Sunday, March 20, 2011

College Football: Why ESPN's College Gameday Trumps All

ESPN's College Gameday.

It's the reason most of the college football fans around the country wake up early on Saturday morning. We stagger to the kitchen, pour ourselves a cup of coffee, grab the morning paper from the driveway, and we settle in to our favorite seat on the couch or La-Z-Boy and we turn on Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit.

The three guys who make the college football pre-game show worth watching. It's not only because of the information, stories, and picks of the week, but because they bring something the NFL shows only wish they had.

The fans.

Each and every week, the College Gameday roadshow stops in to some of the best college towns in the country. College Station (TX), Knoxville (TN), Columbus (OH), Gainesville (FL), Miami (FL), Ann Arbor (MI), Norman (OK) just to name a few. We could spend all day talking about each and every stop they make.

Whether it's the brutality of summer and humidity to the brutal wind chill and rain, these three guys are out there on campus in front of some of the best fans this country has to offer.

This is why we love college football Saturday's.

Then, 24 hours, later, we wake up around the same time and go through the same routine we had just gone through a day earlier. Except this time we watch the National Football League pre-game shows and realize not only are they not in front of the fans but they're nestled comfortably in their respective studios.

No matter what the temperature and no matter what the conditions, they are always in a temperature controlled room.


These two pre-game shows need to realize how popular they could be. Sure they have solid story lines, injury updates, rumors, and much more, but it's easy to respond to four other guys next to you. It's easy to respond to guys who, for the most part, agree with most of what you're saying.

Getting to hear the jeers, cheers, chants, and everything else that is a part of College Gameday is what makes them one of the most popular sports shows on television. At least during the football season.

They do it the right way and they realize how much the fans respect them for making the kind of effort that goes along with putting together this kind of production. And it leads to one moment in time that each college football fan has waited the entire show for.

The head gear.

It's the moment where Lee Corso picks his game of the week, the game taking place on the campus of where the show is being done, and sends the fans in attendance either into a frenzy or a deafening roar of jeers and boos.

The moment itself is unlike any other in sports or television. If you look around at every sports network on cable television, you won't anything that can rival College Gameday.

So, the next time you hear ESPN's Chris Berman yell out his tired "he could go all the way" line, maybe you'll fire back at the television with "not so fast my friend."

Follow Todd Kaufmann @T_Kaufmann and National Football Authority @NFAuthority on Twitter

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