As great as it was to be on vacation for the last two Saturdays, and as terrible as it is to have to go back to “working for a living”, it is also pretty great to be back to another lazy Saturday complete with a full dose of College Gameday. This week’s edition came to you live (and in the dark) from Eugene, Oregon for the big matchup between the Oregon Ducks and the UCLA Bruins.
I may have mentioned this before, but I can’t reiterate enough how cool I think it is when they do College Gameday on the west coast. It is cold and dark, and the fans there are absolutely rabid. As Chris Fowler told us at the beginning of today’s show, the bars closed at 2AM and the gates for Gameday opened at 3AM. Does that have any influence on the huge crowd which had gathered for such an early show? We will let you decide.
The biggest question of the day was whether or not Oregon could avoid the Gameday 2013 curse. Every team which Gameday visited this year has lost, with the exception of NDSU (Clemson won in week 1, but lost in week 8, so count that however you want). The other note of interest was finding out that Urban Meyer is the only coach to have 3 20 game win streaks in his career.
The crowd was big today, and had tons of signs, but the competition was not strong. As far as I’m concerned, the winner was undisputed.
We got a small bit of Sam Ponder this morning. She has been conspicuously absent and/or scaled back recently. Our crack team of investigators are working on finding out why Sam Ponder and Cowboy Troy have both been marginalized. She looked better this week than previous weeks. Jennifer liked the outfit. She said the boots needed to be taller, and the jeans should be another color, but the sweater was a great color.
Sam Ponder’s main contribution to the show today was an interview with Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich. Coach interviews are generic, and this was pretty generic. The highlight was Helfrich talking about their athletic facilities, and how even though it is sleek and sexy and all that, the main thing is that it helps with efficiency since they can house all of their training and everything under one roof.
Tom Rinaldi did a nice piece on Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury. If you didn’t know, he looks like Ryan Gosling. He is young and sexy and fashionable and stuff. His players love his energy. In this writer’s opinion, he is the most interesting man in college football. He gave a fashion critique of the Gameday crew. He said Kirk Herbstreit has a conservative look and could be an insurance salesman. Desmond is flashy and has style, but his color schemes are stuck in the early 90s. David Pollack looks like a classic case of “former fat guy trying to fit into skinny clothes”. Chris Fowler is right down the middle as you would expect.
After this segment, Tom Rinaldi decided to show up Chris Fowler with his own hundred dollar question. Kliff Kingsbury is the 3rd youngest coach in FBS. Which two schools have a head coach younger than him? If you guessed the obvious choices of Toledo and Western Michigan, you would be right.
We got another segment about the Sprint Football Championship. Apparently there is an 8 team league which plays football with a weight limit of 172 lbs. Army and Navy are the two powerhouses, and are playing today. This is apparently a really big deal in the military academies. It was cool to see these small guys playing high speed football along with their training.
Gene W. did a piece on Marcus Mariota. The only thing I remember about it is that Mariota is pretty good at football.
The final special piece of the week was on Stanford’s backup center Conor McFadden. He passed up a chance to go to an ivy league school to walk on at Stanford. He realized he needed to do something to stand out and have a shot at playing, so after arriving at Stanford, he memorized the playbook in 3 days. He apparently has somewhat of a photographic memory. Since college football doesn’t allow teams to photograph formations and print them out for analysis in-game like the NFL, McFadden now watches from the sidelines and draws each formation on a white board for the players and coaches to break down. Legend has it that several of Stanfords huge wins over the recent years have come in part to things Conor pointed out to the team. This kid might have a future in coaching.
But its about time to get down to the business at hand. This week’s picks included guest Ashton Eaton; world record holder in the decathlon and Olympic gold medalist. He seemed like a nice guy with some decent picks, and the picks had absolutely no football reasoning behind them. Every expert who gave a pick this week picked Oregon over UCLA, including Billy the Cat. Lee Corso went with his favorite mascot and chose Oregon before exiting the stage and hopping on the back of a motorcycle to make his exit from Gameday. Enjoy your evening of football.