It is a bittersweet day here at Cole’s Gameday Blog. This is the last Saturday of the regular season, which means the last edition of College Gameday for the year. However, that also means bowl season is about to start, and we are sure to get at least one or two Gameday editions from big bowl games. Also, we all know that bowl season is where legends are made in the rankings here at my blog. Anyways, Gameday was broadcasting live from Atlanta, GA (AKA the Dirty Dirty) for the big SEC Championship game between Alabama and Georgia. Our expert panel is currently sitting at 16 to 5 in favor of the Crimson Tide over the Bulldogs, so gamblers take note.
Chris Fowler opened the show up on a sunny morning in Atlanta, which is a big change from the last couple of weeks where they opened the show in darkness on the West coast. Fowler was driving the bus with Herbie, Desmond and Pollack along for the ride. Samantha Steele quickly took over for Fowler, as he disappeared to go do whatever Chris Fowler does for 45 minutes before the main show on ESPN. Samantha Steele was looking good this morning, and Jennifer noted that she redeemed herself with a great outfit this week after last week’s questionable decision on Ms. Steele’s part.
The first hour of the show was pretty dry on content. They spent a lot of time breaking down football games (who would have thunk it?). Desmond and David talked Heisman for a while, coming to an agreement that this award is not a lock for Johnny Manziel. They both think this award is still up in the air between Manziel, Colin Klein and Manti T’eo. David got into some really deep analysis and informed us that Colin Klein will need to BALL OUT to win the Heisman tonight. We got a piece with Todd McShay back in the studio, where he was LOOKING AT THE TAPE!!! This week’s subject was Georgia QB Aaron Murray. It was basically a 90 second kick in the crotch for Murray, with all of the tape pointing out his weaknesses. Desmond and David both made some picks to end the first hour. David had leaned strongly towards Georgia earlier this week, but both guys picked Bama to win the SEC championship tonight.
As the main show opened up on ESPN, Samantha Steele was sent to the bus, and David Pollack was dispatched to go use the internet. This really has been my favorite 20 seconds of Gameday each week this year, as we get to see awkward David Pollack dressing up or doing something weird all while tweeting. This week he put the apron back on, and was pretending to be smoking some meat in the tailgate area. I say pretending, because he was mostly just poking at it repeatedly with a utensil while tweeting on his phone.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly joined the show to talk about generic coach things. He was booed loudly by both crowds on location, and was good-natured about the whole thing. Speaking of Notre Dame, let me use this opportunity to shoehorn in a screenshot of Mark May dressed up as a leprechaun from last week’s College Football Final. Mark May had offered to dress up like this if Notre Dame went undefeated this year, and the payoff was glorious.
Gene W. had a decent piece on Jarvis Jones, about how his brother was murdered several years ago, and how his life spiraled out of control afterwards. He was taken under the wing of a family friend who legally adopted him, and she got him back on the right track. It is this positive influence, and the inspiration of his brother which he credits for his success on the field. We saw the return of Bald Man on Campus with Scott Van Pelt. This week he was in College Station to meet up with Johnny Manziel and talk about how his life has changed since coming into the Heisman talk. I would like to take this opportunity to editorialize once again if you don’t mind indulging me. While I don’t have a problem with the nickname Johnny Football, I am firmly opposed to the use of the nickname “Johnny Heisman” for this young man, whether or not he should win the Heisman trophy. This nickname bothers me quite a bit, because the award is named after John Heisman. This nickname is the antithesis of clever when it is merely the same name as the legendary figure that the award is named after.
Other random notes from today include Desmond Howard repeatedly forcing in references to Tupac Shakur’s lyrics, and Lee Corso’s confusion as to who Tupac Shakur was. Tom Rinaldi was not quite as in-your-face this week as recent weeks, but he did get a few segments in. He had a sit-down interview with Nick Saban. Either Tom Rinaldi didn’t have a beatnik poetry piece this week, or I missed it somewhere. The main piece, which was really good, was Rinaldi’s piece about Coastal Carolina’s head coach Joe Moglia. Coach Moglia was a defensive coordinator at Dartmouth back in 1983, but quit that job to support his four children by working on Wall Street. He went on to become CEO of TD Ameritrade, and made over $100 million before leaving the company in 2008. After this, he decided to return to his passion; coaching football. He took an unpaid assistant position under Bo Pelini at Nebraska before coaching in the UFL. Now he finds himself the head coach at Coastal Carolina, and they have made the FCS playoff second round for the first time in school history. He credits this success to his experiences running things on Wall Street. I enjoyed the feedback from his players about his generosity towards the team. They would say something about needing new cleats, and he would show up with new Adidas cleats for the team. They would ask for Nikes, and he would show up having bought Nikes for the entire team. They needed new jerseys, so he bought new jerseys for the team. This was a really cool story. Just beware, because the Sam Houston State Bearkats are also in the FCS playoff second round. Should Coastal Carolina meet up with Sam Houston State, it will be in the championship game. BE ON YOUR GUARD COACH MOGLIA! THE BEARKATS ARE COMING FOR YOU! DO YOU HEAR ME?
Like I said, the content was a little bit light this week on the show. I don’t know if its because there is a light schedule of games today, or if it is because of the abundance of breakfast tacos which manifested themselves in front of me while watching. I will not speculate on such things. But I guess its time for the last official pick segment of the year on an official College Gameday edition. This week’s guest picker was handsome man and Atlanta Falcon’s QB Matt Ryan. Apparently Lee Corso did not know where the nickname Matty Ice came from, as he has never partaken in a nice tallboy of Natty Ice. This went along well with Corso’s ignorance of Tupac Shakur from earlier. Coach Corso made some great picks this morning, including picking “Calvin Klein” to beat Texas tonight, so take note gamblers. Matty Ice went against the hometown crowd in Atlanta by picking Bama to win the big game tonight. Herbie agreed and picked Bama as well. Would Corso call for the upset? Absolutely not, as he reminded us that Uga the bulldog is too ugly, so he has to go with Alabama and donned the elephant headgear. Should be an exciting matchup, so enjoy this last regular edition of College Gameday.