Predicting the Location of ESPN GameDay for the Rest of the 2013 Season
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Nothing marks the beginning of college football play quite like ESPN’s College GameDay.
From the signs and atmosphere of the home crowd to the in-depth features and analysis, the show has got everything you could possibly ask for and more. And of course, we can’t forget Lee Corso and his headgear pick.
Needless to say, GameDay’s venue is the place to be on any given Saturday.
Venues already visited this season include: No. 5 Georgia at No. 8 Clemson, No. 14 Notre Dame at No. 17 Michigan, No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Texas A&M and No. 6 LSU at No. 9 Georgia.
All five of those games turned out to be quite special. In fact, the combined margin of victory of all of those games was just 24.
This week, Lee Corso and the gang visit No. 16 Northwestern as they host No. 4 Ohio State.
But why stop there? Here’s B/R’s predictions for the most likeliest venue for each remaining week of the 2013 season.
Week 7: No. 2 Oregon at No. 15 Washington
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Last Appearance at Washington: Never been
The Huskies have been apart of the GameDay experience three separate times. However, ESPN has never brought its set and cameras to Husky Stadium. That is, until now.
With the Ducks on the road at Colorado this week, it’s almost close to a sure thing that they’ll be 5-0 for this one. As for Washington, the road is a little tougher—at No. 5 Stanford.
However, with a win, the Huskies will not only join Oregon at 5-0, but they’ll also likely springboard into the Top 10.
Who wouldn’t want to watch this heavyweight Pac-12 showdown?
Other Possible Venues: No. 11 Oklahoma vs. Texas, No. 18 Florida at No. 10 LSU, No. 9 Texas A&M at No. 24 Ole Miss
Week 8: No. 8 Florida State at No. 3 Clemson
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Last Appearance at Clemson: Aug. 31, 2013 (vs. No. 5 Georgia)
The minute the Tigers topped No. 5 Georgia in Week 1, ACC fans all across the country circled Oct. 19 on their schedules.
Following what should be a win against undefeated No. 25 Maryland this weekend, the Seminoles will head into the bye week at 5-0. It will give the team plenty of rest for a matchup that could very well decide the Atlantic division in the ACC.
With just Syracuse and Boston College remaining before the tilt, Clemson shouldn’t have a problem strolling in at 6-0.
Will Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd cement his status as a top-Heisman candidate or will Florida State’s Jameis Winston make a case for his own inclusion?
Expect GameDay to pay its second visit of the season to Death Valley to find out the answer.
Other Possible Venues: No. 12 UCLA at No. 5 Stanford, No. 10 LSU at No. 24 Ole Miss, No. 15 Washington at No. 22 Arizona State
Week 9: No. 20 Texas Tech at No. 11 Oklahoma
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Last Appearance at Oklahoma: Oct. 27, 2012 (vs. No. 5 Notre Dame)
The Lowdown Norman should play host to Lee Corso and the gang for a Big 12-leading eighth time in Week 9.
Sure, it’s a venue not many people would expect. However, after watching their schedules become a lot less intimidating than originally believed, both the Sooners and Red Raiders have a chance to clash in Norman at 7-0 a piece.
Ironically enough, GameDay played host to a meeting between the two back in 2008, in what turned out to be an Oklahoma 65-21 victory.
For Texas Tech, a road trip to West Virginia remains the only hurdle. For the Sooners, it’s the Red River Rivalry with Texas.
Expect this time around to be a lot closer.
Other Possible Venues: No. 12 UCLA at No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Clemson at No. 25 Maryland, Penn State at No. 4 Ohio State
Week 10: No. 14 Miami at No. 8 Florida State
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Last Appearance at Florida State: Sept. 22, 2012 (vs. No. 10 Clemson)
This only happens if the Seminoles topple No. 3 Clemson on Oct. 19. If it does, consider this a preview of the ACC title game in December.
After Georgia Tech, the Hurricanes shouldn’t face a threat with 1-3 North Carolina and 2-3 Wake Forest next up on the schedule. It’s not as easy for Florida State, as the team still has No. 25 Maryland and the Tigers to deal with.
But if both teams get through unscathed, this would be quite the matchup. It would pit Miami’s No. 7 scoring defense against the Seminole’s No. 4 scoring offense.
Something's got to give.
