For years I have suffered through Rod Gilmore’s commentary during ESPN’s college football coverage. If I had access to my blogs from years ago, I’d pull up some classic mistakes. Ed Cunningham used to be the worst, but he stepped away two years ago. Now Gilmore has taken the throne. It is one of those situations where I expect a terrible broadcast, but somehow his horrible performance still shocks me.
The mistake from Saturday night’s game that has been featured throughout the Internet is Gilmore inserting a “G” in the incorrect place when trying to spell the word “FIGHT” because one person with body paint had stepped away temporarily. Although this was humorous and sums up what kind of night Gilmore had, those who spent nearly four hours watching this game realize that his entire evening went that way.
What's worse than missing the "G" in your body-painted "Fight On" when the cameras turn to you? Having Rod Gilmore add it to the wrong spot with the telestrator. #Pac12AfterDarkhttps://t.co/FR3uLZB6xH
Jason Benetti was Gilmore’s partner for the contest. I usually like Benetti’s work, but one person can dramatically impact the fan’s enjoyment. For example, when paired with Bill Walton, Jason can be quite enjoyable.
Gilmore seemed to be wrong with almost every prediction. When Fresno decided to kick a field goal and it was against his initial comment, Gilmore quickly backtracked and supported the decision. That actually made his commentary worse. At least he should have stuck to his guns.
Rod Gilmore just said confidently that Jeff Tedford would take a knee with :30 on the clock before half and prudently go to the locker room.
Tedford then called three quick plays before half.
Before halftime, Gilmore thought that Fresno should kneel down. Even if you think that, seeing guys lined up out wide should indicate that they are not going to simply take knees. With four seconds remaining, Rod decided that they would obviously throw the ball based on what we had seen on the previous plays. Wrong again.
At another point, Gilmore felt that Fresno needed to kick a field goal. They were lined up to go for it, but the coach apparently changed his mind after a timeout was called. USC took the timeout. Otherwise, it appeared that he would have been wrong here as well. Gilmore thought that Fresno had called it at first. Technically, this means that he was wrong even when getting something right. Again, Gimore probably would have been wrong if the other team didn’t give coach Jeff Tedford an opportunity to reconsider the decision.
Finally, Gilmore thought USC needed to punt on fourth and short when leading late in the game. Naturally, that didn’t happen. He did not predict the decision correctly, but there is something to be said for his thought process. We can debate it, but that philosophy isn’t crazy. At least by Gilmore’s standards. It was very similar to USC going for a first down in their classic championship game against Texas nearly 14 years ago. A good analyst might have pointed that out. Unfortunately, we did not have one calling the game.
Coaches putting winning above all else is part of their job. We are not living in a Blue Chips world where winning the “right way” is the most important thing. They have to win at all costs or they’ll be without a job, plain and simple. Coaches doing whatever it takes has often tiptoed an ambiguous moral line that is crossed more often than not. This is nothing new, and has long been a blemish throughout not just college, but all sports. However, we’re in an age where everything comes into the light sooner or later, and it often comes at a huge personal toll for the people on the receiving end of this line. The Baylor victims, Larry Nassar victims, and countless others have suffered long and hard at the hands of people in power in the college sports world. Urban Meyer is not the first to have crossed the line, and he will not be the last, but this is becoming an epidemic that leaves a black eye on all involved.
Between 2015 and today, Ohio State receivers coach Zach Smith has been accused of domestic violence, and Urban Meyer allegedly knew about it and covered it up. This is disgusting, abhorrent behavior and must be punished severely. Meyer covered these incidents up because he believed that holding on to Smith would give his team the best chance to win. Yes, it is his job to win, but coaches have other responsibilities that are often shunned to bring winning to the forefront. They are supposed to be leaders, role models, and disciplinarians. Urban Meyer has shown that he is none of these. His punishment, as of now, is PAID administrative leave, which means that he will still receive paychecks despite all that he has done in covering up these allegations against Smith. In what world is this actual punishment? And what is the worst case scenario? He gets fired and lands a cushy job somewhere else in a few years? Will it even take years for another program to hire somebody like him, should these allegations be proven?
The NCAA has often made their most severe punishments of teams, coaches, and players the revoking of wins, trophies, championships, etc. This is not good enough. Everyone remembers Louisville winning the National Championship, everyone remembers Ohio State winning the Big Ten. These things happened and you cannot simply try to erase them and call it good enough. This is not some breaking of a code or NCAA bylaw. This is breaking the law. If these allegations against Meyer are true, he should never be allowed to coach again, and that’s just from an NCAA standpoint. To deter coaches, players, and administration alike, there needs to be something more severe. Because this is no longer a bumpy road to travel. This is more than a metaphorical black eye. This is a disgrace and unacceptable, and the NCAA itself needs to be held accountable. At what cost must winning come to that people are willing to hide domestic abuse or rape allegations?
