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.
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.
The picks are in; the morning games are coming to a close; the afternoon games are about to kick off; it is time for this week’s College Gameday review. Before we get started, I wanted to share for the record that the new woman shredding on the guitar in the new Gameday intro this year is Lzzy Hale from the band Halestorm. Lots of interest each week in who she is is or why she is our Gameday intro, and since I don’t think I ever addressed this issue I thought I would do that right now.
Anyways. This week’s edition came to us live from East Lansing, Michigan for the biggest Big 10 matchup of the year, Michigan State vs. Ohio State. It was a chilly morning in East Lansing with the balmy weather somewhere around 37 degrees for the show. It should be noted that Desmond Howard was apparently broadcasting from somewhere in the Arctic circle this morning, or he was at least dressed for it.
37 degrees out in the wind is pretty chilly, but I’d like to compare it to what Kirk Herbstreit was wearing this morning:
One man wears a normal business suit, and another man is bundled up to explore the North pole. Was it never cold up there at Michigan when Desmond was busy winning Heismans? Anyways, another item we need to discuss is Kirk’s lapel rose this morning. This appears to be a recent trend in weeks where the Gameday crew (and SEC network crew) are sporting lapel roses. I’m not sure what to make of this, but lots of people are apparently interested, so let’s keep an eye out for Kirk’s lapel rose each week.
While we are on the topic of fashion, let’s review Gameday’s fashion version of the odd couple. Samantha Ponder was sporting a nice winter outfit this morning which Jennifer was a big fan of. She loved the jacket, loved the colors, and loved the details on the jacket. Jennifer said she loves “how sassy Samantha Ponder dresses” in the winter. She got two thumbs up from Jennifer this week. Someone who did not get two thumbs up was “Quarterback Guru to the Stars” George Whitfield. He appeared to be making progress with the matching colors this morning, but was still sporting a tiny coat with a teenie tiny lapel rose. If he was wearing “those damn brown shoes” as Jennifer calls them, at least they matched this week. Let’s keep making progress George!
We had two special feature stories this week, the first of which featured the only appearance of one Tom Rinaldi this week. It was a rehashing of a 2012 feature on Clemson wide receiver Daniel Rodriguez. Rodriguez served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and while in Afghanistan made a promise to a fellow soldier named Kevin Thompson that if he ever made it out of there alive he would play D1 college football somewhere. After a battle in which 8 soldiers were killed, including Thompson, Rodriguez was awarded a purple heart and bronze star. He returned home and put together a recruiting video with a friend and posted it to the internet. It caught the eye of Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, who saw an incredible work ethic and desire to play, which was punctuated by the fact that Rodriguez was not asking for a scholarship; only a chance to walk on. Since then, Rodriguez has played in 37 games straight. A great quote from Daniel to top it all off: “What do you do after your dream comes true? Go and live another dream”. The segment can be found here: http://goo.gl/sH9lis
The second feature of the day was presented by Gene W. and was a piece about Arizona State running back D.J. Foster. Foster’s backstory (like most Gene W. and Rinaldi pieces) is a great story of overcoming adversity. Foster lost his 19 year old sister at the age of 15, one week before his first ever varsity high school football game. He made it a point to not give up on living his life, and on the very first play of his varsity career returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. When it came time to pick a college, he committed to stay close to home and attend Arizona State university, where he has kept the team on the national radar ever since. The touching finale was the story of the five year anniversary of his sister’s death, when Foster and his father met on the Arizona State practice field to release a bundle of balloons with his sister’s picture attached. They did this not to mourn her loss, but to celebrate her life.
Now that the touching stories are finished, let’s get to some wacky signs we saw this week in East Lansing. Strong work this week included “IS THIS THE NICKELBACK CONCERT?”, a bunch of Urban Meyer/Oscar Meyer weiner references, “Urban Meyer doesn’t wet his toothbrush”, and “RUSH HOUR 3 WAS OK”. This week’s inappropriate winners are the following:
And of course…
Nice work fellas.
When it came time to get down to the business of picking games, Desmond Howard could do nothing right for this Michigan State crowd, as I’m sure you can imagine. He did manage to get back on track with the “OFFICIAL DESMOND HOWARD MICHIGAN PICK OF THE WEEK”, picking Michigan to take down Northwestern. The counter is reset this week, so our running count of Michigan picks is back at 1.
Our special guest celebrity this week was Alice Cooper, of rock and roll music fame. He is from Michigan I guess. He was very casual and non-chalant with his picks, and didn’t get too technical with his picks. I feel like the overly technical celebrity pickers tend to underperform, while Katy Perry wins the week for some reason. Mr. Cooper of course went with Michigan State over Ohio State, to the delight of the crowd, so his casual selections may be a good sign for Sparty. Desmond and David Pollack both went with Michigan State as well, while Kirk had another no-pick since he is calling the game. Coach Corso reminisced over his first ever official headgear pick, when he put on the Brutus the Buckeye headgear back in 1996. This got the crowd fired up, but he quickly changed his tone, as he ripped off his overcoat to reveal green armor, and his assistants put on a gigantic Spartan headgear and set of fake hands for him. Charley the Cat went with Ohio State, and may be due for a win, so this should be a good matchup between the two.