Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gameday Recap

Week Nine
October 27, 2007
State College, Pennsylvania - Ohio State at Penn State

Got a feeling this one is going to come easy for me, because things have definitely been looking up in the world. Sunny outlook on my face. Bet there's little to get pissed about.

  • Opener shows a large crowd, and clearly a record for the most hoodies worn
  • Fowler calls it a "gray Big 10 sky" when the camera clearly shows blue skies. If he can't get "the color of the sky above him" right, what are we counting on him for?
Big N Rich
  • Now Fowler says the skies are actually blue, but that it was rainy earlier.
  • Only the second #1 team ever to visit Happy Valley. Surprising.
  • Corso says it's the best student body in the country and calls them the 12th man. Texas A&M, file a lawsuit.
  • Corso can't pronounce "USC". Apparently Lou Holtz's pep talk a while back was wrong.
  • Flashback to last OSU-PSU game in State College.
  • Graphic shows that OSU tied the record for consecutive B10 wins Saturday.
  • Corso thinks turnovers will determine OSU-PSU.
  • Herbstreit talks about how good teams rise to challenges.
  • Fowler kind of gets the pronunciation right, calling Paterno "JoePa" like "Joe Pah" instead of "Joapuh", but then he adds a second "Pah" and it's weird again.
First commercial break
  • Yeah. Whoever controls the hoodie market in central PA is a rich man.
  • USC-Tennessee talk, but it's framed Spurrier vs. Fulmer.
  • Fowler: "Even rational and reasonable fans at Tennessee have grown angry", then there's a montage of irrational and unreasonable radio call in mouthbreathers.
  • Herbstreit says there's a bigger problem at Tennessee, but he doesn't really explain what that problem is, apart from "mental makeup" confuses him.
  • Both take South Carolina.
  • Fowler kind of puts words in Herbstreit's mouth, suggesting that their players have NFL draft picks on their brains. Can't let Blueyes McGelhead actually say something critical and unequivocal on his own, but you also need for the show to make some sense.
Second commercial break
  • Highlights from Thursday's VT-BC game.
  • Some BCS rankings talk for a second.
  • Interview with Matt Ryan. Ryan kind of puts the onus on VT for their success by saying the pass rush slowed at the end. Not as much of a fluffing as I was expecting. Good job, Fowler. Much better than the Leavitt and Saban on set interviews.
  • Herbstreit says that for 57 minutes, BC was 18th best in the country, but for 3 they were #2 and Ryan had a "Heisman Moment".
  • Corso makes a point about geographic bias in reference to Heisman voting, says Ryan has a good shot because there are no other candidates in the North.
  • Corso praises BC because their schedule isn't atrocious compared to other unbeaten teams.
  • Herbstreit takes the time to praise LSU for their schedule - says precisely that LSU, if they win out, will be in the BCS title game and the other slot would be an unbeaten team - BC or OSU.
  • Herbstreit thinks BC is #3, behind OSU and LSU.
  • Corso whines that he doesn't have an AP vote.
  • Fowler makes a point about the underrating of Arizona State.
Third commercial break
  • The fake field has returned.
  • Extended piece on Todd Boeckman. Desmond Howard reporting. Kid seems like he's destined to end up doing color commentary for the Noon ESPN game. Nice, enunciates somewhat well, has a non-threatening midwestern accent.
  • Corso thinks Morelli is the key to the game (much like turnovers were the key to the game a half hour ago).
  • Herbstreit breaks down a couple of Morelli mistakes. More like this would be better.
  • Herbstreit also thinks Morelli is the key to the game (though a half hour ago the key was Ohio State playing well under pressure).
Fourth commercial break
  • Footage of Paterno delivering pizza to people camping out.
  • Texas-Nebraska talk. Been a long time since Nebraska lost like this.
  • Kansas-A&M talk. Mangino got his first win against a South team not Baylor.
  • Corso picks A&M because Kansas can't win outside the state, even though they did just that last week. Herbstreit likes Kansas because they play with confidence. Intangibles.
  • Fowler says Nebraska's losing recruits every day. Herbstreit gives Nebraska 0% chance of winning. Corso gives 1% chance.
Fifth commercial break
  • GameFace features, you guessed it, hoodies all around (4 of them). Seriously.
  • Footage of the Penn State pep rally. Looks odd.
  • Bowden-Paterno comparison. Fowler suggests that Paterno is going to catch Bowden because FSU isn't very good.
  • Howard joins the set to discuss why FSU isn't good. Fowler lists all the objective reasons (bad offense, turnovers).
  • Some interviews with FSU players. Not sure there's a groundswell of interest in the "what's wrong with FSU" story. I mean, haven't the Noles been kind of mediocre for about 5 years? Why now for this story and segment.
  • Howard thinks the QB rotation is the problem with the offense.
  • Herbstreit thinks FSU's problem is "emotional". Seriously.
  • Then they show some clips of how many incredibly great players used to be at FSU, and Herbstreit hints at an inner truth - the players aren't as good.
  • Corso says FSU needs leadership. Then says they'll be lucky to get to the bowl in Boise.
  • Fowler seems to get it this week - and says FSU isn't good because the O line isn't good. Actually points to a tangible problem
Sixth commercial break
  • Pac 10 talk. I think they should've gone to USC-Oregon, actually. Next week they'll get to Eugene again, I suppose.
  • Arizona State talk. I find it strange that this far into the season they are finally asking "Who is Arizona State" when they're undefeated.
  • Extended Piece on Keegan Herring. Chris Connelly reporting. First time this year his story has been a foggy lens tearjerker (which used to be a weekly occurrence). Tough story though. Crazy tragic year for this kid's family.
