ESPN Taking Gameday To Athens, GA

Monday, September 22, 2008

ESPN moved Gameday from Arizona State to Auburn this past weekend and don't be surprised if ESPN sets up "Gameday" shop in the South for most of the season. The conference currently has six teams in the Top 25 and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution now says that ESPN is going back into the state of Georgia for Week Five....

ESPN’s popular College GameDay show will air from Athens on Saturday morning, an ESPN spokesman said today.

The two-hour college-football pregame show — with host Chris Fowler and analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard — travels around the country, giving a sort of signature to each week’s Big Game.

And Georgia-Alabama in Sanford Stadium on Saturday is big.

Both teams are unbeaten (4-0), and both are ranked in the nation’s top 10.

Georgia, which defeated Arizona State 27-10 Saturday night, is No. 3 in both the Associated Press media poll and the USA Today coaches’ poll. Alabama, which beat Arkansas 49-14 Saturday, is No. 8 in the AP poll and No. 10 in the coaches’ poll.

ESPN spokesman Michael Humes said Sunday afternoon that details aren’t available yet about where on the Georgia campus the GameDay set will be located. There are some logistical issues to be worked out. ESPN likes to have the stadium as the backdrop for its set. But ongoing building construction around Sanford Stadium makes that almost out of the question.
I understand that the SEC is the cream of the crop, but let's vary it up some shall we? Four of the Five destinations for the show so far have involved SEC teams and if you look ahead to week six and seven, there's really only two matchups worth highlighting and one of those is Auburn at Vandy. With LSU-Florida in week seven, ESPN might as well set up shop in the South until the Missouri-Texas game during week eight.

‘GameDay’ picks UGA-Bama (AJC)


I hope they don't ride it out in the SEC all year. I know it's the best conference but there will have to be some good Big 12 or ACC matchups or something.

Ted said...
Sep 22, 2008, 11:20:00 AM  

The only other conference that is going to have big conferences games with top ranked teams is the Big 12. The ACC is a joke, I'm a UConn fan but only USF and UConn are undefeated in the Big East and the Pac 10 is just USC. The Big Ten might get a gameday if Penn State and/or Wisconsin get to the middle of the season undefeated.

Point can't blame ESPN. They follow the best matchups. Two weeks in a row, there is one top ten matchup and it's the SEC.

Sean O said...
Sep 22, 2008, 11:38:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sep 22, 2008, 11:43:00 AM  

"Point can't blame ESPN."

Especially when they've forked over $2.25 billion for a 15-year deal with the SEC. That kind of money buys you some serious Gamedays.

Anonymous said...
Sep 22, 2008, 11:45:00 AM  

College Gameday will probably go to Ohio State-Wisconsin over Auburn-Vandy, unless Williams College has a game October 4.

Sep 22, 2008, 11:50:00 AM  

You can't blame ESPN, there really aren't that many great draws up North this year.

GMoney said...
Sep 22, 2008, 12:08:00 PM  

I would bet money that Gameday goes to Madison October 4th, provided that Ohio State doesn't lose to Minnesota.

As far as the SEC getting most of the gameday games, I'm an ACC fan and I don't mind it. It should be at the site of the most intriguing games. Gameday went to the Pac-10 and Big 12quite a bit last year when they had some good teams (before November) so I don't think there is an SEC bias.

bigern said...
Sep 22, 2008, 12:14:00 PM  

I am betting during week 7 that Gameday will go to OU/Texas instead of going to LSU/Florida again like they did last year.

jubanator14 said...
Sep 22, 2008, 12:19:00 PM  

The best games are in the SEC. Should they show up to an inferior game just to be fair? Two weeks in a row the conference has showcased games between top 10 teams.
Give me another game that could possibly top this one. What's the alternative?

Zabka said...
Sep 22, 2008, 12:51:00 PM  

I agree with the jubanator, I bet they go to OU/Texas on Oct. 11th. Both games will be top 10, maybe top 5 matchups but OU/Texas has the cool site in Dallas and the game is on ABC. LSU/Florida is on CBS.

Sean O said...
Sep 22, 2008, 12:55:00 PM  

@Ted - Good ACC matchups? Please tell me you wrote that with a straight face?:-)

I have information on this and a campus map showing the logistical issues referred to by the AJC at ESPN College GameDay to Georgia for Alabama Showdown

Sep 22, 2008, 1:03:00 PM  

Just to add to the rumour mongering, stories going around the city that Gameday's planning to come up for UW-OSU on Oct 4, and the game will likely be ABC's primetime game if they're both win this weekend, with Brent, Herby and EA et al.

Rob in WI said...
Sep 22, 2008, 1:29:00 PM  

College Game Day should be in the SLC when Brigham Young plays Utah at the U. Then again, that's a conflict of interest seeing as the WWL doesn't acknowledge the MWC.

