Week 1 2016: College Gameday review! #cfb #getup4gameday

Welcome back everyone to the return of the College Gameday weekly review.  This is of course where all of us with an unhealthy Gameday obsession can celebrate and nit-pick the finer points of this week’s College Gameday celebration as if it were a fine wine we were sampling.

This week’s edition of College Gameday was broadcasting live from Green Bay, Wisconsin, for the big matchup between #1 Alabama and #20 USC.  For the first time in 7+ months, we got to be woken up by COMIN’ TO YOUR CITAAAAAY as performed by an ever-expanding cast including Big & Rich, Cowboy Troy, Lzzy Hale, Travie McCoy, and more.  At this point, I think every season they should keep adding new performers to this intro, and before long it will basically be the new millennium’s version of “We are the world“.  Except, you know, it will be to celebrate a college football pregame show instead of raising money for Africa.

So now that we have been welcomed to their citaaay, let’s not forget that this week 1 has been billed as the greatest opening week of all time in college football history.  As athletic directors start to figure out the finer points of this college football playoff deal, all of the contenders are trying to put some legitimate names on their scheduling resumes.  Of course, sometimes you go ahead and schedule a cupcake, pay them a couple hundred grand to show up, and then get your ass kicked anyways.

Back to Gameday, as the show opened up and they were introducing the crew, Desmond Howard got quite the ovation by the Packer Nation for his Superbowl MVP performance during his tenure in Green Bay.

Corso and Kirk had a beer to kick the show off.

The rest of the crew was back in full this year, including Chris “The Bear” Fallica as their research lead/gambling aficionado.  My wife Jennifer (@GamedayJen) was the first one to point out that they backed way off of the gambling angle this year.  Last year they were talking point spreads for the first time ever, and even started picking a few games against the spread.  This year there were only glancing mentions of the gambling lines aside from the fantastic return of BEAR’S BANK!  Chris Fallica was on FIRE last year picking games against the spread, so pay attention all of you degenerates who need to get down on some last minute bets at 10AM Saturday morning.  This week, Bear’s Bank liked UCLA+3, UNC+3, and Texas State+21 vs Ohio.  The first two were losers yesterday, but as you can see in the scores pictured above, Texas State showed up as a 21 point dog and decided to beat Ohio on the field and claim the title of fiercest Bobcat mascot in the country.

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There was an earthquake late Friday night/early Saturday morning about 50 miles outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma which was discussed.  The 5.6 scale earthquake was apparently felt in much of the midwest ranging from Iowa to Texas, or in other words, it was a Big 12 earthquake.

Signs this week were pretty tame, but this year it looks like the memes are going to be dank.  Harambe was a big player in the signage yesterday as you can see below.

We also had signs with allegations that Les Miles killed Harambe and Colin Kaepernick killed Harambe.  However, a late contender for sign of the week really got a chuckle out of me:

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This brings us to everyone’s favorite segment of the week.  The “OFFICIAL GAMEDAY JEN REVIEW OF THE SAM PONDER OUTFIT OF THE WEEK”!!!  This week Sam Ponder was sporting a nice little outfit of which Gameday Jen had to say: “I like the blazer and the all black.  I like the neck-line detail and the shoes are great”.  I myself question the pants, which taper sharply at the ankle, as they appear to be a slimmer version of parachute pants.  However, since I am the owner of a vast wardrobe of generic polos and ill-fitting pants, I advise you to trust in Sam Ponder’s fashion choices above my own.

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The Gameday boys spent an unnecessary amount of time on Saturday’s show discussing the fact that the NCAA had outlawed the Lambeau Leap from the LSU/Wisconsin game.  I personally think the football players should be allowed to do it after scoring, but I also think we should go all-in with 1980’s Miami Hurricane’s style celebrations in these games.  However, since the rules say no excessive celebrations, I didn’t really think there was a need for any debate, much less suggestions that the coaches should have agreed to decline any excessive celebration penalty after a Lambeau Leap.

