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SI: Sam Ponder Is The "Favorite" To Replace Chris Berman On ESPN

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Sports Illustrated has confirmed an earlier Sporting News report.

As reported earlier in the week by Sporting News, Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch is reporting that ESPN college football reporter Sam Ponder is the clear "favorite" to replace Chris Berman on Sunday NFL Countdown.

From SI:

The thought process behind offering Ponder the Sunday NFL Countdown hosting role is this, ESPN president John Skipper and senior vice president of event and studio production Stephanie Druley (who worked with Ponder at the Longhorn Network) believe Ponder has great potential as a studio host. Skipper also wants to get more women in front-facing positions for the network’s NFL coverage. There has also been plenty of internal talk that management wants the host of this show to focus on facilitating conversations between the analysts as opposed to being an NFL wonk. Anyone who has watched the show over the last decade knows Berman rarely offered an opinion beyond something you’d see out straight out of the NFL’s PR office. It’s not like the host of that show was delivering Ernie Johnson, Rebecca Lowe or Chris Fowler-level commentary, so Ponder would be able to work into learning the league. She has a reputation of being a hard worker on the college side.

Deitsch added that he thinks Ponder will take the job.

Ponder, meanwhile, posted the following on Instagram earlier today.

If Ponder does take the job, who could replace her on College GameDay?

Here are some thoughts below.