Danielson, 59, has been CBS' lead analyst on Southeastern Conference games since 2006, coming to the network after a lengthy stay at ABC and ESPN. Last year, Danielson was honored by The Sporting News and Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal as the No. 1 football (college or pro) broadcaster.
Dan Patrick calls Danielson "the best football commentator in the business."
But critics — there are many — say Danielson is a shill for the SEC.
In 2006, he openly lobbied with broadcast partner Verne Lundquist for one-loss Florida to get a spot in the Bowl Championship Series title game over one-loss Michigan. The Gators got the nod and rolled Big Ten champion Ohio State, 41-14, in the BCS title game. Michigan lost to USC, 32-18, in the Rose Bowl.
Although his assessement of Florida and Michigan proved to be correct, many Wolverine fans have never forgiven Danielson, whose roots are in Big Ten country. He was born in Detroit, played quarterback at Purdue and spent 13 seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns.
Danielson also had a feud with Oklahoma's Bob Stoops after quarterback Sam Bradford was injured in the 2009 opener against Brigham Young. Danielson contended that Bradford should have turned pro instead of returning to Oklahoma after winning the Heisman.
"I really wish Bob Stoops would have said to Sam Bradford, 'I'm sorry, I can't let you play for my team this year. I can't risk $70 million knowing that some guard will turn a linebacker loose and blow [out] your arm and knee.' I thought Sam should have been in the NFL."
A few days later, Danielson continued his criticism on Patrick's show, suggesting Stoops had developed a trend of convincing players to stay in college even if they were NFL ready.
"I think [Stoops] needs to look past that sometimes and say, I can't live with myself if you got your right shoulder or your left knee killed [at OU]. I think at some point he should say, listen, I just don't feel right about this. Are you sure? Are you sure?"
Stoops, upon hearing the comments, fired back. "That is ridiculous and it is insulting and it's foolish to say that."
Oklahoman media columnist Mel Bracht wrote that Danielson was out of line. "At one time, I respected CBS analyst Gary Danielson. When he worked for ESPN/ABC, he gave the Big 12 its due. Since joining CBS, he has gotten on the SEC bandwagon to the point of making some ludicrous comments about the Big 12 and other conferences."
Danielson didn't back down. While working an SEC game later that fall, he said: "The Big 12 gets a lot of notoriety for their quarterbacks because of their stats. I am going to make a prediction that the three quarterbacks in the SEC — Tim Tebow, Jevan Snead and [Ryan] Mallett — will be drafted higher than any three quarterbacks now playing in any other conference.
"Snead may go No. 1 in the draft this year if the team drafting needs a quarterback. He will be the first quarterback taken, and Tebow will go in the first round."
A year later, Bradford was drafted No. 1 by the St. Louis Rams. He signed the richest guaranteed contract in NFL history.
"What's Gary Danielson got to say now?" Stoops asked.
Now it's our turn to ask you. Do you like Gary Danielson? Do you not like Gary Danielson? Fire away!