SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
9/30/2006 01:34:00 PM
Saturday Observations Part I
Freshman QB Juice Williams gave Michigan State a lot of trouble in the first half.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -– Today, the Blog is coming to you from The Edge, a sort of upscale sports bar that, as the name suggests, is right on the edge of town. There are plasma screens all around the circular bar. Unfortunately, for all the money this place must have spent on the décor (including framed autographed NFL jerseys of former Hawkeyes Jared DeVries, Bob Sanders, Robert Gallery, Mike Goff and Dallas Clark), they neglected to pony up for GamePlan or FoxSports Net. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
(In an unrelated note, they sell something called Roaring Lion instead of Red Bull.)
But then, not a lot of Iowa fans spend their Saturday afternoon at sports bars. A writer friend of mine drove past the stadium at 8:30 this morning -- nearly 11 hours before kickoff -- and the tailgate lots were already packed. I checked out the scene myself a couple hours later. It’s insane. Yellow as far as the eye can see. Tonight’s game is unquestionably one of the biggest ever to be played here, and the locals are savoring every minute of it.
As for the early games going on around the country ... dear lord, they’re awful. The only two semi-interesting developments are Juice Williams staking Illinois to an early lead on Michigan State and yet another one of my "Upset Specials," Toledo, going down in flames. This has not been a good year in that department.
So instead, I want to talk about one of the greatest television shows I’ve ever seen. I stumbled upon it by accident in my hotel room last night. It was on the university’s student-run station, and it’s called Incompetent Sports Talk. It’s basically two kids doing their best attempt to impersonate Wilbon and Kornheiser -- only they’re freaking hilarious. Last night I was treated to a debate over which is the better conference, the Big Ten or the SEC, only they kept pronouncing the SEC as the “Seyc.” There were a lot of umms and likes (as in, “Is this Ohio State team, like, umm, the best in the country?”), but mostly, the one guy, Dean, kept shooting down everything the other guy said. ESPN should hire these two immediately (they would be an immediate upgrade from Mark May and Lou Holtz).
OK ... I promise to give some football commentary as soon as something worthwhile happens.
Mr. Mandel, I know it's Memphis and all but I'd be curious to hear you weigh in on the one-year improvement of the UT passing game. Are Cutcliffe and Trooper Taylor that good? Or was Randy Sanders and Pat Washington that bad?
Well I dont know how much bigger it gets then playing a clear No1 that had beaten texas at texas and allowed 8 points a game and is only getting better. Its also a night game and Iowa had never beaten a No1 ever. And its for all the marbles in BIg 10, so Idont know what u had for breakfast this morning but I cant see how much it could get for now.
I have been hearing about Incompetent Sports Talk for awhile from a friend that goes to school out there, but he said it seems to be a ripoff of a sports spoof that was done by two kids at Mid Plains Community College a few years back. I can't remember the names of the students, but it was a huge underground hit with sports buffs.
I just want to say thanks for promoting Incompetent Sports Talk. I work with the producer of the show, Charlie Bartlett, and for a no-budget college show to get mentioned on sportsillustrated.com is a blessing.
Hey Stewart, this is Charlie Bartlett the "other guy" from Incompetent Sports Talk. I just wanted to say that it is awesome that you really liked the show even though that we are very Incompentent college sports broadcasters. We have so much fun with the show and like you said,"we do our best to impersonate Kornheiser and Wilbon from PTI." Thanks for watching the show and I am not going to lie, it is the greatest TV shows ever lol. Thanks for the recognition