Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Gameday Recap

Week Seven
Auburn, Alabama - Florida at Auburn
October 14, 2006

Two weeks in a row for a visit to SEC country. I suppose it was the best matchup of the day, though there were some other pretty good games.

  • My TiVo is set up to tape Gameday a minute or two early, so I catch SportsCenter talking to Mark May and Lou Holtz kiss a whole lot of Gary Pinkel an Missouri's ass. Kiss. Of. Death.
  • No Musberger, No You Are Looking Live.
  • Fowler: Luckily we won't talk about Terrell Owens. Yep. Ain't College Football great?
  • Corso: Burt Reynolds fumbled at Auburn. Herbstreit calls it story time. Fowler ignores, moves on.
  • In focus: undefeateds on the road.
  • Transposition: Auburn last week getting worked vs. Florida last week working.
  • Graphic on how #2 hasn't fared well. Prescient.
  • Fowler already harping on the Cocktail Party supposed name change. Nice shot.
  • Fowler bitches about Delta flying into Atlanta. Tough trip down from New York?
  • Fowler: "Very tough to win" at Auburn at night.
  • Corso: Auburn has 2 things going for them - urgency and redemption. (of course they also have good players, good coaches, etc)
  • Herbstreit: It's Leak's composure and senior leadership that'll help Florida (not so much...). But then Herbstreit mentions Tray Blackmon and how he wants to see Tebow head to head against him (nice call).
  • Auburn's locker rooms look very nice.
  • Fowler: Auburn is one of the better home field advantages once they get going. Harping on it.
  • Corso: Troy Smith is his leader for the Heisman.
  • Fowler: USC will be fine because ASU plays "touch football defense" (not the case)
  • Herbstreit: Navy is legit, Rutgers-Navy could be over in 90 minutes.
  • WIRED! with Rich Rodriguez. "Are ya stiff?" "Honeybuns!" "Why are you grabbing him?" All direct, verbatim quotes.
  • Fowler points out how bad the computers are treating WVU.
  • Herbstreit thinks WVU should be ranked in the top 5, and says people should just ask Georgia. (Of course, 2005 and 2006 are different years...) Corso doesn't think WVU is a top 5 team because their D is bad.
  • Fowler: "That's gonna be the controversy" - whether an undefeated WVU or Louisville will be ranked ahead of a one loss team like Auburn or Tennessee at the end of the year. Narrative formation.
  • Herbstreit says look out for Pitt in the Big East. Good call there, since Pitt has looked good. Then he tosses in Rutgers at the end.
  • Blimp view shows that Auburn isn't holding a candle to the crowd at Iowa.
  • Wow. Nice footage of USC screwing with the clock against Washington. They show it twice. I hadn't seen this. I love it when they break things down like this, and it, y'know, actually has to do with the game. Good segue into discussion on the new rule changes and how bad referreeing has been.
  • Corso thinks the clock changes will go back. He goes simple on this.
  • Effects on Rule Changes - this is the kind of analysis Gameday should do all the time. All the time. Good segment. The only thing missing is the statement that it's not the NCAA that is happy about the games shortening, it's the networks.
  • More footage of Arkansas whipping Auburn. That'd annoy me were I an Auburn fan.
  • Extended piece on Gus Malzahn, OC at Arkansas. Joe Schad gets out from behind the computer to file the story. Best bit is where Houston Nutt tells us how he doesn't spend that much time worrying about what people think about him, as if we couldn't tell from his houndstooth jacket and skin tight red mock-T. Mitch Mustain looks 12 when in street clothes. Nice piece.
  • Not sure why they brought in Desmond Howard to discuss Arkansas. It wasn't his piece. Suggests that Arkansas is a little more balanced than last year.
  • Corso rambles about how schools should hire coaches of good players IF IT'S LEGAL (doesn't describe what that means) and IF THEY'RE QUALIFIED. OK, whatever that means.
  • Howard thinks Arkansas will lose at least one more, not win the SEC West. Corso agrees, thinks Auburn still has a chance. Herbstreit thinks Arkansas will come down to that LSU game, makes no prediction.
  • Fowler stumps the crew by asking about teams that have surpassed last year's win total.
  • "Shoulder Lean" appears in the first hour this week.
  • Corso likes Oregon. Autzen is the loudest stadium he's ever been in, in person.
  • Nobody more dangerous than DeSean Jackson, according to Fowler. Semi-extended piece on DeSean Jackson, like they've done for Calvin Johnson. Dude's got moves.
  • Fowler and Herbstreit suggest that DeSean Jackson would be a Heisman frontrunner if he played for a higher profile team. Higher profile? Corso picked Cal for the MNC game. Cal has had a national TV game twice already this season. Did they just say that a Heisman winner cannot come from a school outside of ND, USC, OSU, Texas and maybe a couple others? Also, they really need to quit complaining about how nobody knows about this guy because he plays for Cal. If you don't like the coverage - COVER OTHER TEAMS! You guys have the platform. If you think we should've known about Jackson, why didn't you cover him before now?
  • Herbstreit gets a dig in on how USC handled Arkansas, and Arkansas beat Auburn, but fails to mention that Arkansas had a different QB, the new OC wasn't coaching his first game, or any number of different factors that made the USC game different from the Auburn game. The transitive property doesn't apply in college football. Period.
  • Semi-extended piece on Tim Tebow. Lots of good highlights.
  • Herbstreit likes the use of Tim Tebow, but normally hates multiple QBs. Says that a DL or LB needs to knock Tebow backwards - hints that Blackmon might be the guy.
