Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I, for one, welcome our new Gameday overlords...

I'm just taking a look around here at this, ahem, blog that goes out into literally thousands of reader's homes--what's that?  No...not...not thousands?  Well, I'm sure that it at least goes into hundre--no?  Teens.  Into literally what appears to be just a couple of eViL's family members homes. and the rest consisting of what I can only assume are homebound medical patients suffering from some  debilitating disease rendering them incapable of surfing other websites, and completely dependent upon Meals On Wheels programs for their daily dose of human contact and sustenance.

This almost feels like you've hired an agent to get you a ton of really great gigs to get your burgeoning media conglomerate brand name out into the public eye (by the way, you can catch my bringing you all the Campbell County Cougar football play-by-play action on http://www.wtnqfm.com on Friday nights) and you walk up to the joint and realize you're playing to the recently re-opened Sunny Brightside Retirement Community that was shut down for several years of excessive Medicare fraud and suspected resident abuse.

Speaking of taking over the bustling world of rural east Tennessee high school football radio, I may as well share with you the behind-the-scenes world of radio.  The radio station I work for considers the carrying of our local high school football games slightly above the "Soppin' up the Biscuit" hour that is on our station on Saturday mornings and a tribute to really, really old country music.

No, the name of that show is not made up.

So, every week, I stop by the studio to pick up the modem, call-in system thingy and they reassure me all is well with their system that is basically the broadcasting equivalent of tin cans and string.  We head to a nearby county to do the play-by-play of what is, honestly, probably the biggest football game in my high school's history.  Now, keep in mind here, that my high school has all the winning of tradition of a Prairie View A & M with none of the sizzle, so that statement is to be tempered a bit.

Nevertheless, the school is on the local broadcast carried by the local CBS affiliate and goes all over most of east Tennessee in sparkling high-definition and it is an opportunity to really boost the program at our high school.  This is a big deal and I want to come off as professional as we possibly can  because I knew several media outlets would be there.

We get there and we're right.  We're seeing cameras, t-shirt give aways from the cannon, local tv guys you see every day are all over the place, and it is all a bit much when your usual contemporaries of the one cow and scattered chickens that usually accompany the press box are what you're accustomed to seeing.  We get there, try to set up the headsets, and we're getting nothing.  The thing won't dial out.  Now, keep in mind we're looking around at TV monitors, webcast set ups, bloggers, and the like and we're trying to get our deal to dial in and it just won't budge.  So, our...what I guess would be a producer says "You're gonna have to do this from your phone."  Come again.  "You're gonna have to call in this number and do the game from your phone."

So, we proceed to do the entire 36-0 beat down of our team from my cell phone.  Everyone else is carrying out their professional responsibilities admirably and I'm the lunatic over in the corner screaming at a 16-year old center that can't snap the ball correctly all night.  On the plus side, I did ask former Pro Bowl defensive back and Tennessee legend Terry Fair if he minded doing a halftime interview from the sweaty phone that I'm talking into.

For all those people knew, my color guy and I were two idiots who had made their way to the press box and pretended to call the game by yelling into their phone.  I'm like the Appalachian Edward R. Murrow.



Arkansas at Alabama
Obviously, this one looked a lot more intriguing before Arkansas decided to sleep walk through their latest game with ULM and losing their quarterback in the process.  ESPN obviously lost all interest as they decided to move Gameday to Circle Park on the campus of UTK for the Florida-Tennessee contest.  To me, Alabama looked like a low-caliber NFL squad against Michigan, to me.  Heading into Alabama isn't a place to try and get things shored up.
987 National Championships (6 of which are only recognized by anyone else) - 34
So, he was boning a co-ed...bring him back!  - 10

Stanford at USC
Lane Kiffin, as much as I hate to admit it, can recruit because 18 year olds love swag.  Swag and Red Bull and Wild Boys and all that stuff.  So, as long as Lane Kiffin keeps that going, he'll out talent most everyone else on the Pacific side of things and that should set up some pretty epic USC-Oregon battles in the years to come.  I don't see an Andrew Luck-less Stanford keeping it close in this one.
USC - 31
Stanford - 17

Michigan St. at Notre Dame
I don't know anything about this game...so I'm going to post this:

Ron Powlus' 3 Heismans  23
Michigan St.  28

And now...for the main event...

Florida at Tennessee
This game is hard to get a feel for as both teams have a ton of question marks.  Let's examine Florida's question marks first:

1.)  Can Florida put together two back-to-back road performances where they somehow get it done despite a pedestrian offense?

2.)  Is the "should be fine" going to be good enough for Gilleslee's groin injury?

3.)  Can UF continue to shut down the Tennessee rushing attack as they have the past seven years?

For Tennessee:

1.)  These players have been without national attention their entire careers and they're suddenly getting a ton of it...how do they handle that?

2.)  Tennessee decided to replace their PK this week and you have to wonder if the game is tight if that is going to adversely affect the Vols?

3.)  Do we get the Tyler Bray that has shown complete command of his offense in the first two games or do we get the one that is prone to get impatient and put the ball in harm's way?

I think Florida is walking into a hornet's nest from a fan's perspective.  This fan base has been without any type of semblance of success since 2008.  Gameday hasn't been on campus since 2004.  Neyland Stadium is sold out in advance for the first time in a handful of seasons.  The fans, clearly, are ready for some results on the football field.  Will that play a factor as Florida just got through playing in a tough environment...that remains to be seen.

I have had the good fortune of watching UF play in both their games and I simply do not see UF having the offense to stay stride for stride with a pretty potent Tennessee passing attack.  If you are UF, you can't like the fact that your quarterback was sacked 8 times the previous week.  Even if the quarterback could have gotten the ball away on most occasions, your quarterback was still on the ground 8 times.  So, which way does this one go?  Does a young Tennessee defense still getting used to the 3-4, but showing a lot more aggression on defense get to the quarterback or do they early secondary struggles that Tennessee has faced sort of allow Florida to hit some big gainers and slow it down with the run?

I think Tennessee's strength (passing attack) outperforms Florida's strength (defense).

I'm calling for the streak to come to an end before a pretty upbeat home crowd on Saturday night.

Tennessee 31
UF 20

1 comment:

  1. Except for the gimmee - Bama over the Hogs, you were an O-fer. I expect a little more from my prognosticators. You usually bring a little more levity which offsets what could be called "insights" into college football. At least give us something, even if that would be a can of Chunky Soup.