ESPN college football analyst Rod Gilmore, who also is an attorney in a corporate law practice, isn't the biggest celebrity in his family. That honor belongs to his wife, Marie Gilmore, who is mayor of Alameda, Calif., on two islands on San Francisco Bay. They both attended Stanford, where Rod was a defensive back, and Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law. After calling Friday night games for several years, Rod has joined Bob Wischusen and reporter Quint Kessenich on a new Saturday broadcast team. They will call the OSU-Mississippi State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on KOCO-5. Gilmore discussed the game and his career in a telephone interview.
What's it like to be married to a mayor?
I guess the neat and fun thing is that when my wife and I are about town, everyone wants to talk to her about politics. No one wants to talk to me about football.
How do you work in your law practice in the fall when you're on the road a lot covering football?
I can't do as much heavy lifting in the fall as in I do in the rest of the year. Technology makes it possible to stay in touch, whether it's conference calls or getting documents emailed to me. My partners do a great job of stepping in and managing things. It's not that crazy.
What's your impression of OSU's opener Saturday?
First of all, I just think that it's great that Week 1, we have so many great games. We're so used to having the paycheck games to kick off the season. Week 1 is usually pretty boring. We've got our matchup, Big 12-SEC, you got TCU-LSU and Alabama-Virginia Tech.
As for our game, I think one of the keys is getting look at the contrasting styles. You've got the up-tempo spread offense from Oklahoma State — as good as any offense as we've seen the last few years — against a big, physical, SEC-style of methodical play. That contrasting style is interesting. And folks have talked for years about the SEC dominance and superior physical play. This is kind of a nice way to see how it matches up against one of the better, if not the best team, in the Big 12.
Can you imagine if Mississippi State beats Oklahoma State? What does that say about the Big 12? If a team that is a middle in the road in the SEC handles the favorite in the Big 12, you really have a hard time having the Big 12 saying they are the second-best conference or on par with the SEC.
What's your impression of OSU's quarterback battle?
I'm curious about the back story with Wes Lunt leaving, how much that affected the way Mike Gundy decided to deal with the quarterback position. Maybe it didn't affect it at all. Maybe it made him feel he needed to be a little more egalitarian about the process and give both guys an open shot at it. And because the assumption with the way things ended last year that Clint Chelf would be the guy. So, I wonder what impact Lunt leaving and the way he viewed things affected Gundy and the decision-making process. But other than that, I think that in this day and age, you have to get your second quarterback ready. It's hard to go through a season and keep that one guy healthy.
Who stands out for Mississippi State?
Clearly, you start first and foremost with the quarterback spot with Tyler Russell, he's a guy that they ought to be concerned about. He has a talented arm and is very much likely to end up on an NFL roster. Secondarily, I look up front. That offensive line is big, physical and experienced. They would assume that they could pound or run the ball a little bit against Oklahoma State and do it with LaDarius Perkins, who is a good, solid powerful running back.