Saturday, December 02, 2006

Gary Danielson Interview

Sorry, this was too long to post in one of the other posts so I've put it on it's own. I couldn't post a link as it was members only.


  1. December 5, 2006

    Chris Balas Senior Editor

    Talk about it in The Fort
    CBS analyst and former Purdue and Detroit Lions quarterback Gary Danielson spent the better part of a quarter campaigning for Florida during Saturday's SEC Championship Game, and many believe that helped the Gators leapfrog Michigan in the BCS standings for the right to face Ohio State. On Tuesday Danielson defended himself on WXYT (AM 1270, Detroit) with The Big Show's Doug Karsch and Art Regner …

    Here's what Danielson had to say:

    On his campaigning for Florida: "I figure I have two more months to go to catch up with ABC and ESPN. They've been [campaigning for] the Big Ten since September."

    On the controversy over Michigan losing out to Florida: "That Michigan - Ohio State game in 1969. It wouldn't have been fair for Michigan to have to play them again, would it?

    "Understand that winning it on the field is all that matters. There were only two teams all year that did not have to please voters - Michigan and Ohio State. They were ranked one and two for the last six weeks of the year – I don't know why, really. They were anointed one and two, they were undefeated and they deserved their rankings. I don't know how anyone knows they are the two best teams.

    "I watch a lot of tape. I assume you guys watch a lot of tape. I'll bet you do. But I don't know who the best two teams are, and I'm sure no one else does. So I don't know how the Michigan argument goes that we are the only team capable of coming within three points of Ohio State. I don't know how you can justify that argument. I know you can't. You're telling the rest of college football we're the only team capable of coming within three points of Ohio State.

    "My argument was that anyone was more deserving than Michigan. I would have voted Oklahoma over Michigan. Oklahoma got robbed. They basically lost one game, okay? I would have voted Louisville, anyone other than Michigan, because there was only one team in college football that had the opportunity to play their way into that game against Ohio State without having to please one voter. Not one voter. Michigan had a shot. They're obviously a very good football team.

    "I think it's small minded to think that the two best teams just happen to play in the Big Ten this year. It reminded me of the Big Ten Conference in the 70s, where Michigan and Ohio State played every year with the two best records go out to the Rose Bowl then found the rest of the country isn't quite as easy as the rest of the Big Ten.

    "Michigan and Ohio State didn't mind having the Sports Reporters [stumping for them]. ESPN and ABC had that clock running for over a month [for the OSU – Michigan game] while the rest of the country fumed about that. But the first time somebody says something about somebody else, oh, my, the whining starts. My drum was banging for college football. Now we finally got to a game here because of circumstances where everybody had to stand up and say, 'you mean there's another team besides Michigan Ohio State, Notre Dame and USC out there?' I think it's laughable, totally laughable that people think they know who the best two teams are. I know football pretty good, and I think I know how to watch film pretty well. If I don't know who the best two teams are, I don't see how anybody else can do it."

    Associated Press

    No rematch for Mike Hart and Michigan.
    On other factors that went into his thinking: "I look at it that the rest of the country really didn't give anybody else a chance except Michigan and Ohio State for a while. Then once they looked at USC, ESPN and ABC jumped on a new bandwagon. Bob Davie was on the front page of USA TODAY saying, "I watched college football all year, and I know the two best teams are Michigan and Ohio State. Then that horse gets a little tired and they go to USC and watch and go, 'you know? Now that I look at it, I think USC is the second best team in the country.' Then when USC loses they go, 'what do we do now?' And I think the rest of the country is out there saying, 'who anointed Michigan, Ohio State, USC and Notre Dame to run all of college football?'

    "My stance has been consistent on this. I've been through this three times. I did the Colorado – Nebraska game, and you applauded me when I said the second place team should not play for the national championship. I did the Oklahoma – Kansas State, and you applauded me. Now all of a sudden when I make the same stance, do Michigan fans whine."

    On Florida's case: "The SEC had five teams in the top 20. Florida played the other four. Now what kind of system do you have when the best conference in the country doesn't have according to the polls for their team to play for the national championship? Or put it this way – an equal opportunity to play in the national championship game. This whole thing about No. 3 and No. 4 – I don't think anybody cared who No. 3 and No. 4 were until USC lost. Once that happened, I think people stood up and said, 'all right, what should I do?'

    "As a broadcaster of this game, I banged on the table at halftime and said, 'we are not going to talk about Florida's national championship case until at least the fourth quarter.' But I did prepare in case this happen, and I put plusses and minues on both sides, said how am I going to make my argument? That's my job. My argument was to kind of compare the best thing to the worst thing for each team. I left a blank ballot up there for a whole series. I said, 'you make your own ballot out there.' I'm getting paid very well to give my opinion. My opinion was laid out the way I saw it. Now, if I convinced people, maybe I'm a good communicator."

    On whether his opinion is influenced by his employer [CBS]: "So is everybody else's, but that's not true. When I was working at ABC and ESPN I got called to the carpet because I was doing the national championship game and said I didn't believe a second place team should do it … they had their chance. This is the same argument. I'm the ONLY one who has remained consistent. My old partner, Brent Musberger, anointed Michigan the second best team, then in the middle of the ND - USC game said, you know, I've always said a second place team shouldn't play for the championship, then doubled back and said, "I was off.' I don't know where other people stand, but I have been.

