Week-by-Week College GameDay Location Predictions for 2013
Starting a college football Saturday without ESPN's College GameDay has become something akin to starting a shower without the water.
It makes no sense.
The team will be back in action this year with plenty of ridiculous predictions, plus a mascot head-wearing Lee Corso.
This season, just like every other since forever (or at least since 1987), is shaping up to be a great year, with plenty of good matchups across the country to keep the folks at GameDay busy.
Read on for predictions of where Desmond, Lee and the rest of the team will be checking in every week.
Week 1: Georgia at Clemson
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Alabama and Virginia Tech kick off the season against each other in 2013 in one of the premier nonconference matchups of the season.
Hokies and Tide notwithstanding, this game between Georgia and Clemson is going to be the best of the week.
Both teams have title aspirations, and both feature potent offenses with quarterbacks who are legitimate Heisman contenders.
It's a great way to kick off the season: Tajh Boyd vs. Aaron Murray in an early-season statement game.
Week 2: Notre Dame at Michigan
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While it was pretty obvious at last season's title game that Notre Dame was no match for Alabama, the team is still loaded with talent and primed for another run to a BCS game.
Quarterback Everett Golson is back, as are Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix on the defensive side of the ball.
There is no larger venue in college football than "the Big House," and two of the most storied programs in the game, both of which have rabid fanbases and rich tradition, will be meeting in one of the best nonconference games of the season.
Michigan will be hoping to make their way back to the top of the Big Ten, while Notre Dame will be looking to make their first statement to a national audience after last season's BCS title game debacle.
This annual rivalry will be the GameDay stop in Week 2.
Week 3: Alabama at Texas A&M
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This game could set the course for at least one of the participants in the BCS national title game.
Whoever walks away from this meeting with a win will be in the driver's seat for taking the SEC West crown and earning a shot at the conference crown.
The Tide and Nick Saban will be looking for revenge after suffering their lone loss of last season at home against the Aggies.
For Kevin Sumlin's squad, Johnny Manziel will have hopefully buckled down to the business of making a run at a second consecutive Heisman Trophy.
Alabama is reloading on defense, but still anchored by linebacker C.J. Mosley.
Texas A&M, however, has to replace both defensive end Damontre Moore and offensive lineman Luke Joeckel.
Two of the most effective offenses in college football will meet in this battle for SEC supremacy, with the winner earning the inside track for the SEC title.
Week 4: Utah at BYU
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The slate of games on tap for this week of the season leaves a little something to be desired.
There are not many games that seem to be prime candidates for the GameDay crew to attend.
Enter the "Holy War."
BYU's Bronco Mendenhall and Utah's Kyle Whittingham are two of the most underrated coaches in the game, and Whittingham's offense vs. Mendenhall's defense will be, as always, too good to miss.
This is one of the more overlooked rivalries in the game, with the first meeting of these two teams taking place way back in 1896.
Week 5: Oklahoma at Notre Dame
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The Big 12 is as wide open as it can get this season.
Oklahoma has the potential to enter this game undefeated, as do the Irish.
While the Sooners will be looking to avenge last season's loss in Norman, the Irish will be hoping to continue the momentum the program has established with another major win during the regular season.
With Landry Jones gone, Bob Stoops' team needs to identify and integrate a new quarterback into the offense and will need to utilize these early-season nonconference meetings to help establish some sort of continuity on offense.
The Irish are set for another excellent season, but need to adjust to life without Manti Te'o anchoring the defense.
A crisp fall day in South Bend is the perfect setting for the GameDay crew.
Week 6: Georgia Tech at Miami
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Another week that isn't filled with a bunch of marquee matchups leaves us with this intriguing meeting between two of the favorites to take the ACC Coastal division next season.
Tech has plenty of talent, and Paul Johnson runs his flexbone offense to perfection, but this team has done little of note for several years.
The Yellow Jackets should enter this game with no more than one loss, while Miami should have a similar record.
The Hurricanes have a tough Week 2 game, as they face off against Florida.
However, the 'Canes finished last season as one of the better teams in the ACC and are more experienced and just as talented this season.
If the Hurricanes pull off the upset of Florida, they will garner even more attention for this game, which is not exactly the best matchup of the year, but offers a glimpse of the underrated Miami Hurricanes.
Week 7: Red River Rivalry
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Why would they go anywhere else this week?
The Sooners have some holes to fill, including the quarterback position, but appear to be as talented as ever with as much of a shot to take the Big 12 title as anyone.
Meanwhile, Texas is looking to rebound from a few years when they have played at a very un-Texas-like level.
The 'Horns have the talent to make a legitimate run at the national title, especially given the lack of contenders in the Big 12.
