ESPN’s College GameDay program was in Stillwater, Oklahoma in November of 2017, for the annual intrastate Bedlam game, between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. On the Friday before the game, Lee Corso, Gameday’s lovably ornery pundit, was chatting with OSU head coach Mike Gundy in the coach’s office.
As the interview was wrapping up, Corso noticed an odd looking telephone sitting on Gundy’s desk. He asked, “what kind of telephone is that?”
“Well,” Gundy answered, “this may be hard to believe, but that I can pick up that phone and speak directly to God.”
“Well, can I use it?” Corso blurted.
Gundy thought for a second. “Alright, Lee, sure, you can use it, but it will cost you two hundred bucks.”
He strongly considered the offer. One of the most popular segments in ESPN’s College GameDay program is, as the show is wrapping up, the hosts make their predictions regarding who is going to win the week’s high profile games. While Corso brings entertainment and humor to the show, he is notoriously bad at picking winners. His cohorts on the show, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard always make more accurate picks, and they don’t mind reminding Corso about that fact.
Seeing an opportunity to take a competitive advantage over Herby and Des, Corso whipped out his wallet and handed over two bills.
He picked up the phone and said, “Yeah, hey God, Herbie and Des have been kicking my butt this entire season during the game prediction part of GameDay. I need you to tell me who is going to win all of the conference championship games and the College Football Playoff Games this season?”
With notebook in hand, Corso nodded, gave an occasional grunt, and took notes, as the diety on the other end of the phone line told him the future.
Sure enough, if you watch College GameDay leading up to the playoff, you will notice that Corso correctly predicted the whole enchilada, besting both Herby and Des.
At the beginning of last year’s bowl season, around Christmas, Corso and crew were in Austin, Texas before the Texas Longhorns met the Missouri Tigers in the 2017 Texas Bowl in Houston.
After the GameDay guys’ informal interview with Texas coach, Tom Herman, Corso lingered in the coach’s office. There was a familiar phone on the desk.
“Hey coach. I recognize that phone. I know what that phone does. Do you mind if I use it?”
While Lee had already gotten the College Football Playoff picks from God, he forgot to ask about the rest of the bowl games.
Herman said, “You bet, Lee. But, it will cost you $500.”
Corso eagerly passed over the five hundred bucks and picked up the phone.
After a few minutes, he bid farewell to Coach Herman with a list of all that year’s bowl winners in his pocket.
Again, if you watch the College GameDay programs during last year’s bowl season, you will notice that Lee Corso nailed all of the picks.
Last April the College GameDay guys were visiting the top college football programs in the nation, at the conclusion of the spring practice period.
On their visit to Norman, Oklahoma, they found themselves in the office of OU head coach, Lincoln Riley. Corso got excited as he noticed the familiar special phone on the coach’s desk. He was going to start out next season with a slate of perfect picks.
He lingered, as the meeting broke up. “I’ll catch up with you guys in a minute,” he told his colleagues.
Addressing Riley, Lee asked, “hey, I noticed that special phone on your desk. I got a thousand dollars in my wallet for you if you let me use it.”
The young coach, in his Muleshoe Texas drawl, “Ah, heck, Lee, you don’t have to pay me anything to use that phone.”
“Really?! I had to pay $200 in Stillwater and Herman charged $500 in Austin.”
“Ah, no, Lee. In Norman that is a local call.”