Its the middle of the day here on Saturday. The generic Big Ten action of the morning has ended. The big game between Sam Houston State and Texas A&M has begun. That must mean its time to recap this morning’s episode of College Gameday. As I’m sure you noticed (and cursed me for) things got a late start this morning at the blog due to a meeting at my “real” job. For your record, all of this week’s picks can be found HERE and HERE. Now let us begin.
This week, Gameday was coming at you live from Eugene, Oregon for the big matchup between the Oregon Ducks and the Stanford Cardinal. It was pitch black outside as we kicked off the first hour at 6AM local time in Eugene on ESPNU. It appeared to be quite cold and raining as well. This is the reason that I enjoy Gameday coming from Eugene better than anywhere. The crowd at an Oregon Gameday set all got up extremely early and/or stayed up extremely late (either way partaking in some libations no doubt). They have fought through the rain and cold to be there. They are absolutely rabid, and it makes for a great atmosphere on TV. Chris Fowler opened up the show and welcomed us in before disappearing to somewhere heated no doubt and handing things off to Samantha Steele.
Jennifer loved this outfit again, and suggested that Ms. Steele has been on an incredible run of great outfits in recent weeks. If you disagree then I guess you are wrong. One of the early stories covered was the drama (i.e. childish grabassery) going on between USC and UCLA in regards to UCLA covering up a Matt Barkley billboard in town, as well as warning the USC drum major that if he stabs the field then they won’t let the band play at halftime. I think this angle might have been covered more than the athletic competition itself, but I’m not sure why when this looks like a pretty significant game itself. As we got into previewing the Oregon/Stanford matchup, we were once again joined by GIGANTIC HUMAN BEING TREVOR MATICH to discuss the Stanford defense being pitted against the Oregon offense. For reference, see THIS for week 10 coverage of GIGANTIC HUMAN BEING TREVOR MATICH. The consensus is that this is a game you should watch. After that was a replay of Gene W.’s piece on Johnny Football from last week. Yawn. Speaking of yawn, David Pollack was either incredibly exhausted this morning during Todd McShay’s film session, or he was incredibly bored. Either way, I’ll let you be the judge based on this look that Pollack had on his face for most of it.
There was also highlights of the Oregon Duck mascot losing its head going skydiving yesterday. Don’t worry, the head was recovered safely. Lastly, we got some picks from Pollack and Desmond Howard. They both went with Oregon over Stanford, and agreed on everything except one: Desmond Howard is calling for the upset of Baylor of KState. Take note gamblers. ON TO THE MAIN SHOW!
Fowler, Herbie, Des and Coach Corso opened up the main show on ESPN as the daylight made its presence known. David Pollack was dispatched to go use the internet to tweet at the rubes like always. This week, he was in the Oregon training facility getting a massage from the Oregon Duck (the Duck was doing some strange gyrations while standing on top which we will never speak of again).
We quickly got a Tom Rinaldi beatnik poetry session entitled “Wrath”, in which he discussed the wrath of angry football coaches aimed towards their players. It was basically a highlight reel of coaches screaming profanity at players and refs starring Tommy Tuberville and Bo Pelini. This segued nicely into a discussion by the Gameday crew about how some coaches are getting out of control in their treatment of players. This discussion turned into a dogpile on Bo Pelini; a man noted for being quite surly and someone that I would not want to meet in a dark alley. Thank you Tom Rinaldi.
After that, we saw a fresh piece by Gene W. about the preseason attack on Montee Ball. The consensus is that he was randomly attacked by some guys, missed a few games, fell out of the Heisman race before it even started, and is pretty good at football. Thanks Gene. Same story, different day. After this, Coach Corso stopped down to point out that Desmond Howard was wearing a nice blankie under the desk to keep warm. This takes us back several weeks when Herbie was put under the spotlight for wearing a blankie as well. Coach Corso is a real man and wears an overcoat, and he wants you to know it. Also, its hard to tell but it appeared that Desmond Howard and Kirk Herbstreit were wearing the same suit but in two different colors. They both had a white square pattern all over, and it was strange to see if you are as weird as I am.
We got a full-on Tim Tebow Memorial Segment this week about Chip Kelly’s trip to Ethiopia to help out at a girl’s school there. Like every Gameday segment about Tim Tebow several years ago, we learned the valuable lesson that we are very blessed to be given so much every day. The highlight of all of the segments today was definitely Tom Rinaldi’s piece on Wake Forest assistant coach Tommy Elrod. We heard the heartbreaking tale of how he lost his infant son Byron after only 7 days due to the massive brain tumor he was born with. Elrod’s older son was so excited to finally be a big brother, have someone to play football with, and someone he could fist bump like so many players he has seen on the field. During one of the trips to the hospital, his older son walked into the room and Byron lifted his fist as if by some miracle to give him a fist bump. This was quite touching, and hard for me to explain, so if it pops up on ESPN.com or Youtube check it out.
But let’s get down to the business at hand. It is time for picks. This week’s guest picker is none other than Braden Pape. Who is that you may ask? He happens to be a five year old Oregon fan that you probably remember from last year. He made an appearance on Gameday last year and sang COMIN’ TO YOUR CITAAAY from start to finish. Well he’s back, and this week he is all business. He took some of the obvious picks like Lehigh over Lafayette, and went with Yale over Harvard. This kid might have been one of the best guest pickers ever, with lots of funny lines and moments. He called for Baylor to upset KState, and said “SORRY KIRK” when he went with Wisconsin over Ohio State. The best moment of all was when he went with Yale over Harvard. Lee Corso immediately issued a MASSIVE “Not so fast midget!” in that kid’s face which was incredibly hilarious (See Kegs ‘n Eggs for video). They even let this kid make his own unofficial headgear pick, and he threw a white box with some coloring on it over his head to go with the Oregon Ducks. Coach Corso went with his favorite mascot and put on the Duck head. That wasn’t enough however, as he was handed a live duck which sent Herbie ducking for cover. Then he danced out front with some cheerleaders, the real Oregon mascot, and the live duck. If you didn’t really know what was going on and saw this scene, it would be quite hard to explain. However, you’re reading this entire thing so we are all in the same boat. Enjoy you day folks.