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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Blake Schuster

College GameDay got petty and lost the plot in defense of Lee Corso, Lou Holtz

At it’s absolute best, ESPN’s College GameDay isn’t just a celebration of all that makes the sport great. It’s a window into what the sport means on different campuses around the country. A peek at the personalities, traditions and trends that wills us to get up early every Saturday.

Which is to say that the show has always been less about its (admittedly iconic) hosts than where it ends up each week and what it showcases.

That’s what was so bizarre about watching Pat McAfee, Desmond Howard and the gang air petty grievances on Saturday as the show made its first-ever trip to Duke.

Last week, Washington State head coach Jake Dickert mistakenly bashed Lee Corso for referring to a matchup between the Cougars and Oregon State as the “no one wants us bowl”. Dickert misinterpreted Corso’s comment as the “no one watches bowl” and later called Corso to apologize.

That should’ve been the end of it. Especially given the fact that ESPN and it’s broadcast competitors are largely to blame for the latest round(s) of conference realignment — namely the destruction of the Pac-12 as we know it.

Instead, GameDay’s McAfee kept punching down on Washington State, whose fans have arguably done more to support the show than any other school.

Howard then piled on while lashing out at Ohio State head coach Ryan Day for mocking Lou Holtz’s incredibly mundane comments about the Buckeyes ahead of Ohio State’s win at Notre Dame last week.

Sure, it’s not surprising to see McAfee — a pro wrestler at heart — pull out the same hype tactics regularly used by WWE. Nor is it a shock to see Howard, a Michigan alum, go after his school’s biggest rival. But isn’t that kind of the point here? When did GameDay forget it’s the fans that make the show and not the other way around?

This is the same program that built an ad campaign around the fact a Wazzu fan flies the team’s flag at every single GameDay show.

It just all felt… wrong. And many fans around the sport were similarly put off.

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