Top two things we’ve decided matter heading into the fourth week of the televised college football season:
Gus Johnson every pass play pic.twitter.com/zhI6qTE5P4
— What the Sports (@realwtsports) September 17, 2017
= Sreamin’ Gus Johnson: God bless your energy. God help you moving forward, when a lung throws up a white flag and collapses out of sheer exhaustion.
We once thought he was Fox’s answer to fix soccer. That didn’t happen. Other parts (brain) of us understand a need to add volume and context to a telecast, to let the viewer know what’s important and what’s just another play. But college football isn’t a 3-on-3 basketball game in some abandoned arena for a FS1 delayed telecast. It’s live news that needs to appeal to our other parts (ears, hearts, palm of hand slapping forehead).
Having had to leave the room and find a local brewery to drown out the audio of the Fox telecast of UCLA’s epic comeback against Texas A&M on Labor Day weekend, and then hitting mute one too many times during USC’s dramatic conclusion to its double-OT game against Texas on Fox last week, it’s now my only wish going forward that Joel Klatt be emancipated.
File a citizen’s divorce. Hook up with a play-by-play man where he doesn’t feel he has to compete for attention or increase his own volume to match the epicness of what the play-by-play man is overproducing.
This is almost a direct quote from the wife, I’ll have you know. I just agree. And she has no Twitter machine to vent. https://t.co/1KS7oZwpy9
— Tom Hoffarth (@tomhoffarth) September 17, 2017
Too many times in the USC-Texas game, Johnson’s over-enthusiasm to perhaps make a call worthy of a soundbite betrayed his ultimate duty to make sure the call was correct. Too many times, Klatt had to have the presence of mind and calm reaction to say, no, that’s not what just happened, and clarify.
Dial it back before it’s too late… We are inclined to watch Notre Dame visit Michigan State on Saturday night. But then again …
Start spreading the news …
For the first time ever, we’re headed to New York City next week! pic.twitter.com/VVhGw9vjwZ
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 14, 2017
= ESPN’s “College GameDay” journey: They are always looking to keep it fresh, to boldly go where no live TV pregame show has ever gone before.
In past years, that has meant a first-ever trip to Fargo, North Dakota. Or Kalamazoo, Mich., or Allston, Mass.
The fact the show has never been pushed out of New York was kind of refreshing. Syracuse may deserve it. But otherwise, what in New York says college football in this travelogue?
Saturday, that well-meaning drought will end as the show producers, determining that no game site is really worthy of a visit (what about San Diego State at Air Force?), will set up an outdoor studio in Times Square, between 43rd and 44th Streets, parallel with 7th Avenue (6-9 a.m. PDT).
That makes New York the 81st city to host “GameDay” in its 25 years.
This got someone like Nicole Auerbach, employed by the new subscription-based Athletic, a bit overly titillated. She writes:
“Sometimes I feel like I’m on my own little island as The All-American’s only writer based on the East Coast. Like, when it’s 2:30 a.m. on a (technically) Sunday morning and the rules of college football appear twisted inside-out on my television screen — something one of my West Coast pals would tell me is really just what we call #Pac12AfterDark. Apparently, this is quite the catchall.
“Other times, I feel great responsibility. This is one of those times.
“ESPN’s College Gameday is coming to New York City this weekend for the first time in its illustrious history. My city! The greatest city in the world! #work
“And not just anywhere in New York City — though I could have given them about a dozen better locations, if they’d asked. They’re setting up in Times Square, the most touristy of all tourist spots in an otherwise wonderful city.
“I don’t know how many of you will be embracing the “everyone is New York City’s college team” vibe of the coming weekend, but, just in case, I did want to provide any New York-based college football fans who want to do this weekend right some actually decent food recommendations to go along with your show-watching experience.
“First, leave Times Square. … *breathes sigh of relief*
“Next, figure out what you’re craving.”
Let’s stop right there. We’ll happily leave, because we’re craving a college football experience of kids on a campus who appreciate the “College GameDay” validation.
Not a bunch of hobos pushing shopping carts or dressed up movie superheros bullying visitors for a couple of bucks after they allow a selfie with them.
We get enough of that at Hollywood and Highland. It’s why “College GameDay” should never set up on Hollywood and Highland with the “Hollywood” sign in the background. It doesn’t say anything about college football. It’s just another place that’s busy with people. But not the people you want to start your college football experience morning with.
And just noticing: The next time “College GameDay” comes to Las Vegas will also be the first. At least Vegas has a college to follow (as long as they’re not playing Howard) and you’d be sure to get Brent Musburger for a cameo.
Week 4 for local interest:
== Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy and Tom Luginbill are on USC’s game at Cal (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7)
== Mark Jones, Rod Gilmore and Quint Kessenich have UCLA’s game at Stanford (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN)
In the Pac 12:
= Utah at Arizona, Friday at 7:30 p.m., FS1 (Brian Custer, Ben Leber)
= Nevada at Washington State, Saturday at 3 p.m., Pac-12 Net (Ted Robinson, Yogi Roth)
= Washington at Colorado, Saturday at 7 p.m., FS1 (Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman)
= Oregon at Arizona State, Saturday at 7 p.m., Pac-12 Net (Roxy Bernstein, Anthony Herron)
= Temple at South Florida, 4:30 p.m., ESPN (Dave Flemming, Joey Galloway, Booger McFarland, Laura Rutledge)
= Virginia at Boise State, 5 p.m., ESPN (Adam Amin, Dusty Dvoracek)
= North Carolina State at Florida State, 9 a.m., ESPN2 (Jason Benetti, Anthony Becht)
= Texas A&M vs. Arkansas at Arlington, Tex., 9 a.m., ESPN (Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard)
= UNLV at Ohio State, 9 a.m., Big Ten Net (Kevin Kugler, Matt Millen)
= Alabama at Vanderbilt, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2 (Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson)
= TCU at Oklahoma State, 12:30 p.m., ESPN (Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay)
= Boston College at Clemson, 12:30 p.m., ESPN2 (Dave Lamont, Kelly Souffer)
= Michigan at Purdue, 1 p.m., Channel 11 (Joe Davis, Brady Quinn)
= Oklahoma at Baylor, 1 p.m., FS1 (Justin Kutcher, Petros Papadakis, Mark Helfrich)
= Mississippi State at Georgia, 4 p.m., ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe)
= San Diego State at Air Force, 4 p.m., CBSSN (Ben Holden, Jay Feely)
= Penn State at Iowa, 4:30 p.m., Channel 7 (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor)
= Auburn at Missouri, 4:30 p.m., ESPNU (Mark Neely, Ray Bentley)
= Florida at Kentucky, 4:30 p.m., SEC Net (Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers)
= Notre Dame at Michigan State, 5 p.m., Channel 11 (Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt)
= Hawaii at Wyoming, 7:15 p.m., ESPN2 (Roy Philpott, Tom Ramsey)