With 19 returning starters, an improving defense and an offense that seems to be finally regaining it's footing, Texas is a team to watch.
The Longhorns have been routinely beaten in this matchup recently and will be out to pile up the points in this 2013 grudge match.
Also, the GameDay crew will be able to find just about any kind of fried food imaginable at the Texas State Fair.
Week 8: UCLA at Stanford
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Stanford rolled to a Rose Bowl victory and Pac-12 championship last season and got less press than a celebrity behaving well.
Meanwhile, UCLA boasted one of the top freshman quarterbacks in the nation in Brett Hundley, who led the team to the Pac-12 title game.
At this point in the season, this will be the toughest game either team has faced, with the possible exception of UCLA's trip to Nebraska on Sept. 14.
The two teams met in the conference championship game last season, with Stanford pulling out the tough victory, and while the Cardinal have plenty of talent returning, so do the Bruins.
This will be one of the key games in the Pac-12 conference race, and a possible preview of the conference title game.
Week 9: Texas at TCU
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The return of quarterback Casey Pachall to the TCU program gives the offense a boost.
There will be a quarterback battle in the spring and possibly even into the fall between Pachall and the incumbent, Trevone Boykin, but Pachall's physical tools and abilities are more suited to the TCU offense.
Either way, the Horned Frogs have just as much of a shot at winning the Big 12 as just about every other team.
The conference is wide open, and with the potential return of Casey Pachall, the team is primed for an excellent season.
With Texas making their first road trip to Fort Worth for a conference meeting and a possible shot at the conference title on the line, this is one of the best games on tap for this week and will provide a great venue for GameDay.
Week 10: Georgia vs. Florida
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One of the greatest rivalry parties, I mean, games, of the season takes place in this one.
It would be a mistake for the GameDay crew to miss this one, as the Bulldogs and Gators will be two of the teams with a legitimate shot at taking the SEC East crown.
Last season, it was Georgia who wound up as the division champs, losing to Alabama in the SEC title game while Florida moved on to a BCS bowl.
This game should be a doozy.
Georgia gets back quarterback Aaron Murray in 2013, as well as running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, but has lost tons of talent on defense.
Meanwhile, Florida returns some key pieces to both sides of the ball, but will miss guys such as Matt Elam.
This is one of the games that could potentially have a huge impact on the national landscape, as the winner of this one will likely have a shot at the SEC title as well as the BCS title game.
Week 11: LSU at Alabama
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In spite of LSU's loss of several defensive studs, Les Miles' squad still has the talent to navigate the games before this one with only one loss.
That would set up a titanic matchup with Alabama in this one, with the chance for LSU to potentially emerge at the top of the SEC West with a win.
The Tide are going to be the best team in the nation next season, but they still must go out and prove it.
Doing so against LSU will not be the easiest game the Tide have to face in 2013.
Week 12: Florida at South Carolina
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While Georgia will likely be in the mix for the SEC East title again in 2013, these two teams will also be at the top of the standings.
Similar to last season, those three teams will duke it out for the chance to play in the SEC title game.
This game, featuring two teams with ferocious defenses and postseason glory on the line, is the best game of the week.
You better believe the wonderful folks at GameDay would not pass up a chance to show Jadeveon Clowney in action.
Week 13: Texas A&M at LSU
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Deep into the season, Texas A&M will be playing just one of two games that they really have the potential to lose.
A trip to "Death Valley" is no picnic, but Johnny Football and his teammates will be out for revenge after suffering a tough loss at home to the Tigers last season.
While LSU is losing a plethora of starting talent to the NFL draft, at this point in the season, they should be ranked top 10, and depending on their early-season meeting with Alabama, A&M could be in the top five.
A meeting between two of the best teams in America's best conference is too great of an opportunity for the GameDay crew to pass up.
Week 14: Rivalry Game
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The last stop for College GameDay during the 2013 season will be determined through the course of the year.
There are several potential locations where the crew could end up, including Clemson vs. South Carolina and Florida State at Florida, both of which could be matchups between top 10 teams.
However, the greatest rivalry in football, Michigan vs. Ohio State, gets my vote.
The Wolverines, with the return of Devin Gardner and the improvement of the defense, have as good of a shot as anyone at winning the Big Ten Legends division.
Ohio State, on the other hand, will be looking to complete a second consecutive perfect season, and while the schedule might be "weak," the Buckeyes will have a chance to cap off a second 12-0 season in this game.
Braxton Miller should be a Heisman front-runner, and the Buckeyes' defense will help pave the way for a trip to the conference title game.
If the season goes well for both teams, this could be a preview of the conference title game.