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Tag Archives: chris fowler

Week 1 2015: College Gameday review! #cfb #getup4gameday

I know this is coming out a little bit late, but welcome back to our weekly College Gameday review!  Week 1 was broadcasting to your living room in full color from Sundance Square in Ft. Worth, Texas, where the Gameday boys were preparing for tonight’s big game between Alabama and Wisconsin.  The intro song continues to be revamped each season, sliding into more and more mediocrity, but I’ll be damned if it still doesn’t get me jacked up every Saturday morning.

Right out of the gate you may have noticed that Rece Davis is now piloting the show in place of Chris Fowler, who has been called in for play-by-play duties full time on Saturday nights.  Many of you may not have noticed the difference, as many claim Davis and Fowler are actually one and the same.  Come to think of it, have you ever seen the two of them in the same place at the same time?

Anyways, upon opening the show, a few kind words were said by Rece Davis about Chris Fowler.  Not enough can be said about Chris Fowler’s impact on College Gameday, but there is nobody better to fill those shoes than Rece Davis.  The kind words extended by Davis were agreed upon by all of the Gameday crew, but this took an awkward left turn as Kirk Herbstreit boldly proclaimed that there is NOBODY better in the business than Chris Fowler.  He then backtracked and let us know there there is ALSO nobody better than Rece Davis.

As the show got under way, it has become apparent that ESPN is fully embracing the gambling on college football games this year.  Two years ago you never heard anything about point spreads, totals, or covering except vague references to “the experts” predictions from “out in the desert”.  Last year they started at least acknowledging the spreads, but this year they are all but making and taking bets on the show.  Those of you watching the weeknight games this week may have seen the birth of the “Cover Alert” to go along with the Upset Alert.  Gameday has now introduced a new feature called “Bear’s Bank” in which Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica provides three of his best bets for you with his patended “Bear Bucks”.  This week he took the Alabama/Wisconsin under, Texas A&M minus the points, and Arkansas St to cover against USC.  This segment was also stopped down by Herbie who pointed out that Fallica was breaking Gameday dress code by wearing shorts.  The biggest takeaway here is that Fallica has HUGE calves.

Chris Fallica: Huge Calves

Chris Fallica: Huge Calves

As we get into the sign game this week, the competition wasn’t as strong as some weeks in the past, but we still had a few highlights.  We had the return of the always-beloved “I’m Asian” sign, the “Kendal Briles was adopted” sign, “Saban pays for Tinder”, and “Gus Malzahn’s name was on Ashley Madison”.  Here’s some of those signs.  However this week’s co-signs of the week are the following:

Courtesy reddit user DeKaF

Courtesy reddit user DeKaF

and…

Indeed...

Indeed…

Early in the show there was a short piece on the move made by Mike Riley from Oregon State to Nebraska.  He is very mild mannered in case you forgot that from similar segments of years past.  In fact, he is basically the antithesis of Bo Pelini in every way possible.  Even though Nebraska is off to a rough start losing to BYU today, let’s all root for Mike Riley for being such a nice guy.

Without a doubt the best segment of the day was a highlight video of extreme offseason workouts.  Kids are dressing up like superheros and comic book characters to get an extra bit jacked up for weight lifting and practices.  The kids are also big into viral videos one-upping each other with ridiculous feats of football skill.  There is really no way to properly describe this, so just watch THIS VIDEO and ejoy it.

Samantha Ponder had a hilarious segment teaching College Football 101 to some children including her own little bundle of joy Scout Ponder.  Without a doubt the highlight of this video is the kid from Alabama yelling “WE’RE NUMBER THREE!  WE’RE NUMBER THREE!”

This brings us to this week’s edition of the SAM PONDER OUTFIT OF THE WEEK!  This week she was sporting a white skirt and pink blouse, but this was hardly noticed due to the presence of QB guru George Whitfield and his purple suit and lavender rosette.  The best line of this week comes courtesy of Reddit user Extra21stChromosome who asked “Why is Sam Ponder talking to Grimace?”

Sam Ponder and QB Guru George Whitfield

Sam Ponder and QB Guru George Whitfield

Now back to regularly scheduled programming.  After watching the earlier extreme workout video, Rece Davis wasted no time challenging David Pollack to see if he can still do a 52 inch vertical leap.  The result was impressive (at least to someone like myself with a solid 28 inch vertical leap).

