I'm taking a crack at projecting the sites for ESPN's College GameDay's telecasts in 2007. The forecast is rather long so I'm breaking it into three separate posts.
Weeks 1-4 were detailed yesterday. The first post in the series also explains how I came up with these conclusions. I heavily leveraged the LSUsports.net web site for the best composite week to week schedule that I've seen.
(Update: Rumors flying that GameDay will be at VT for the ECU game in Week 1 to honor the VT tragedy. If so, that'll pretty well screw my Week 1 and 2 predictions. That's got to be a record for whiffing. lol.).
With that as a backdrop...here are my predictions for Weeks 5-8...
Week 5 (Sept. 29th)
Prediction: Auburn at Florida
Why: This is a tough one to call. Florida is a Top 10 team in most pre-season polls (ht - heyjennyslater). If they beat Tennessee in Gainesville, this match-up should be the best of the day. This game could also end up being televised on ESPN if CBS takes the FSU vs. Bama (Jacksonville) game as part of the SEC's TV contract.
Other Candidates: Keep your eyes on ND vs. GT and FSU at Clemson in Week 1. If Tech and Clemson win those games and then enter Week 5 undefeated, GameDay would be very tempted to take the ACC match-up since it will definitely be on ABC. The other interesting games of the day are KSU at Texas while Bama faces Florida State in Jacksonville.
Red River Shootout
Week 6 (Oct. 6th)
Prediction: Oklahoma vs. Texas (Dallas)
Why: GameDay has only been to the Red River Shootout twice (2001 and 2002); although, it seems like more times than that. Both Texas and Oklahoma have manageable schedules that should support having 1 loss or fewer between them. That and an ABC TV contract should lock it down.
Other Candidates: Notre Dame at UCLA (ABC 8:00 pm EST) sounds like a great candidate for hosting the show. However, the Irish start the season with GT (home), PSU (road), Michigan (road), Michigan State (home) and Purdue (road). By Week 6, Notre Dame should be so beaten down that the game will have lost all appeal. Virginia Tech at Clemson is also a game to keep your eye on.
Penn State's white out
Week 7 (Oct. 13)
Prediction: Wisconsin at Penn State
Why: In reality, it's wide open this week. The next best game is Georgia Tech at Miami. And I'm not buying that both of those teams will be high enough in the rankings to warrant national attention. This one is any body's guess.
Other Candidates: Texas A&M at Texas Tech, Oregon State at Cal, South Carolina at UNC and Oklahoma State at Nebraska are the types of games available this week. It's a really slow week across the country.
Week 8 (Oct. 20th)
Prediction: Auburn at LSU
Why: If ESPN uses their "wild card" to pick the top SEC game ahead of CBS, they may send GameDay back to Baton Rouge. ESPN has made several repeat visits to campus in a single season over the past few years so it's not unheard of for them to return after the likely Week 2 appearance. This is usually one of the most entertaining SEC games of the season.
Other Candidates: If Cal slips past Tennessee in Week 1 and if UCLA can avoid Karl Dorrell crapping himself, the show could end up broadcasting from Pasadena for Cal at UCLA. USC at ND is extremely unlikely given the shape the Irish will likely be in come Week 8. Plus, that game will be on NBC. Miami at Florida State is another candidate.
-- ESPN GameDay Predictions (Weeks 1-4) - GSB
-- College GameDay Past Sites List - Wikipedia
-- Complete 2007 TV Composite Schedule - LSUSports.net
-- Preseason Mags Composite Top 25 - HeyJennySlater