Remote Patrol: Pay-per-view crew turns in solid performance
OKC Daily Oklahoman
5 September 2010
FSN's pay-per-view broadcast crew of Bill Jones, Dean Blevins and Elissa Walker Campbell turned in a network-quality performance in the Utah State telecast Saturday night, definitely worth $40 for the viewers who tuned in to the much tighter than expected game.
When you're paying so much for a college football game, it would be nice if there were fewer commercials, but that wasn't the case.
The trio of OU graduates didn't let their background with the university affect their analysis, and they certainly were well-versed on the program, unlike some network crews that come to Norman. Blevins, the KWTV-9 sports director, adeptly pointed out the Sooners' shortcomings, including the porous secondary and the need for a kicking game.
"Their young cornerbacks are being exploited,¡± he said. "The 341 passing yards leaves a lot to be desired.¡±
Noting OU coach Bob Stoops likely would give his team a tongue-lashing in the locker room at halftime, Jones said, "It would be nice to have a wireless mic in there.¡± Blevins added, "You might be able to hear it up here.¡±
The production was top-notch for the most part. The FSN camera's had great views of Jamell Fleming's interception that was challenged by Utah State, showing he clearly he had his left foot inbounds. However, on an earlier Utah State interception, the producers failed to show a definitive replay of a ball that appeared to be trapped. Another look in slow-mo might have provided that.
FSN also earns kudos for one of the best offseason changes, moving former Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt out of the studio and into the broadcast booth. Klatt has potential of being one of the best analysts in the game, and turned in some excellent commentary in the Washington State-OSU game Saturday night. He worked with play-by-play announcer Bill Land and sideline reporter Emily Jones.
Klatt had high praises for OSU quarterback Brandon Weedon and running back Kendell Hunter, who rushed for 257 yards and four touchdowns.
"He's phenomenal,¡± he said of Hunter. "He should be on the short list of Heisman Trophy candidates.¡±
Klatt, 28, said he enjoyed meeting Weeden, 26, a former minor league baseball player.
"An old baseball player and an old quarterback, I loved it,¡± he said.
¡úCoach Brian Kelly wasn't the only one making his debut at Notre Dame on Saturday. Mike Mayock took over as NBC analyst as the replacement for Pat Haden, who took over as USC athletic director. Mayock had an impressive debut, providing strong technical analysis with play-by-play announcer Tom Hammond. An NFL Network draft guru, Mayock displayed his excellent knowledge of the college game.
¡úEarly risers at 8 a.m. had an opportunity to catch the first hour of the expanded "College GameDay,¡± which aired on ESPNU. It wasn't much different from the other two hours on ESPN, except the big three ¡ª Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit ¡ª only appeared for the opening. I expected more air time for Erin Andrews, who hosted part of the show apparently as a perk in her new multiyear contract.