Brad James said...
Sep 22, 2008, 1:46:00 PM  

If the SEC continues to have games with two top-10 teams are playing each other, it only makes sense that Gameday continues to go there. The only other games between 2 ranked teams this week are Illinois-Penn State (22 vs. 12) and TCU-Oklahoma (24 vs. 2). We should also be blaming Arizona St. for losing its game to UNLV, otherwise Gameday would have been out west again.

All of that being said, at some point they will need to mix it up. I've enjoyed it in past years when they decided to go to a "non-traditional" matchup, like going to Army, or going to a D3 game. That's only something they should do once a year, but I think it brings some nice variety.

Tom said...
Sep 22, 2008, 1:47:00 PM  

Gameday is supposed to go to the best game each week. (In practice of course they sometimes go to the best ABC/ESPN game of the week.)

But for this coming week and last, it's clear that the SEC marquee game was the best of the weekend.

The following weekend I would argue Ohio State - Wisconsin is a better game than Auburn at Vandy, but in week 7 it'd be almost criminal if Gameday didn't go to LSU at Florida, assuming both teams are still in the top 5 by then.

Troy said...
Sep 22, 2008, 1:49:00 PM  

@Troy - Considering that LSU/Florida is the CBS prime time game that night, do you really think that GameDay will go there?

Sep 22, 2008, 1:58:00 PM  

Considering that LSU/Florida is the CBS prime time game that night, do you really think that GameDay will go there?

They did last year when it was the primetime game...and Florida lost the week before Byrne.

Anonymous said...
Sep 22, 2008, 2:39:00 PM  

Gameday hasn't come to Athens since 1998. TEN YEARS! We're ranked every season, it's about time we get some real coverage.

Kimberly Julie said...
Sep 22, 2008, 3:48:00 PM  

You know, Saturday night is the epitome of why the SEC is overrated to some extent. Best conference? Sure. Absolute/Supreme/Head-and-Shoulders/Arkansas-Would-Win-the-Big-10 better than everybody else? Not really.

The atmosphere of the LSU/Auburn game was impressive. The play on the field was so-so for top 10 football teams. If they played in an empty stadium, people wouldn't be slobbering all over the conference.

And another point, when Auburn beats Mississippi State 3-2 it's a great defensive game. When Wake Forest beats Florida State 12-3, the offenses suck.

Eric said...
Sep 22, 2008, 5:04:00 PM  

who the F*&k cares where GameDay goes?
it's a PRE-GAME show that is a waste of time, just like NASCAR pre-race coverage.
the GAMES are what matters.
not where some knuckle-heads are for brunch -- hours before kickoff.

Anonymous said...
Sep 22, 2008, 10:41:00 PM  

And another point, when Auburn beats Mississippi State 3-2 it's a great defensive game. When Wake Forest beats Florida State 12-3, the offenses suck.

I'm guessing you don't like the SEC? =P The AU/Miss. State game was awful to watch, but it was a battle between two great defenses.

The WF/Florida State game involved first year starting QBs for Florida State that turned the ball over SEVEN TIMES. That and Wake Forest's offense was so anemic, all they could put up was four field goals? The ACC is just incredibly down. That game was no more exciting to watch/stand than the AU/Mississippi State game.

Also, Arkansas is a horrible team this year, and will finish dead last in the SEC. Even the Big 10 is better than that. =P

Agreed though. It's just a pregame show people. Let's not get our panties in a wad.

Anonymous said...
Sep 23, 2008, 12:33:00 AM  

There is no doubt that GameDay is weighted to a Disney game. Having said that, they do have a conscience, amazingly enough.

Another consideration is whether to pay tens of thousands for Herbstreit's charter. If the ABC prime game is in Madison on the 4th, GameDay will be there. Book it.

Ed said...
Sep 23, 2008, 3:26:00 AM   Sep 23, 2008, 5:25:00 PM  

Its about time ESPN showed UGA some love. All you hear about now-adays is USC or Ohio State on ESPN. Gameday hasn't been to UGA in 10 years!!!! How many times out of 10 years have they been to your match-up (especially USC or Ohio State)? I think it is personally long over due as the DAWGS and Roll Tide duke it out to defend an "unbeaten" record!!!!

Anonymous said...
Sep 25, 2008, 8:26:00 AM  

@Anonymous - GameDay was actually considering coming to Athens last year for the Auburn game. However, because CSTV (now CBS College Sports) brought their pre-game show to Athens, ESPN decided to go to another location.

Sep 25, 2008, 8:46:00 AM  

Well that's nice to know that they would have made it 9 years later. :) I am just thankful they are here this year. I just hate to hear others negatively commenting about them coming this year. We have worked our hineys off to be where we are and its nice to finally have props!!

Anonymous said...
Sep 25, 2008, 9:33:00 AM  

@Anonymous - let me correct what I said. That was what mainstream media was reporting. What actually happened the weekend of the Auburn game last year is that ESPN had committed to doing GameDay from the Division III Matchup between Williams and Amherst.

See Why is ESPN Gameday Going to Division III Game?

Who was saying GameDay never shows any variety?:-)

Sep 25, 2008, 1:53:00 PM  

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