Predicting ESPN College GameDay Locations for Every Remaining Saturday

Alex JosephAnalyst IOctober 24, 2011

Predicting ESPN College GameDay Locations for Every Remaining Saturday

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    It's Week 9 in college football, and that can only mean one thing: "College Gameday" may be coming to a city near you!

    Okay, I guess every week in college football could potentially mean that, but now that we've hit the second half of the college football season, gameday games are becoming more intense, more meaningful and somewhat harder to predict.

    Last week we saw two undefeated Top 10 teams fall: Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Who will be the next to go? After half a season with no upsets, how often are upsets going to start coming now?

    "College Gameday" will help us determine the answer to these questions, as each of the upcoming gameday games are going to be huge.

    Next week's game has already been selected, but I'll go ahead and preview it anyway.

Week 9: Los Angeles, California

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    No. 6 Stanford at USC

    This game has already been determined, so there's no predicting here.

    The gameday bus will head to sunny Los Angeles to see a head-to-head matchup that could feature the top two quarterback prospects for the NFL draft: Andrew Luck (Stanford) and Matt Barkley (USC).

    This has the makings to be a great game, as both teams are coming off big wins and are playing at their best. No. 6 Stanford took care of business against their first ranked opponent last weekend, demolishing No. 25 Washington 65-21.

    USC, which is unranked in the BCS but ranked No. 20 in the AP poll, is coming off an impressive road victory at Notre Dame. The Trojans are now 6-1, and even though they aren't bowl-eligible this season, they can still make things terrible for Stanford.

    Stanford hasn't really been tested so far this year, and this could have the makings of a big-time upset.

Week 10: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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    No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama

    The "game of the century," as it will likely be known, is taking place on Nov. 5. Mark it down.

    While this game isn't currently scheduled by the gameday crew, I think it's safe to say that this shouldn't be much of a "prediction," either.

    Both LSU and Alabama are on a bye week, which means not only will they hold their No. 1 and No. 2 rankings for this matchup, but they'll also have equal time to prepare for each other.

    Alabama should be the favorite in this game due to the home-field advantage, right? As Lee Corso would say (and likely will say before this game), "Not so fast, my friend!"

    Alabama has only won one of the last four home games between these two teams, and that was during their undefeated 2009 season. LSU has more or less owned Alabama for the last 10 years, so don't let the home-field advantage fool you.

    Both teams are (seemingly) heads and shoulders above the rest of the Top 25 this season, and this game could be a preview of the national championship, especially if the other undefeated teams were to slip up and lose a game.

    This should be a hard-nosed and hard-hitting defensive matchup between two of the most athletic defenses in the country.

    If you can only watch one game for the rest of the year, including the national championship, this game might be the one to pick.

Week 11: Palo Alto, California

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    No. 7 Oregon at No. 6 Stanford

    Starting in Week 11, these predictions get a little bit trickier. However, this game should be a no-brainer, especially if Stanford is able to beat USC this weekend.

    Both teams play winnable games before this game: Oregon against Washington State and Washington, and Stanford against USC and Oregon State. That makes this a potential top five matchup with huge implications for both teams.

    Since falling to LSU in their season opener, Oregon has looked fantastic. Their fast-paced offense has proved to be nearly unstoppable, as the Ducks are No. 4 in the nation in points per game (48.1) and No. 4 in the nation in rushing yards per game (323).

    This could be Stanford's second "College Gameday" appearance in three weeks, and playing at home will be a big boost against the electric Oregon offense.

    Stanford has won their last 15 games in a row and their last 11 games at home. The last time the Cardinal lost was in Oregon last season. Is it time for some revenge?

    My gut says yes, but my head says no. Regardless, this should be a great game.

    Honorable Mentions

    No. 14 Nebraska at No. 19 Penn State, No. 3 Oklahoma State at No. 20 Texas Tech, No. 16 Texas A&M at No. 8 Kansas State

Week 12: Ann Arbor, Michigan

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    No. 14 Nebraska at No. 18 Michigan

    The possibility of this being the gameday matchup depends entirely on how Nebraska plays the next three weeks.

    This weekend, Nebraska will host a pumped-up No. 11 Michigan State team who is playing their best football of the season. Michigan State is coming off an exciting upset over Wisconsin last weekend, so the momentum they bring into Lincoln this weekend is going to be huge.

    If Nebraska can play well enough to win, they will have to get by Northwestern and No. 19 Penn State in order for this game to be considered.

    Michigan, on the other hand, plays three more-than-winnable games against Purdue, Iowa and Illinois. If both teams come into this game as one-loss teams, this will be the marquee matchup of the weekend.

    There are a few other games this week that I tend to like, though. Nebraska at Michigan is just the easiest pick.

    Honorable Mentions

    SMU at No. 17 Houston, USC at No. 7 Oregon

Week 13: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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    No. 9 Arkansas at No. 1 LSU

    This will be a Top 10 matchup regardless if LSU loses the "game of the century" or not, and that's because Arkansas is going to run the table until this game.

    Arkansas has three home games against No. 13 South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi State before they end their season against No. 1 LSU.

    LSU will be the unanimous favorite in this game, especially because it's being played in Baton Rouge, but history tells us to never count out the Razorbacks. Arkansas knocked off LSU last season 31-23 despite being the underdog.

    LSU's stifling defense will be the key to winning against an Arkansas passing attack that's ranked No. 9 in the country. This could be LSU's last stop before heading to the SEC Championship Game, and then possibly to the BCS National Championship Game.

    Again, that all depends on what happens on Nov. 5 against No. 2 Alabama.

    Honorable Mention

    No. 5 Clemson at No. 13 South Carolina

Week 14: Stillwater, Oklamoma

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    No. 9 Oklahoma at No. 3 Oklahoma State

    Even though Oklahoma suffered its worst home loss in the Bob Stoops era, the Sooners are still ranked in the BCS Top 10 at No. 9.

    If they get back to their winning ways, and if a few teams ahead of them slip up along the way, this could still be a potential top five matchup. That is, if Oklahoma State keeps winning, as well.

    Aside from one half against Texas A&M, the Cowboys have looked unstoppable this season. Their high-powered offense continues to impress, as they are No. 3 in the nation in total offense and No. 2 in the nation in points per game. 

    The Sooners will have to play a lot better than their lackluster showing against Texas Tech. The Sooners fell at home for only the third time during the Bob Stoops era (1999-present) despite a hurried comeback in the second half.

    The loss essentially knocked OU out of the race to play in the national championship game, but it gave Oklahoma State a great chance to play in it.

    Bedlam is always a huge game, and this year may be the biggest game in the history of the rivalry.

    Honorable Mentions

    SEC Championship, Big 10 Championship, ACC Championship, Pac-12 Championship