For the past two decades, one of the many traditions that has made college football such a spectacle is ESPN’s Saturday morning show, College Football Gameday.
The show airs for three hours each Saturday and leads right up to kickoff of the first slate of games. For the past 25 years, the show has taken place on location from a campus or stadium involved in one of the weekend’s biggest games. Fans congregate behind the set, cheering, booing, showing off homemade signs and otherwise adding to the spectacle.
Most of the show encompasses news and feature stories surrounding that week’s games, particularly College Football Gameday’s featured game. However, the most popular part of the show comes at the end: it’s when the show’s three hosts make their straight-up predictions of the day’s big games. The final pick is made by legendary college football coach and commentator Lee Corso, who dons mascot headgear or uses another prop to let his prediction be known.
History of College Football Gameday
ESPN’s pregame college football show first aired in 1987 from the network’s studios in Bristol, Conn. Tim Brando was the host, and Beano Cook and Lee Corso the analysts.
The show entered its modern era in 1993, when it started incorporating live broadcasts. The seminal moment in College Football Gameday’s history came in November, when it went live on location for the first time from South Bend, Ind., for a No. 1-vs.-No. 2 matchup between Notre Dame and Florida State. The Seminoles won the game 31-24.
From that point forward, College Football Gameday has aired on location almost every Saturday during the college football season, with the only exceptions being odd weeks when there was no big game or when an outside event forced game cancellations (i.e., Georgia Tech-Virginia in 2000 because of a severe thunderstorm and Georgia Tech-Florida State in 2001 because of the Sept. 11, terrorist attacks).
The show expanded to three hours, from 9 a.m.-noon ET, starting in 2010, with the first hour airing on ESPNU before also moving to ESPN in 2013.
Starting in 2014, the game began an annual visit to the Army-Navy game as its final regular-season broadcast of the year.
The show’s most well-known crew was Chris Fowler as host and Kirk Herbstreit and Corso the analysts. Fowler served as host from 1990-2014, when Rece Davis took over duties. Herbstreit has been on the show since 1996, and Corso since its inception in 1987.
Frequent hosts of College Football Gameday
It’s no surprise that the most frequent teams playing on College Gameday are also college football’s most successful modern teams.
The Alabama Crimson Tide has appeared 42 times on the show, including 13 times as host in Tuscaloosa. Alabama’s overall record is 27-15 when featured on College Gameday.
Ohio State has hosted the show the most times — 16. The Buckeyes have been featured 41 times overall. Other teams to host 10 or more times: Florida (12), Florida State (11), LSU (11), Michigan (11) and USC (10).
Between 1993-2004, the show visited a west-coast site only twice, but it has been more spread out since then. Oregon has hosted 10 times and Utah 4 times.
Non-Football Bowl Subdivision teams also have occasionally been hosts, especially when there isn’t a big game in the FBS. Those smaller-school hosts include Western Michigan, Williams College, Harvard, James Madison (twice), Bowling Green, Florida A&M and Penn. The Bayou Classic between Grambling State and Southern was also featured from New Orleans on Nov. 26, 2005.
Since the show’s inception, Lee Corso has proven to be an invaluable and popular part of college football.
The most famous and well-liked portion of the show comes at the very end, when the hosts (and since 2009, a guest picker) make predictions on the day’s biggest games. The final pick is known as the “headgear pick,” because Corso will don one team’s mascot head and/or other prop to reveal his pick.
Although he’s simply picking the games straight up and not against the spread, Corso has been an effective handicapper going 202-106 in the show’s 308 on-location shows. He’s not shy to pick underdogs at times, either.
Past marquee matchups on College Football Gameday
Beginning with the 1995 season, College Gameday hosted a show from the site of the national championship game, first in the Bowl Alliance system, then the Bowl Championship Series and eventually the College Football Playoff.
The first such game was No. 1 Nebraska’s 62-24 victory over No. 2 Florida in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 1996. That was also the second No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the show’s history, following the original on-location broadcast in 1993.
