— SEConCBS (@SEConCBS) September 5, 2015
On the first episode of CBS’ new “College Football Today” studio show, Rick Neuheisel was apparently expected to grip it and rip it. With his analysis as well as with his guitar.
So he did. And very acutely acoustically with both tasks, we should add.
Ripped away from the Pac-12 Network as its featured studio analyst, the former UCLA quarterback and head coach has already set the bar high for those who expect a song-and-dance man to summarize the SEC coverage that CBS is locked into these days.
(See the clip above: He also managed to find a way to get “CBS” in as the last rhyme. His next appearance is on Saturday’s pregame before Georgia-Vanderbilt at noon on Channel 2).
“I like goofing around with the guitar, but on a much smaller scale,” Neuheisel said this morning. “Give me a verse and I’ll sound clever and half-way entertaining. These ensemble pieces are going to out me as a clear amateur in the ways of music. Hopefully we can reduce it so it still catches the listener by surprise and they don’t realize I’m really tone deaf.
“I’m just a guy who can play 30 percent of every song, but it’s really much better if you’ve had a lot to drink.”
Having decided that he’s so committed to this new CBS gig that he actually relocated to New York and is putting his Manhattan Beach place up for rent, Neuheisel explained some of the transition involved in this latest media-related career move, which includes doing a daily show called “Full Ride” from 7-to-10 a.m. PT on Sirius XM College Sports Nation Channel 84 with partner Chris Childers:
A: I feel like I’ve gone away to college again and I’m staying in my dorm room. Swear to goodness. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all over again. I’m in constant contact with college football, whether it’s TV or talking on the radio or doing interviews. I do feel like a coach again. I look forward to having my wife finally able to join me here in the Big Apple. This really is a leap of faith, taking a swing at network TV. I loved working for the Pac-12 Network and especially with the people there.
Q: But now you have to become an expert in the SEC, because that’s CBS’ baby, and that must be something of a culture shock as well?
A: I gotta tell you, I went on my own private tour to all 14 SEC schools. Took my wife and got in the car and did the whole Grizwolds thing. I even stopped at the Mississippi River as we were going to Memphis and Knoxville and I did the whole Clark Grizwold line about the ‘Old Miss …’ It was my own ‘Vacation’ movie.
I had been to Georgia before, because we played there when I was UCLA. Tennessee, I had coached there. Texas A&M and Missouri I had seen. But never had I been to the other places, and to go to these little college towns like Auburn and Fayetteville … I get it now. I don’t mean to any abandonment of the Pac-12, but I get the media attention to this conference. They have this beacon on the hill as a stadium and the towns revolve around it. It’s really charming. It’s just a completely different take on the game than anywhere else.
Q: So all the way back in New York, were they talking about Josh Rosen’s first game at UCLA? Were some there calling it the best performance by a true freshman — ever — as many in the media were going off? Continue reading