Podcasts have been a go to form of entertainment for me for the past four or five years. While I have listened to many different podcasts over the years, I have five or six that I listen to faithfully. One of the first podcasts that got me hooked was the Solid Verbal; a podcast hosted by Ty Hildenbrandt and Dan Rubenstein that discusses everything college football and more. Dan and Ty have an extensive knowledge of the sport, and bring on many of the top college football writers and analysts, including Andy Staples, Bill Connelly and Adam Kramer, just to name a few. Their mix of college football knowledge, pop culture references and a healthy amount of humorous banter makes this podcast my one must listen podcast each week.
This next season will be my fourth full season as a “Verballer,” and it has become a weekly ritual in preparing for the upcoming slate of games. While we are currently in the offseason, Ty and Dan continue to provide a variety of content, discussing topics such as rule changes, recruiting, previews of the upcoming season and more. They also continue to have high quality guests throughout the year including college football writers, coaches and experts from across the country. Traditionally, Ty and Dan record two shows per week during the regular season and one show per week during the offseason. The Solid Verbal isn’t just about college football, which makes it my favorite sports related podcast as it breaks up the show a bit and really makes for an entertaining experience all around. Ty and Dan have fun on the show, and discuss a number of additional topics in addition to college football such as top restaurants in different college towns and 90’s pop culture trivia, just to name a few.
Ty Hildenbrandt is a graduate of Penn State University, however his favorite team is Notre Dame. While both Ty and Dan have their favorite teams, it rarely feels like their coverage leans heavily in any one area. One of the running jokes on the podcast is in regards to Ty’s day job, which he continues to hold close to his chest. Ty has a history of working in sports broadcasting, and was the first winner of the McDonald’s “Next Great Sportswriter” competition on FOXSports.com and has worked on the Two Minute Warning blog, including a number of other sports related media.
Dan Rubenstein is a university of Oregon grad, which obviously brings a lot of Oregon and Pac-12 coverage to the podcast. In addition to the Solid Verbal, Dan is a writer and host for SB Nation, covering topics across the entire sports landscape. Dan hosts a number of weekly shows for SB Nation in addition to the Solid Verbal, including “Dan on Fire,” a satirical look at sports stories across the nation and “Easy Call,” a show that Dan makes his picks against the spread for big games coming up and eats at some of the best eateries in the New York area. I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with Dan a bit over Twitter, and he always seems active and engaged, asking what games I am most excited for and genuinely responding when I’ve asked him questions (both food and college football related!)
Together they cover the entire college football landscape, discussing the big 5 conferences as well as the Mountain West, Conference USA, the American Athletic Conference, the Sun Belt, and of course the Mid American Conference (#MACtion!). At the conclusion of each season, Dan and Ty put together their annual awards show known as “The Verbies,” where fans are given the opportunity to vote on different categories set by Ty and Dan, including, “Awkward Broadcasting Moment of the Year,” “Not Coach of the Year,” and “Twitter Feed of the Year.”
Listening to other college football podcasts, I rarely hear much coverage regarding my Boise State Broncos unless we have just beaten a highly ranked team or say, our Quarterback gets sent home for urinating off of a balcony right before our bowl game (just an example, of course). The Solid Verbal definitely doesn’t focus on the Mountain West, but I’ve heard more references to Boise State than on any other podcast, which definitely appeals to me. I feel that many fans across the country can learn more about their team from listening to the Solid Verbal as compared to other podcasts, where coverage of their team may be glossed over at best. Many of the other college football podcasts I have listened to rarely run longer than half an hour, which could play into a lack of coverage of mid majors, whereas the Solid Verbal traditionally runs an hour or more each show, supplying listeners with all of the content they could ever want each week.
I cannot wait until the 2014 season begins, however until then, I will be listening to the Solid Verbal to get my college football fix. While many podcasts take the offseason off or begin to focus on other sports, Ty and Dan help college football fans across the nation get their CFB fix during the long basketball, baseball and hockey seasons. Even if you aren’t the biggest college football fan, the Solid Verbal offers something for everyone, and Ty and Dan have a great amount of chemistry, which comes from working together for so long. It is very apparent that college football is their biggest passion, and it gives fans a reprieve when college football tends to drop off of most other media outlets as the spotlight shifts to other sports.
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What is your favorite college football (or sports in general) podcast? What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming college football season? Let me know in the comments below!