Besides the national championships, big-time regular-season games to be featured on the show include:
- No. 3 Nebraska beating No. 2 Colorado 24-7 in Lincoln, Neb., on Oct. 29, 1994
- No. 3 Florida beating No. 6 Florida State 35-24 in Gainesville, Fla., on Nov. 25, 1995
- No. 4 Florida beating No. 2 Tennessee 35-29 in Knoxville, Tenn., on Sept. 21, 1996
- No. 3 Ohio State beating No. 4 Penn State 38-7 in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 5, 1996
- No. 2 Florida State beating No. 1 Florida 24-21 in Tallahassee, Fla., on Nov. 30, 1996
- No. 1 Florida beating No. 4 Tennessee 33-20 in Gainesville, Fla., on Sept. 20, 1997
- No. 2 Florida State beating No. 5 North Carolina 20-3 in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Nov. 8, 1997
- No. 3 Penn State beating No. 4 Arizona 41-7 in University Park, Penn., on Aug. 28, 1999
- No. 1 Florida State beating No. 4 Florida 30-23 in Gainesville, Fla., on Nov. 20, 1999
- No. 3 Oklahoma beating No. 1 Nebraska 31-14 in Norman, Okla., on Oct. 28, 2000
- No. 3 Oklahoma beating No. 5 Texas 14-3 in Dallas, on Oct. 6, 2000
- No. 5 Tennessee beating No. 2 Florida 34-32 in Gainesville, Fla., on Dec. 1, 2001
- No. 3 Texas beating No. 2 Oklahoma 35-24 in Dallas on Oct. 12, 2001
- No. 2 Miami beating No. 5 Florida State 22-14 in Tallahassee, Fla., on Oct. 11, 2003
- No. 5 Michigan beating No. 4 Ohio State 16-13 in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 15, 2003
- No. 3 LSU beating No. 5 Georgia 34-13 in Atlanta on Dec. 6, 2003
- No. 3 Auburn beating No. 5 Georgia 24-6 in Auburn, Ala., on Nov. 13, 2004
- No. 2 Texas beating No. 4 Ohio State 25-22 in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 17, 2005
- No. 1 Ohio State beating No. 2 Texas 24-7 in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 9, 2006
- No. 1 Ohio State beating No. 2 Michigan 42-39 in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 25, 2006
- No. 3 Missouri beating No. 2 Kansas 36-28 in Kansas City, Mo., on Nov. 24, 2007
- No. 2 Florida beating No. 1 Alabama 31-20 in Atlanta, on Dec. 6, 2008
- No. 1 Florida beating No. 4 LSU 13-3 in Baton Rouge, La., on Oct. 10, 2009
- No. 2 Alabama beating No. 1 Florida 32-13 in Atlanta, on Dec. 5, 2009
- No. 4 LSU beating No. 3 Oregon 40-27 in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 2, 2011
- No. 1 LSU beating No. 2 Alabama 9-6 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Nov. 5, 2011
- No. 1 Alabama beating No. 5 LSU 21-17 in Baton Rouge, La., on Nov, 3, 2012
- No. 2 Alabama beating No. 3 Georgia 32-28 in Atlanta on Dec. 1, 2012
- No. 1 Alabama beating No. 6 Texas A&M 49-42 in College Station, Texas, on Sept. 14, 2013
- No. 4 Auburn beating No. 1 Alabama 34-28 in Auburn, Ala., on Nov. 30, 2013
- No. 3 Mississippi State beating No. 2 Auburn 38-23 in Starkville, Miss., on Oct. 11, 2014
- No. 4 Alabama beating No. 1 Mississippi State 25-20 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Nov. 15, 2014
- No. 5 Clemson beating No. 3 Louisville 42-36 in Clemson, S.C., on Oct. 1, 2016
- No. 2 Ohio State beating No. 3 Michigan 30-27 in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 26, 2016
- No. 1 Alabama beating No. 3 Florida State 24-7 in Atlanta on Sept. 2, 2017
- No. 6 Ohio State beating No. 5 Penn State 39-38 in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 28, 2017
- No. 6 Auburn beating No. 1 Alabama 26-14 in Auburn, Ala., on Nov. 25, 2017
2018 College Football Gameday possibilities
ESPN has announced that College Gameday will go back to where it all started and begin the 2018 season in South Bend, Ind., for Michigan at Notre Dame in Week 1 on Sept. 1.
After that, the network will announce the following week’s destination sometime in the aftermath of the previous weekend’s action. Here are some favorites — or at least strong possibilities — for each week of the new season.
