of you gave them a C, by far the highest of any team in our rankings.

11. Adam Amin & Mark Schlereth (Fox) – 2.30

Most common grade: C (34.75% of votes)
Previous scores: N/A (Schlereth and Dick Stockton had a score of 1.97 in 2018 and 1.81 in 2019)
Previous rankings: N/A (Schlereth and Dick Stockton ranked 13th of 15 in 2018 and 13th of 14 in 2019)
Breakdown: I guess I’m one of the high voices on the Amin/Schlereth duo, because I think they’ve done just fine. I will note that working with Amin has raised Schlereth’s overall grade from when he worked with Dick Stockton, but that isn’t a very high bar. Fox clearly has big plans for Amin after he joined the company over the summer, and it’ll be interesting to see if they give the Amin/Schlereth pairing another season in 2021 or go another direction.

10. Kevin Kugler & Chris Spielman (Fox) – 2.38

Most common grade: C (39.57% of votes)
Previous scores: N/A (Spielman and Thom Brennaman had a score of 2.45 in 2018 and 2.38 in 2019)
Previous rankings: N/A (Spielman and Thom Brennaman ranked 7th of 15 in 2018 and 8th of 14 in 2019)
Breakdown: These guys are going to get a bye from me in 2020. Kugler was drafted into Fox’s lineup of NFL broadcasters in late August after the Thom Brennaman slur incident, and I think that late notice has somewhat affected his partnership with Spielman this season.

9. Kenny Albert & Jonathan Vilma (Fox) – 2.41

Most common grade: B (40.18% of votes)
Previous scores: N/A (Albert and Ronde Barber had a score of 2.39 in 2018 and 2.38 in 2019)
Previous rankings: N/A (Albert and Ronde Barber ranked 9th of 15 in 2018 and 9th of 14 in 2019)
Breakdown: Replacing Ronde Barber with Vilma resulted in no significant change to either the score or the ranking for this pairing. Their score barely increased from each of the last two years, and for the third straight season, Albert and his partner ranked ninth. Given Vilma’s relative inexperience in the booth (he previously did studio work for ESPN), there could be room for him to grow in the coming years. I’m not writing off the Albert/Vilma pairing quite yet.

8. Steve Levy, Brian Griese, & Louis Riddick (ESPN) – 2.51

Most common grade: B (42.75% of votes)
Previous scores: N/A (Joe Tessitore, Booger McFarland, and Jason Witten had a score of 1.08 in 2018 and Tesstitore and McFarland had a score of 1.29 in 2019)
Previous rankings: N/A (Joe Tessitore, Booger McFarland, and Jason Witten ranked 15th of 15 in 2018 and Tessitore and McFarland ranked 14th of 14 in 2019)
Breakdown: Middle of the pack for a primetime broadcast team isn’t the best result. But when you consider how poorly received the previous Monday Night Football booths were…yeah, ESPN will take that in a heartbeat. I think this trio works well together, but like with many three-person booths, it gets a little busy at times. I’m curious to see if ESPN will make any changes in 2021, or just go with these three once again.

7. Greg Gumbel & Rich Gannon (CBS) – 2.60

Most common grade: B (44.74% of votes)
Previous scores: N/A (Gumbel and Trent Green had a score of 2.44 in 2018 with Bruce Arians and 2.54 in 2019, while Gannon and Kevin Harlan had a score of 3.02 in 2018 and 3.15 in 2019)
Previous rankings: N/A (Gumbel and Trent Green ranked 8th of 15 in 2018 with Bruce Arians and 7th of 14 in 2019, while Gannon and Kevin Harlan ranked 4th of 15 in 2018 and 3rd of 14 in 2019)
Breakdown: It’s all about the play by play broadcaster, apparently. The pairing of Gumbel and Gannon scored slightly higher than Gumbel’s work with Bruce Arians and Trent Green over the previous two years, but lower than Gannon’s work with Kevin Harlan. We’ll see more on this trend in a little bit when we talk about Harlan’s new pairing.

6. Joe Buck & Troy Aikman (Fox) – 3.04

Most common grade: A (44.42% of votes)
Previous scores: 2.87 (2018), 2.91 (2019)
Previous rankings: 6th of 15 (2018), 5th of 14 (2019)
Breakdown: People are still hating on Joe Buck for no actual reason, huh? The Buck/Aikman duo received 7.36% F votes, the third-highest of any team in the polling (ahead of just the teams in last and third from the bottom). Despite that, Fox’s top team received their best-ever score this year and solidified their standing as one of the league’s most-liked teams, weird hatred notwithstanding.