Marcus Spears and Kaylee Hartung from the SEC network joined the Gameday crew via satellite to talk about the horrible flooding in Louisiana and the relief efforts which the LSU football program, led by Les Miles, has undertaken.  It boggles my mind that the LSU fans, alumni, and boosters want to run Les Miles out of town like a common pygmy.  This is a man who wins 10 games a year, won a national championship, and does great work for the community.  I guess it doesn’t matter if you’re not beating ‘Bama.

For those of you who follow College Gameday religiously, you will know the man known as Lee Fitting.  He is the long-time College Gameday producer who has been behind the wheel of this thing for all six of their Emmy awards.  After 12 years, and one week into his 13th season, he will be leaving the show to be in charge of all college sports at ESPN.  They showed a tribute to Lee, and it is a shame that we will be missing him going forward, but we wish him all of the luck in the world.

David Pollack wore a grill as payoff from a bet with Houston coach Tom Herman from last season.  He looks… special.

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman showed up on College Gameday for some reason.  I assumed there would be some kind of tie-in to LSU, Wisconsin, Green Bay, or one of the players to explain her presence, but if there was I didn’t see it.  She had little to contribute to the football-centric nature of the show aside from her brother and dad “liking sports”.  Oh well, USA!  USA! USA!

Combined with Aly Raisman’s appearance, we saw the continuation of what will hopefully be a great tradition for years to come.  The second annual David Pollack vertical leap challenge!  This year he succeeded again, but managed to rip his pants.  Truly compelling television.  This needs to be back next year.

A cool segment followed by Tom Rinaldi about unorthodox offseason training which some programs are starting to get into.  Many teams are starting to send their students through EXTREME workouts like military style bootcamps to build toughness and teamwork.  It looked really cool.  I’m allowed to say that sitting here on the couch in my underwear eating a churro.

I’m proud to say we also saw the return of BEATNIK POETRY WITH TOM RINALDI!!! This week he had a spoken word performance entitled “I AM LAMBEAU” about the experiences of the living, breathing nature of Lambeau field.  Or something.

Tom Rinaldi performing live

Other miscellaneous notes include QB Guru George Whitfield showing up to break down QB footwork film while walking through a crowd with Rece Davis.  I still don’t get this segment.  I mean, I’m sure George is very good at what he does, but why do they need to be walking through the crowd every time?

Gene Wojciechowski had a weird animated piece about Jim Harbaugh’s offseason, which he called his offseason bucket list.  Harbaugh was everywhere: conducting an orchestra, rapping, coaching 1st base for the Detroit Tigers, Disneyland with Jerry Springer, hanging out with Chewbacca, and tweeting nonstop.  Oh yeah he did some recruiting too.

Everyone’s favorite segment #YOUHADONEJOB was back.  I don’t have any video to show you because ESPN hasn’t put this online as far as I’m aware.  So how about a picture of Rich Rodriguez re-enacting a scene from Gladiator.

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The Lambeau Field executive chef showed up with a ridiculous spread of food including bacon wrapped baked potatoes and foot long bratwurst.  Desmond once again let us know he is NOT HAVING THE PORK.  Anyways, we can probably find a use for this picture somewhere down the line.

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At this point, after a very busy show, it was time to get down to business and make some damn picks.  Aaron Rodgers was the special guest this week to make picks with the Gameday crew.  He put on his nicest white undershirt this morning for his TV appearance, and seemed like not only had he just woken up, but that he probably doesn’t watch college football.  To nobody’s surprise, David Pollack, Kirk Herbstreit, and Desmond Howard picked LSU in the day’s big game, while Rodgers picked Wisconsin.  Corso donned an the LSU headgear complete with a cheesehead for fun as he picked the Bayeux Bengals to win in this game.

