ESPN College GameDay is headed to USC for the Trojans’ game against Nebraska on Saturday. This pretty much confirms the theory voiced by my friend Nick over the weekend, that GameDay this season is going to heavily favor ABC’s Saturday-night games. If ESPN was objectively assessing the “biggest” game of the weekend, I think it’s fairly clear that #2 Notre Dame vs. #11 Michigan or #3 Auburn vs. #6 LSU would be more logical choices than #4 USC vs. #19 Nebraska. You could also make a case for #7 Florida vs. #13 Tennessee, though that case got somewhat weaker when the Vols almost lost to Air Force on Saturday. (I think the lyrics were changed for one week to: “Good old Rocky Top… Whew!… Rocky Top, Tennessee!”)
Anyway, it’s cool that the show is going to USC; this is, what, the fourth* time now since 2004, after never going there before? And, don’t get me wrong, it definitely has the potential to be a good game — but it’s disappointing that GameDay’s location of choice is now apparently going to become so predictable, and not necessarily tied to what’s the biggest, most hyped, most anticipated game of the week, which Trojans-Huskers definitely isn’t (outside of Lincoln and L.A., anyway). It was such a fun parlor game to guess where Kirk, Corso & co. would be going; now, not so much. Oh well.
That said, in terms of picking a game next Saturday, you really can’t lose, as ESPN’s College Football Final points out:
The most fun part of this season…might be watching other teams [in addition to Ohio State] try to remain unscathed, as Notre Dame and the major-conference powers slug it out over the next 12 weeks. And that fun begins this coming Saturday with six games between undefeated, ranked teams. On paper, it looks like the most exciting weekend of the season.
Personally, I think that if USC and Notre Dame are both undefeated on November 25, that game will single-handedly make Thanksgiving weekend the most exciting of the season. :) But anyway, here’s the schedule for what ESPN is already calling “Showdown Saturday.”
P.S. Incidentally, the new polls are out, and the Top 5 looks just as I predicted: OSU-ND-Auburn-USC-WVU in the AP poll, OSU-USC-ND-Auburn-WVU in the coaches poll. Texas drops to #8. Penn State, previously #19, drops to #25 in the AP poll and #26 (i.e., first in the “others receiving votes”) in the coaches’ poll.