McMurphy's Picks: Some Historical Facts Before the Rock-Solid Selections
Contrary to popular belief, the game was not televised on ESPN-BC (Before Corso), but on W2XBS (now WNBC-TV). According to the National Football Foundation, some young kid named Mel Allen did the pre-game interviews.
Back then, there weren't many television sets that could receive the signal, but some fans watched the telecast at the nearby New York World's Fair. Fordham beat Waynesburg 34-7 in the game played at Triborough Stadium in New York City.
I was able to uncover some little known facts from the historic game:
• When the broadcast went live on the air, play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger, who had been out 'til sunrise at a local speakeasy, was sound asleep in the booth. Fortunately his producer screamed into his earpiece: "Brent, look alive! Look alive!" Musburger awoke but was still groggy and yelled back at his producer: "I'm looking alive! I'm looking alive from Triborough Stadium!" In the next few weeks, Musburger tweaked his delivery and has used "you are looking live" as his signature opening line ever since.
• Jane Andrews, the great grandmother of current ESPN personality Erin Andrews, was the first-ever sideline reporter. Wearing a Coco Chanel black dress, Jane Andrews stopped Fordham's legendary coach James Crowley coming off the field at the end of the first half.
Jane Andrews: "Coach, Waynesburg seems to be loading the box on defense since you've run the ball every play out of the single wing and haven't attempted one pass. What adjustments will you make at halftime?"
Crowley: "Who is this broad? A stool pigeon? You've only been voting for, what, 19 years and you're questioning my play-calling? C'mon doll face, what's next? I suppose you'll want to come in the locker room and interview the players?"
• At halftime, Fordham captain William Krywicki became the first college player to send a Tweet from the locker room: "On bus ride before game we watched Gone w/the Wind. That Scarlett is one hot dame! LOL"
• Late in the fourth quarter officials disallowed a Fordham touchdown, ruling Krywicki fumbled before crossing the goal line. However, Crowley used one of his coaches' challenges. The replay official used a cave man's drawing in the booth and reversed the call to give Fordham the touchdown, making it 34-7. By the way, I had released Fordham -26½ as my "first televised game in college football history 100-star lock of the year." Hope you were able to get down on it.
Enough reminiscing. Back to the grindstone – or as I like to call it "the money machine." That's right, utilizing my new motivational coach, Nurse Ratched, I turned a profit last week. A reminder: before the season, I was staked an imaginary $5,000 bankroll. Each pick is for $50, except for the $100 best bet (on a red-hot 1-week winning streak!). Point spreads from Wednesday's USA Today.
Kansas at Baylor. According to team rules implemented by Kansas coach Turner Gill, the Jayhawks are not allowed to be with a female past 10 p.m., no matter if the female is visiting the player or a player is visiting the female. Also, the day before each game, KU's players must turn in their cell phones to Kansas' coaches. The cell phones are then returned after the game. BREAKING NEWS: every current high school sophomore, junior and senior recruit in America just removed Kansas from consideration. Baylor -9.
Ohio State at Illinois. The Fightin' Illini are coming off an open week, giving coach Ron Zook even more time to prepare for Terrelle Pryor and the Buckeyes. Teams with an extra week or preparation are focused and well-prepared. Well, most of the time anyway. Off an open week, Zook is 0-5 losing by an average margin of 46-14. Ohio State -17½.
Washington State at UCLA. This is what the experts, I'm told, refer to as a "sandwich game." A team, like UCLA, coming off back-to-back huge wins is now facing an overmatched opponent, like Washington State, that it takes lightly because of an upcoming game next week against a quality opponent, like Cal. Going with woeful Washington State? I'll bite. Wazzo +27.
Louisiana-Lafayette at North Texas. Back on Sept. 30, 1939, there was only one game televised. On Saturday, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com are televising a combined 19 games. This isn't one of them. Maybe there's a reason. North Texas -5.
Florida Atlantic at South Florida. Florida Atlantic, which began its program in 2001, says it's patterning its program after USF, which debuted in 1997. Come to think of it, the Owls have done a pretty good job so far. They've won exactly as many Big East titles as USF – none. FAU +22.
Florida State at Virginia. Since last season, the Cavs are 3-6 at home. The three victories are against VMI, Richmond and Indiana. Florida State -7.
Michigan at Indiana. The Wolverines have won their last seven visits to Bloomington. The last time Michigan lost at Indiana, it was so long ago Denard Robinson was just learning how not to tie his shoelaces. Michigan -10½.
Duke at Maryland. Highly rated basketball guard Austin Rivers, Doc Rivers' son, verbally committed to Duke on Thursday. He won't arrive in Durham until next season, but probably could start for the Blue Devils right now -- in Duke's secondary. Maryland -7½.
Oklahoma vs. Texas in Dallas. MORE BREAKING NEWS: My Big 12 sources have indicated that at halftime on the Cotton Bowl turf Saturday, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe will announce the Big 12's new television package that will take effect next year. Unlike the old deal, this new multi-million dollar TV deal features equal revenue sharing: Texas gets 50 percent, Oklahoma gets 50 percent. The rest of the league: nada. Oklahoma -3½.
Buffalo at Bowling Green. The underrated Bulls might be the best football team in Buffalo. No, I didn't forget about the NFL's Bills. The Bills would rank third behind the Bulls and the Frontier High Falcons. Buffalo +3½.
Florida at Alabama. The Wall Street Journal reported that since 2007, Alabama coach Nick Saban has run off at least 12 players and hid them as medical redshirts. "Those are medical decisions made by our medical staff," said Saban about the allegations. However, the brilliant Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution noted: "And if you need a follow-up comment from the doctors, they'll be sitting on the 50 on Saturday." Florida +8.
East Carolina at North Carolina, Best Bet: This week an East Carolina banner was hung on the front of UNC's Kenan Memorial Stadium. Originally, it was thought to be a prank by ECU students. However, it actually was a devious idea by North Carolina coach Butch Davis. He hung the ECU banner so the NCAA's army of investigators descending on Chapel Hill would think they were at ECU's campus and might leave. North Carolina -13.
"Cover Me's" Trifecta of Terror: "Cover Me" takes two underdogs and the Dawgs – Georgia -4½ at Colorado, Wake Forest +9½ vs. Georgia Tech and Navy +10 at Air Force.
Lock of the week: Von Duprin's Series 2670 Exit Alarm Lock
About last night: On my Twitter page Thursday night, I picked Oklahoma State -3 against Texas A&M. The Cowboys won 38-35.
McMurphy's picks: 7-5
"Cover Me's" picks: 2-2
Bankroll: Down 440 for season; 4,560 left
McMurphy: 16-16; -250 (1-3 best bets)
"Cover Me": 5-8; -190
Brett McMurphy is a national college football writer for FanHouse. Contact him at email@example.com or please follow on Twitter.com/BrettmcmurphY