I don’t know enough about the law or NCAA bylaws or anything to determine appropriate punishment, all I know is that whatever the current system is, it is not good enough. The NCAA needs to change and make sure that the winning of championships or games is not worth hurting real people. That winning cannot simply brush off very serious accusations. Because if this continues to happen, which it will, then there is no moral line to cross. That line will have already been long destroyed. I hope the wins were worth it.
The newest rankings are out and as a surprise to no one, Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, and Washington are in the Top 4. With only one week remaining before the final selections, shit is going to get intense this weekend. A LOT of football still left to be played and it’s going to get interesting if one of the Top 4 teams loses. Will 2 Big 10 teams get in? Will Washington be the odd man out? Is there any chance Michigan can get back in?
I figured that in order to breakdown this madness, I decided to go to the craziest show on television (and probably best one, too) right now, Game of Thrones. GOT is the GOAT. Since I need a little Thrones in my life, I’ve decided to compare the 7 teams with a shot at the college football playoff to Game of Thrones characters.
1. Alabama – Cersei Lannister
The boss ass bitch of Westeros. The most powerful person in the land. You hate Cersei with your guts and it will be glorious when she falls, but right now, Cersei is the most powerful person in the world. Same can be said for Alabama. The Tide are clearly the top dogs in the NCAA. Nick Saban runs the land, manipulating and intimidating his opponents both on and off the field and sometimes, his own coaches (Looking at you Lane Kiffen). No one can stop them and if you try, you’ll join Tommen face first in the ground.
2. Ohio State – Daenerys Targaryen
Get ready for Khaleesi, King’s Landing! Arguably the person that has the best chance of taking down Cersei. Daenerys is powerful, confident, and when push comes to shove, always delivers. Same can be said with Ohio State. After the hiccup at Penn State, Ohio State has climbed the rankings and is the second best team in the country. Some might say Daenerys is lucky because without her dragons, she would be nowhere. Well, I point to the game against Wisconsin and last week’s 4 & 1 ball spot against Michigan. Luck helps, but Ohio State is still super talented.
3. Clemson – Jon Snow
Jun Snew!*Ygritte voice* A fan favorite, Jon has come back from the dead and is on a collision course to take back the north and will eventually meet up Khaleesi before possibly facing Cersei. Clemson has died multiple times this year and somehow, someway, still rose to the top. I feel like there were 4 games they could’ve / should’ve lost, but bad FG kicking and clock management by their opponents helped the Tigers roar. Clemson is on a collision course to face Ohio State before (most likely) taking on Bama. Jon’s Valyrian steel sword aka Longclaw aka Deshaun Watson gives this team a fighting chance against the top dawg and with the sword, anything can happen.
4. Washington – Tyrion Lannister
I drink and I know things. That’s what I do. The cool kid on the block. The unsung hero of the show. The man who started from the bottom (pun) and is now here. One of my favorite characters in the show, Tyrion is simply the man. Drinks when he wants. Does what he wants. Has a certain swagger and confidence to him that rubs off on you. The Washington Huskies are Tyrian Lannister. Coach Chris Petersen could turn water into wine if he wanted to with the jobs he has done at Boise State and now Washington. The Huskies are young, flashy, and hungry for a shot at the title. Jake Browning is a cocky stud and this defense is legit. They have not been in the spotlight for years so they are doing things there way. It will be a travesty if Washington or Tyrian die in the near future. Finger wag or die.
5. Michigan – Jamie Lannister
Started off an enemy. Slowly climbed his way to the top of superstardom. Lost a hand on the way, but Jamie is still one of the most powerful and best characters on the show. No matter what, Jamie will always still be in the shadow of Cersei until he takes her out. I used to hate Michigan. I look at Jamie losing his hand just like Jim Harbaugh going to Michigan. Total 180 for me. I’m a huge Harbaugh fan now. He knows how to get things done. It’s a shame that he’ll always be on the outside looking in. He’ll never be King as long as Cersei is in power. Same goes for Michigan. They won’t get a shot at Bama this year unless a miracle happens. P.S. let’s just forget the whole incest part in this comparison, shall we?
6. Wisconsin – Samwell Tarly
Fat. Boring. Weird. Slow. Vanilla. That being said, when push comes to shove, Samwell Tarly is somehow still alive and will have a huge role as the show comes to a close. I’m not saying Sam can becoming King, but he very well might one of the last ones standing. Plus, Sam has killed a white walker so he’s capable of big things when called upon. Wisconsin is a boring and vanilla team. A lot of running the ball, plays under center, controlling the clock, and playing good defense. No one is going to make your jaw drop, but as a unit, they’re tough as nails and hard to beat. If Wisconsin somehow wins their version of Gilly aka the Big 10 and puts on an impressive performance, a lot of Washington fans are going to be on the edge of their seats come next Sunday.
7. Penn State – Arya Stark
Started off as the small, unassuming daughter of Ned Stark. Over time, Arya is a full blown badass, turning heads left and right with her badassery. Cashing checks and snapping necks or in her case, slitting throats. I have a feeling her list is going to get smaller and smaller until she finally gets a shot at Cersei. If you were to tell me that Penn State would be playing for a Big 10 title this year, I would’ve said you’re nuts. This team was NOT on my radar until they beat Ohio State. Now, they’re one of the hottest teams in college football. If they beat Wisconsin for the Big 10 title, the committee might have to put the Nittany Lions in the playoff because of their head-to-head win over Ohio State. If that happens, PSU has a date with Cersei on New Years Eve.
So there you have it. The 7 teams that can make the college football playoff this year. Who controls the fate of all the teams? The playoff selection committee aka the White Walkers. It’s their world and we’re just living in it.
Turns out CFB can be quite the bitch these days. You know, you think you have it all and you’re 10 steps ahead of the odds makers and next thing you know you’re paying your bookie left and right. I did some serious research this week so if these picks go up in flames like the past two weeks, I’m officially retiring from publishing my picks (not from gambling, don’t be ridiculous). So here goes nothing, boys.
1) The Big Ten Brawl Bet: Michigan vs Maryland, POINTS (Over 54), 3:30 pm @ The Big House
Jabrill Peppers honestly might put up all 54 points himself. Both of these teams can put up points, and Maryland is much improved offensively from last year. However, that’s not really going to matter as Michigan will likely dominate every facet of the game. I’m looking at a 20+ point Michigan victory, but expect Maryland to put up some points. The smart bet here is definitely to take the over on the points, and watch Jabrill do his thing. Seriously, that dude is an animal.
2) Big 12 Sucks Bet: Oklahoma St (+130 ML) over Kansas State 3:30 pm @ KSU
The Pokes just came off a huge program win vs WVU last week, which once again proves that the Big 12 is full of mediocre teams with similar talent. Only difference with KSU is they haven’t had the season that OSU has, and moreover can’t put up the points to match OSU. Let’s look at a couple differentiators in this game. First, look at the coaches: OSU’s Mike Gundy is the man and actually got the game ball last week after their win over WVU. KSU’s Snyder, on the other hand, might have been alive to watch the Cubs win the 1908 World Series and probably has to take his dentures out to eat oatmeal. On the real, KSU is less talented and the fact that they’re the favorite must have everything to do with the fact that they have home field advantage. But who actually cares? Oklahoma St. will ride the high from last week and cruise past KSU. Money line boys.
3) The Screw Arkansas Bet: Florida (-4) vs Arkansas , 3:30 pm @ Arkansas
I’ve been real high on Arkansas in the past, but then they got embarrassed at Auburn and lost 56-3, that one hurt for sure (especially in the bank). However, this bet has more to do with Florida. The Gators have a solid defense with arguably the best secondary in football and are comprised of a competent offense that can be physical in the trenches (which Arkansas has proved it can’t be). I mean the Gators Tim Tebow at one point, who I’m starting to think might be the second coming of Jesus. Seriously, the dude performs miracles left and right and preaches all day every day. Can’t bet against Jesus! Plus, 4 points isn’t enough for a team that will likely win the SEC East, and needs this win to do so. Chomp Chomp!
4) The USC is for Tools Bet: Oregon (+17) vs USC, 7:00 pm @ The Coliseum
Both these teams suck. I really just wanted to take this bet because I hate USC almost as much as I hate Michigan, and if I’m going to be smart with my money and bet Michigan every week (against every ounce of my hatred for them), I’m gonna have to balance it out by betting against the fruit cakes at USC. The Trojan offense finally looks like its clicking, but for whatever reason I like the Ducks. USC has been a train wreck of a program as of late, and I think Royce Freeman is primed for a huge game. JuJu Smith and Adoree Jackson are the real deal, but make no mistake, I don’t have much confidence in Sam Darnold at all. What good are star WRs if the QB can’t get them the rock? Go Ducks.
5) The Bring Back Money Team Manziel Bet: Texas A&M (-12) vs Miss St, Noon @ Miss St
I’m really high on this A&M team. They’ve been stockpiling 5-star athletes over the past few recruiting cycles, and those boys are finally showing up to play, and boy are they athletic. Christian Kirk and Speedy Noil are great targets for Trevor Knight, who is explosive in his own right, and Myles Garrett is a freak of nature on the D-Line. Miss St took a HUGE blow losing Dak Prescott and the offense really hasn’t recovered yet. Overall, the difference in talent is way too much, not to mention that A&M is vying for a playoff birth, and will have all the motivation in the world to win. A&M will WIN BIG to make a push for the final 4.