5. Kevin Burkhardt & Daryl Johnston (Fox) – 3.12

Most common grade: A (45.63% of votes)
Previous scores: N/A (Burkhardt and Charles Davis had a score of 2.88 in both 2018 and 2019, while Johnston and Chris Myers had a score of 2.21 in 2018 and 2.20 in 2019)
Previous rankings: N/A (Burkhardt and Charles Davis ranked 5th of 15 in 2018 and 6th of 14 in 2019, while Johnston and Chris Myers ranked 10th of 15 in 2018 and 10th of 14 in 2019)
Breakdown: With Charles Davis jumping to CBS this summer, Burkhardt needed a new partner. Enter the veteran Johnston, who has been under utilized by Fox in recent years. He’s seamlessly been slotted in next to Burkhardt, and this year’s pairing actually scored higher than Burkhardt and Davis in both 2018 and 2019. Johnston is reportedly only a placeholder next to Burkhardt in the booth until Greg Olsen decides to retire, and it sure would be a shame if he’s slid back down the pecking order after the resurgent season he’s had so far in 2020.

4. Ian Eagle & Charles Davis (CBS) – 3.28

Most common grade: A (49.15% of votes)
Previous scores: N/A (Eagle and Dan Fouts had a score of 3.06 in 2018 and 3.05 in 2019, while Davis and Kevin Burkhardt had a score of 2.88 in both 2018 and 2019)
Previous rankings: N/A (Eagle and Dan Fouts ranked 3rd of 15 in 2019 and 4th of 14 in 2019, while Davis and Kevin Burkhardt ranked 5th of 15 in 2018 and 6th of 14 in 2019)
Breakdown: So, it turns out that the partner switcheroos for Eagle and Kevin Burkhardt ended up working out well for both. I was quite disappointed when news broke this summer of CBS breaking up the Bird & the Beard, but Eagle and Davis have been a more than worthy successor. In fact, their score this year was higher than either of the scores drawn by Eagle and Dan Fouts. CBS made a fantastic decision by hiring Davis and pairing him with Eagle, and we’re looking forward to hearing them for years to come.

3. Kevin Harlan & Trent Green (CBS) – 3.29

Most common grade: A (49.78% of votes)
Previous scores: N/A (Harlan and Rich Gannon had a score of 3.02 in 2018 and 3.15 in 2019, while Green and Greg Gumbel had a score of 2.44 in 2018 with Bruce Arians and 2.54 in 2019)
Previous rankings: N/A (Harlan and Rich Gannon ranked 4th of 15 in 2018 and 3rd of 14 in 2019, while Green and Greg Gumbel ranked 8th of 15 in 2018 with Bruce Arians and 7th of 14 in 2019)
Breakdown: This was the highest rated of our new teams this year, and I think it points to the power of Harlan. His pairing with Rich Gannon was quite well-rated in our prior two rankings, while Green’s efforts with Bruce Arians (for the 2018 season only) and Greg Gumbel lagged near the middle of the pack. This crew also received the fewest number and lowest percentage of F votes at just 1.47%. That shows me that a team isn’t just well-liked, but that only a very small chunk of people actually have a negative opinion of them for one reason or another.

2. Al Michaels & Cris Collinsworth (NBC) – 3.51

Most common grade: A (67.71% of votes)
Previous scores: 3.28 (2018), 3.36 (2019)
Previous rankings: 2nd of 15 (2018), 2nd of 14 (2019)
Breakdown: We didn’t include Collinsworth’s pairing with Mike Tirico in these rankings (since the sample size is so limited), but I’m curious what grade it would have gotten in comparison to the long-running Michaels/Collinsworth duo. This year, NBC’s duo received their best-ever score, but finished as runners up once again. 89% of you gave them either an A or a B.

1. Jim Nantz & Tony Romo (CBS) – 3.60

Most common grade: A (73.14% of votes)
Previous scores: 3.29 (2018), 3.55 (2019)
Previous rankings: 1st of 15 (2018), 1st of 14 (2019)
Breakdown: No surprise here. This is the fourthn season that Nantz and Romo have been together, and the third time they’ve topped our rankings in the three years we’ve most recently put them together. 91% of you gave them either an A or a B. I guess the other 9% was just Chris Russo voting over and over again.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.