First thing's first. I know we’ve talked about this very topic before, and to some of you it may be a tired one. I completely understand. The College Gameday trope has mostly run its course if you ask me. What do I mean by that? At this point, there have been so many teasers from so many people that I’m tired of leaping off the porch and chasing that stick. Don’t tell me how badly you want to visit Pullman, ESPN employees. Just tell me when you’ll be there and I’ll do my best to meet you.
That said, hey everybody let’s talk about whether or not the Cougs have a shot at hosting college football’s premier pregame show this season! The gang over at Awful Announcing dragged me back in to this vortex earlier this week, and there was some WSU flavor sprinkled in. As you might expect after looking at the schedule, WSU’s best shot was rendered moot when the USC game landed on a Friday.
Week 5: Northwestern at Wisconsin Other possibilities: Clemson at Virginia Tech, Georgia at Tennessee This week would have been the perfect opportunity for GameDay to visit Pullman, WA, for the very first time in advance of USC at Washington State, but that game is tragically scheduled for Friday night.
The Cougs are in the “others receiving votes” category for a couple other weekends as well. One comes relatively early, when Boise State visits Pullman in Week Two. The problem? Well, a couple relatively obscure programs with little to no history also face off that week when Oklahoma visits Ohio State.
Do I think the Gameday gang would head to Pullman instead of Columbus? Well, I think there is a better-than-zero shot, and here’s why: Ohio State is going to be really good this year. Penn State should be pretty good, too. The Nittany Lions visit Columbus in Week Nine, so Gameday has at least one other shot at a marquee game in the stadium that used to be a horseshoe but isn’t anymore.
The bigger obstacle that weekend is the fact that there are some other really enticing matchups that could divert the show’s attention, such as Auburn at Clemson (Clemson also has a great shot down the road when FSU visits), Georgia at Notre Dame and Stanford at USC. I’d say WSU’s chance to host Gameday against Boise State is between 5-10%.
Of course, this
will would be rendered moot if when WSU wets the bed against a Big Sky opponent in the opener.
Awful Announcing also lists WSU as a possibility for Week 10, but if they have a slim shot in Week Two, their chances in Week 10 are infinitesimal. The Cougs host Stanford that week. You might remember Stanford at WSU as the contest for which Gameday should have come to Pullman in 2015. Either way, WSU’s chances are really low on this weekend because LSU visits Alabama and Oklahoma heads to Stillwater.
The only other game that would have a better-than-zero chance is Colorado on October 21, but both teams would need to have one loss or fewer for it to happen, and that’s a long shot in and of itself.
As I see it, the Boise State game is far and away WSU’s best shot this season, but it will take an opening win (probably by a lot), and a demonstration of whether the suits at Gameday are truly willing to put their money where their mouths are. While former producer Lee Fitting said it was time for a “shift in priorities” after the great Ol’ Crimson scare of 2015, the big orange bus has yet to make its way to the Palouse. If it’s going to happen this season, ESPN needs to make in happen in Week Two.
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