After 27 seasons, CBS announced that they and Billy Packer had ended their working relationship. Clark Kellogg will now replace Packer as the lead color analyst for college basketball games on the CBS, including the Final Four. Packer apparently had been working a series of one year contracts and that both he and CBS decided a year ago to end their relationship. Packer is also leaving Raycom, a regional network where he did a lot of ACC games.
If you an avid reader of this column (OK that comment pertained to five of you), you know that I am not a big fan of Billy Packer, so no tears are shed for CBS letting him go. I have often taken Packer to task for his basketball analysis. There are several reason for this.
First, he is an ACC homer. He went to Wake Forest, and as mentioned, when not working for CBS, did color analysis on ACC games for Raycom. Often in nationally televised games that didn't even involve ACC teams, Packer would mention the ACC or teams in the ACC many times. This was not just my thought, this was also the thought of many people, including friends of mine such as Grant Hayden and Mal Galletta.
Second, he was biased for major college teams. During the 2006 Final Four selection show, when most sane college basketball analysts were realizing the biggest snub of the tournament was Hofstra, Packer railed against the tournament committee for not taking teams such as Michigan or Maryland - two bubble teams that lost in their conference tournament quarterfinal games.
Third, I didn't think his analysis was all that great. This past Final Four was very indicative of it, especially the championship game. Take a look at my post of Tuesday morning, April 8, the day after the championship game. Instead of discussing the non foul decision by Calipari, Packer is talking about Rose's foot on the circus shot he hit earlier in the second half. What???
Here's another example from April 1, 2006. I was listening to Mike and the Mad Dog on my way home and Packer was a guest of the show as he often has been through the years. Packer basically dissed the George Mason team right before their Final Four game against Florida, and made the comment that the stats don't show why Mason is winning all those games in the tournament. My post from that day gives you the stats, Billy.
All in all, its really not a big loss for college basketball fans. Kellogg is a very good analyst and it will be nice to hear for once not so many references to the ACC in a non ACC televised game. :-)