Week 1, Sept. 1: Michigan at Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind.
Week 2, Sept. 8: Clemson at Texas A&M, College Station, Texas
For the sixth time, ESPN’s College GameDay will make its way down to College Station, Texas. The popular Saturday morning kickoff show is setting up camp in College Station for the showdown between Texas A&M and Clemson.
New Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher might’ve left Florida State and the ACC, but he couldn’t avoid Dabo Swinney and the Tigers for too long. Florida State and Clemson became bitter rivals over the last several years as they jockeyed for the position of the premier team in the conference. Fisher initially had the edge after he guided the Seminoles to a national title in 2013, but Swinney has since surpassed him.
Clemson is the No. 2 team in the country, and they are expected to be back in the College Football Playoff for the fourth straight season. The Tigers handled Furman 48-7 in their season opener behind a dominant performance from the defense. Clemson has a quarterback battle brewing between veteran Kelly Bryant and newcomer Trevor Lawrence, but that shouldn’t have an impact on the team in the regular season.
Texas A&M cruised past Northwestern State 59-7 in Fisher’s debut last Thursday, but the Tigers present a much more difficult challenge this Saturday.
This will be the Aggies’ eighth appearance on the show, and they are 1-6 all-time when College GameDay is on campus. Clemson is appearing for the 18th time in school history. Fifteen of those appearances have been under Swinney. The Tigers have won eight of the last nine times they were featured on the program, including four consecutive wins. They are 10-7 all-time on College GameDay.
The Aggies are 3-1 all time against the Tigers, though Clemson won the last meeting 25-24 in 2005. Texas A&M is 2-0 against Clemson in College Station, and they won those two games by a combined score of 51-6. Unfortunately for Aggie fans, this matchup might go a bit differently.
It’s probably better to play Clemson now than later in the season once they figure out the quarterback position. However, the Tigers will rely on the strength of their defense — especially the defensive line — against the Aggies on Saturday.
Both Bryant and Lawrence will play quarterback for the Tigers, and it’s unclear how often each will play. Bryant is a dual-threat quarterback, while Lawrence is more of a pocket passer. They both bring an interesting dynamic to the offense, but ultimately, this feels like it’s Lawrence’s job. Clemson can win almost any game with Bryant at quarterback in the regular season, but Lawrence has more upside against top tier defenses.
Clemson is currently an 11.5-point favorite, and the total for the game is 54. The game will air on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday night at Kyle Field. College GameDay will air at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN on Saturday morning.
Week 3, Sept. 15: TCU vs. Ohio State, Arlington, Texas
The College GameDay crew won’t have to travel too far this week for their Week 3 destination. After spending last Saturday in College Station, Texas for the matchup between Clemson and Texas A&M, the show will head north to Fort Worth for another non-conference showdown between Ohio State and TCU.
TCU is technically the home team, but they won’t be playing in its home stadium in Fort Worth. Instead, the game against the Buckeyes will be at AT&T Stadium, which is the home of the Dallas Cowboys. However, GameDay will broadcast its show on Saturday morning from TCU’s campus in Fort Worth.
It’s the first road game for Ohio State this season, and it will be the first game away from home for interim coach Ryan Day. The Buckeyes beat Oregon State and Rutgers by a combined score of 129-34, but those two squads pale in comparison to the Horned Frogs. Additionally, TCU’s Gary Patterson is one of the best coaches in the country, and he’ll have his team ready to play after an uninspiring first half against SMU a week ago.
Urban Meyer has one game remaining on his suspension, but he will be allowed to coach the team during practice this week. Day will still be in charge of any in-game decisions, and he will also be responsible for any halftime adjustments. But as far as the game plan is concerned, it will have Meyer’s fingerprints all over it.
This will be GameDay’s 41st appearance at an Ohio State game, which puts the Buckeyes in second place all time behind Alabama’s 42 appearances. The Buckeyes are 27-13 while on GameDay.
TCU, on the other hand, is a perfect 6-0 when featured on GameDay. The Horned Frogs are 2-0 as the host team. However, Vegas made TCU a heavy underdog for the matchup. Ohio State is currently a 12.5-point favorite, and the total is 56.5.
