2010 College Gameday Location Predictions
Every Saturday during the fall, ESPN's College Gameday is the No. 1 pregame show for college football fans across the country.
Anchor Chris Fowler and analysts Desmond Howard, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstriet broadcast from a different city every week and highlight the best games of the week.
Fans come by the thousands to witness "Gameday" and as many as 20,000 fans have shown up to see the show.
Corso consistently pumps up the crowd when he chooses a winner (normally the home team) by putting on that team's mascot head, although fans should be a bit weary due to his recent record.
So let's look at the top contenders to host College Gameday each week this college football season.
Week 1: North Carolina vs. LSU at Atlanta, GA
For the third straight year, expect Gameday to open the college football season in Atlanta with a matchup between two probable top 25 teams.
North Carolina has a chance to bring in a key win for the ACC, whose teams have fallen to seemingly inferior SEC opponents in recent years.
A win against LSU would mean a win against a solid program, helping break the losing streak against the SEC.
The Tar Heels have a chance to take down the Tigers with one of the best defenses in the country. Senior linebacker Quan Sturdivant will lead the North Carolina defense along with eight other returning starters and five other all-conference players.
They will face a tough test against Jordan Jefferson and the LSU offense.
Look for a very interesting game to kick off the college football season.
Week 2: Penn State at Alabama
If this game took place a year earlier, it could have been one of the best non-conference games of the decade.
And while Penn State’s loss of some key players, including quarterback Darryl Clark, will diminish the hype a bit, there is little doubt that Gameday will be in Tuscaloosa for this matchup between two traditional powers.
The Crimson Tide are stacked, especially on offense, with eight returning starters, including quarterback Greg McElroy and Heisman Trophy winning running back Mark Ingram.
Penn State is in a rebuilding stage and will be breaking in a new quarterback. But the team will have a good receiving corps and running game that could challenge the inexperienced Tide defense.
And while JoePa and company will likely be the underdogs, they have a chance to make this game a classic.
Week 3: Oregon State at Boise State
The Oregon-Boise State series brought us drama, excitement, ejections, and punches, concluding last year as one of the best non-conference series in recent history.
Now the Broncos will take on the Ducks’ in-state rival, the Oregon State Beavers and try to live up to drama of the Oregon-Boise State series.
Boise State returns almost its whole team and may have a high enough preseason ranking to finally play for a national championship.
Oregon State returns 17 starters and could challenge for a Pac-10 title next season, but needs to find a way to replace quarterback Sean Canfield.
Expect Gameday to make its first visit to Boise in week three and expect a very good game as the Broncos try to take down another BCS conference team.
Week 4: Oklahoma at Cincinnati
One of many off campus games in 2010, Oklahoma-Cincinnati provides an exciting Big 12-Big East matchup.
The Big East needs a win to save its reputation, especially after its champion, Cincinnati, was embarrassed in the Sugar Bowl last season.
The Bearcats also need a win in this game to prove that they can win big games outside of the Big East, and not just coast to BCS bowls in a lousy conference.
Oklahoma will look to rebound from a “miserable” season by its standards and try to once again become part of college football’s elite.
Quarterback Landry Jones needs to become more consistent and he can make a big statement with a win over Cincinnati.
Expect a good game between two top 25 foes.
Week 5: Florida at Alabama
Week five takes the cake as the best college football week of 2010.
There are three Gameday worthy matchups this week, including Iowa-Penn State, Florida-Alabama, and Texas-Oklahoma. But, the Tide and the Gators will steal the show in week five.
For the last two years, this game has decided the SEC Championship and look for a rematch of these two teams in December.
The Tebow-less Gators will look to bounce back after last year's shocking loss to the Tide, while Alabama will look to keep its hold on the SEC. The Tide will be heavy favorites in this contest, as quarterback Greg McElroy and running back Mark Ingram return. But they can't afford to overlook this young Florida team after head coach Urban Meyer brought in an outstanding recruiting class.
Week 6: LSU at Florida
Last year, this game didn’t disappoint, as Gameday was in Baton Rouge to witness a dramatic Florida win over LSU.
While neither team will likely be ranked as high in 2010, expect a great game between two of the top three teams in the SEC.
Florida will try to make it past its first tough SEC test without Tim Tebow and prove it still belongs with the nation’s elite.