A touching tribute piece to Chris Fowler followed the David Pollack acrobatics show, and it was a great look back at the last 25 years he has been on Gameday.  There is nothing I love more than vintage Gameday videos.  After this video, the entire Gameday crew was joined by Fowler, which finally places Fowler and Rece Davis in the same place at the same time proving them to be different.

Gameday crew

Gameday crew

During this segment, Rece Davis vowed to continue the famed ‘Hundred Dollar Bill Question’ popularized by Fowler.  This week’s obscure piece of trivia was questioning what team in ALL of college football has the longest losing streak.  Those of you playing at home obviously know it is D2 school Cheyney University of Pennsylvania with a 32 game losing streak.  The hundred dollar bill remained unclaimed by the Gameday crew.

Gene W. had a great piece on Alabama kicker Adam Griffith, who is actually from Poland and has quite an amazing story.  I guess Gene W. never really does stories on your average middle-class player who got a scholarship to Colorado or Pitt and lived a normal life, so I don’t need to tell you this kicker has an amazing story.  From growing up in extremely hard conditions, bouncing around from parents to orphanages to the streets (and taking up smoking at the age of SIX!!!) he was adopted by an American couple and brought here to dominate the kicking game (except for his appearance in the Kick Six).  On top of that, he has a pretty funny Polish-SEC accent, so check it out.

As the show neared the grand finale of game picks, out of nowhere a Brad Paisley concert broke out.  He sang about college football and stuff. It was weird.  I guess since he was this week’s guest picker he demanded a musical appearance.  Babi Mac made a brief appearance earlier (which I still don’t understand), but the jury is still out on College Gameday musical pieces (at least to me).

Speaking of picks, this week’s grand finale featured both Brad Paisley and one of the Kirk Herbstreit clones named Chase.  Brad Paisley brings a lifetime record of 6-3 picking games in his previous appearance, so we will see if he can top that.  This week’s picks started off picking a few cupcakes against the spread for entertainment purposes only before diving into the day’s bigger games.  As the time arrived for headgear, Corso said he had arranged a live elephant on set for today at the price of $6,000, but the elephant stood him up.  He picked up the Alabama headgear and did a double fake-out before finally placing it on his head.  Those of you paying close attention might have noticed he let this pick slip earlier in the show when he said he would take both “Alabama and the under”, but who cares?  Its Lee freaking Corso.

Corso picks the Tide!

Corso picks the Tide!

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Big changes to our Gameday experience: Who is in, and who is out?

After the historic 2014 season of college football, which included record breaking ratings for ESPN’s college football coverage, I did not expect changes in that coverage. The landscape of college football coverage at ESPN has been pretty steady aside from recent expansions, with very little shakeup in their core coverage. However, this season’s landscape will look very different from years past.

To go back in my time running this blog, the biggest shakeup we’ve seen in the realm of college football pickers and prognosticators was Pat Forde leaving ESPN in 2011 when he jumped ship to Yahoo Sports. A few other changes of smaller significance come to mind. Howie Schwab being let go from ESPN in 2013. Craig James’ hair leaving ESPN for a failed political career. Christian Fauria getting the boot in 2013. Dan Hawkins taking a position coaching Team USA to compete against the Japanese. The passing of Beano Cook in 2012. Oh, and also the retirement of Billy the Cat and the addition of the heir to his legacy; Charley the Cat. Considering that I’ve tracked around 65 analysts (in addition to dozens of celebrity guests), those changes are pretty small. That all changed this offseason.

Chris Fowler: OUT

Chris Fowler: OUT

College Gameday itself has had a core of Corso, Herbstreit and Fowler since 1996. Corso was with them from the beginning in 1987, and Herbie joined the party in 1996, but it has been Chris Fowler anchoring the production since 1990. In a surprise announcement which shocked fans of College Gameday, Fowler announced he was going to willingly step down from his hosting duties on College Gameday in order to focus on his duties replacing Brent Musberger in the biggest game on Saturday night, and his passion for covering the game of tennis. While his replacement Rece Davis is no slouch, there is no one finer when it comes to college football coverage. He can capture the drama and magnitude of games as well as Musberger, yuck it up with Corso and Will Ferrell on any Saturday morning, and deliver news on sometimes harsh realities of the sport with the class of Walter Chronkite. It is a shame we are losing him after 25 years, but that’s one heck of a run in one position. While only picking games rarely on College Gameday, and many of them being absurd TRIPLE-NOT-SO-FASTS, he retires with a Gamedaycole.com record of 29-18 (61.7%). I can only hope the hundred dollar bill question from College Gameday does not retire with him.

