Getting to know TCS College Football Insider Teddy Greenstein

Background on the Total College Sports expert and a brief Q&A; watch as Greenstein defends Alabama football coach Nick Saban

If you read this website then you no doubt notice the Total College Sports video. These reports on college football and basketball provide an interesting perspective on major sports stories. Working alongside the stunning Melanie Collins is one of the most influential names in college football—Teddy Greenstein.

If you haven’t watched TCS then here is a sample of Greenstein and Collins at work. In the above video, Greenstein takes on South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier’s comments questioning Alabama football coach Nick Saban’s legacy. Watch as Greenstein has some fun blasting Spurrier’s ability to insert foot into mouth and putting Saban’s pre-Alabama football years into perspective.

For those in the SEC who might not know Greenstein, he covers college football and professional golf for the Chicago Tribune with a college beat that includes Northwestern and the Big Ten Conference office. He broke more than a few stories about the Big Ten and conference expansion during the last few years. Prior to joining the Tribune, he worked at the New York Daily News and Sports Illustrated. It is an impressive list of professional credentials, and the academic one is excellent too. Greenstein graduated from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. (As an aside, I know just how good this school is because my former company utilized a few professors from Northwestern in seminars on readership. Their insights on readership were enlightening.)

Q: Have we seen the last of conference expansion? Or, is this simply a period where like a boa constrictor, the big conferences are digesting their latest acquisitions?

Teddy Greenstein: I dig the boa constructor analogy, but the Big Ten is definitely done with expansion. The league is very happy at 12. Conference presidents and ADs realize that the more schools you add, the more potential headaches you get in terms of scheduling, geography (travel for non-rev teams) and differing views on academic missions, etc.

By adding Nebraska, the Big Ten achieved its two goals – a Big Ten football title game and a partner with a football program that has a rabid following.

Q: Your bio mentions work with the Big Ten Network, is this still accurate? How long have you been on the Big Ten broadcast? As a journalist, have you noticed any dangers to a reporter’s independence from the growth of conference owned networks?

TG: I have been an analyst on the weekly “Big Ten Football & Beyond” show for three years. What’s great about BTN is that they value my independence. I have no formal ties to any Big Ten schools, so other than trying to be fair and somewhat respectful, I don’t put any limits on myself in terms of analysis.

Q: Has Urban Meyer made the league more interesting to cover? Seems like the drama level increased when he arrived.

TG: Yes, thanks to Urban (and Brady Hoke), that Ohio State-Michigan series will once again become must-watch TV, or must-witness material for alums.

Q: what goes into the production of your TCS segments?

TG: Josh Wine (executive producer with Silver Chalice), Scott Diener (senior coordinating producer Total College Sports) and I talk about content (segments) normally the day before I’m scheduled to be in studio. We’re looking for ideas that are interesting and newsy and ways to present it that can be insightful and entertaining. Then sometimes we add a segment that morning or shift on the fly. (Recent example: Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan changing his stance on which school Jarrod Uthoff can transfer to.)

Then in studio, I work with host Melanie Collins and hoops analyst Tim Doyle.

Q: What is it like working with Melanie Collins?

TG: Melanie is terrific. An incredibly sweet person and really knows her sports.

You can find out more about Greenstein and read his articles at the Chicago Tribune’s website. You can watch Greenstein, Melanie Collins and the entire Total College Sports team’s football coverage by clicking here on our College Football Video Page. This page includes stories, analysis and during football season highlights of the biggest games.


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  1. 2
    # 1 al. fan

    Very interesting article, however, I still believe the SEC made a mistake in adding Missouri and Texas A&M. The conference wasn’t broke in the first place, and then they went and ‘fixed it’. I still say that expanding will come back to haunt us later on…… RTR

    • 3

      It is a fair point. For the SEC presidents and Mike Slive, this is all about the dollars. I wrote about the state of the SEC financially this morning. Let’s just say the league was flush with cash before adding these new conference members.

      Some people are pointing out that the addition of A&M and Mizzou looked like a defensive move and wasn’t groundbreaking.

      What do you think will be the biggest negative that comes back “to haunt” the SEC?

  2. 4
    Who are Paul Finebaum’s daily must-reads and what does this say about the state of the media? | Capstone Report

    […] P aul Finebaum of the Paul Finebaum Radio Network shared his thoughts on today’s media, race in the state of Alabama and within Alabama and Auburn’s football programs, and the state of some of the SEC’s major football programs in a wide-ranging interview with the Capstone Report. This is part of our series on the major voices in college football. Check out our earlier interview with the TCS College Football Insider and Chicago Tribune journalist Teddy Greenstein. […]

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