Week 3 of College Gameday (presented by the Home Depot) has come and gone, but the games are still going strong. Originally, this week was to be hosted in Fayetteville, Arkansas for the Arkansas/Alabama matchup. Thanks to an absolute implosion by Arkansas, ESPN said thanks but no thanks, and changed locations early this week. Instead, we were broadcasting live from Knoxville, Tennessee today for the big matchup between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Florida Gators. 2004 was the last time Gameday was in Knoxville, so this crowd was FIRED UP BIGTIME. The crowd was very chant-heavy, very vocal, and had some great signs. Things we learned today? Tennessee likes orange pants, hates jorts, and HATES Lane Kiffin (well who doesn’t?). Every time Lane Kiffin or USC were mentioned today, there was a massive amount of booing along with several “Kiffin Sucks” chants that broke out.
Our first hour opened up as usual, with Chris Fowler saying good morning to us on ESPNU, then going back to the bus to grab a nap before the main show on ESPN. Samantha Steele took over hosting along with our buddies David Pollack and Desmond Howard. My girlfriend Jennifer was pleased with Samantha Steele’s outfit today, but her shoes drive Jennifer crazy. It appears Samantha Steele only owns one style of shoe (something called wedges according to the women polled at my house this morning), so we will be tracking this story as it continues to develop. We got a replay of the Urban Meyer piece involving his daughter and their rules for his return. I wonder how much more mileage they are going to get out of that piece. I know I’ve seen it at least three or four times on the various shows, and at least twice on Gameday already. We got a nice black-guy suit from Desmond Howard this week, so its a good bounceback from last week. Please review his suit and Samantha Steele’s shoes below.
We got the normal spattering of generic coach interviews, but most notably with Penn State coach Bill O’Brien. O’Brian confirmed that kicker Sam Ficken is still on the team after missing four of five field goals in last week’s loss. Poor kid is only on the team because their original kicker transferred out to Texas (Hook’em), but O’Brian stands by him and reminds us that if the rest of the team played better and he coached better that it wouldn’t have come down to any field goals. Gotta respect this Bill O’Brian. He always seems to say the right things, and never waivers at all in his faith in rebuilding this program (I know we’re only three weeks into this thing, but I could see him at Penn State for a long, long time). We then got some early picks from Pollack and Howard, with Pollack picking Florida (to MASSIVE boos) and Howard picking Tennessee.
The main show on ESPN opened up with the usual A-Team of Fowler, Corso, Herbie and Desmond Howard. What we learned at the opening of the main show is that this crew loves to have on the FCS. They like to point out anybody who is playing an FCS team and make sure they are held accountable by the public. Today they featured a sign asking when Gameday was coming to Tennessee Tech (who plays Oregon today). They sent David Pollack to go use the internet again, but this time he was banished to the back of somebody’s boat by himself to tweet on his phone. The only picture we got was the one below.
In this week’s Tebow Memorial Segment brought to you by quiet speaking Tom Rinaldi, we have the story of how Nick Saban brought in Dewey Bozella to speak to his team. Dewey Bozella was an amateur boxer who was wrongfully convicted of murder and imprisoned for 26 years. He was repeatedly given a chance to plead guilty and take a deal for less time, but said he would rather die in prison than admit to committing a crime he never did. This was edited very weird, and I honestly don’t know what the overall point of his message was. I think it was something to do with cherishing your youth (which he lost), and never giving up on a fight. At the age of 52, after being released from prison, Dewey returned to the ring for his only professional fight which ended in a win. I really thought this might be an awesome segment, but like I said the editing made it seem very scattered so I wish we had more of it.
We didn’t get a “Bald Man on Campus” segment from Scott Van Pelt, which was upsetting, but we got a double dose from Tom Rinaldi. He did a second piece on Derek Dooley’s pants. We learned that Derek Dooley started wearing bright orange pants while watching old footage of Tennessee playing back in the 60s or 70s when such pants were in style. He decided to bring them back as a tribute to their past, and things quickly escalated. He found a tailor in town that makes the Masters’ green jackets in golf, and had them make special orange pants out of imported European fabric. It took SIX WEEKS to finalize the design of these orange pants, and now they are the exclusive maker of Derek Dooley’s orange pants. The pants have taken on a life of their own, with fans making a Twitter account and Facebook page for them, in addition to all the signs at Gameday referencing the pants. Tom Rinaldi finished off the segment by showing us that he had a pair made for himself, which he modeled below.
As I said before, lots of good signs at this week’s Gameday presentation. Tons of signs promoting orange pants, tons of signs hating on jorts (Florida being the jort capital of the world), with the following highlights. Several people just had oversized signs that were a pair of gigantic orange pants. Other notables were “‘Nice Jorts’ says nobody ever”, and “The only Tenn-I-See is Samantha Steele”. But today’s sign winner in my book is a great one for anyone who loves humor involving jorts, football, and puns.
Gene Wojciechowski did a segment today with Stanford QB Josh Nunes who has slid into the drivers’ seat after Andrew Luck. The highlight is that we found out he speaks French, and (surprisingly) is very smart. There was some other stuff about how his dad bought him a Stanford hat when he was 8, so its fate that he would go on to be Stanford’s QB. Also, we found out Josh Nunes is NOT Andrew Luck.
I was also very pleased that we made it through all three hours of College Gameday this morning without a single mention of Notre Dame joining the ACC (except in football) or UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun retiring. I have to say I was less than pleased with ESPN’s college football coverage this week because of these two stories. These are both huge stories no doubt, but there was FAR too much coverage of these stories on college football shows. Yes ESPN, there’s nothing I want to hear about more when I tune into “College Football Live” than discussions of a basketball coach’s retirement. Yes ESPN, there’s nothing I want to see more than Digger Phelps and Dick Vitale breaking down Notre Dame and ACC basketball when I tune into College Football Daily. Let’s keep the football shows on the topic of football please.
End rant. Time to get down to the business at hand. Today’s celebrity guest appearance for the picks was Kenny Chesney. You may remember Kenny Chesney appeared previously as a guest picker back in October of 2008, going 7-3. Well he’s back to pick today’s games, but the highlight for me was the hats Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit wore in his honor. We also learned that Charles Barkley was the first ever celebrity guest picker, and he appeared at a Gameday in Knoxville. Fun facts.
To nobody’s surprise, Chesney picked Tennessee to beat the Gators. Herbie picked Florida, siding with David Pollack and Desmond Howard. Yes, you read that right. Desmond Howard came on near the end and changed his pick from Tennessee to Florida, which made it RAIN DOWN BOOS. But…WHO WILL COACH CORSO PICK? He said he picked a dog (Reveille) last week and lost, so this week he couldn’t do it again for Tennessee. Then he basically said nevermind, and went with the Tennessee Volunteers for his official headgear selection! Enjoy your afternoon folks.