We generally don't use this space to shamelessly plug ESPN programming -- the Worldwide Leader is doing just fine without our help -- but some moments in TV history are so brilliant, so breathtaking, so be-still-my-beating-heart, that it would be churlish to overlook them simply because they're being produced by a putative rival.
We're speaking, of course, of College GameDay's decision to film Saturday's live show from Williamstown, Mass., where Williams College takes on archrival Amherst. It will mark GameDay's first appearance at a Division III school. (Full disclosure: Yes, I went to Williams. Come on, have we not met?)
Maybe I made a good impression when Kirk Herbstreit visited the SI offices two months ago. (Evidently he didn't read my post in which I was strangely fixated with how blue his eyes are.)
Actually, the more likely explanation is that ESPN had originally penciled in USC-Cal for this weekend -- in fact, Herbstreit specifically mentioned it before the season as one of the two games he was most anticipating, along with LSU-Florida, thinking that it had a chance to pit unbeatens. Now, the Trojans and Bears will enter Saturday with a combined five losses to take much of the luster off their showdown. That's the same number of combined defeats for Saturday's only other matchup of ranked teams, Auburn at Georgia, which made this weekend a good one for an off-the-board selection.
Then again, it's always a good time to show The Biggest Little Game in America. Don't worry, I'll have a more in-depth preview of the game in Friday's edition now that the Ephmen (it's a long story) have hit the big time. Maybe we'll even have a guest contribution from SI's Tim Layden, another Eph. And someone will have to rustle up a purple cow's head for Lee Corso. (See, we're sometimes referred to as the Purple Cows as well ... it's another long story.)
I'm even steeled against the inevitable comments demeaning Division III football and small schools in general, though don't think Williams folks haven't heard them before. In fact, legendary Eph football coach Dick Farley (a College Football Hall of Fame induction last year for leading Williams to five perfect seasons from 1987-2003) liked to bark at his players, "If you can't play here, you can't play anywhere, because there isn't any Division IV."
Sorry, though, I just had to pass this on. I've been about to burst over here.