Other Possible Venues: No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 18 Florida, No. 19 Michigan at Michigan State, No. 21 Oklahoma State at No. 20 Texas Tech
Week 11: No. 10 LSU at No. 1 Alabama
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Last Appearance at Alabama: Sept. 22, 2011 (vs. No. 1 LSU)
This will mark the fourth meeting between the Crimson Tide and the Tigers since 2011. Most memorably, the two squared off in the 2012 BCS title game—the first championship game featuring two teams from the same conference.
Fittingly so, the last time Alabama hosted GameDay, it was against LSU.
Arkansas and Tennessee are about as tough as its going to get for the top-ranked Tide. Meanwhile, the Tigers still have to face No. 18 Florida before a trip to No. 24 Ole Miss.
However, regardless of record, it’s always an instant classic when these SEC-West foes meet.
Other Possible Venues: Nebraska at No. 19 Michigan
Week 12: Houston at No. 7 Louisville
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Last Appearance at Louisville: Never been
Hey, there’s a first for everything.
After never hosting a GameDay broadcast, the Cardinals should get their chance in Week 12. However, the team should be focused on a much loftier goal—completing an undefeated season and earning a berth in the BCS title game.
This should be Louisville’s toughest test of the season.
While Heisman-hopeful quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the Cardinals offense strive for perfection, the Cougars will be in pursuit of the same thing. It would be a perfect chance for the team to make a case for a spot in a BCS bowl.
Including this one, Louisville will be three games away from the completion of the regular season. Expect the pressure and nerves to be at a peak in this one.
Other Possible Venues: No. 18 Florida at No. 13 South Carolina, No. 19 Michigan at No. 16 Northwestern, No. 20 Texas Tech vs. No. 17 Baylor
Week 13: No. 9 Texas A&M at No. 10 LSU
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Last Appearance at LSU: Nov. 3, 2012 (vs. No. 1 Alabama)
If the Tigers can defeat No. 1 Alabama in Week 11, this matchup could very well decide the fate of the SEC West. More importantly than that, it could give one of these teams a good shot at reaching the BCS title.
LSU’s hopes for a possible rematch with Georgia lean on whether the team can navigate through No. 18 Florida, at No. 24 Ole Miss and a trip to play the Tide. It certainly won’t be the easiest journey. Then again, those are just the kind of late-season stretches that help national title runs.
On the other hand, quarterback Johnny Manziel and the Aggies could pretty much sleep walk into this matchup if they can dispose of No. 24 Ole Miss next weekend. Not only that, Manziel will be trying to make a case for his second straight Heisman Trophy.
There will certainly be a lot at stake during this one.
Other Possible Venues: No. 2 Oregon at Arizona, No. 22 Arizona State at No. 12 UCLA, No. 17 Baylor at No. 21 Oklahoma State
Week 14: No. 4 Ohio at No. 19 Michigan
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Last Appearance at Ohio State: Nov. 13, 2010 (vs. Penn State)
One of college football’s biggest rivalries could take center stage in Week 14.
The Buckeyes and Wolverines are both currently undefeated. While the latter has struggled in recent weeks, the former has looked as strong as ever.
Could Ohio State come into this game attempting to complete the ridiculous: Back-to-back undefeated regular seasons.
This weekend’s showdown at No. 16 Northwestern is really the only obvious hurdle standing in the team’s way. However, trips to Purdue and Illinois late in the year could very well be trap games.
On the other hand, based on Michigan’s struggles with Akron and Connecticut—teams with a combined 1-8 record—the Wolverines could fall to just about anyone. Trips to Penn State, Michigan State, Northwestern and even Iowa could be the undoing of Brady Hoke’s squad.
Either way, don’t expect this rivalry to disappoint.
Other Possible Venues: No. 3 Clemson at No. 13 South Carolina, No. 8 Florida State at No. 18 Florida
Week 15: SEC Title Game
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Last Appearance at SEC Title Game: Dec. 1, 2012 (No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Georgia)
Given that the last seven BCS champions have come from the SEC, it’s as close to a sure thing that this game will likely decide one of the participants in January’s national title game.
As it stands, No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Georgia and No. 18 Florida are all unbeaten. Furthermore, No. 13 South Carolina, No. 10 LSU, No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 24 Ole Miss all have just one loss.
It’s very likely that the two participants for this game might not be decided until the final weeks of the regular season.
Either way, this will be the game everyone will be tuning into.
Other Possible Venues: No. 11 Oklahoma at No. 21 Oklahoma State, ACC title game, Pac-12 title game
All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of NCAA.com