Thursday, August 31, 2006

Gameday Recap

(Second time through - THANKS, Firefox. Ass.)

Just a reminder to everyone - I did this last year. This year the show is longer and my tolerance for ignorance is shorter, so my recaps will be briefer.

Why do I do this? The show wields a lot of power in college football. The sport is broadly spread out, so much so that nobody can really be an expert on all 119 teams. A filter is necessary, and ESPN pretty much is all there is. Coverage on Gameday sets the tone for how teams are perceived, and there is a direct correlation between favorable coverage and poll position. This show may affect who gets to play for the national title. For that, I think the pundits on the show need to be held accountable for how they present the teams and games. So I watch and repeat what they say.

There was a preview show, so here it goes. Chronologically instead of pundit-by-pundit.

  • Rece Davis is hosting, so we might get some information instead of smarminess.
  • New song, if this is the new song, kind of blows. Boring soccermom radio rock. At least Big n Rich were memorable, if shitty.
  • Everyone thinks the title chase is wide open.
  • Corso thinks good teams will lose conference title games. (Really bold prediction)
  • Davis: Every piece is in place for Texas to repeat, except QB (didn't a few good DBs graduate, like a top 10 pick?)
  • May: Losing Vince Young won't affect Texas at all. (direct quote - stunningly moronic)
  • Herbie: North Texas is worse than a Texas intra-squad game. (I disagree)
  • Corso: Repeating is hard because of banquets. Actually, Corso is the only one to really talk about how special Young was. (Corso is insane, but sometimes he's a Shakespearean fool, presenting the closest thing to real information and correct analysis - seriously. He's right way more often than May or Holtz) Texas will not win the title.
  • First time in a decade that 6 teams have gotten 1st place votes in the initial AP poll.
  • Corso: Ohio State needs to win shootouts. Won't win the title because of inexperience on defense. May agrees about the D but focuses on the O. Herbstreit defends the D (stunning), says they're just as athletic, and the D Line will be as good as any in football (bold).
  • That's a long string of troubles for the USC program... but Pete Carroll is well-media-trained.
  • Corso: the talent losses at USC will "devastate" them. USC won't win the MNC because of the offense. NSFMF! broken out, and the rare unprovoked NSFMF!
  • Herbstreit still likes USC because of coaching and schedule. Pete Carroll puts more pressure on USC QBs in practice than any defense they'll see all year. (At first I thought that was a bold statement, but it isn't really)
  • May: Because Leinart replaced Palmer, USC will be fine. Everyone concurs with the idea that USC has talent, and then Corso says "A lot of football to be played, sweethearts." And that's why they call him the Godfather.
  • Is Adrian Peterson still the Heisman frontrunner, they ask. (Was he ever? Everything I read says Brady Quinn.)
  • Doug Flutie comes on to talk about the Heisman. (Where did Desmond go?) His Heisman choices: 5. Drew Tate, Iowa; 4. Brian Brohm, Louisville; 3. Adrian Peterson, OU; 2. Troy Smith, OSU; 1. Brady Quinn, ND.
  • To win the Heisman - get off to a quick start, play well in big games, have a moment late.
  • Corso whines about not talking. Then he says that Oklahoma won't win because of QB "disaster." Will Corso say that every single team can't win the MNC?
  • Herbie likes to use the "athletic" euphemism, it seems.
  • May climbs up on soapbox to slam Bomar and Quinn at OU. Not that they don't deserve it, but there's nobody more sanctimonious on this show than May.
  • Last 7 times ND has been ranked in the top 20, 5 times they finished unranked. Interesting.
  • Oh great. Lou Holtz comes on to talk about the Irish. And he's appropriately fluffing with a delightful shit-eating grin. Thinks ND wins 11 this year. "Definitely believe this is the year for the Irish."
  • May thinks ND wins 10, not in MNC picture.
  • Corso owns up to picking ND to struggle last year. This time he's level, offers pros and cons. But he doesn't think they'll win the MNC because of their D gives up too many points. Thinks they'll win 9 games.
  • Herbstreit thinks the D will improve at ND. 12 wins for the Irish.
  • Whoa. Holtz just called Michigan's offense last year "great". (Any team coached by Lloyd Carr on offense probably shouldn't be called that)
  • Holtz calls ND one of the top 25 defenses in the country. May can't believe it. Herbstreit says something about top 10. May suggests that ND must've taken "speed pills". I think those actually exist, but I don't think the Irish should take them.
  • Gameday will be in Atlanta this weekend.
  • Urban Meyer gets all Rumsfeldian, asking himself 4 questions and answering them with yesses and nos.
  • Florida's schedule is brutal, says Davis, but the chart doesn't even mention FSU.
  • Herbie: Tebow won't replace Leak, but will get reps.
  • Corso: FSU is overrated! (Believe it! He actually said it!)
  • May: Miami has lost their swagger.
  • Best team in Florida? May says FSU, Herbie says Miami, Corso says Florida.
  • May: Quinn wins the Heisman. Herbstreit agrees. Corso thinks Troy Smith wins it (Davis agrees).
  • Most intriguing Game? May: WVU-Louisville. Corso: USC-ND. Herbie: USC-Cal. (Apparently the guys aren't intrigued by the SEC or Ohio State-Texas)
  • Coach under pressure? May: Lloyd Carr - 10 games or else. Corso: Coker, but it's crazy. Herbstreit: Franchione (I like that pick - dude needs to win now).
  • Big East: May: WVU. Corso: WVU. Herbie: Louisville. And do they ever promote that the game between them is on ESPN.
  • I'm mad that the little kid in the pee wee league Under Armor commercial is far more ripped than I'll ever be.
  • Big XII: Corso: Texas, but be careful in the title game (really?). Herbie: Texas over Nebraska. May: Texas.
  • ACC: Corso: VT because of schedule, but watch out for title game. Herbie: Miami, one of best Ds in the country, over Clemson. May: FSU and he's high on Weatherford.
  • Pac-10: Corso: Cal because of D and RB. Herbie: USC because of coaching. May: USC (and May seems to be sucking up to Herbie here).
  • SEC: Corso: Florida over Auburn in rematch. Herbie: Florida and LSU are most talented teams, but neither in title game. Auburn over Tennessee. May: Auburn over South Carolina. (and he's really kissing ass now - even Davis calls him on it.
  • Big Ten: Corso: Iowa. Herbie: Ohio State, and he tries to call Corso out for logical inconsistency. May: Iowa.
  • BCS Title Game: May: WVU because of talent, coaching and schedule against Texas. Texas wins. Herbie: Notre Dame against Miami. Miami wins. Corso: Cal against WVU because neither plays a conference title game. Cal wins.
All together a pretty good show. No filler. All info. This one could've gone two hours, easy. It'll be interesting to see if the format continues when it's normal Gameday. I'd prefer less May because I don't think he adds much other than annoying sanctimony and unnecessary hyperbole. Less Holtz would be better. I prefer Rece Davis to Fowler. Corso seems lucid, which is a good thing. In any event, I'm finally feeling really excited about the season. Here it comes.