  • ASU's upcoming schedule mentioned, as well as recent history against Cal.
  • Herbstreit's analysis of this game is quite good. Tangible, breaks down each team's strengths. When he actually analyzes a game, he gives some info that we can use.
  • Herbstreit picks Cal, Corso drops a NSFMF, then does a Madden impression with three "watch this pass Boom!" highlight narrations.
  • Corso says a GREAT football coach can make a difference. Droppin' knowledge left and right!
Seventh commercial break
  • Some talk about various fan signs. Corso doesn't like Cabbage Patch Dolls.
  • HOLY CRAP! Greatest thing they've done all year. Analysis from the Knox brothers, shoeshiners who appear to know more about the game than the hosts.
  • Georgia-Florida talk.
  • Interview with Tim Tebow. Jesse Palmer reporting. Now this is how you do hype and fluffery. This is LeinartQuinnesque. The Kenny Chesney concert bit is pretty gay.
  • Hold on here. Most people who've been online know there's been a running joke about Kenny Chesney and Peyton Manning. After the interview, Fowler says that Herbstreit is in the "Chesney Posse" and that Tebow is now a part. Is there a gay college football underground, and Kenny Chesney is the leader?
  • Fowler makes a big deal about Georgia having a bye week last week, compared to most of the recent years when Florida had the bye.
  • Corso likes Florida because their defense is coming around and getting a pass rush. Herbstreit agrees that the defense is the key, but phrases it far more negatively.
  • Corso thinks Florida will win because "it's Tim Tebow's homecoming". Why does he bother doing any analysis at all if he makes his picks based on meaningless drivel?
Eighth commercial break
  • UCLA-WSU: KH expects UCLA to play well, but Corso slips in the correct upset call.
  • Oregon-USC talk.
  • WIRED!!! with Chip Kelly, Oregon's O coordinator. They've gotten better at this, now splicing in some actual useful information. It annoys me so much less.
  • Herbstreit compares Oregon's O to West Virginia's spread. Also calls Jonathan Stewart one of the best backs in the country. Says the only way to stop this offense is to have lockdown corners and respect the run otherwise. But then hints that USC will do well because they're underdogs. Just go with your analysis! Quit ignoring it in lieu of intangibles!
  • Todd McShay now comes on to compare Booty to Sanchez at USC. Says Sanchez is better, but all they do is show highlights of USC vs. Notre Dame, which has one of the worst defenses in the country.
  • Corso thinks Joe McKnight is a special player, but Oregon is one of the two best teams he's seen (along with Oklahoma). Let me interject some opinion here... If Corso really thinks Oklahoma and Oregon are the two best teams, but he's seen LSU at least twice (VT, Florida), he needs his eyes checked.
Ninth commercial break
  • Looks like a big crowd, but the decibel meter is not very loud, comparatively.
  • WVU-Rutgers talk.
  • WIRED!!! with Rich Rodriguez. Less informative than the Oregon coach.
  • Herbstreit's been pimping Rutgers all year, and today was no different. He talks about WVU's defense and potential injuries affecting Rutgers ad nauseam, but then picks Rutgers because of revenge for last year. Keep relying on intangibles.
  • Corso nails his WVU pick - exactly naming WVU's point total and saying they win big.
  • USF-UCONN. Corso does not nail this, calling USF a lock big. Herbstreit also wrong here, picking USF big.
Tenth commercial break
  • Some Big Ten talk. Fowler and Herbstreit admit that the Big 10 does not have many good games this week.
  • Joe Paterno extended interview. Chris Fowler himself does the interview, and asks some really solid questions. Fowler is much better at this than the other guys, but he's got a stronger journalism background. There's even some dodging of questions from Paterno - which you NEVER see from someone interviewed on this show. GIVE FOWLER AN INTERVIEW EVERY WEEK. Best extended interview they've done on this show in 3 years, and I can't remember second best.
  • Fowler follows up a good interview with useful injury information. He's having probably his best show of the season - and interestingly, I was surprised he was even on; in the past, Fowler has hosted the Breeders' Cup and Rece Davis has sat in.
  • Corso nails the OSU offensive strategy - balance, then run, work the clock.
  • Herbstreit thinks PSU's defense would be strong enough to stop the OSU run.
  • Howard likes Ohio State to win, despite being on the road.
Eleventh commercial break
  • On site injury updates for WVU-Rutgers with Bonnie Bernstein. They should do something like this at 5-6 sites.
  • Pontiac Game Changer. Corso - Jorvorskie Lane. Herbstreit - Mike Teel. Fowler - Maurice Evans. 0 For 3. Nobody wins this week.
  • Saturday Stupid Selections. Corso - Texas Tech, South Florida, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Florida, Lawyer Ron in the Breeders' Cup. Herbstreit - Texas Tech, South Florida, Rutgers, South Carolina, Southern California, Street Sense in the Breeders' Cup.
  • The rationales provided for their selections were so fact-less, so intangible ridden, that I'm starting to think that Vegas is a silent sponsor. If anyone listens to these guys to help them with picks, they'll end up poor quickly. Why Florida will beat Georgia? Because the game is in Jacksonville and Tim Tebow is from there. Why Rutgers will beat WVU? Revenge. So dumb.
Fowler puts in some good work. Herbstreit continues to annoy me to no end.

Next week I believe they're headed back to Eugene, Oregon, for the best game of the week. Other good games would've been LSU-Alabama and OSU-Wisconsin, but they got the right one. Here's hoping for a good show that matches what should be a good game at Oregon.