College GameDay 2012 Schedule: Predicting Locations for Remainder of Season
When ESPN's College GameDay crew features your school, you know your team is for real.
The pregame show is a fun event for everyone involved, but it is also a rite of passage. Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Chris Fowler will not go to a school unless it is a serious program. This lends some prestige to those chosen.
In Week 1, the show set up outside of Cowboys Stadium for the battle between Michigan and returning national champion Alabama. Week 2 will feature Florida traveling to Texas A&M in the Aggies' first-ever SEC game.
Which schools will get the honor next week and beyond? Here are the best picks for the remainder of the season.
Week 3: USC at Stanford
The battle between Alabama and Arkansas should be a great one to watch, but ESPN would not want feature Alabama for a second time before it gets a chance to see Matt Barkley and USC.
Stanford is expected to drop a bit after losing Andrew Luck, but there is still enough talent to at least make the Trojans work for a win.
Week 4: Clemson at Florida State
Although the ACC is relatively weak, these are the two best teams in the conference and they should provide plenty of fireworks. This should be a great duel between mobile quarterbacks E.J. Manuel and Tajh Boyd.
Michigan at Notre Dame will be another option, but this will likely be the only exciting ACC game of the year.
Week 5: Wisconsin at Nebraska
There will be a lot of interesting battles in the Big Ten, but these might be the top-two teams in the conference. Taylor Martinez showed in Week 1 that he can throw the football, and Wisconsin still has Montee Ball taking care of business on the ground.
This could be a preview of the Big Ten Championship Game.
Week 6: Georgia at South Carolina
There are almost too many good teams in the SEC to keep track. Georgia and South Carolina have the talent to be favorites in almost every other conference in America, but they are relegated to second-class citizens in the SEC.
Still, this should be a great battle between two teams that could sneak into the BCS with great seasons.
Week 7: Texas at Oklahoma
College GameDay has covered the Red River Rivalry in three of the past four years, and there is no reason it will not be back again.
The game takes place at the Cotton Bowl to keep things even because this game will be close regardless of current records. There might be higher-ranked teams playing by this point in the season, but this will be the most exciting game on the schedule.
Week 8: Michigan State at Michigan
Michigan had a disappointing opening game against Alabama, but with Denard Robinson, it will be in the BCS mix all season long. Michigan State used early Heisman candidate LeVeon Bell to pound through Boise State, and the Spartans could also be a factor in the Big Ten standings.
Besides, a rivalry game in the Big House will always get people's attention.
Week 9: Ohio State at Penn State
With no absolute no-brainers on the schedule (Notre Dame at Oklahoma is a contender), ESPN could decide to go outside the box. It has been consistently following Penn State through not only the downfall but also the recovery. This could be a great game for the fans to showcase their support for the program through thick and thin.
Which Game Would You Rather Watch?
Week 10: Alabama at LSU
This week will be by far the toughest decision for executives in Bristol. Current No. 1 and No. 3 face each other in this rematch of last year's national-championship game, but current No. 4 Oregon also travels to No. 2 USC.
The Pac-12 battle will likely have more scoring and excitement, but it will be tough to go against this rivalry that has dominated college football over the past few years.
Week 11: Kansas State at TCU
There aren't too many marquee games in play this week, but TCU could be a team that keeps climbing the rankings this season. Many expected a drop-off when Andy Dalton left for the NFL, but Casey Pachall picked up where he left off and has kept the team steady throughout.
If TCU is ranked highly by this point in the season, it might be a good time for the ESPN crew to take a look.
Week 12: Oklahoma at West Virginia
West Virginia has a chance to make some serious noise in its first season in the Big 12. Quarterback Geno Smith is one of the best in the country at his position, and the Mountaineers can score with anyone in the nation. Of course, Landry Jones and Oklahoma might have a problem with that, but that can be settled on the field.
With only a couple of weeks of the regular season left after this game, this contest might be the deciding factor in the Big 12.
Week 13: Notre Dame at USC
As always, this week is filled with some of the best rivalry games in the sport. Michigan-Ohio State, Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina, Alabama-Auburn and Oklahoma-Oklahoma State, among others. However, the GameDay crew will likely owe the Pac-12 after passing over the game between Oregon and USC.
This game is still a classic, even if it has been one-sided in recent years. USC could be on the precipice of a national championship by this point, and Notre Dame would love nothing more than to ruin the dreams of its rival on its home turf.
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