@GamedayJen picked LSU as well as the show completed, and we had one more pick to get on the record.  This year we are proud to announce we have been joined by @TheGamedayBaby who will be making a weekly pick and spouting off hot sports takes.  The Gameday Baby went with the LSU Tigers as well, making Aaron Rodgers the only person I have on record as picking Wisconsin, in one of the most lopsided picks I’ve ever tracked which ended up being right.  Check back tomorrow night for a full slate of the results to see who won this week, who lost this week, and how your favorite (or most hated) personality did.

Week 10 2015: College Gameday review! #cfb #BamavsLSU

Welcome back football fans to our way-too-late edition of the week 10 College Gameday review.  Today’s edition of College Gameday was comin’ to your citaaay live from Tuscaloosa, Alabama for the matchup between #2 LSU and #4 Alabama.  Given the fact that this was the third Alabama game of the year featuring Alabama, I feel that the show may be better titled Alabama Gameday presented by ESPN.  The crowd was pretty small this morning at Gameday, which can be attributed to the rain, or more likely the fact that Alabama fans don’t care to show up anymore when they get Gameday once a month.

Since we are already in the middle of bagging on this morning’s crowd in Tuscaloosa, let’s go ahead and get signs over with.  The signs this morning were probably the weakest of the season so far.  We had a lot of corn dog discussion, a “We want Memphis!” sign, and “Les Miles likes being the little spoon”.  Since the signs from this morning sucked, I am going to rule no winner this week and instead feature the following:

Go Akron?
Go Akron?

Speaking of Comin’ to your Citaaaay, I still get a lot of traffic from people wondering who the woman is in the latest edition of the College Gameday intro.  For those who need to know, she is Lzzy Hale from the band Halestorm.

Lzzy Hale, Comin to your Citaaay
Lzzy Hale, Comin to your Citaaay

An odd discussion broke out early in today’s show when Kirk Herbstreit informed us that Chris Fallica is a savant when it comes to 1980s professional wrestling talent.  Fallica admitted this is “one of many” problems he has.  Now, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that in 8th grade my plan for life wasn’t to become a professional wrestler, but there was probably a little more discussion of 1980s WWF talent than one would hope for on College Gameday.

Alright now that I’ve bagged on this morning’s show a little bit, let’s turn this review around.  The show got back on track this morning with the WEEK 10 SAMANTHA PONDER OUTFIT OF THE WEEK REVIEW BY @GAMEDAYJEN!!!!  Jennifer was a big fan of the look today, stating “I really liked the sweater and the rain boots, and I also liked her hair today!”  Follow @GamedayJen for all of your college football fashion-related news and opinions.

Sam Ponder: Week 10 2015
Sam Ponder: Week 10 2015

Sam Ponder had her usual Cheeze-It Real Fan of the Week segment mid-show today, and it was one of the more bizarre Cheeze-It related segments in recent memory.  Sam was interviewing some girl who won this week’s contest, and spent about two full minutes interviewing this girl as she proceeded to explain how she painted the letter A on her own face.  I haven’t ever painted an A on my face, but I can’t imagine there is THAT much to it.

Sam Ponder and Cheeze-It fan
Sam Ponder and Cheeze-It fan

George Whitfield joined Rece Davis for this week’s casual walking segment while they break down quarterback play in college football.  They put on rain boots because the ground was a big mess of mud and puddles, and the highlight of this segment was George Whitfield making a joke referencing Gameday producer Lee Fitting by saying the boots were “Air Fittings”.  He was pretty impressed with his joke, as I am sure you are too.

Rece and George in their Air Fittings
Rece and George in their Air Fittings

Now let’s stop down because it is time for VIDEOS!!!!

