There’s nothing quite like the opening weekend episode of ESPN College GameDay.
From breaking news, game predictions and in-depth player features, the show covers it all. In addition, the backdrop of hundreds of screaming, ravenous fans is surely a sight to behold.
Ah, college football is officially back.
As expected, the Week 1 episode of GameDay didn’t disappoint. Here are some of the highlights.
Paul Finebaum Blasting Gene Chizik
Finebaum, the self-professed “Voice of the SEC”, isn’t one to keep his opinions to himself. That became abundantly clear almost from the get-go during his debut on the GameDay set.
After new Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn called into the show, the panel began a discussion on the direction the program was heading.
That’s when Finebaum fired off his first shot at the Tigers' former head coach Gene Chizik:
hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) August 31, 2013
Not only that, Finebaum questioned just how responsible Chizik was for Auburn’s BCS title in 2010. He went as far as stating that the Tigers wouldn’t have gone 14-0 had it not been for Malzahn—an offensive coordinator at the time—and quarterback Cam Newton.
The argument certainly holds some merit, as Chizik was just 19-19 in the three years without Newton.
Regardless, if his debut was any indicator of things to come, Finebaum will add some spice to the show, giving viewers a reason other than the headgear picks to tune into GameDay every Saturday.
Tom Rinaldi’s Feature on A.J. McCarron
Many know A.J. McCarron as the starting quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Some know him as a back-to-back national champion. Few even know him simply as “Katherine Webb’s boyfriend.”
However, he’s rarely seen as the guy who doctors originally thought would die after getting in a wave-runner accident at the age of five.
As always, ESPN’s Rinaldi put together an amazing, thought-provoking feature on a different side of McCarron and the bond he’s created with a family who is going through a difficult time.
Corso Fakes Out Clemson fans, Picks Georgia
The highlight of every GamyDay episode comes at the tail end of every show: Lee Corso’s headgear selection. This weekend’s premier matchup featured No. 5 Georgia at No. 8 Clemson.
After teasing the Tiger faithful that he might choose in their favor, Corso eventually disappointed the vast majority:
Lee Corso brings some bulldog puppies up to show his Georgia over Clemson pick. pic.twitter.com/MJgIK9vYuy— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 31, 2013
But while he may not be the most popular guy in Death Valley right now, Corso certainly knows what he’s talking about.
For four straight years, he's made the correct opening-week headgear selection via Corsospicks.com. The last time he was incorrect? Selecting Clemson over Alabama in 2008.
In a battle of two young, inexperienced defenses, points should come in bunches. But at the end of the day, the Bulldogs tandem of quarterback Aaron Murray and running back Todd Gurley should give them an advantage over the Tigers.
Expect a very closely contested shootout.