It should be an electric atmosphere in both Fort Worth and Arlington as the host Horned Frogs look to pull off the major upset.
Week 4, Sept. 22: Stanford at Oregon, Eugene, Ore.
ESPN’s College GameDay is heading out west this weekend for a Pac-12 showdown between Stanford and Oregon. The show is setting up camp in Eugene, Oregon for the matchup between the No. 7 Cardinal and the No. 20 Ducks. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
This will be the tenth time Oregon has hosted College GameDay, and they are 7-2 all-time as hosts. The last time was a 46-27 win over Michigan State in 2014. GameDay visited Eugene for the 2012 matchup between Stanford and Oregon when the Cardinal won 17-14 in overtime.
Oregon has appeared 22 times on the show overall, and they are 14-8 when featured on GameDay. Stanford is 5-5, though they have only hosted once.
Stanford is 3-0 on the season, and are 1-0 in Pac-12 play after defeating USC, 17-3, in Week 3. The Cardinal delivered an uninspiring performance in a, 30-10, win over UC Davis last week, and they knocked off San Diego State, 31-10, in the season opener.
The Ducks are also 3-0, but they have played perhaps the softest schedule of any Power 5 team in the country thus far. The wins have been over Bowling Green, Portland State and San Jose State — and Oregon looked sloppy against the Spartans.
This will be new Oregon coach Mario Cristobal’s first major test with his new team, and he’s going up against one of the best coaches in college football. David Shaw has taken the foundation laid by Jim Harbaugh and turned the Cardinal into a consistent winner in the Pac-12.
Oregon opened as a slight 1.5-point favorite, but Stanford has emerged as a 2-point road favorite. The total for the game is 56.
Week 5, Sept. 29: Ohio State at Penn State, University Park, Pa.
For the second time this season, ESPN’s College GameDay will be on location for an Ohio State game. The popular Saturday morning kickoff show is heading to State College, Pennsylvania for the Big 10 showdown between Ohio State and Penn State. The Buckeyes were previously on the show two weeks ago when they played TCU in Arlington, Texas.
Ohio State is 4-0 on the season despite not having head coach Urban Meyer on the sidelines for the first three games of the year. Meyer returned on Saturday to watch his team dismantle Tulane, 49-6, but the Buckeyes will face their biggest challenge of the season as they take on the Nittany Lions.
Penn State is also 4-0, though they haven’t necessarily faced a difficult schedule. Appalachian State took the Nittany Lions into overtime, but Penn State prevailed, 45-38. James Franklin’s team dominated Pitt and Kent State, and they beat Illinois 63-24 despite trailing in the second half. The offense is averaging 56 points per game through four games. This matchup could turn into shootout since the Buckeyes are also averaging 55 points per game.
This is the 42nd time GameDay will cover an Ohio State game. The Buckeyes are tied with Alabama for the most appearances in GameDay history. Ohio State is 28-13 all-time while appearing on the program. Penn State is appearing on the show for the 19th time, but they are only 7-11. This will be the sixth time the Nittany Lions have hosted.
The Buckeyes have won five of the last six meetings against the Nittany Lions, including a 39-38 thriller last October in Columbus. Penn State defeated Ohio State 24-21 in 2016 en route to a Big 10 championship under Franklin. Prior to that loss, Ohio State had won four straight meetings in State College.
Ohio State opened as a 3.5-point favorite. The total for the matchup is 66.5.
Week 6, Oct. 6: Oklahoma vs. Texas, Dallas
College GameDay is heading back to Texas for the Red River Shootout between Texas and Oklahoma. It will be the first time the show has broadcasted for the rivalry since 2011. The Sooners are 5-0 entering the matchup, while the Longhorns are 4-1.
Oklahoma is looking to make its second straight appearance in the College Football Playoff. The Sooners have a prolific offense under Lincoln Riley. Kyler Murray has been an electric playmaker at quarterback, and he just guided his offense to 66 points in a win over Baylor. Oklahoma survived a pair of scares against Iowa State and Army, and they are still the favorites to win the Big 12.
Texas has recovered nicely from a season-opening loss at Maryland. Tom Herman’s team has won four straight, including close wins over Tulsa, TCU and Kansas State. They also dominated USC. At 2-0 in the Big 12, the Horns are a threat in the Big 12. If they can knock off Oklahoma, they might be one of the favorites to reach the Big 12 Championship Game.