Rece Davis: IN

Rece Davis: IN

In his slot, Rece Davis will be stepping in, and I’m sure he will do great. Rece is no stranger to College Gameday, hosting the college hoops edition since 2005. He has a perfect combination of a sports almanac for a brain, a smooth delivery, and enough self-deprication in his sense of humor to don a judge’s rope and listen to Lou Holtz and Mark May yell at each other every Saturday night. We look forward to his addition to the College Gameday team, and he brings with him a lifetime Gamedaycole.com record of 5-3 (62.5%).

Colin Cowherd: OUT

Colin Cowherd: OUT

The next biggest change (possibly bigger depending on your tastes) is the departure of Colin Cowherd to parts unknown. After three seasons as a Gamedaycole.com champion (08, 09, 10), his status as a competitor on this site is unknown. He is rumored to be headed off to Fox Sports, Sirius XM, or some combination of both. I would assume he can pick college football games for another media outlet just as easily as he did at ESPN, but until some announcement is made and he starts broadcasting somewhere, his picks may be on hiatus. As he departs ESPN, he takes with him one of our all-time best records at 526-217 (70.79%).

Holtz, Davis, May: OUT, OUT, and OUT!

Holtz, Davis, May: OUT, IN, and OUT!

The next big tree to fall in this offseason was none other than Lou Holtz (or Dr. Lou as you may know him). In what was described by Sports Illustrated as “closer to a mutual agreement between the parties than Holtz getting fired”, this will be the first season we don’t see Lou Holtz since he joined ESPN in 2004. At the age of 78 maybe he decided it was time to hang it up, or maybe he wants to focus on his public speaking engagements. Maybe he will show up on NBC on Saturdays to pump up Notre Dame before each game. Whatever he decides to do with his newly-found free time, we know for sure it will be a much more solemn Saturday if you are a fan of Notre Dame (or South Carolina or Arkansas for that matter). Noone on ESPN had an undying loyalty to their own team like Holtz had to his teams, although Desmond Howard looks to be the new leader in the clubhouse of bias analysis. The ESPN studio halftime reports, as well as College Football Final, have been blown apart starting with the departure of Lou Holtz, and while this may not be as big of a single name to leave as Fowler or Cowherd, more dominoes start falling once Holtz is out. As Holtz makes his exit, he takes with him a lifetime record of 240-136 (63.83%).

That next domino to tip over is none other than Lou Holtz’s partner-in-crime Mark May. The unlikely marriage of an elderly white coach with a younger former black player, consecrated by Rece Davis, brought us some of the most absurd moments of ESPN’s college football coverage over the years. Yelling matches were regularly scheduled programming. There were victory dances when a debate was settled by Davis. There were tantrums on the part of losers and gloating on the part of winners when “Final Verdict” came to a close. While Mark May isn’t entirely out, it seems that his role continues to diminish. Before Desmond Howard was a regular contributor on College Gameday, Mark May was a regular presence. His argumentative tendencies may have been too much, as he was removed from Gameday, then seemingly removed himself from Twitter, and now has been removed from College Football Final. He will now be sitting in with John Saunders and Mack Brown for a game or two each week on ABC, which doesn’t exactly offer the same amount of exposure. While he was often considered a dunce in the world of picking games, he still takes with him a record of 214-140 (60.45%), which undoubtedly could have been better if he didn’t pick against Lou Holtz on principle so often for entertainment value.

Kanell and Galloway: IN and IN!

Kanell and Galloway: IN and IN!

The duty to replace the trio of Rece Davis, Lou Holtz, and Mark May for studio coverage on Saturdays will fall to a new trio of Adnan Virk, Joey Galloway, and Danny Kanell. Galloway brings a solid starting record of 26-15 (63.41%), while Danny Kanell brings a 108-56 (65.85%) record. More importantly, Kanell brings a world class Twitter trolling record as he takes every opportunity to stick it to the SEC fans. While some may be concerned that he will be toning it down in his new position, given the fact that he is replacing world class troll Mark May I don’t predict we will miss out on any of Kanell’s antics. Kanell used to be in the third ABC spot with John Saunders and Mack Brown (a spot formerly owned by Jesse Palmer), so it is interesting that he is literally swapping spots with Mark May. The third member of the trio, Adnan Virk, is just Adnan Virk. Solid studio man with no record of picking games.

