ESPN's Samantha Ponder recently left her post on "College Gameday" to take the helm of "Sunday NFL Countdown." Before that season starts, though, she and husband Christian — the former Vikings quarterback — are expecting their second child "any day now," she said. She reflected on that and more in an interview with the Star Tribune's Michael Rand:

Q "Sunday NFL Countdown" has a pretty successful formula. How do you balance trying to put your own stamp on it with not trying to reinvent the wheel?

A That's the challenge, for sure. What Chris Berman and that group built is the reason that people tune in. There's that familiarity of those guys that people grew up with. When you think about it from that perspective, it's super daunting. Look, no one grew up watching NFL football with me. I'm well aware of that. I told Chris this when he reached out after it was announced and was so gracious: I hope you can be proud of what we do with it and what it becomes. But there's no pretending that this is going to be the same deal. It's going to look a lot different. We're going to take some risks and try some new things.

Q You've given some thoughtful answers already in recent interviews about the perception of conflict of interest considering your husband is in the league. Did that factor into your decision at all as to whether to take this new role?

A There was zero hesitation in terms of conflict of interest. Within the industry, and maybe people don't want to hear this, but everyone has a conflict of interest. It's a relationship-based industry. There are people we like and don't like. We're all human. There is no complete objectivity in anything. … My only hesitation was that I loved my job and working on "College Gameday." It was, for me, more than a dream come true.

Q When you and Christian had your daughter, Bowden, in 2014, it was somewhat of a secret — far more so than this time around with your pregnancy. Is that a coincidence?

A No, I'll be honest. The first time around, it was more about the environment. It was rough. I don't think that's a surprise. We were easy targets when we were [in Minnesota]. … It just got so bad when we were there that we decided, "We're going to protect this." People can say whatever they want about Christian or me, but if we can protect my stress level while I was pregnant and our newborn baby, we were going to do that as much as we could. And it has been different since we moved.

Q You recently tweeted about getting "sexist and vulgar tweets" about your job and appearance while "unable to see my own feet and covered in toddler pee." Does that kind of social media interaction happen a lot?

A Well, maybe that actually got taken out of context a little or I just phrased it wrong. It had just leaked that I was going to be taking the Chris Berman role, and all the tweets I was getting that day were like, "She's just getting this because of how she looks and because she's a woman." And I was like, "If you could see how I look right now, you would not think that's why I'm getting this job." I just saw some irony in that. … But that's part of Twitter. In some ways, it's humbling in a good sense. You don't want people to be mean, but when I was in Minnesota, I grew a lot spiritually and personally from dealing with a lot of that stuff.