The Longhorns hold a 65-45-5 advantage in the all time series. However, Oklahoma has had an advantage in recent years. The Sooners have won three of the last four meetings. Oklahoma opened as a 7.5-point favorite, and the total for the game is 59. Tom Herman has a stellar record both against the spread and straight up as an underdog. The Sooners are 23-11 when appearing on GameDay, while Texas is 9-6.
Week 7, Oct. 13: Wisconsin at Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
In a bit of a surprise, College GameDay is heading to Ann Arbor as Michigan hosts Wisconsin in a Big 10 showdown. Many were expecting the show to head down to Baton Rouge for Georgia and LSU, but the Tigers’ loss at Florida likely led executives to change course to Michigan since the game airs in primetime on ABC, and Kirk Herbstreit will be on the call.
Both the Badgers and the Wolverines enter their matchup with a loss, though they each lost games outside of Big 10 play. Michigan lost to Notre Dame 24-17 in the season opener on the road — GameDay was in South Bend for that one, too — but they’ve responded by winning five straight games.
Wisconsin lost at home to BYU 24-21 as a double-digit favorite, and they followed that up with a critical road win at Iowa and a home win over Nebraska. They’re still the favorites to win the Big 10 West, and they can go a long way in securing a spot in the Big 10 title game with a road win at Michigan.
Michigan doesn’t have as much margin for error. The Big 10 East is better at the top with Ohio State and Penn State, so this is an important game for the Wolverines in conference play and for their playoff chances.
This will be the 12th time Michigan has hosted GameDay and the 29th time they have appeared on the show. The last time the show aired from Ann Arbor was in 2015 when Michigan hosted Michigan State in a game most famously remembered for the Wolverines’ botched punt at the end of regulation that resulted in the game-winning score for the Spartans.
Michigan is 14-14 when they have been featured on GameDay. Wisconsin is 6-10, and this will be the Badgers’ 17th appearance overall on the show. Michigan is currently a 7.5-point home favorite over Wisconsin.
Week 8, Oct. 20: Oregon at Washington State, Pullman, Wash.
It’s finally happening. For the first time in history, ESPN’s College GameDay will broadcast its weekly show from Pullman, Washington. Washington State has never hosted GameDay until now, but the Cougars have been a part of the show for more than 15 years thanks to some very dedicated fans.
In 2003, Washington State fan Tom Pounds waved the Cougars’ flag during GameDay’s appearance at a Texas game in Austin. For 216 straight weeks, a fan has flown the Washington State flag in the background of the show in hopes that GameDay would make its way to Pullman.
The Cougars went through a tough stretch for the next decade, but Mike Leach has revived the program in recent years. Leach has guided the team to a 5-1 start, and they are hosting a 5-1 Oregon team in a pivotal Pac-12 North matchup. The Ducks are fresh off of an upset win over Washington, and they will emerge as the favorites to win the division if they can leave Pullman with a victory.
Oregon’s only loss came at home in overtime to Stanford. Had they won that game, they would be in the playoff conversation. Still, Mario Cristobal has done an excellent job with the Ducks so far, and their schedule becomes considerably easier after this game. It’s highly unlikely Oregon or any Pac-12 team can make the playoffs, but winning a conference title would be a major accomplishment for both of these teams.
This will be Oregon’s 24th appearance on GameDay, and they are 14-9 all time on the show. They were mostly recently on the show on Sept. 22 when they hosted Stanford. Washington State has appeared on the show twice, but this will be the first time they have hosted.
The Cougars opened as a two-point favorite, though the line has shifted to a pick ‘em. The total for the game is currently 66. Oregon leads the all-time series 49-41-7, though the Cougars have won three straight meetings.
Week 9, Oct. 27: Florida vs. Georgia, Jacksonville, Fla.
For the first time since 2005, College GameDay is heading back to Jacksonville for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Florida and Georgia will square off in a pivotal SEC East matchup that could very well determine the winner of the division, though Kentucky is certainly still a factor.
