Monday, November 13, 2006

Gameday Recap

Week Eleven
Fayetteville, Arkansas - Tennessee at Arkansas
November 11, 2006

Another visit to SEC country. I don't mind saying it - the early season worries that ABC/ESPN/Disney/Cthlulu would ignore the SEC for the benefit of the conferences that have primary contracts with its networks have become largely unfounded, and my presumption that there was an unfortunate order from above appears to be misplaced. Yes, the UT-Ark game was on ESPN2, but they surely could've gone to a few other games without people being stunned.

  • Not an enormous crowd on hand, it looks at first, but the hill off to the side looks pretty packed.
  • Corso nuts up and goes without a coat.
  • Herbstreit brings up how the Rutgers-Louisville result probably encouraged coaches to tell their teams how destiny lies in their hands and stuff.
  • Corso: 2 lookout games in the Pac 10 - Cal-Arizona (nailed), and USC-Oregon (not so much).
  • Fowler says there are a lot of "lookout games".
  • Corso: "The Noles are back on Defense!! Watch out Wake Forest!"
  • Herbstreit: Game of the day is USC-Oregon.
  • Fowler makes the Commander's-in Chief Trophy joke about Notre Dame.
  • BCS review - Fowler loves the idea of chaos in the BCS. Corso thinks the SEC better not get screwed this year, because there'll be a revolution. Herbstreit likes the teams with big games left, like USC, Cal, Arkansas.
  • Herbstreit again gives props to a +1 game.
  • A little recap of the Rutgers win and historic implications. Fowler: Celebration at Rutgers unlike anything we've seen in a while (and the Arizona game gave us pretty much the same celebration later that day)
  • How high can Rutgers go? Herbstreit shrugs off questions of how good Rutgers would be in the Big 10 or SEC. (This is crazy for Kirk - those are the specific questions that should be asked if the system is human poll driven.) Corso thinks Rutgers doesn't belong in the title game because the Big East doesn't play enough good teams (allegedly). "That league is not good enough to have a national title participant." Herbstreit chimes in with "nobody is saying that they should be there" (Why the hell not? These are the same people who thought Louisville and WVU would be good enough out of that conference at the beginning of the year. Why shouldn't Rutgers be given the same respect if they win out?)
  • Coverage of Brian Pata's murder. Oddly, Larry Coker almost looks younger right there. Desmond Howard comes on to talk about it, since he lives in South Florida. First hand coverage. Serious discussion, which is appropriate. It's good that they didn't do the stereotypical fuzzyvision story.
  • "Conference record" for signs behind them.
  • Gameface has no face paint. Good on ye', Hogs.
  • In depth piece on Spurrier's return to Florida. Tom Rinaldi reporting. He's missing! Not as funny as it probably seemed in staff planning meetings. Or maybe Rinaldi isn't that funny. The Daily Show has prevented something like this from being hilarious. Awesome fake laughter from the on-set crew.
  • Semi-extended piece actually interviewing Spurrier.
  • A little indepth coverage of Florida's offensive semi-struggles. "Harder to watch than the wrestling scene in Borat" More fake laughter. Gameday has become a local soccer mom radio station's wacky morning drive crew.
  • Herbstreit - Florida is in the driver's seat in the BCS, but Leak and an inexperienced O-Line are worrisome.
  • Corso - Florida isn't scoring in conference as well as Michigan or USC. Of course, they play in different conferences, with different defensives. Then Corso goes into how Florida plays good defense. Corso likes Florida's O to come alive today.
  • Fowler shrugs off the Carolina game, is ready to talk about the SEC title game.
  • Howard mentions Reggie Nelson as one of the best defensive players in the country.
  • One Loss Teams: They list all of them, except Wake, Louisville, and West Virginia. Clearly, those one loss teams shouldn't be listed for some reason that isn't mentioned.
  • Herbstreit thinks Texas is the best 1-loss team. Colt McCoy is the reason. Cal is the next best 1 loss team. (and they both lose...)
  • Corso thinks Florida is the best 1-loss team but he wouldn't want to bet on things. Florida wins over Texas or Cal on a neutral field. Herbstreit thinks the others beat the Gators. Fowler - What about Auburn? Herbstreit says that Arkansas still has something to prove to him over the next few weeks, but if Arkansas wins out, then they're in the top 3-4 teams. Way to take a stand there.
  • Apparently fraternity flags are the rage. As a member of Phi Gamma Delta, I humbly ask my more foolish brothers never to fly a Fiji flag at Gameday again. It's not cool.
  • Closeup shot of the backup QB's locker. OK. Mustain's delivery is a little off to the side. He looks strong though.
  • Semi-extended piece on Houston Nutt benching Mustain for Dick. Mustain seems pretty mature and quite indie with those specs.
  • Corso thinks if Arkansas wins out, they deserve a slot in the title game. Herbstreit tells us to wait because of all the big games ahead of them. Herbstreit seems really sure that Arkansas is getting beat, but he's afraid to just say it.
  • A small bit on Hawaii's Colt Brennan. Shot at the all time TD pass record. Nice of them to mention a guy like that.
  • A small bit of hype on Michigan-OSU. Next week will be ridiculous, I'm sure.
  • Extended bit on Michigan emulating Cinderella Man. The Worst Reporter On ESPN Chris Connelly reporting. This piece would've been fine just interviewing players about how they've wanted to restore pride at UM. The Cinderella Man stuff is OK, but intangibillient. There might be a few more reasons why Michigan is better this year, like more in-game experience and harder work from Hart, Henne, Manningham. Might be a commitment to training in order to stay in games better late.
