Pat McAfee has been a breath of fresh air since initially stepping his toe into the WWE Universe back in 2018.

From his memorable run as a pre-show commentator for NXT TakeOvers, to his feud with Adam Cole that saw the ex-Indianapolis Colts punter take the ring for a surprisingly good match at WWE NXT TakeOver: XXX, and his eventually his elevation to SmackDown, where he stepped into the color role next to Michael Cole, McAfee has rapidly captured the hearts of fans the world over who appreciate his everyman's attitude and willingness to mix it up with performers like Happy Corbin. Even if he doesn't have an encyclopedic knowledge of every wrestling move ever executed like, say, AEW's Excalibur, McAfee has a true talent for conveying emotion and getting fans to buy into matches.

Certainly, McAfee has helped to elevate SmackDown‘s commentary team to new heights and even helped Cole recapture his love of Sports Entertainment, as he detailed on Twitter when his partner's contract extension was announced, “after 25 years in “the booth,” working with Pat McAfee is the highlight of each week. His excitement is contagious (even if he almost kicks me when standing on our table) and has helped revitalize my love for our business! WWE, our fans, and I are lucky to have him!”

Unfortunately for fans who have come to anticipate hearing McAfee's takes on SmackDown each week, they're going to have to wait until Saturday mornings to hear his dulcet tones, as the West Virginia punter has accepted a role on ESPN's College GameDay and will thus be stepping away from SmackDown for the foreseeable future.

WWE is fully supportive of Pat McAfee's new side gig with ESPN.

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When basically anything happens in the greater Pat McAfee Expanded Universe, you can expect he will talk about it on his show, The Pat McAfee Show, which is syndicated on Sirius XM and on YouTube as well. Fortunately, McAfee's weekly reshuffling is no exception, as he had a ton to say on the matter as dictated by Fightful:

Last week, we got a deal done that allows me to join College GameDay full-time this season and also next season. With that, because it is Saturday morning, to make that decision and really be a firm ‘yes' from me, I wanted to talk to the people from WWE. Obviously, I hold my role as a SmackDown commentator as high as anything else that I do because not only is it a dream for me since I was a little kid, but there are other little kids out there that are hopefully getting their imagination getting their goals and dreams created like I was when I was a kid watching WWE. I think WWE does that for kids and every time I got an opportunity to get on a microphone there, I wanted to honor that. Before I could agree to do College GameDay, which is an honor of a lifetime, I had to talk to WWE first and see what their thoughts were. I was thinking about maybe doing both, how do I go about doing it? I did it one time whenever SmackDown was in Buffalo, and the plane was stuck in the Middle East. I had College GameDay the next morning in Memphis.

All things considered, good on WWE for being so cool to accommodate McAfee's schedule; while there would certainly be times where the flight from one show to another wouldn't be too tough, say, from Ohio to Michigan, it's simply unrealistic to expect the commentator to work until 10 pm on a Friday in, say, San Diego, and then fly out to Columbus, Ohio for a 9 AM EST start time”

The original thought for me was, I could do SmackDown and GameDay. I can do it. The folks at the WWE, who I have nothing but love, respect, and appreciation for, I'm talking old regime, new regime, whoever you think is in charge, I have nothing but great feelings towards. I reach out to them and chit chat with them, they were the ones who said, ‘If you're going to do GameDay, which is a great opportunity, congratulations, you cannot be traveling overnight for the entirety of the season. It's not good for your health, your family, anything. Whenever the time is right, we'll have you back in our family.' SmackDown, me commentating, will be on hold for a bit while I do College GameDay. I'm still very much in the WWE family.

Good luck on College GameDay, Pat, even if you won't be breaking down just how much of a “Bum Ass” Happy Corbin has proven to be, fans will continue to flock to catch your typically topical takes, it'll just come 11 hours later.