Where will ESPN College GameDay go Dec. 4 for college football Week 14? Top 5 sites ranked
ESPN "College GameDay" is headed to an Ohio State game for a second consecutive week. This time, it's the Buckeyes vs. the Michigan Wolverines.
The show will broadcast from Ann Arbor, Michigan, for The Game for the first time since 2007, according to the NCAA.
Looming is championship weekend, which only includes nine FBS games on Saturday. For the final time this college football season, I'll try to guess the "College GameDay" destination, but with matchups in flux, it's more tricky than normal.
ESPN won't announce the site of "College GameDay" until less than a week before the next show, so I'm here to help football fans get prepared and know where "College GameDay" may go Dec. 4 for college football Week 14.
I have no inside information from ESPN. These predictions are based on "College GameDay" site selection patterns exhibited during the show's last two decades.
If a team loses during Week 13, a site is likely to drop in consideration. ESPN "College GameDay" airs each Saturday morning during the college football season from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. CT on ESPN and ESPNU.
Top Choice: No. 4 Cincinnati vs. No. 16 Houston football in AAC Championship
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, or Houston, Texas
Game time, TV: 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 4; ABC
Why "College GameDay" will choose Cincinnati vs. Houston in AAC Championship: The show has never been to the AAC Championship, and it'd be a great year to change that. The AAC Championship gets the edge over the Big 12, because the AAC title game is on campus while the Big 12 is at a neutral field. Of championship games broadcast by Disney-owned networks, this is the one with the highest ranked team. Plus, the only time "College GameDay" went to a Houston Cougars game was in 2011, and Houston is having a special season to celebrate.
Why "College GameDay" won't choose Cincinnati vs. Houston in AAC Championship: The show already went to Cincinnati this season on Nov. 6, and it was in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 20. Three trips to Ohio in five weeks could be a deterrent.
Runner-up: Big 12 Championship with No. 7 Oklahoma State vs. No. 9 Oklahoma or No. 10 Baylor
Location: Arlington, Texas
Game time, TV: 11 a.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 4; ABC
Why "College GameDay" will choose the Big 12 Championship: The show has not been to the Big 12 Championship since 2007, when Oklahoma beat Missouri. Plus, the show has yet to go to an Oklahoma State or Baylor game this season. Add that with the ACC title game (the only night game on a Disney-owned network) meaningless for the College Football Playoff, Kirk Herbstreit probably needs to be at the game he's going to broadcast. "College GameDay" already went to Cincinnati this year, so the Big 12 has an argument for attracting the show.
Why "College GameDay" won't choose the Big 12 Championship: It's a neutral site, and going to the AAC for a campus site is better than a neutral site. But if Cincinnati loses to East Carolina, this game is waiting.
Choice No. 3: No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 2 Alabama football in SEC Championship
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Game time, TV: 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 4; CBS
Why "College GameDay" will choose Georgia vs. Alabama football in SEC Championship: This game has the biggest stakes across the country, because an Alabama win could set the SEC up for two spots in the College Football Playoff while a Georgia win could eliminate Alabama from the CFP.
Why "College GameDay" won't choose Georgia vs. Alabama football in SEC Championship: Though the stakes are high, the game is on CBS, and that means Kirk Herbstreit needs to head to another game to broadcast — likely the AAC or the Big 12. For Herbstreit to broadcast the Big 12 title game that starts at 11 a.m. CT, "College GameDay" has to be there, and it'd be logistically tough to get Herbstreit from Atlanta to Cincinnati in less than four hours for a 3 p.m. CT AAC title game.
Choice No. 4: Appalachian State vs. No. 23 Louisiana in Sun Belt Championship
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Game time, TV: 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 4; ESPN
Records entering Week 13: Louisiana is 10-1 overall, 7-0 Sun Belt; Appalachian State is 9-2 overall, 6-1 Sun Belt
Why "College GameDay" will choose Appalachian State vs. Louisiana in Sun Belt Championship: Louisiana head coach Billy Napier is rumored for nearly every major head coach opening, and maybe the show wants to be there to get the scoop on where he'll land. The Sun Belt title game is on campus, and that puts it ahead of this year's Big Ten title game for me.
Why "College GameDay" won't choose Appalachian State vs. Louisiana in Sun Belt Championship: I'd probably faint if "College GameDay" chose the Sun Belt title game over the AAC, Big 12 and SEC title games. Those games have College Football Playoff stakes, and the Sun Belt does not.
Choice No. 5: Jackson State vs. Prairie View A&M in SWAC Championship
Location: Jackson, Mississippi
Game time, TV: 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 4; ESPN2
Records entering Week 13: Jackson State is 10-1 overall, 8-0 SWAC; Prairie View A&M is 7-3 overall, 6-1 SWAC
Why "College GameDay" will choose Jackson State vs. Prairie View A&M in SWAC Championship: Deion Sanders. Do I need to say anything else? What a show Prime Time would bring to ESPN. Plus, it's another title game with an on-campus game.
Why "College GameDay" won't choose Jackson State vs. Prairie View A&M in SWAC Championship: It's unlikely the show's options go past No. 3 on this list, because either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State will be a one-loss team in the Big 12 title game playing for a spot in the CFP. But wow, would it be fun to see the JSU Tigers get this kind of spotlight.
Here's more college football news:
- Will Anderson:On 'College GameDay,' Kirk Herbstreit says he'd vote Will Anderson for the Heisman Trophy
- SEC Nation:Where are 'SEC Nation,' 'Marty & McGee' going for college football Week 13? The Iron Bowl
- Auburn, Alabama football:Charles Barkley disappointed in Bo Nix for comments about SEC officials favoring Alabama
"College GameDay" is hosted by Rece Davis and includes analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, David Pollack and Lee Corso.
Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik.