ESPN College GameDay 2019: Location, TV Schedule and Week 11 Predictions

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2019

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

The easiest-to-predict ESPN College GameDay locale arrives in Week 11 thanks to the heavyweight SEC clash between No. 2 LSU and No. 3 Alabama.

Call it a dramatic change in vibe a week removed from Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard stopping in Memphis for a shootout wherein Memphis bested SMU 54-48.

This time, major implications are in the balance in the SEC and College Football Playoff. The Tigers and Crimson Tide have performed to expectations on the way to undefeated marks—this one is so big that even President Donald Trump plans to attend.

Here's a look at the pregame show's info as well as a prediction for the big game itself.

                 

College GameDay Week 11 Info

Date: Saturday, November 9

Time (ET): 9 a.m. to noon; game is at 3:30 p.m.

Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium

Watch: CBS

Live Stream: CBS Sports Network               

               

Preview

The CFP rankings might have both of these SEC squads sitting behind Ohio State, but that's going to be far and away an afterthought going into Saturday.

A playoff berth is likely at stake Saturday, and a spot for the loser isn't a guarantee regardless of what has happened in the past.

As always, just know Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has his guys lasered in and ignoring the hype.

"The big thing you want the players to do is not get involved in the hype surrounding the game or even think about the implications of the game," Saban said, according to Stats LLC (via ESPN).

Saban's offense features a question mark with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the form of his availability, which likely won't be answered until kickoff. Star wideout Jerry Jeudy seemed to provide a hint given circumstances the week prior, though:

Tagovailoa has flawlessly stepped up this season, completing 74.7 percent of his passes with 27 touchdowns against two interceptions and Jeudy, a surefire top NFL draft pick, has caught 52 passes for 682 yards and eight scores. That's second only to DeVonta Smith's 721 yards and nine scores, making them one of five targets with multiple touchdown catches.

Alabama hasn't been overly threatened in any game this season, averaging 48.6 points while only permitting 15.3 on average.

But Tagovailoa or not, this isn't the same old LSU team. Joe Burrow's meteoric rise in the eyes of NFL onlookers has spurred the Tigers to an undefeated mark, with wins over three top-10 teams, including a 23-20 victory over then-No. 9 Auburn in Week 10.

Burrow has completed 78.8 percent of his passes with 30 touchdowns against four interceptions, helping his favorite targets, Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase, secure nine touchdowns apiece. The totals aren't too shabby next to Alabama's numbers, either: LSU averages 46.8 points and allows 20.0.

The undertone to all of this is the hints that both programs once again feature elite defenses. The quarterback star power is nice, but this could always devolve into a staredown between two defenses unwilling to give an inch.

No matter which way it trends, there arguably hasn't been a game with bigger implications all year, so it's fitting this one is a rematch of the 2011 Game of the Century.

                     

Prediction

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

That 2011 Game of the Century featured a 9-6 LSU win.

Things will be a little different this time.

Alabama hasn't lost in this series since, scoring 20 or more points in all but one of the victories while blanking LSU's offense outright three times. Burrow likely assures the Tigers won't put up a goose egg again. But Alabama's offense—Tagovailoa or not—is so overloaded with future NFL skill players that it's hard to see LSU keeping pace over the course of four quarters.

Look for the first half to serve as a feeling-out period wherein both teams score before Saban's side adjusts and cruises, especially in front of a friendly crowd.

Prediction: Alabama 24, LSU 20

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