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ESPN College GameDay 2012: Notre Dame-USC Game Was Only Logical Choice for Crew

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 06:  Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish calls defensive signals against the Miami Hurricanes at Soldier Field on October 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Notre Dame defeated Miami 41-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2012

The location for ESPN College GameDay always sparks a debate. However, the crew made a good decision by covering the game between Notre Dame and USC.

This was not necessarily an easy choice. In rivalry week, there are countless matchups that are certain to be well-attended, and which will provide great ratings, as well.

Regardless of season records, Alabama vs. Auburn, Michigan vs. Ohio State and Georgia vs. Georgia Tech will always be intense battles. These teams are brought into college with the mindset of hate towards these opponents, so they are certain to be classic games.

Of course, the network likes to cover games between two teams playing well at the time. This tries to guarantee viewers as well as quality play.

This season—with the exception of the Nov. 10th game between Navy and Troy—only one other game did not feature two ranked opponents. That contest was the SEC debut for Texas A&M against No. 24 Florida. Considering both of those teams are currently in the Top 10, it is safe to assume this was a good choice.

However, USC is unranked after losing three of its last four games. In addition, starting quarterback Matt Barkley is out of the game with a sprained right shoulder, according to USA Today.

These factors will certainly take away some luster from what could have been a great battle.

Therefore, ESPN should have taken a look at some other games between two ranked teams, including No. 4 Florida at No. 10 Florida State, No. 5 Oregon at No. 15 Oregon State, No. 12 South Carolina at No. 11 Clemson and a few more marquee games.

While all of these would be excellent picks, none of them have the national implications of the Notre Dame game. 

The Irish are currently undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation. If they are able to win this game, they will clinch a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.

This would leave only one spot available—likely for the winner of the SEC Championship Game.

Of course, if the Trojans are able to pull the upset on national television, the entire BCS would be shaken up. Florida and Oregon would be back in play for a title, and the final poll would be filled with extreme drama and debate.

With so much on the line, everyone who cares about college football will want to watch this game to see the outcome.

Although something like the Florida-Florida State game might be closer, it will not garner the national attention of Notre Dame. 

Therefore, the Irish will get a well-deserved third appearance on GameDay, while the rest of the nation watches with their own personal rooting interests. Everyone should know by now that in this sport, anything can happen.

 

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