    "If Michigan had beaten Ohio State, I would be making the same argument that it's not fair that one team only has to keep it close, the other team has to knock you out. Bo was against this thing, that's why Kirk Herbstreit was against a rematch before the Michigan – Ohio State game. Kirk's a wonderful broadcaster, but my opinion is he was so wounded by the Steve Breaston comments that he jumped on the Michigan bandwagon and rode it."

    On carrying on too long on behalf of the Gators: "It wasn't Florida, even. I don't even know how good of a team they are. They're a gamer. They remind me a little of that Ohio State team that won the national championship that everybody thought would lose every game, and somehow they found a way to win at the end. Nobody thought they could beat Miami, and they seemed to find ways to win.

    "My argument was, and continues to be, that you can't anoint teams. No one knows who the best team is. The Sports Reporters don't know, Mitch Albom doesn't know, Kirk Herbstreit doesn't know, Bob Davie doesn't know, and I don't know, and Michigan fans don't know. You have to go then to a resume. Now you are telling people that because Michigan beat Notre Dame, who I think is an emperor with no clothes, and they played Ohio State close, they deserve the national championship.

    Now I look at the schedules and say, now wait a minute … there are other teams out there that have a resume. Why aren't they being considered? I think college football deserves to have something more than they get. I have railed, and as I said, they should pass rules that don't allow a second place team to go. That's not fair. So what do you do? But it is interesting that a whole year goes by, and can you name me any player besides a quarterback who plays for an SEC team?

    "It's out of mind's eye. If you look at what dominates college football, it's ESPN/ABC. That publicity machine has rolled and rolled and rolled and has tilted the playing field in my opinion. So now one time somebody has an opinion that's different people say, 'wow.' You want to know what it's like in the Big 12, Pac-Ten and SEC? That's what it's like, every week from September to Nov. 25.

    On the last time he talked to Lloyd Carr: "During the Michigan - Ohio State game a year ago. I respect Lloyd Carr. People can play out this stuff the way they want to. He's an excellent coach. I was one of his defenders. I'm a Jim Herrmann defender. I didn't think their defense was all that different this year, they just had better players than a year ago. They had a dominant defensive line and Lloyd always does a good job with his football team.

    "Coaches can play out their campaign the way they want to. I think Jim Tressel was absolutely right on in the strategy he did. For him to have to try to determine the national … I think to excuse yourself was absolutely right on. I think Urban Meyer played it the way he wanted to because nobody was talking about the SEC and he said okay, look at my team. We are a pretty good football team, too. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, and I think for Coach Carr to attack somebody over what somebody else says is wrong. I respect Coach Carr, but I don't think he should jockey both horses."

    On whether Meyer dragged Michigan into the conversation: "He could say anything he wanted to say.

    "Here's my opinion after watching the Michigan - Ohio State game. If the same game was played with Louisville and West Virginia uniforms, everybody would have said there's no defense on the field. That 's number one. No. 2 is there were two outstanding teams with one great player. Same as last year's game. Ohio State has the best player on the field and when the best player is the quarterback, they have a great chance of winning. It's going to be very difficult to beat OSU because they have the best player in college football."

  2. I think somewhere in that article Gary Danielson discovers the cure for cancer and a way to reverse global warming!!!

    Man, that article was great and completely comprehensive. A+ for him on his thoroughness.

  3. And his passion, steadfastness, & consistency. He said it all much better than I could have. I'm glad he is carrying our flag for us, because college football is not only ABC/ESPN.

  4. To stump for the Gators or how ever you view it, while broadcasting the game is even more impressive.

  5. The best line:

    Notre Dame is an emperor with no clothes.


  6. Well, if CBS didn't "stump" for the SEC then who would? Before Danielson's "stumping" and defenses I was thinking that the SEC needed to find a new network that would go to bat for us. Oh, and have less friggin time outs.

    We can't let ABC/ESPN walk all over us and just forget about the toughest conference in all of college football.

  7. CBS had the perfect amount of tv time outs this past game! Has anyone listened to his commentary during the 2nd half of the game, was it actually as positive and as long as they make it out to be. Sometimes they make a big deal out of 2 or 3 comments, and I haven't heard anyone on CBS say anything that positive about us or the SEC all season. Although I do like his comments in the article.

  8. Yes, it was long and VERY positive... but it was mostly factual and when he was stating opinions he prefaced it as such. He put up a graphic comparing the two schedules/results and left it up for a while. He told everyone with Tivo to pause it and take a hard look for themselves. Then he was quiet about it for a bit. About a half hour later he brought the same graphic back up and then stated his conclusions --> that the Gators should go. So he let everyone form their own conclusions based on facts before spoon feeding his own opinions.

  9. CBS only has the perfect amount of commercial timeouts for a pregnant woman not a normal person.

  10. Jamie- can you make a DVD of the game?

  11. Yes. Can't promise when I'd have it done though.

  12. Yes Bruce. R.A. must have went to pee almost 10 times.

  13. I only went 4 times the entire game and that includes before and after the game too. You guys went more than me, and spent half the time at the concession stand getting popcorn! I just enjoyed being able to sit for 5 mins and you all look liked you enjoyed sitting too.

  14. You guys were standing the whole game except for commercials?

  15. Yes, we only sat during timeouts and half time.

  16. Wow. We sat pretty much the entire game except for right at the end. You should have switched seats with one of us I guess.

  17. They were fun seats, I'm glad we stood there and it made the tv timeouts nice instead of a pain.

  18. yes the popcorn was great.

    I did sit down during the Leak fiasco plays though.

    Let's hope he plays his last Gator game not at all like the 3rd quarter.