  • Corso thinks Michigan needs to prepare for OSU by getting some rest for Hart, working hard on special teams, getting the D healthy. Herbstreit thinks "it's all about emotions". (Why is Herbstreit considered the more serious pundit on this show?)
  • UNC-GT: Fowler thinks Calvin Johnson has a big day because of UNC's bad pass D. Herbstreit thinks Butch Davis can win at UNC next year because of the talent there. Hang on here. We're talking about a team with ONE win all year, and that was a 3 point last minute win over FURMAN.
  • Wake-FSU: Now things get serious. Fowler clearly doesn't buy into Wake. (Aside, why is it that if Clemson, Miami, or FSU had gone through the ACC with 1 loss, they would be right in the title hunt, but since it's Wake _in the same conference_ they're still no good? It's the same thing as Rutgers. These teams have to win AND convince supposed know-it-alls that they were wrong. And the latter is the more difficult task.)
  • WIRED! With Steed Lobotzke of Wake Forest. They could've spent this time telling us how Wake's offense works. I don't understand it.
  • Herbstreit doesn't think Wake can compete with FSU because of the lack of athletic ability. Clearly, Herbstreit hasn't watched Wake this year.
  • Corso likes Xavier Lee. Thinks FSU wins BIG, Really BIG! Wow, these guys haven't watched FSU or Wake all year. Their picks were crazy on this game. Wake hasn't been blown away by anyone, and FSU has struggled all year against even mediocre defenses. When I was picking in my pool this week, I thought Wake +8.5 was a lock.
  • Spirit Meter - 110 dB. Not that great, Hogs.
  • Extended bit about Ian Johnson at Boise State. Steve Cyphers makes the trek to Boise to do the story. Of course, the story's kind of lame. All about crocheting. You could show a few more of his highlights. The guy's pretty damn good. I do like the "wink wink" people can contact me, but I can't promote the sales, when it's quite clear that this is definitely promotion.
  • Howard comes back to talk Heisman. Fowler says that there aren't many good Western candidates for the Heisman. DeSean Jackson? Colt Brennan? Howard doesn't think the choices for the Heisman are good enough to earn his vote (and for that, I think Howard deserves a lot of credit. He's probably right about this. Of course, I'm not the guy to ask about the Heisman - I think it's a team sport and the Heisman is an afterafterafter thought.
  • Fowler takes a shot a the provinciality about the SEC for not caring about the PAC-10. I get upset about this kind of statement. SEC fans are jingoists, but they're not isolationists. SEC fans love college football as much or more than anyone, and I'd argue that SEC fans are probably more likely to pay attention to the west coast teams than guys in the northeast who only watch Pro Football and I'd guess at least as much as midwesterners.
  • Herbstreit: Cal is a machine, offensively/defensively. Arizona has "no shot" even though it's at home, it's at night (it was broad daylight when Arizona fans rushed the field, Kirk). Cal's too strong. Zero percent chance of Arizona winning that game. Kirk's so firm on this that Fowler thinks he's joking around.
  • I would be fine never to hear Fowler's Beano Cook impression again. Not that it's bad, per se.
  • All Access with USC (basically, something they do every damn week on this program). Shelley Smith reporting (sort of) on the USC center. To his credit, Ryan Kalil is pretty funny. A lot funnier than Tom Rinaldi.
  • Herbstreit chimes in on USC's resilience after the Oregon State game. All about confidence and intangibles and stuff.
  • Flashback to a few years ago Penn vs. Harvard. Corso looked ri-damn-diculous.
  • Big day in the Ivy league. Princeton, Yale and Harvard are all 7-1.
  • WIRED! with Yale. If they're going to cover the Ivy, they should at least cover them, not do this stupid, useless stuff.
  • Countdown clock to OSU-UM. New sod. A little bit of hype. They're just warming up.
  • Erin Andrews joins to give an on-site report for Northwestern-OSU. Weather report is useful for gamblers. They should do that more often.
  • Herbstreit plays the expectations game with his precious Buckeyes.
  • My favorite sign: Nutt - Bringing SEC Titles and Sexy Back.
  • Georgia is bad. Why? They don't really get into that, just list some facts that result from Georgia being bad. Fowler points out how bad Georgia's pass defense is (prescient).
  • Extended piece on Darren McFadden. Dude's good.
  • Tennessee has been giving up rushing yards, not rushing themselves. Herbstreit offers some actual analysis. Corso puts it on the Arkansas O-line. Some actual game analysis. Good.
  • On-site report for Iowa-Wisconsin. Tells us that Stocco isn't starting. Useful gambling information. More of this - it pleases the core audience.
  • Game Changing Performers: Corso: Mike Goodson (A&M) is "the Reggie Bush of the Big XII". Herbstreit: Darren McFadden. Fowler: Matt Moore (Oregon State).
  • Saturday Stupid Selections: Corso: Cal (though he picked Arizona to cover), Yale, Auburn ("big, REALLY, big"), Amherst, FSU, Texas A&M, Iowa. Herbstreit: Cal ("Arizona has Zero percent chance of winning that game"), Auburn (but Georgia to cover), FSU, Iowa.
  • They didn't even pick the Texas-K-State game.
  • The Lady chimes in: "I don't like it when Lee Corso yells, 'Look at the size of this thing!'". And yes, she meant it that way. I love my wife.
They didn't really predict how crazy a day it would end up being. In fact, they didn't really pick well at all. There was a little bit of actual information, but they had several useless segments. In a way, this episode was just filler until next week's armageddon of matchups. Not as bad as last week's mistake of an episode, but also not one of their best. They did handle the Miami situation appropriately gently, though. Next week, surely they'll be in Columbus. But they should cover the game in LA pretty heavily too.