Rewind to August 2019 and tell yourself Minnesota, Memphis, South Dakota State, and Iowa State will host College GameDay during the 2019 college football season. And Alabama won't host ESPN's flagship program, nor will Oklahoma, Auburn, Michigan, Wisconsin or other GameDay mainstays.
Where will College GameDay go in 2020? Predictions for each week:
Notre Dame vs. Navy – Dublin, Ireland
College GameDay's first international show was announced in October. It will be the second straight season with a neutral-site opener, following last year's Week 0 show in Orlando (Florida vs. Miami).
Other options: None
Alabama vs. USC – Arlington, Texas
Like 2019, unfortunately, it's hard to see ESPN passing on back-to-back neutral-site games to open the season. If Urban Meyer (or another high-profile name) was coaching the Trojans, this would be one of the biggest no-brainer GameDay selections of all time. Nonetheless, it's the heavy favorite for Week 1.
Other options: North Dakota State at Oregon, Michigan at Washington
Ohio State at Oregon – Eugene, Ore.
Last year's LSU-Texas game was the novelty game of the 2019 season. This year, it's Ohio State at Oregon. ESPN will get heat for passing on the reigning national champs but the Buckeyes' trip to Eugene — their second ever and first since 1967 — is too delectable to pass up.
Other options: Texas at LSU, Tennessee at Oklahoma, Penn State at Virginia Tech
Georgia at Alabama – Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Because of the SEC's stupid scheduling model, Alabama and Georgia haven't played in the regular season since 2015 and haven't met in Tuscaloosa since 2007.
They haven't played in Tuscaloosa since 2007! It'll be GameDay's second visit to Alabama in as many years and 11th visit since 2007.
Other options: Florida State at Boise State, Auburn at Ole Miss, USC at Stanford
Oklahoma at Army – West Point, N.Y.
Instead of going to Baton Rouge for Ole Miss-LSU, GameDay opts for their second-ever visit (first since 2003) to West Point. Army hosts Oklahoma for the first time ever as they finish the second half of a home-and-home series.
Other options: Ole Miss at LSU, Wisconsin at Michigan
Texas A&M at Mississippi State – Starkville, Miss.
There's a good chance both Texas A&M and Mississippi State will be 4-0 entering Week 5. If so (and if Ole Miss, who hosts Alabama, isn't undefeated), GameDay is a lock for Mike Leach's first notable home game.
Other options: Alabama at Ole Miss, Texas A&M at Mississippi State, Washington at Oregon, Penn State at Michigan, Illinois State at North Dakota State, William & Mary at James Madison, Montana at Eastern Washington
Texas vs. Oklahoma – Dallas, Texas
GameDay went to the Cotton Bowl in 2008, 2009, and 2011, but didn't return until 2018. Thanks to Texas' mediocrity, the Red River Shootout has been a GameDay gamble for most of the last decade. Even in a loaded Week 6, it's the best gamble.
Other options: Clemson at Florida State, LSU at Florida, Auburn at Georgia, Stanford at Notre Dame, Minnesota at Wisconsin
South Dakota State at North Dakota State – Fargo, N.D.
Let's roll the dice and predict a mediocre Week 7 FBS slate leads to NDSU's first GameDay since 2014. ESPN featured Bison-Jackrabbits last year, though that game was in Brookings. If Minnesota and Michigan are both undefeated, GameDay probably visits Minneapolis for the second straight year. Same goes for Mississippi State-Alabama and Florida-Ole Miss.
Other options: Michigan at Minnesota, Mississippi State at Alabama, Florida at Ole Miss, Washington at Utah, Texas A&M at Auburn
Ohio State at Penn State – University Park, Pa.
Rarely does GameDay feature the same matchup in back-to-back seasons, let alone three straight seasons…or FOUR straight seasons, which would be the case if they visit Penn State for a potential playoff-impacting matchup in Week 8. Still, without a Delorean at our disposal, it's the smart bet right now.
Other options: Mississippi State at LSU, Alabama at Tennessee, Stanford at Oregon, Youngstown State at North Dakota State
Nebraska at Ohio State – Columbus, Ohio
I don't know how this happened and, frankly, don't want it to happen.
Nebraska has shown nothing to suggest they will navigate the first six games of their 2020 schedule without several losses. If they're at least 5-1, GameDay could pick Nebraska-Ohio State for the second straight season. And for the second straight season, Nebraska will get throttled and leave us wondering why GameDay picked that game.
Other options: Oklahoma at TCU, Washington at Cal, Oregon at Arizona, UAB at Louisiana Tech, Virginia Tech at Louisville, Maine at James Madison, Southern Utah at Montana
Clemson at Notre Dame – Notre Dame, Ind.
Flip a coin between Clemson-Notre Dame and Alabama-LSU. I think ESPN goes north because while they did feature the matchup in Clemson in 2015, they haven't featured the matchup at Notre Dame Stadium, where Clemson hasn't visited since 2015.
Other options: Alabama at LSU, Ole Miss at Texas A&M, USC at Oregon, Air Force at Army
North Texas at UAB – Birmingham, Ala.
Let's take another shot: GameDay passes on several good-not-great Week 11 matchups (and North Dakota State if they didn't visit Fargo earlier in the season) for the first-ever trip to UAB.
Birmingham has actually hosted GameDay three times, though all three (1994, 1995, 1996) were Alabama games.
Other options: Washington at USC, TCU at Texas, Michigan State at Penn State, North Dakota at North Dakota State
LSU at Auburn – Auburn, Ala.
We're deep into "if these teams are good…" territory and there's no exception here. If LSU and Auburn are in the playoff race, Auburn should host GameDay for just the second time since 2013. If not, it'd be cool to feature the Brawl of the Wild in Missoula.
Other options: Texas A&M at Alabama, Iowa State at Texas, Louisville at Notre Dame, Oregon at Washington State, Montana State at Montana
Auburn at Alabama – Tuscaloosa, Ala.
ESPN passed on the Iron Bowl in both 2018 and 2019. Will they pass again in 2020? Will at least one team be in the playoff hunt? What if both Michigan and Ohio State are alive?
Other options: Notre Dame at USC, Oregon at Oregon State, Wisconsin at Iowa, Michigan at Ohio State, LSU at Texas A&M
Army vs. Navy – Philadelphia, Pa.
After a flip-a-coin conference championship visit in Week 14, there's no reason to believe ESPN won't be in Philadelphia for the 121st Army-Navy game. GameDay has broadcasted from Army-Navy in each of the last seven years.