Kirk Herbstreit is interested in broadcasting NFL games on a more regular basis, but not at the expense of college football.
"I've always looked at it like, if you asked that me a year ago, I would say college. I would definitely do college. And after that experience, I'd say I would love to entertain both," Herbstreit told Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated. "I would love the challenge. I don't know if anyone's ever done that, where they do a big college game and then do a game in the NFL. It would have to be a Monday game, obviously. If it were a Sunday game I wouldn't be able to do college and pro. Ideally, in a perfect world, I would love the challenge of trying to do both. But I'm now much more open to the idea of doing the NFL."
Herbstreit, a former quarterback at Ohio State, has worked for ESPN since 1996, appearing on the network's popular pregame show "College Gameday" and as Chris Fowler's color commentator on ABC's weekly primetime game on Saturday evening.
With two Monday Night Football games in Week 1, ESPN tasked Fowler and Herbstreit with announcing the first of two games, a matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants. The two, as predicted, got strong reviews for their call of the game, and Herbstreit later said that he "had a ball" calling an NFL game.
Of course, in a normal week, ESPN only televises one game on Monday evenings. Though some would like to see two games on Monday every week, there's no evidence that such a schedule change is coming anytime soon, and if it ever did, another network could vie for rights to broadcast the game.
So for Herbstreit to ever get the chance to regularly call Monday Night Football, it would likely require the dismissal of the current crew of Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick. While the current trio wasn't ESPN's first pick to fill the most-debated booth in sports, they've brought some sense of stability to the telecasts, which hasn't existed since Mike Tirico left the network following the 2015 season. It's unclear if ESPN would want to mess with the current booth.
That said, Fowler and Herbstreit are arguably the most beloved booth in sports currently. If both were willing to do Monday Night Football in addition to keeping their current college responsibilities, it's not hard to imagine ESPN making that transition. We don't, however, have any idea if Fowler would be interested in taking on such an ambitious schedule.