The Bulldogs were one play away from winning the national title a season ago, and they still have a shot to return to the playoffs this season. However, a 20-point loss to LSU left Georgia without any margin for error. To make the playoffs, the Bulldogs will have to win out, including a win in the SEC title game, likely over Alabama.
To make it to Atlanta, Georgia will first have to beat Florida this week and Kentucky next week. The Gators also have one loss, and it came earlier this season against Kentucky. Since then, Dan Mullen’s team has won five straight games, including an impressive victory over LSU.
Florida is 24-13 when appearing on GameDay, while Georgia is only 5-14. The Gators won the last meeting between the two when GameDay was in town as they upset Georgia 14-10 in Urban Meyer’s first season with Florida.
The game is almost always played in Jacksonville, and the Bulldogs lead the all-time series 50-43-2. Georgia dominated last year’s meeting 42-7, which ended Florida’s three-game winning streak in the series. The Bulldogs opened as a 7-point favorite over the Gators. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS, and GameDay will begin on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN.
Week 10, Nov. 3: Alabama at LSU, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
In a weekend full of marquee matchups, College GameDay is making its way down to Baton Rouge for the showdown between No. 4 LSU and No. 1 Alabama. The Tide and Tigers are no strangers to GameDay, and this will be the 12th time Baton Rouge has hosted the show.
Both teams had an open date last weekend, so they enter this matchup rested and refreshed. Alabama is 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the SEC, and they have absolutely dominated opponents. The Tide have been unstoppable offensively with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback, but they are heading to Baton Rouge to face the best defense they’ve seen all season.
LSU is 7-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play, and the lone loss came at Florida. The Tigers bounced back with a resounding 36-16 victory over Georgia, and have put themselves in position to contend for a playoff spot. The winner of this game will more than likely win the SEC West, though the Tigers would still have to beat Arkansas and Texas A&M to clinch the division.
Despite LSU being at home and the two teams being so close in the rankings, Alabama opened as a 14-point road favorite. Alabama has won seven straight meetings against LSU, and that streak started during the 2012 BCS National Championship Game when the Tide won 21-0. The Tigers had defeated the Tide 9-6 in overtime at Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2011, but they were shutout in the rematch.
Week 11, Nov. 10: Clemson at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
The ACC Atlantic is on the line as No. 2 Clemson visits No. 17 Boston College, and College GameDay will air from Chestnut Hill for the third time in program history. Boston College is 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the ACC, while Clemson is 9-0 overall and 6-0 in conference play.
Next to Alabama, Clemson has been one of the two best teams in college football yet again. Dabo Swinney has built an annual contender, and freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence has the offense rolling. Since surviving a 27-23 scare against Syracuse, the Tigers have defeated their last four opponents by a combined score of 240-36. They look unstoppable, but Boston College will be the best opponent they’ve faced all season.
The Eagles defeated both Miami and Virginia Tech by double digits in the last two weeks. While the Hurricanes and Hokies aren’t as good as many anticipated, that’s still an impressive feat for a team that hasn’t won more than seven games in a season in nearly a decade. Steve Addazio has won seven games in four of his five seasons, but this has the chance to be a special season for Boston College.
If the Eagles pull off the upset on Saturday, they would have to beat Florida State and Syracuse to win the division and possibly win the ACC. It’s a longshot considering they are 20-point underdogs against the Tigers. Clemson has won seven straight meetings against Boston College, and the last three wins have been by 17 points or more.
The last time GameDay appeared in Chestnut Hill was in 2009 when the Eagles hosted Florida State. Boston College is 1-1 when GameDay is on site, while Clemson is 11-7.
Week 12, Nov. 17: Cincinnati at UCF, Orlando, Florida
GameDay is taking a trip down south this Saturday to visit the team with the longest winning streak in college football. Undefeated UCF will host GameDay for the first time in school history as they host Cincinnati in an American Athletic Conference showdown.
The Knights have won 22 straight games and are sitting at 9-0 under first-year coach Josh Heupel after last year’s 13-0 season under Scott Frost. They’re just outside the top 10 in the playoff rankings, and they’re in prime position to play in another New Year’s Day bowl if they can run the table again.
However, they have to knock off Cincinnati in order to win the AAC East. The Bearcats have had an impressive season under Luke Fickell. Cincinnati finished 4-8 in Fickell’s first season, but they are 9-1 and have a chance to win a conference title this year.