  • Do I see a sign that suggests that UAB should fire Watson Brown and hire the head coach at Hoover High? That dude's a dick on Two-a-Days.
  • Desmond by himself on the fake field. Nobody is playing with him. Kind of walks us through a play that we just saw analyzed in the semi-extended piece.
  • Extended piece on Adrian Peterson and his father. Steve Cyphers reporting. Not sure how this piece is supposed to make us feel. But I do think it sucks that Adrian Peterson got hurt. If I'm an NFL GM, I'd make him the first pick (and his injury might actually be a good thing, taking away maybe 200 carries and impacts). He will be an exceptionally great NFL running back.
  • Buy or Sell: Peterson - Corso's selling because OU has no QB; Herbstreit's also selling, but might buy in a few weeks. Va Tech - Corso is selling because there's "too much jivey stuff on the sidelines"; Herbstreit is also selling because no character. Big East - Corso's selling because there's only one good team, whoever wins a game between two good teams (sharp analysis); Herbstreit's buying.
  • Gillette Game Face - Again, no face paint. Just strange looking helmets.
  • Focus on how traditional powers FSU and Miami suck, while Mizzou and Rutgers are good.
  • Nice graphic on the first AP poll and how the top 5 teams are all pretty bad now.
  • What are they doing here, switching up roles... Herbstreit does a pretty good Corso impression. Fowler doesn't sound any different, but nails Herbstreit's hand movements. Corso still sounds like an addled old dude. I like how Fowler ribs Herbstreit about covering all the bases when they talk about ACC champ possibilities. Corso has no idea what he's doing.
  • All Access with the Rutgers TE. Another useless WIRED segment, nothing in context, nothing of useful information.
  • Fowler breaks down the triple option and how to play defense against it. This kind of thing should be 10 minutes of this program at least.
  • Herbstreit puts on the Rutgers head. Weird. I'm not sure how well this whole segment worked, but at least they seemed to be having some fun. Honestly, once Fowler doesn't have his hosting duties, he seems to add a whole lot of info.
  • Charles Barkley on the phone again. Barkley's about as interesting as they come, and it's nice to see that a basketball player doesn't really have any less insight than the paid analysts on the show.
  • Barkley thinks Auburn is the best 1 loss team, Corso thinks it's Tennessee because oddsmakers think so. Herbstreit agrees with Corso. BUT then they say that if teams start beating one another, look out for Texas and Notre Dame.
  • Barkley nails it - picks Auburn 21-17! And if not for the lateral fumble return, that would've been the precise score! I consider this proof positive that just about any fan could do the job of expert analyst.
  • 101 Decibels on the spirit meter. Kind of poor for the SEC. Are Auburn students hungover?
  • Desmond Howard and Michael Hart on not fumbling. This is pretty useful. Good highlights too. Fowler agrees, says he learned something.
  • A little discussion of Michigan-Penn State. I'm pretty surprised that they haven't hyped this game a lot more. Even though Penn State isn't great, they could've pushed this one incessantly, and even staged the show there.
  • Herbstreit has mentioned a few times today about how Penn State is improving.
  • Howard points out where Penn State needs to get better - at WR.
  • Flashback to Herbstreit trashing a computer because he didn't like the BCS system. Fowler ribs that Herbstreit has become a believer in the system.
  • Herbstreit tries some reverse psychology on Michigan State. Corso reads through it, gives a NSFMF!, says the game will be in doubt in the last few minutes.
  • Discussion on USC - their offense isn't as good. Mark May joins and defends USC. Here's how May's logic works: USC isn't overrated _because_ they lost so much talent last year. Seriously. May says that with all the talent that USC lost last year, the string of less-than-dominant wins shouldn't be surprising, and somehow that means that USC is accurately rated at number 2 in the nation. Herbstreit disagrees with May's assessment, instead says that Florida is number 2. Mark May says this discussion is moot because Auburn's beating Florida. Herbstreit agrees, but then later picks Florida to win. Corso chimes in with the obvious question "what about Michigan?" Indeed.
  • Herbstreit: Auburn's baseball field is the nicest he's ever seen.
  • Extended piece on Brandon Cox. Tom Rinaldi reporting. Somewhat typical human interest story, somewhat interesting.
  • Corso and Herbstreit both hype Florida's D.
  • Rob Stone with the report from the 1200 game. I love Paul Bunyan's Axe, and I love seeing euphoric winning players running over to another sideline to pick up the axe. Crazy dangerous.
  • Pontiac Game Changer: Corso - Chad Henne. Herbstreit - Anthony Morelli. Fowler - Brian Hampton of Navy.
  • Saturday Stupid Selections: Corso: Navy, Missouri, Michigan State to cover, Florida. Herbstreit: Missouri, NC State, Florida.
Another pretty good show. They're kind of on cruise control, but the show is doing a much better job over the last few weeks at focusing on the game than they were at the beginning of the year. Anyone else get the sense that they're almost going to far in their praise for the SEC? Almost like it's over-evenhandedness, if that's possible. This mid-season swing through the south is nice, but don't expect it to last. The last month of the year will be spent in Big 10 and Pac-10 towns - no conspiracy theory here, just that's where some of the best games are later in the year. All together though, the show is getting better. And that's good for college football.