College Football: 'ESPN College GameDay' Predictions

Josh Sachnoff@@JSachnov17Contributor IIIAugust 26, 2013

College Football: 'ESPN College GameDay' Predictions

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    ESPN College GameDay has become a part of the college football game day experience by being the first thing a fan turns on in the morning before all of the fun and games begin.

    Lee Corso, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard continue to get college football fans revved up each and every Saturday morning of the college football season. Let's not forget Samantha Ponder and David Pollack are in on the action as well.  

    With increasing popularity of the show, it has become a spectacle on college campuses and fanbases are more than ecstatic when the crew selects their team's big game of the week. Will ESPN College GameDay be comin' to your city this year?  

    Here are the predictions on where ESPN College GameDay will be during the 2013 season:

Week 1: Georgia @ Clemson

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    Aug. 31: Georgia @ Clemson Live from Clemson, SC

    Note: ESPN College GameDay is a lock for this game. 

    These two teams haven’t played in ten years, but this couldn’t have been a better time for these teams to meet. Opening weekend of the college football season and both ranked in the Top 10.

    We have two of the best quarterbacks in the country in Georgia’s Aaron Murray and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd.

    Not to mention, Georgia has one of the best running backs in the country in Todd Gurley, and Clemson has always-explosive wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

    It will be a showdown in Death Valley, where one team sees their national title hopes potentially laid to rest.

Week 2: Notre Dame @ Michigan

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    Sept. 7: Notre Dame @ Michigan Live from Ann Arbor, MI

    The GameDay crew will have covered Georgia a week before at Clemson, so no need to head back to South Carolina again for Georgia-South Carolina.

    The boys will head to Ann Arbor where anything can happen in a Michigan-Notre Dame night game at “The Big House.” The last four games have been decided by a total of 19 points, with Michigan winning three of them.

    The Wolverines, though, are seeking revenge after last season, where they turned the ball over six times in a 13-6 loss to eventual BCS championship runner-up Notre Dame.

    Devin Gardner is at the helm of the Wolverine offense now, and the Irish are without quarterback Everett Golson and linebacker Manti Te’o.

    It will be another close game that goes down to the very end. 

Week 3: Alabama @ Texas A&M

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    Sept. 14: Alabama @ Texas A&M Live from College Station, TX

    It’s the game everyone has had their eyes set on since these teams last met on Nov. 10 in Tuscaloosa. 

    Johnny “Football” Manziel put himself in the driver’s seat for the Heisman Trophy after a 29-24 upset win that almost ruined Alabama’s championship title hopes.

    At an always hostile Kyle Field, Nick Saban and company will have its hand’s full, but a win for the Crimson Tide could be the first step in capturing a third consecutive BCS Championship.


Week 4: Kansas State @ Texas

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    Sept. 21: Kansas State @ Texas Live from Austin, TX

    This is a big game for both teams. Not only does Texas want to show they are a contender in the Big 12, the Longhorns would also like to end their five-game losing streak to the Wildcats.

    Kansas State will see if the offense can still be productive without last year’s Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein.

    Speaking of quarterbacks, David Ash needs to have a big day and take advantage of a Wildcat defense that returns just two starters from last season. This will be much more of a game than last year's 42-24 blowout in Manhattan.

    Will the 'Horns finally get revenge on Bill Snyder’s Cats?

Week 5: LSU @ Georgia

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    Sept. 28: LSU @ Georgia Live from Athens, GA

    There are going to be entertaining games this week, such as Oklahoma-Notre Dame and Wisconsin-Ohio State, but the crew will end up in Athens, Georgia.

    This early season conference matchup between Georgia and LSU has BCS implications written all over it. We’ll see if the Dawgs can make it through their third difficult game of the season.

    This will be the Tigers first true road game of the season, and we’ll find out if senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger has made strides since last season. 

    We should be in for a real nail-biter “Between the Hedges.”

Week 6: Ohio State @ Northwestern

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    Oct. 5: Ohio State @ Northwestern Live from Evanston, IL

    A really tough call between Kansas State-Oklahoma State and Ohio State-Northwestern, but this could be one of the biggest games in head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s tenure at Northwestern.

    Both teams should be undefeated when Oct. 5 rolls around. Ohio State will be coming off a hard fought win against Wisconsin, and Northwestern will come in off a bye week.

    Braxton Miller could come in banged up after facing a physical Wisconsin defense and Northwestern’s dual-threat quarterback Kain Colter and dangerous running back Venric Mark will come in rested.

    This could be a recipe for disaster on the Buckeyes' end. Bye-bye national title hopes and a 17-game winning streak in Evanston?



Week 7: Oklahoma vs Texas in Dallas, TX

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    Oct. 12: Oklahoma vs Texas Live from Dallas, TX

    Does the crew head to the Big Ten for Michigan-Penn State or down to the Bayou for Florida-LSU? The answer is neither.

    They’ve hit the Red River Rivalry three times in the past five years, why not experience the Cotton Bowl and Texas State Fair again?

    The Sooners have won the last three meetings and have obliterated the Longhorns the past two years by a combined total of 118- 38. This year, though, Texas will be better and hopefully make it a much closer game against an Oklahoma squad that no longer has Landry Jones under center.

Week 8: Florida State @ Clemson

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    Oct. 19: Florida State @ Clemson Live from Clemson, SC

    For a second straight year, the ACC Atlantic Division title is on the line when Florida State heads to Death Valley for a showdown with Clemson.

