College GameDay hasn’t been to a Big 12 campus in 27 “weeks”, but fans were hopeful that the streak would come to an end next week as TCU travels to Stillwater for what should be the highest ranked matchup of the week.
Well, those hopes were crushed on Thursday. GameDay announced that they will be headed to New York City instead. Wait, is there a game being played in New York City? That can’t be right…
Start spreading the news …
For the first time ever, we're headed to New York City next week! pic.twitter.com/VVhGw9vjwZ
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 14, 2017
Last season I wrote that College GameDay is shunning the Big 12. How else do you explain the ESPN flagship program traveling to Western Michigan for a showdown with 2-8 Buffalo over a top 15 matchup against Oklahoma and West Virginia last season? Not to mention that the Big 12 was the only Power 5 conference not to receive a visit in 2016.
So we reached out to ESPN for some answers, and as it turns out Stillwater never really had much of a chance to host the show to begin with. Well, at least not in week four. That’s because, as ESPN Senior Director of Communications Kerri Potts explained to us, hosting a show in New York City takes several weeks of planning, so they have been committed to the location for some time.
“GameDay never claims to be at the biggest game of the week,” Kerri explained. “We are careful to always make the distinction that we are at the biggest story of the week. It provides more flexibility and has allowed for some really special shows like twice from Fargo, ND and also from Kalamazoo for Western Michigan, which was undefeated and vying for a New Year’s Six bowl bid as a Non-Power 5 conference team. We’ve visited James Madison, Harvard, and Division III Williams College through the past few seasons.
“We’ve looked at New York City for several years, and to secure a space in NYC takes many weeks of planning, and this was the date picked long ago.
“We’ve visited Big 12 campuses many times throughout our 25 seasons of GameDay on the road and will visit many more.”
Truthfully, that makes a lot of sense. There are permits that need to be filed, streets that will need to be closed or restricted, security to work out and a host of logistical issues that make hosting a show in New York City more complicated than hosting on your average college campus.
So is ESPN shunning the Big 12? No. GameDay will return to Big 12 territory in the future. Will it be this season? Who knows. There will be some compelling matchups, but there will also be stiff competition from around the college football world the rest of those weeks. Week four may have been the conference’s best shot at hosting GameDay, but as it turns out, they didn’t have much of a chance at all. Sometimes, you’re just unlucky.
Here’s a look at some of the most anticipated Big 12 games along with other high-profile matchups of that week.
|Big 12 Games||The Competition|
|Week 6||WVU at 20 TCU||17 MIA at 11 FSU
12 LSU at 24 FLOR
|Week 7||TEX vs 2 OU
20 TCU at 18 KSU
|15 AUB at 12 LSU|
|Week 8||2 OU at 18 KSU||23 TENN at 1 BAMA
7 MICH at 5 PSU
14 LOU at 11 FSU
|Week 9||9 OKST at WVU||25 UCLA at 6 WASH
5 PSU at 8 OSU
|Week 10||2 OU at 9 OKST||12 LSU at 1 BAMA|
|Week 11||20 TCU at 2 OU||6 WASH at 19 STAN
11 FSU at 3 CLEM
13 UGA at 15 AUB
|Week 12||18 KSU at 9 OKST||25 UCLA at 4 USC
7 MICH at 10 WISC
12 LSU at 23 TENN
|Week 13||WVU at 2 OU||1 BAMA at 15 AUB
21 WSU at 6 WASH
11 FSU at 24 FLOR
8 OSU at 7 MICH