My wife made the call of the year this morning, dialing up Comcast and ordering ESPN Gameplan, just hours before the first full weekend of games began.
Usually this is a day that has long been since marked off on the calendar. Today was that much better, watching all of these random games I normally wouldn't give a rat's ass about. (It's like listening to baseball on XM. Why tune into that Royals-Mariners game? Because you can.)
By the time my wife went to bed, we had caught parts of - are you ready? - 22 different games. We saw at least one play - and usually many more - from each of those games.
Here's the rundown of the games we saw (with network in parentheses):
North Texas at Texas (Fox Sports via CSN): Tuned in when it was 14-0 or so, and by then, the game was essentially over.
Vanderbilt at Michigan (ESPN): Tried to catch an upset over dreaded Michigan. When it became apparent that wouldn't happen, found another game.
Grambling State vs. Hampton (ESPN2): I watched this the most, because it was the most competitive of the noon games. Hampton had a bit of a lead before Grambling rallied and took it to OT. Game seemed headed for a second OT after both teams scored TDs, but the Pirates blocked the PAT, giving Hampton a 1-point win. Best game of the day.
Idaho at Michigan State (Gameplan): Another potential upset thwarted. Another game we didn't need to watch all of.
Western Kentucky at Georgia (Jefferson Pilot via Gameplan): Saw Mikey Henderson's punt return where he fumbled just before reaching the end zone. Hilarious play. Turned away, turned back in time to see Henderson's second punt return, which really did go for a TD.
Akron at Penn State (ESPN2): Well, Lions don't have to worry about listening to any more talk about looking ahead to Notre Dame. They looked good in dispatching Akron, but then again, Akron ain't Notre Dame.
Stanford at Oregon (ABC via Gameplan): Duck uniforms look worse every year. I can't figure out if I like the diamondplate design on the shoulders and knees. Either way, solid performance by Oregon and an absolute stinker for the Cardinal. If Stanford plays like that all year, they might lose to Washington and Wazzu. (Sorry honey.)
Northern Illinois at Ohio State (ABC): Watched two plays because 1) I can't stand Ohio State (sorry Mandy) and 2) the game was over before it started.
La. Tech at Nebraska (CSN): Watched two plays because I can't stand Nebraska. Yes, I'm still bitter from '94.
Marshall at West Virginia (Gameplan): Had a chuckle when I saw there was an actual logo for the "Friends of Coal Bowl."
Cal at Tennessee (ESPN): I don't understand this about my wife. She's a Washington alum and a damn big fan. Yet she was overjoyed to watch the Vols piss on Cal but later promised to cheer for Wazzu against Auburn. Huh? Speaking of which...
Washington State at Auburn (ESPN2): Solid win for Tigers. Wazzu has some good players, though. Despite an improved UW team, I wouldn't count the Apple Bowl as an auto win if I were the Dawgs.
Utah at UCLA (CSN): UCLA was in control for much of the game. Not much to see here. Except the occasional hottie at a UCLA game. They're few and far between. So I'm told. (Right, honey?)
Notre Dame at Ga. Tech (ABC): Calvin Johnson is a beast. I was torn whether I wanted an upset (seeing ND lose) or didn't (an upset would have meant a good, pissed off ND team vs. Penn State next week). I decided on the former, got the latter.
UAB at Oklahoma (TBS): Best hit of the day, courtesy of Sooners' Quentin Chaney (I think). On a long Adrian Peterson run, caught some poor UAB sap flush when he wasn't looking; dude's ass and feet were about three and a half feet off the ground. Most devastating hit I've seen in a long time.
So. Miss at Florida (Gameplan): Watched a play so I could say I did. Is Chris Leak almost finished at Florida? Seems like he's been there for seven years or so.
Wisconsin at Bowling Green (Gameplan): Props to the Badgers for going to Bowling Green. All of the other MAC teams got their ass kicked on the road, which makes life doubly bad.
McNeese State at South Florida (Gameplan): Surprised this wasn't on ABC instead of ND-GT. Watched because, well, when will I ever get to see McNeese State again? Didn't know their helmets were yellow.
Hawaii at Alabama (Gameplan): From the beauty of Honolulu to, uh, Tuscaloosa. Speaking of unis, when did the 'Bows get a silver uniform?
Louisiana-Lafayette at LSU (Gameplan): Come on, like you wouldn't tune in to see a team called the Ragin' Cajuns. Look closely at their logo, and the apostrophe is a chili pepper.
USC at Arkansas (ESPN): From the trendiness of L.A. to, uh, Fayetteville. I got flustered when it was the SEC dateline that I couldn't remember off the top of my head: Gainesville, Athens, Lexington, Columbia, Knoxville, Nashville, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Baton Rouge, Oxford, Starkville...dammit, what's the 12th?! Now I'll remember. (Clearly, I wasn't so concerned about the game.)
BYU at Arizona (TBS): Arizona's unis are as cool as Oregon's are weird. I love the dark blue helmet too with the "A" logo. BYU, however, is decidedly retro. And not retro cool like Penn State.
Damn, that was a lot to remember. Especially Fayetteville.