-The story of Clemson Co-Offensive Coordinator Tony Elliott can be found HERE.  It details the story of how he lost his mother in a tragic car accident at age 9, went on to become a standout football player, earned a scholarship to Clemson, and in 2002 reunited with Dabo Swinney to join the Clemson staff.  I give this segment an A.
-Sam Ponder and David Pollack were back for another zany week of #YouHadOneJob.  This has gone from a highlight reel of epic fails to a highlight video of the week’s funny happenings, but I still support it and so should you.  SUPPORT IT HERE!!!
-The story of the day was without a doubt Tom Rinaldi’s piece on Sid Ortis.  Sid was a youngster who grew up in Alabama as a die-hard LSU fan.  Rinaldi has been up and down this year with his emotionally targeted stories, but this one is an A+++.  Words can’t really do it justice, so just go WATCH IT HERE!!!  Les Miles is featured in it heavily and he is a true orator for the ages.  Once upon a time around 2007, a youthful, angry, and possibly inebriated Gameday Cole was the biggest detractor of Les Miles you could find.  I didn’t like how he handled all of the Michigan head coaching opening speculation among other things, but this man has grown on me in a big way over the last few years.

As we neared the end of the show, we found out the day’s guest celebrity picker was going to be none other than rap music mogul Rick Ross.  They had teased this yesterday as “going to be huge with the kids” and “like no other picker before”.  But before we get to the Corso and Ross’ antics, let’s stop down for some Nana Puddin’.

Nana Puddin'
Nana Puddin’

Ok that was yummy.  Back to Gameday.  When it came time for Rick Ross to disembark the Gameday bus, there is a slight chance that the cameraman was just told that Rick Ross was a big black guy, because the focus was stuck on Rick Ross’ bodyguard for an unusual amount of time before Ross debuted.

“Rick Ross joins us for picks” -Rece Davis
Rick Ross joining us for picks?
Rick Ross joining us for picks?
“That’s not Rick Ross” -Rece Davis
Rick Ross? Close enough I guess...
Rick Ross? Close enough I guess…

Upon joining the Gameday desk, Rick Ross was presented with a gift of pears by Lee Corso as a reference to the following:

If you told me Lee Corso, wearing a fake beard/sunglasses/gold jewelry, would be gifting pears to Rick Ross because of a popular Vine post this year on Gameday, I am not sure I would have believed you before today.

When it came time to get down to the business of picking games, Rick Ross had some fantastic input on the games of the day.  He was dropping QB names right and left, but also let us know that he picked TCU because “Boykin is bossin’ up” (whatever that means, since I’m white), and that he really liked Memphis in today’s game because he owns a few of Wingstops in Memphis (and I like wings).  As the final pick approached, we can review the Bama/LSU picks so far.  David Pollack and Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica both picked Alabama.  Desmond and Kirk both went with LSU in today’s game, and to nobody’s surprise Rick Ross took Alabama.  As we all know, Corso is in love with the Alabama headgear.  It is surely amongst his favorites, which include the Oregon Duck, Notre Dame Leprechaun, and the FSU headdress.  He got the crowd riled up with Sweet Home Alabama, before issuing a ROLL TIGERS and popping on the Bayeux Bengals headgear, which had been modified with a Leonard Fournette beard and Leonard Fournette mouthgear.  A really fun end to a show which got off to a rough start this morning.  Enjoy your day and have a happy football!

Week 8 2015: College Gameday review! #cfb

Welcome back to the return of our inconsistent and way overdue College Gameday review.  We missed the last few weeks to a lot of important business going on (i.e. laziness) and we are glad to be back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Today’s broadcast was coming to you live in color from Harrisonburg, Virginia for the matchup between FCS powerhouses the Richmond Spiders and the James Madison Duke Dogs.  After some quick research, it looks like James Madison has an enrollment of 20,181, and judging by the scene out there today every single one of their students were on hand for this broadcast.  I thought the NDSU crowd of two years ago was the biggest I can remember seeing, but this may have topped it.

JMU Crowd
JMU Crowd

As the show got underway, we were introduced to some woman named Margo who teaches English in Spain.  Margo crowdsourced a plane ticket home to JMU for Gameday today.  That is dedication.

One note about today’s schedule is that Desmond Howard was particularly giggly during today’s show.  Enjoying the Desmond Howard over-laugh is one of the truly great pastimes of any College Gameday connoisseur and today did not disappoint.  Jennifer said that maybe he took one too many uppers after the Michigan disaster last week.

