So this morning I rolled over and looked at the clock and saw that the early hour of College Gameday on ESPNU wouldn’t start for about an hour, and I tried to go back to sleep. Like a kid on Christmas morning, I just couldn’t do it. I decided to get up and go jog for a few miles, do some pushups, and have some freshly made carrot juice. Or maybe I just went to lay down on the couch, have a monster energy drink, and started watching college football coverage on my DVR from yesterday. Its hard to remember exactly how things went down. Anyways, as College Gameday kicked off on ESPNU, we were broadcasting live from Columbia, South Carolina for the highly anticipated matchup between #5 Georgia and #6 South Carolina. This promises to be a great game tonight, but I’m not sure the game could compare to how good Gameday was this morning. Lots of schtick this morning from the Gameday crew, an insanely rowdy/drunk crowd, good stories and some AMAZING signage. Keep reading if any of this interests you.
As always, we opened up with Chris Fowler welcoming us to this glorious day before disappearing for the next hour. Samantha Steele took over along with Desmond Howard and an incredibly unpopular David Pollack (who was booed every time he opened his mouth). We got a few nice replays of the legendary David Pollack Fat Guy Touchdown from about ten years ago at Georgia. Samantha Steele let us know that she got paint on her outfit from a sign for the first time ever. Speaking of Samantha Steele’s outfit today, here’s what Jennifer had to say: “Better than last week, but it needed a belt”.
In the early hour we got a little piece on Northwestern and their coach Pat Fitzgerald. He seems like a genuinely good guy, as evidenced by this interview done by the Pigskin Project (you guys need to start updating the site more!). The highlight of the piece was during practice when he made a great reference, yelling something to the effect of “Just like Dumb and Dumber, we have to totally redeem ourselves!” . That made me giggle a little bit. We also got an official pick from Samantha Steele. She is taking Iowa State over TCU today in case you were wondering. Later on in the show, they went to a shot inside the bus where David Pollack said Samantha Steele was making more picks as you can see below. Snickers? Milky Way? Nestle Crunch? Take your pick!
We ended the first hour on ESPNU with David and Desmond’s picks as usual. Desmond played to the crowd like most weeks and took South Carolina, while unbiased former Georgia defensive end David Pollack said the Georgia defense would be the difference in this one; he took the Bulldogs. After that, they sent David Pollack to go use the internet and live tweet with fans, and he showed up this week making a pecan pie somewhere while tweeting.
Chris Fowler took control of things, previewing the day by not only reminding us of the FIVE ranked versus ranked matchups today, but by letting us know Lee Corso is picking SEVEN upsets today; an all time record! As they began to run down the games, we got to Michigan/Purdue, to which Chris Fowler said “It is a HUGE day in Purdue today”. I’m not sure that statement has every been uttered before. We once again got the random 35 second production piece from Tom Rinaldi, of which 15 seconds were the title card “Indefensible: by Tom Rinaldi”. That segued into a discussion of how form tackling has gone out of style in today’s college football, mostly due to the fact that nobody practices it anymore due to the risk of injury. Blah blah defense sucks now blah blah David Pollack not impressed with tackling today blah blah blah.
Today’s Tebow Memorial piece was one by Gene Wojciechowski, and featured Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. We learned how he was born and raised a Mormon in Hawaii, but that he believes God led him to choose to travel a vast distance to play at noted Catholic university Notre Dame. We also learned the heartbreaking story of how earlier this year, his grandmother died one night after a long sickness. Six hour later his girlfriend died from leukemia. In accordance with their wishes, he went on to play the game against Michigan State that weekend, and dominated on defense in their win. Heck of a story.
After that we saw Todd McShay travel to West Virginia to meet up with Geno Smith and review some game tape. They compared him last year to this year, and the consensus is that this year he is better than last year, and this year he is pretty good (for those of you who missed the Baylor game). Then to discuss the Oregon State/Washington State, along with the Beaver Train, we brought back David Pollack who delivered some (questionably) fresh In-n-Out Burger. For those of you who missed it, the Oregon State head coach takes his team to In-n-Out after wins whenever they are on the road somewhere that has said burgers. David Pollack reminded everyone that he is still riding the Beaver train, and it was humorous.
We also got a full Tom Rinaldi queit-talking piece about Jarvis Jones from Georgia. He was injured making a tackle while playing at USC; a play that briefly made him go numb in the upper body. He was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, and USC would not clear him to play. He then sought the advice of several other doctors across the country who approved him to continue playing (despite the risks), and he transferred to Georgia where he has become a stud and possible future NFL star. Pretty cool that he went from unable to play to being such a beast on the field.
Before we get down to the business we all came here for (the picks), we must discuss the signage from the South Carolina crowd today. As I previously mentioned, the crowd was completely insane, rowdy, and absolutely BRUTAL on the signs today. I haven’t seen a sign day like this in years. The following signs were all spotted, and I initially thought they might be SIGN OF THE DAY, but they did not even end up qualifying:
-We saw the return of the “I’m Asian!” sign
-“Pollack wears shape-ups”
-“Mark Richt drinks wine coolers”
-“Corso loves Nickelback”
-“Texas State SEC 2020”
-“Corso wants cocks”
However, the finalists are the following you see below.
I’m sure I couldn’t even see them all, but like I said, the signage was completely OUT OF CONTROL and I spent all morning rewinding and replaying it. However, the time has come that we get down to the business of the slate of picks. The guys actually picked a ton of games all throughout the show, so most of the show-ending picks were no surprise, but we did see the return of the celebrity guest picker: Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish and Darius Rucker fame. This guy was a complete 180-degree turn from dirt-bike man we had in Tallahassee a few weeks ago. Darius Rucker came on the set with no notes, and broke the games down as good as any of the analysts. Apparently he is a pretty huge fan of college football, so we salute you Darius. We also found out Steve Spurrier has a brand of wine named after himself, and learned that Chris Fowler and Darius Rucker may be wine connoisseurs.
The full slate of picks can be found HERE. When the time came for Coach Corso to make his headgear pick, he reminded us that twice this year he has already made a selection with a dog mascot (Texas A&M and Tennessee). He said third time is a charm, hinting that he was going with Georgia! NOT SO FAST! In usual hilarious fashion, he trolled the crowd nicely before picking South Carolina and holding a live rooster that Herbie was TERRIFIED of. It’ll be ok Herbie. Enjoy your day everyone.