From 2009-11 ESPN's College GameDay visited college football's Group of Five campuses four times. Since then, only Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the USS San Diego have had the honor. With two G5 programs currently ranked, could Desmond Howard, Lee Korso, Kirk Herbstreit and Reece Davis come calling?
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ESPN's College GameDay has become one of the premier live shows in all of sports. With a raucous crowd serving as a backdrop and the fervor of Saturday college football the main entree, there is probably no better way to spend a Saturday morning.
Over the years, ESPN has traversed the country. They've done the show from some unique places in this, their 26th year of the show. Somehow, though, they have drifted away from the majority of the college football programs designated in the Group of Five. Every week the GameDay crew seems to touch down in Tuscaloosa, South Bend, Ann Arbor, or one of the premier college football towns. Last year, however, they flipped the script and went to James Madison, and there might be another FCS program this season.
Here are five Group of Five schools who may get their name called in 2018.
The Knights currently own the longest win streak in FBS college football. It's very possible both schools could be undefeated headed into their American showdown. Never mind the actual game, however, imagine the atmosphere. Get those guys up on a podium with Beale Street in the background, eating Memphis barbecue and letting the soul of the city do the rest. Can you imagine an Elvis impersonator up there with Lee Korso's making picks and sending the former coach into a frenzy.
Combine a game of two undefeated G5 teams, the atmosphere with the music of Memphis and you may have yourself an all-time GameDay broadcast.
These two programs may lack the star power of some of the usual names that headline the broadcast, but there may be no finer place to watch a football game than Boone, North Carolina, and Kidd Brewer Stadium. This choice is more due to a lack of big games that weekend. Outside of Michigan-Michigan State and Oklahoma-TCU, the college football slate is in dire need of something to get a buzz going.
Boone has it, and a program that has been consistently winning for a very long time, and since joining the FBS and the Sun Belt, has won or shared the conference title every year.
BYU at Boise State
Two games that fit the bill late in the season in week 10 are locations that would absolutely crush the GameDay experience. Boise, Idaho, is consistently ranked one of the best college towns in the country. This season, Brian Harsin has the Broncos thinking New Year's Six berth.
It's absolutely a travesty that the winningest program in college football this century has only once hosted College GameDay, back in 2010. With a possible top ten ranking on the horizon (should they beat Oklahoma State in Stillwater in week three) there might be no better time to visit than when BYU comes to town.
While the Army-Navy game gets love, not much attention is shown towards the other armed services rivalry game. There's never a bad time to shine a light on the sacrifices the men and women of the Air Force and Army. The Air Force Academy leads the Group of Five in College GameDay visits on campus, but the last time was in 2009. Only once has the crew been to West Point. Sounds like it is time for another round.
Cincinnati – UCF
It's actually quite shocking that Central Florida has not been featured on College GameDay. The campus is in Orlando, home of Disney World. ESPN would have a field day on its home turf, not only featuring the college and its campus, but also the headquarters for its parent company.
This late in the season, Central Florida could be looking at a second-straight undefeated season and possibly a spot in the College Football Playoff. If that were to be the case, they would earn the right for College GameDay to come down and give the 2017
National Champions Peach Bowl winners what they have earned.