    The 'Noles should be undefeated when they head in because of a favorable early season schedule. Not having EJ Manuel at quarterback in this game, though, could be the real struggle for Florida State.

    It was a shootout last season in Tallahassee, and we could be in for another one. It will likely be Florida State trying to keep up with Clemson’s explosive offense consisting of Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins.  

    Whoever wins this game should represent the ACC in the Orange Bowl.


Week 9: UCLA @ Oregon

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    Oct. 26: UCLA @ Oregon Live from Eugene, OR

    There is always Penn State-Ohio State, but the GameDay crew has to make their annual trip out to Eugene, Oregon.

    The Ducks should be undefeated heading into this game, while the Bruins will be coming in off their first loss of conference play against Stanford. This game though, could be a trap game for the Ducks before they travel to Stanford for a Pac-12 North Division showdown.

    UCLA is no doubt a talented team with sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley and a defense consisting of a solid linebacking corps, but can they knock off a tough Oregon team in a hostile Autzen Stadium.

    Not to mention, UCLA has not defeated Oregon since 2007. 


Week 10: Georgia vs. Florida in Jacksonville, FL

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    Nov. 2:  Georgia vs. Florida Live from Jacksonville, FL

    There is another big game in the Sunshine State in Miami-Florida State, but an annual rivalry between Georgia and Florida figures to be an elimination game for the SEC East Division title.

    This was the game last year that killed the Gator's hopes of winning the SEC East Division and advancing to the BCS National Championship game.

    Jordan Reed’s fumble on the five-yard line caused by Georgia defender Jarvis Jones will still be in the back of the Gators’ minds heading into this game. 

    We should expect another close ball game.

Week 11: LSU @ Alabama

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    Nov. 9:  LSU @ Alabama Live from Tuscaloosa, AL

    There will be a Big Ten Legends Division title on the line in Ann Arbor between Nebraska and Michigan, but how will ESPN College GameDay pass up on LSU and Alabama? We live in an SEC world these days, right?

    This has been one of the best rivalries in college football since Saban made his way to Tuscaloosa, and there always seems to be a lot riding on this game in a top-heavy SEC West Division.

    The Crimson Tide ripped the Tiger's hearts out last season, but can LSU go into Bryant-Denny Stadium and knock the two-time defending BCS champions out of BCS title contention? 


Week 12: Stanford @ USC

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    Nov. 16: Stanford @ USC Live from Los Angeles, CA

    With the SEC receiving two ESPN College GameDays in a row, it will be time to head west for a showdown in The Coliseum.

    The Cardinal have had the Trojan's number lately by winning the last four meetings. In the last three meetings, Stanford has defeated USC by a combined total of 17 points.

    With aspirations of advancing to the Pac-12 Championship Game, this is a critical game for both teams. Stanford will likely come in with one loss at most in Pac-12 play and USC will benefit by pulling off the upset to keep themselves in the Pac-12 South Division race. 

    It’s going to be another tight game between these two teams—why should we think otherwise?

Week 13: Baylor @ Oklahoma State

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    Nov. 23: Baylor @ Oklahoma State Live from Stillwater, OK

    This pick is more of a gamble. The logical choice would be Texas A&M at LSU, but the Big 12 needs some love too, even though the conference won’t be as strong as it has been in year’s past.

    Baylor was able to outlast Oklahoma State in a 41-34 shootout last season and will be looking to knock off the Cowboys again this season. 

    Art Briles’ pesky Bears could very well be in the Big 12 race at this point in the season, and the Cowboys will be trying to fend off any other teams from ruining their hopes of taking the Big 12 and advancing to the Fiesta Bowl.

    There won’t be a lack of excitement in this matchup as both teams have offenses that can light up the scoreboard.


Week 14: Ohio State @ Michigan

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    Nov. 30: Ohio State @ Michigan Live from Ann Arbor, MI

    The ESPN College GameDay crew have not been to The Game between Ohio State and Michigan since 2007.

    It’s likely both teams will have a rematch the next week in Indianapolis, but there is not only bragging rights on the line in this game.

    The Buckeyes will be in the national title hunt and the Wolverines will be potentially trying to clinch the Big Ten Legends Division, as well as keep themselves in position for a BCS at-large bid. 

    The excitement of the rivalry has also been revitalized since the disastrous RichRod era with Brady Hoke on one sideline and Urban Meyer on the other.

    Nothing would be more satisfying for Michigan than to knock their hated rivals out of the BCS National Championship picture.

Week 15: Alabama vs. Georgia in Atlanta, GA

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    Dec. 7: SEC Championship: Alabama vs. Georgia Live from Atlanta, GA

    Note: This is a prediction for the 2013 SEC Championship Game. 

    For the second year in a row, ESPN College GameDay will make their way to Atlanta for a critical Alabama-Georgia SEC Championship matchup.

    The winner of this game will likely represent the SEC in the national title game, just as last year.

    One can assume that Mark Richt and senior quarterback Aaron Murray will be determined as ever to knock off the Crimson Tide after coming up five yards short in last year’s game. 

    In 2008 and 2009, ESPN College GameDay traveled to the Alabama-Florida SEC Championship game. Florida won the 2008 SEC Championship, as well as the BCS National Championship. Alabama pulled off the upset in 2009 and eventually won the BCS National Championship.

    Will history repeat itself with the Dawgs getting revenge?