After his first rough outing of the year (2-3), MFC returns with his picks for a stacked slate of College games.
Here we go boys. Last week wasn’t so kind to us, (2-3) but this week brings a whole new series of games. Lets get after it. MFC’s picks of the week.
1) The Mr. Irrelevant bet: Boise State (-14) over Wyoming
I can’t imagine Wyoming is an imposing football power. Boise State, on the other hand, is like a walking high-school sports movie, where the cheerleader and QB get married and everyone lives happily ever after. Those SOBs even have blue grass. On a serious note, Boise St is good and Wyoming isn’t. 14 is too low.
2) The SEC East is a Joke bet: Tennessee (-13.5) over South Carolina
I know I’ve taken every opportunity possible to rip Tennessee, but South Carolina is in a dark spot right now. Those cocks wouldn’t know a top 25 ranking if it was lathered in southern tide apparel and the whole Ray-ban & Croakies combo. Take Tennessee here. They’re too talented.
3) The North Pacific IPA Tasting Festival bet: Washington State (-13) over Oregon State
Mike Leach is the man and everyone should know it. Not only does he act like a man with zero shits to give, but he produces results on the field when it matters. Washington State has had a great year while Oregon State remains one of those teams that everyone looks at and goes “who the hell would ever want to go there.” Mike Leach was really all I needed to pull the trigger. The dude is a living legend.
4) The SJS Bet: Penn St. (-13.5) over Purdue
The boys over at PSU are feeling great and they’re ready to keep the momentum rolling against a weak Purdue crew. Purdue as a whole has been in question the past few years, and I really don’t see the upside of that roster. Penn state wins on talent and momentum here.
5) The Primetime bet: Clemson (-4.5) over FSU
My only initial hesitation with this bet is this game is played at Doak Campell Stadium, and those fans get up for games. However, Clemson is the better team. QB play and Wayne Gallman coming back from injury are the difference here. Eat fellas.
Boys, welcome back to Matty A’s aka MFC’s Hot Picks of the Week. This week presents a much tougher slate of games to pick from, but if you massage the numbers and use your brains (or whatever is left of them) there are some lines to be exploited. I decided to break them down into categories and include games for all times so that us gambling degenerates can freak out at the TV all day:
The Last Supper: Arkansas (+8) over Ole Miss 7:00 pm
This is definitely a tough one to pick, but Arkansas is way better than people think. Chad Kelly may be a DB, but the dude can flat out ball. However, the Razorbacks seem to have this team’s number every year. Brett Bilemna sucks, but the man knows how to coach and how to be the most annoying team in history to play against. They’ll probably lose the game, but not by more than 8.
Corn-Fed Whiteboy Bowl: Nebraska (-3) over Indiana 3:30pm
A lot of people are real high on Indiana after some of their recent games, but you can count me out of that group. This is a basketball school and they aren’t even good at that. Nebraska is usually a pain in the ass to play. Plus, the dudes are 5-0. Eat boys.
Pay Me Now Bet: Illinois (-5.5) over Rutgers 12:00pm
Rutgers hasn’t scored a point in its last two games and has let up over 130 points in that span. Illinois may not be Michigan or OSU, but they sure aren’t the steaming pile of shit that is Rutgers. Let it be known that RU is my second favorite team, but man do they suck. I’ve made a small fortune betting against them this season and I don’t expect that trend to stop anytime soon. This is a King 2 Ducie hand so pot that SOB.
High Risk, Elbows Deep Bet: North Carolina MONEY LINEover Miami (+260) 3:30pm
Who has a set of balls between their legs? This bet is for those men only. NC is an 8 point underdog (how?), but the Heels should be favorites in the game. With odds like these, you’d be an idiot not to take it. The points could also be a nice bet here. If you’re betting points, take the over on 62 because the Heels know how to score. This is a risky ass bet, but man up and grow a set.
EASY Money: Alabama (-12.5) over Tennessee 3:30pm
No description necessary. The Bama boys eat. Plus, I’m so sick of looking at Butch Jones. If Tennessee wasn’t overhyped every year and didn’t proceed to crap the bed, I wouldn’t be saying this. The Vols barely beat App St and needed a hail mary to beat Georgia, who was missing Nick Chubb. I hate Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin, but they know how to win and they will win big.
Night Game: Irish (-3) over Stanford 8:00pm
Yeah, I’m a homer. The last bet I put on the Irish didn’t go so well. I lost $1,200 and almost killed a small child. However, this game is always decided by the refs and that clearly favors the home team (see 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, etc). McCaffrey probably isn’t playing and you better believe ND is coming out UNDER THE LIGHTS on a mission. DRINK ALL THE BEERS! GO IRISH! BEAT DUKE! (sore subject)