SVP & Russillo: STATUS UNKNOWN

SVP & Russillo: STATUS UNKNOWN

The next change saw the forced breakup of the SVP & Russillo show by ESPN. I guess it may not have been getting the ratings it needed, but this show will be sorely missed by college football fans as well as degenerate gamblers. “WINNERS” is now a thing of the past, given the fact that Scott Van Pelt will likely not be picking games while he hosts Sportscenter at nights, as well as the fact that Russillo was always pretty half-assed in his engagement of the “WINNERS” segment. While SVP takes a weak 32-24 (57.15%) record with him, his specialty was without a doubt picking against the spread (underdogs 99% of the time) rather than straight up winners. Ryen Russillo is hosting his own show, and taking an 84-54 (60.87%) record with him. The smaller tragedy is the loss of Stanford Steve Coughlin, who went 73-38 (65.77%) as our newcomer last year.

Tim Tebow: OUT

Tim Tebow: OUT

The next loss of this offseason is that of young Tim Tebow. As Tebow continues to chase the dream of being an NFL quarterback, he has signed on with the flock of other quarterbacks currently in Eagles training camp. While I don’t know anything for sure, I would assume that the NFL probably takes priority over his duties on SEC Nation on Saturday mornings. But assuming it doesn’t work out in the NFL (again), I think its likely that this will be a temporary hiatus for the chosen one. He takes with him a 48-23 (67.61%) lifetime record on our site.

Matt Millen: OUT

Matt Millen: OUT

The last change of the year is the loss of one Matt Millen, who has decided to jump ship to the Big Ten network and Fox Sports 1. While he may still be contributing and picking games over there, I am not sure I have the time (or patience) to sit through that much Purdue coverage to track his picks. While universally hated by most college fans and all Detroit Lions fans, he actually has some of the best analysis I’ve seen. Howerver his reputation for destroying the Lions from the inside has tarnished him beyond repair in the public eye. I know there will be at least one person who misses him as he departs with a 26-8 (76.47%) record.

So to sum it up:
Chris Fowler: OUT
Rece Davis: IN
Colin Cowherd: OUT (maybe)
Lou Holtz: OUT
Mark May: OUT (sort of)
Joey Galloway: IN
Danny Kanell: IN
Scott Van Pelt: OUT
Ryen Russillo: OUT (maybe)
Stanford Steve Coughlin: OUT
Tim Tebow: OUT (for now)
Matt Millen: OUT (sort of)

While we may be seeing the end of a golden age of college football coverage, I think it is important to focus on the fact that coverage is not being reduced. It may be expanded further as the college football playoff comes into maturity in addition to ESPN’s decision to embrace gambling odds into coverage. More importantly, you can count on our crack team of experts to continue tracking picks and predictions on Gamedaycole.com. At least until ESPN shuts us down.

Week 16 2014: Picks are graded, results are in (tiny edition) #cfb #cfbplayoff #armynavy

Our tiny, tiny week of football games brought us only a slight dusting of picks, but picks are picks in my book.

Winners this week were Lee Corso (3-0), Desmond Howard (3-0), and Jennifer taking this week’s championship showing her knowledge of obscure games going 4-0 this week.

Losers this week were Kirk Herbstreit, who continues to slide down the rankings this year, and special guest picker Roger Staubach, who both went 1-2 on the week.  Chris Fowler also took a one game loss picking Army over Navy.

That’s it.  We are prepping for the postseason and bowl mania, so there will be tons of new picks coming at you soon!

Lee Corso: 3-0
RIGHT NDSU over CCU
RIGHT UW-Whitewater over Linfield
RIGHT Navy over Army (headgear pick)

Kirk Herbstreit: 1-2
RIGHT NDSU over CCU
WRONG Linfield over UW-Whitewater
WRONG Army over Navy

Desmond Howard: 3-0
RIGHT NDSU over CCU
RIGHT UW-Whitewater over Linfield
RIGHT Navy over Army

Roger Staubach: 1-2
WRONG CCU over NDSU
WRONG Linfield over UW-Whitewater
RIGHT Navy over Army

Jennifer’s picks: 4-0
RIGHT NDSU over CCU
RIGHT UW-Whitewater over Linfield
RIGHT SHSU over Villanova
RIGHT Navy over Army

Chris Fowler: 0-1
WRONG Army over Navy