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ESPN College GameDay passes on WSU-Stanford, heads to Temple-Notre Dame

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A 5-2 WSU against a highly ranked opponent wasn't enough for GameDay to visit Pullman.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After plenty of speculation that ESPN Gameday might be coming to Pullman for Washington State vs. Stanford on Halloween, the show will actually head to Philadelphia to see the undefeated Temple Owls host Notre Dame.

It's certainly a disappointment for Cougar fans, but GameDay's choice is no slouch. Temple has been a college football punchline for a long time, and this has been a dream season so far for them. Combine that with hosting one of the game's most storied programs, and that's not a terribly difficult choice to make.

But tip of the cap for making ESPN think about Pullman, and they certainly did. WSU was on a list of eight schools heading into the weekend, and perhaps a Temple loss would have sealed it for the Cougs, who have rattled off three-straight Pac-12 wins for the first time since 2003.

Additionally, it took ESPN much longer to make the announcement than usual, perhaps signaling that Pullman was a serious contender until the end, since Philadelphia would have been a relatively simple undertaking compared to traveling across the country to the smallest Power 5 town in the country.

The Ol' Crimson GameDay tradition started with that 2003 team, and it would have been a nice symmetry to see the show come to the Palouse this year. It's doubtful that ESPN will be interested in Arizona State or Colorado.

What's interesting is that GameDay producer Lee Fitting said it was "time to change priorities" to get to Pullman just a few weeks ago, when Ol' Crimson nearly didn't make it to the show in Tucson. Coming to WSU with a 5-2 squad hosting a playoff contender certainly wouldn't be that much of a priority change, but apparently it wasn't good enough to top Temple's story.

There's also the issue of logistics. GameDay's Kirk Herbstreit -- who also serves as an analyst for ESPN's premier game broadcast each week -- needed to get from Pullman to Philly for the 8 p.m. ET Temple-Notre Dame kick on ABC. It was doable, but that's a tough task, even with a charter jet.

But we do know Ol' Crimson will keep flying regardless. It hit its 171st straight show this weekend, and it will be there in Philadelphia, reminding ESPN of its choice, on Saturday.