College Gameday 2008: Coming to Your City?
Some love it, others hate it. Whatever you opinion of it is, nobody can argue that you might as will bring the elephants and clowns because the circus is pretty much showing up on your campus for the weekend. Will it be coming to your school? Take a look and find out what I feel as I predict where ESPN's College GameDay will be from weeks 1-15 for the 2008 College Football Season.
As usual, not many options as most powerhouses are playing host to directional schools they are supposed to beat by 45+. I used "supposed" since our friends at Michigan and Appalachian State proved that anything really can happen on a given Saturday.
With that said, only two contenders to host GameDay in week one. With Illinois traveling to St. Louis to take on Mizzou, this could field the show but two nontraditional schools in football don't open the season quite like Alabama or Clemson. Expect the Tide to be Rolling and the Tiger Rags to be waving on the first Saturday morning of the year.
We see very few noticeable games on the schedule for week two, also something that has come to be expected. BYU will gain national recognition once again this year but ESPN won't send GameDay west on an early morning trip as they play at Washington. Instead expect the Swamp to play host to GameDay as the Gators host in-state rival Miami that evening.
A few good games to watch that day, yes. Michigan at Notre Dame will be a big headlined game as always and Georgia faces a tough battle at South Carolina. However, the biggest non-conference game of the year plays host to GameDay this week as USC hosts Ohio State University.
It seems like each week there is a candidate from the SEC to host GameDay. With Wake Forest traveling to Tallahassee that day as the only other seemingly big game for the day, expect to see a Tiger Fight with LSU traveling to Auburn.
A down week on the schedule for sure. Virginia Tech and Nebraska would be a shoe in...four years ago. Instead, if ESPN decides against saving money and staying in Bristol for the weekend, I would imagine Happy Valley gets a visit as the Nittany Lions welcome the Fighting Illini of Illinois.
After six weeks I feel we will have our first repeat. With Ohio State and Wisconsin the two favorites for the Big Ten crown, expect GameDay to make an appearance at Camp Randall. If Nebraska can get off to a hot start, possibly they sneak in as they host Mizzou but don't expect that. Sorry SEC fans, you're stuck with Ohio State and Wisconsin this week.
Separation Saturday, Round One? Possibly. Arizona State travels to the Coliseum, Tennessee looks to once again derail Georgia's title hopes, and Penn State hosts Wisconsin.
Don't forget Oklahoma and Texas, which promises to be a treat as usual. That is a solid week in itself but throw in the week's best game, LSU traveling to The Swamp and you have GameDay's second trip to Gainsville in 2008.
With no Big XII love yet this year, week eight breaks that trend. Although LSU at South Carolina will turn heads, ESPN goes out of the southeast this week to show us the campus of the University of Texas. Can't go wrong in Austin...
The most anticipated week of the season? Not by any means a stretch to say. Oregon at Arizona State with second place in the Pac-10 on the line? VaTech at FSU in a battle of two old rivals. Illinois in Wisconsin with a matchup that could decide a BCS Berth. Texas Tech at Kansas in what will likely end up a shootout and have Big XII Championship implications.
Penn State at Ohio State, wow this just keeps getting better. All these are great, but how can you pass on last years National Champs hosting many's pick to be '08 Champs? Georgia at LSU under the lights. It doesn't get much better than that.
If Georgia is still unbeaten, heck even if they have a loss or two, no doubts that we will see the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on GameDay as it will most likely be a battle of two teams still in the National Title Hunt.
A few choices here but nothing really stellar. If FSU can surprise some people this year its a perfect chance for ESPN to blow up the talk of the Bowden Bowl once again. If not Alabama at LSU seems like the next most likely option. I'm going with Clemson/FSU.
A few choices here. I doubt ESPN will follow Georgia on its insane road schedule all the way through so I don't expect to see them travel to Auburn. Instead watch as Illinois hosts Ohio State. If the Illini do as they are expected to do, this could decide the Big Ten and ESPN wouldn't miss that, even if it would be their first ever trip to Chambana for GameDay.
Although the storylines around Rich Rodriguez and Michigan trying to derail Ohio State's Big Ten glory in 2008 are great, Texas Tech travels to Norman to try and win their first Big XII South crown. You can bet that is where GameDay is at this week.
With the regular season pretty much finished, expect to see the much anticipated Mizzou/KU battle here. It seems odd to think of this as much anticipated but for the second year in a row it decides the Big XII North Champs.
Pick your conference championship game. Although there are going to be a few great games as usual this day, I have trouble thinking GameDay goes somewhere besides the Georgia Dome for the SEC Championship which will decide one half of the National Title game one month later.
There are my fearless predictions for 2008, at least in the way of GameDay. Look back at these in the future and see for yourself how silly I make myself look at times.
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