UCF is a 7.5-point home favorite, and the total for the game is 58.5. Cincinnati and UCF have only met three times, and all three meetings have been since 2015. UCF leads the all-time series 2-1, and they have won the last two matchups. All three games have been decided by 21 points or more, including the Knights’ 51-23 blowout win a season ago. The two teams play a contrasting style of football as the Knights rely heavily on their offense, while Cincinnati is a more defensive-minded team.
The Knights are 0-1 when featured on GameDay, and this is the first time they will host the show. Cincinnati has never appeared on the program.
Week 13, Nov. 24: Michigan at Ohio State, Columbus, Ohio
GameDay is returning to the campus it has visited the most since the show began in 1987. Ohio State will host College GameDay for the 18th time in school history as Michigan comes to town for the biggest version of “The Game” since 2006.
When the 10-1 Wolverines and 10-1 Buckeyes meet on Saturday, a potential spot in the College Football Playoff is on the line. If Michigan wins out, they will almost certainly make the playoff field. Ohio State might need a bit more help after its embarrassing blowout loss at Purdue, but a win over Michigan would certainly put them back in the conversation.
As great and historic as this rivalry has been in the past, it’s been lopsided in recent years. Ohio State has won six straight meetings and 15 of the last 17. Jim Harbaugh’s team came close to pulling off the upset in 2016, but the Wolverines have fallen short far more often than not against the Buckeyes this century.
Michigan leads the all-time series 58-49-6, and they enter this matchup as a 4-point road favorite. This will be the 30th time the Wolverines have appeared on the program, and they are 15-14 all-time on GameDay. This will be the third time they’ve appeared on the show this year. They beat Wisconsin earlier in the season, and they lost on the road to Notre Dame to start the year.
The Buckeyes are tied with Alabama for the most appearances on GameDay in history with 43. Ohio State boasts an impressive 29-13 record on the program.
Week 14, Dec. 1: Alabama vs. Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia.
College GameDay is returning to Atlanta for a rematch of last year’s national championship game as Alabama takes on Georgia once again at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Tide and the Bulldogs are meeting for the SEC Championship Game, and at least one playoff berth is at stake.
Alabama is almost certainly going to make the playoffs regardless of whether they win or lose on Saturday. The Tide have done enough to prove they are one of the four best teams, so unless they’re blown out by Georgia, they will likely be in the playoffs for the fifth straight season.
The Bulldogs have to win to make the playoff field since they already have a loss entering this matchup. Georgia lost by three touchdowns to LSU earlier this year, and they are 11-1 on the season. If Georgia can pull off the upset, they will likely earn a spot in the field. It’s still not a guarantee they get in even with a win since there will be other one-loss teams in the mix such as Oklahoma and Ohio State, but a win over Alabama should be enough.
Alabama is currently a 13.5-point favorite over Georgia. This will be the 44th time Alabama has appeared on GameDay, which breaks a tie with Ohio State. The Buckeyes tied the Tide last week. Alabama is 28-15 all-time on GameDay, while Georgia is 6-14 in 20 appearances. Saturday’s game will kickoff at 4 p.m. ET on CBS.
Week 15, Dec. 8: Army vs. Navy, Philadelphia
For the fifth straight season, GameDay is closing out the regular season at the annual Army-Navy game. It’s one of the best atmospheres of the year for the program, and it’s a very passionate and emotional game.
Army is having one of its best seasons in recent school history, and they have an opportunity to win 10 games in the regular season for the first time since 1996.
Under Ken Niumatalolo, Navy has been successful program over the last decade. However, the Midshipmen have stumbled to a 3-9 campaign. It’s been a rebuilding year for Navy, but they could easily make up for all nine losses with a win over Army .
The Black Knights have won two straight in the series, but the Midshipmen still lead all-time, 60-51-7. Navy had won 14 straight games between 2002 and 2015, but Army is back on track. This will be the eighth time Army has appeared on GameDay, and they are 2-5 all-time on the show. Navy is 2-3 in five appearances on the program.
If the Black Knights win, they will take home their second consecutive Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy. Army defeated Air Force earlier this season. The game will air at 3 p.m. ET on CBS on Saturday.