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.
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:
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?”
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.
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.