LSU will try to prove that it still has what it takes to win an SEC Championship, as quarterback Jordan Jefferson will try to figure out Florida in the Swamp.
Hopefully for Tigers fans, coach Les Miles has the clock figured out by October.
Week 7: Nebraska at Texas
Expect Gameday to head to Lincoln in week seven, as Nebraska will try to avenge its last second loss to Texas in last year’s Big 12 Championship.
Texas is in a rebuilding stage this season, giving Nebraska its best chance to win a title and giving the Big 12 North its best chance of taking a title from the South.
Expect offense to take a backseat in this game, as two solid defenses will shine in a normally offensive-minded conference.
Regardless of this game’s outcome, expect Nebraska to represent the North in the Big 12 Championship and have possibly another shot at upending Texas.
Week 8: Wisconsin at Iowa
While it may not be a very interesting game to most of the country, expect Gameday to venture to Iowa City in somewhat of a down weekend for college football.
Both Iowa and Wisconsin will go into the season ranked in the top 20, and possibly the top 10.
Both teams return most of their starters and could compete for a Big Ten title and a National Championship in 2010.
This should be a great matchup, as Wisconsin running back and Heisman Trophy candidate John Clay faces possibly the best defensive line in college football, led by Adrian Clayborn.
Expect the winner of this game to be in good position to make a run at a BCS bowl or even more.
Week 9: Oregon at USC
Last year, this game didn’t disappoint, as Gameday was in Eugene for Oregon’s destruction of USC and the start of the Trojans’ epic collapse.
This year, USC will likely enter the season as the “other” team in the Pac-10, and want revenge when the Ducks head to Los Angeles.
This will be a statement game for new Southern Cal head coach Lane Kiffin, who needs to prove that he is a winner after receiving very high profile jobs as rewards for mediocre seasons.
Oregon also needs to win to extend its dominance in the conference, or else face the end to its reign before it even starts.
Expect a battle in the Coliseum that may decide the Pac-10 title.
Week 10: Alabama at LSU
LSU will make its third (projected) Gameday appearance, but its first at home, in a game that will likely decide the SEC West.
The Crimson Tide will come into Baton Rouge as heavy favorites and LSU will try to avoid a heartbreak against Alabama for the second straight year.
Alabama has all of the keys to turn this game into a blowout and coast to the SEC Championship once again, but the Tigers will be hungry for revenge against their former head coach Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide.
Week 11: Utah at Notre Dame
Of course the season wouldn’t be complete without a trip to media-hyped Notre Dame, as first year head coach Brian Kelly enters a must-win game against Utah.
There have been plenty of embarrassments for Notre Dame over the past few seasons, including the losses to Navy, the big game losses, and the declined bowl bid. But a loss to a non-BCS school would be the icing on the cake.
Kelly needs to avoid this loss at all costs if he hopes to keep football morale high in South Bend, but he will face a tough challenge from a Utes team that is always solid.
On top of the actual football game, expect plenty of festivities from Lou Holtz and company, who will undoubtedly choose the Irish as his preseason pick to win the National Championship once again.
Week 12: Ohio State at Iowa
Iowa City is one of two multiple stop in my projections, as the three other Big Ten title contenders, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Penn State, all travel to Kinnick Stadium.
Both Iowa and Ohio State will be ranked in the top 10, possibly even the top five, in the preseason polls com August.
Both teams have a realistic chance to come into this game undefeated, meaning the winner could be in the driver’s seat for the National Championship.
Last year, Iowa redshirt freshman quarterback James Vandenberg made his first career start in the Horseshoe and put together a solid game as his Hawkeyes fell in overtime.
This year, veteran quarterback Ricky Stanzi will lead the charge for Iowa and try to avenge last year’s loss and put itself in position for a National Championship berth.
Week 13: Oregon at Oregon State
The “Civil War” between Oregon and Oregon State has had Rose Bowl implications the past two years, with Oregon victorious both times.
Due to USC’s recent struggles and coaching changes, this game could possibly decide the Rose Bowl for a third straight year and Oregon State will hope that the third time is a charm.
Oregon will likely come into this game as the favorite, as the Ducks return more talent in 2010 and Oregon State must replace quarterback Sean Canfield.
But, this game is in Corvallis and the Beavers will have had a full season to work out their quarterback issues. They may have a chance to knock off their in-state rival and finally reach the Rose Bowl.