Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
Fish around long enough on ESPN's archive of College GameDay content and you'll be able to see a pretty significant theme to the locations chosen for the show: The old standards still rule the roost.
This year alone, the show has gone to Ann Arbor, Mich.; College Station, Texas and Athens Ga.—places that have been regular stops over the last 20 years. Expect late-season trips to Baton Rouge, La.; Tallahassee, Fla.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Norman, Okla. and Ann Arbor.
While the show has visited 54 different FBS campuses in the past 20 years, there are currently 126 such sites, not to mention all of the FCS or Division II/III/NAIA locales that would go bonkers to have ESPN and its band of CFB talking heads spend a Saturday morning there.
GameDay has left the FBS ranks four times, most recently last month when it made the bold choice to go to Fargo, N.D., to give love to a North Dakota State program that's won the last two FCS championships. The game that day against lowly Delaware State was an afterthought. It was more about the school, the program and the community than the game itself.
The show needs to do this more often. Yes, there are plenty of great stories to be told on the campuses of the top teams in the country, but really, how many times can you go to Baton Rouge or Tuscaloosa or Columbus, Ohio, or Tallahassee? The answer is nine, seven, 13 and eight, respectively.
Why has GameDay never gone to Berkeley, Calif., or Pullman, Wash.? Why no visits to Laramie, Wyo., or Huntington, W.Va.?
Saturday's trip to Seattle is the program's first-ever visit to the state of Washington, which is great. But why did it take Oregon coming into town to prompt it?
There doesn't have to be a big-time, this-will-make-or-break-the-national-championship-landscape game to warrant this traveling circus coming into town. It could be an up-and-coming program playing host to an established power or just a great rivalry game between two middling teams.
Bottom line: It's time to mix it up. Maybe pick the sites before the season, like ESPN does with some of its college basketball GameDay visits.