Desmond Howard LOLs
Desmond Howard LOLs

Sign game was on point this week.  Highlights included “Sober as Sarkisian”, “Lou Holtz parties with Lamar Odom”, “Todd McShay is a Commie”, multiple signs referring to Richmond only eating plain Pop-tarts, and some guy who printed his impressive resume as a sign.

Hire this man
Hire this man

And of course, courtesy of the official College Gameday reddit account:

Butt Stuff
Butt Stuff

They recycled last year’s segment by Gene W. about FCS players who made it big in the NFL.  Or maybe he rewrote it from this year.  Either way I enjoyed it, even though there was a distinct lack of Sam Houston State talent such as Josh McCown, Dustin Long, Rhett Bomar, or Guido Merkens.

They had a segment breaking down down the Michigan Meltdown or whatever you want to call that Michigan State/Michigan finish from last week.  Apparently Rece and Kirk shut the game off early thinking it was over, and we all remember Desmond Howard cursing the Wolverines on the sidelines when he tweeted the following:


Now it’s time for VIDEOS!!!

Today’s most touching piece was the story of Princeton offensive lineman Mason Darrow, who is the first openly gay division 1 player to take the field.  Check out the full video HERE!!!

Another “story” piece was reliving the story of that Michigan State Miracle mentioned earlier, which can be found HERE!!!

And finally a piece on Hunter Knighton, who almost died of a heat stroke during practice one day.  Check it out HERE!!

Also, we had a bizarre moment when Sam Ponder was interviewing JMU head coach Everett Withers.  After the interview, he announced to the team that they would be wearing old school helmets.  That’s pretty cool, but the team and crowd went BANANAS when he showed it off.

Other notes from today’s show:

Bear’s Bank was 10-10-1 heading into the show today, where he took Miami Fl with the points, Vanderbilt and the points, and layed the points with USC.  However, his ESPN Chalk record against the spread was 30-16 heading into the day.  In other words, he is printing free money on ESPN Chalk, but be careful with the Bear’s Bank.

The Sam Ponder outfit of the week was a nice one.  Jennifer says “I like the skirt, I like the sweater, and I like the shirt underneath.  Overall it is an excellent look.  I really like Fall Sam Ponder”.

Sam Ponder Week 8
Sam Ponder Week 8

Apparently Richmond bought a spider to bring for Gameday today so they would have a mascot on hand.

The Richmond Spider
The Richmond Spider

George Whitfield and Rece Davis did their regular segment where they uncomfortably walk through the crowd while breaking down quarterback play.  This one actually had a great highlight for once, when the ESPN cameraman fell down going up the stairs and chaos ensued.


When it came time to make some picks, today’s guest celebrity was country music singer Dierks Bentley.  Corso was conspicuously absent from the set during the entire pick segment.  However, Herbie read off Corso’s notes for all of Corso’s picks and it was actually pretty funny.  Apparently in the USC/Utah game, SOMEBODY KNOWS SOMETHING when it comes to that spread, and that SOMEBODY was identified as Chris Fallica I guess because he ate 3.5 points early this week, and ate even more laying 6.5 today.  Anyways, when it came time to pick the big JMU/Richmond game today, Desmond, Kirk and Dierks were in agreement that JMU would take the victory today.  The camera then cut to the JMU campus where Lee Corso emerged from a grand hall, presented by trumpets and streamers while dressed as James Madison before putting on the Duke Dog headgear.  I did not think I would write the previous sentence when I woke up this morning.  Anyways, pretty funny stuff and a white knuckle ride as Corso walked down stairs unassisted.  This marks the second time Corso has dressed up in costume as a founding father, with his previous time being Ben Franklin for the Harvard/Pennsylvania game of 2002.  Jennifer and Charley both went with JMU as well, making it a clean sweep in the predictions this morning.  Enjoy the rest of your football night.

Corso picks Penn in 2002
Corso picks Penn in 2002