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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The afternoon games are in full swing, so its time to do this thing. Your week 12 College Gameday review has arrived. Today’s show was broadcasting live from Tuscaloosa, Alabama for the huge matchup between the undefeated Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
As of the show start time, I believe it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 26 degrees in Tuscaloosa, but that didn’t stop one brave fan from proving his toughness/insanity by showing up at least shirtless, while holding the “I’M NAKED” sign. We never saw his lower body, but this reporter will speculate that he surely had at least a pair of tidy-whities on.
Other notable signs included “Jameis Winston’s Lawyer for Heisman” and “Auburn fumbled my other sign”, but this week’s undisputed winner was the following:
While we are talking about the above screenshot, everyone will be excited to know that Herbie was back with the “KIRK HERBSTREIT LAPEL ROSETTE OF THE WEEK”. There is still a lot of speculation going on about this, and while I am sure it is nothing more than an extra little bit of flair for his suit, I assure you our crack investigation team will get to the bottom of this.
The audience at our house was incredibly excited (or not) to see the return of one Babi Mac, who was wowing the crowd in Tuscaloosa with tunes. I still don’t get how she got added to this cast of characters on Gameday, and I find it strange.
There was a duo of touching segments today featuring emotional stories from Tom Rinaldi and Gene W. The first was the tragic story of former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen who had his life cut short at the age of 23. Philip holds the record at Auburn for the most touchdowns by a tight end, was described as an incredibly funny guy, and won the 2010 national championship before his career was ended two years later by a hip injury. Philip’s dad then took over telling the story of how he got a phone call from the police one night telling him that his son was killed in a car wreck. After further investigation, it was found that Philip and his passenger were both legally intoxicated and not wearing seat belts. Philip’s father now tours the country speaking about his son, stressing the importance of making good decisions in life as well as the point that life is a privilege; not a right. Check out the full video here: http://t.co/wykbONfGbd
The second touching story was that of Mississippi State running back Josh Robinson. Josh grew up in Bogalusa, Louisiana, and was raised by his grandmother after his father disappeared from his life and his mother was in prison. Sadly, his grandmother died of a heart attack getting ready for church one morning in 2004, leaving Robinson without his caretaker. He bounced around between relatives’ and friends’ households before eventually living out of his car behind his high school football stadium. He said it seemed easy to fall into trouble in life, but he didn’t want to be a bad kid. After being offered a scholarship by Dan Mullen, he has now become a part of the Mississippi State family, and is incredibly close with the Mullen family. He now leads the SEC in rushing touchdowns. The full video can be found here: http://goo.gl/cVaJ7e
Sam Ponder made an appearance this week to interview Nick Saban. The highlight of this was video of Nick Saban dancing with his wife at an event. It is quite surreal to see him in such a human setting. Dancing was brought up because they previously aired a segment about coaches dancing in the locker room. I would describe it in detail here, but it just can’t be properly explained with words. I urge you to watch the video which can be found here: http://goo.gl/VGRYR2
Sam Ponder’s outfit of the week can be found below. Jennifer fell in love with the boots and vest. Around our house, this is not winter or the holiday season. It is “Samantha Ponder Winter Wear” season.
Quarterback guru George Whitfield was back this week, and continues to improve on his style (no doubt thanks to this blog). This week he was wearing a reasonably matching suit and tie, as well as “those damn brown shoes” as we call them around here. The main improvement this week was a slightly bigger jacket which allowed him increased range of movement when goofing off with Tom Rinaldi and Gene W. for a segment.
When it came time for this week’s big pick segment, our special guest picker was noted Sam Houston State alumnus Marcus Luttrell. I think he also wrote a book called “Lone Survivor” and it got turned in to a movie too. David Pollack started off the Gameday site picks by going with Alabama over the Bulldogs. During the finale, Luttrell played to the crowd by picking Alabama as well. Kirk and Desmond both went with the Tide as well. Corso took over at this point, reminding us that he lost his last two Alabama headgear picks. It seemed like he was going to pull the trigger and go with Mississippi State, but he faked us out and went with Alabama to win the big game. Charley the cat picked Alabama as well, so it is 100% unanimous from the panel that Alabama will be victorious. Enjoy the rest of your football evening.