We’re still months away from the kick-off of the 2019 season but that doesn’t mean we can start making predictions and prognostications about it. That includes when and where ESPN’s college football flagship show will stop for a Big 12 game.
Gameday made two stops at Big 12 hosted games each of the last two seasons after not stopping in a single game involving a Big 12 team in 2016. Considering the conference making two straight appearances in the College Football Playoff and the cries of Texas finally being “back” it would be hard to see ESPN not make at least one appearance at a Big 12 game.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the five most likely match-ups for an appearance by Corso, Herbie, Davis, Howard, Pollock, and the rest of the crew.
Week 2 – LSU at Texas
Barring some insane upsets in week one (Texas vs. Louisiana Tech, LSU vs. Georgia Southern) this is likely to be a match-up of Top 10 teams with hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff. Plus, Big 12 vs. SEC.
The only other real challenger in week two is Texas A&M at Clemson, which was one of the best games of the season last year. But something about LSU heading to Austin, the personalities of Tom Herman and Ed Orgeron, and two programs trying to take the next step just feels like too much for Gameday to pass up.
Then again, Clemson.
Other options: Texas A&M @ Clemson, Stanford @ USC
Week 3 – Oklahoma at UCLA
It’s not the sexiest match-up, but there aren’t a lot of games I would categorize that way in week three. Oklahoma is going to be must-watch every week and on the road against Chip Kelley in year two could be really interesting.
A Top-10 team on the road in the Pac-12 against Chip Kelley who is trying to prove he can still be one of the best coaches in college football? That’s a solid match-up. Throw in OU trying to make it to the play-off for a third year in a row and Jalen Hurts and this feels like a good one for Gameday.
Then again, Stanford at UCF, if both teams are ranked, could be really good.
Other options: Clemson @ Syracuse, Stanford @ UCF, Arizona State @ Michigan State
Week 7 – Red River Shootout (OU vs. Texas)
Gameday was there last season. That won’t keep them from heading back down to Dallas again, especially if both teams are in the Top-10 and undefeated.
This game wasn’t relevant for nearly a decade other than being good for a Texas upset now and then. Now? This historic match-up has an impact on the national stage again. Texas looks the closest to being “back” as they have in a decade. Plus, considering the close games we’ve had the last three times these two teams have faced off, there’s no reason to think we won’t continue to see fantastic football.
Other options: USC @ Notre Dame, Florida @ LSU, Alabama @ Texas A&M, Florida State @ Clemson
Week 11 – Iowa State at Oklahoma
Hear me out. This all hinges one one belief; Iowa State will be the third best team in the Big 12 next season. Throw in the Iowa State upset two years ago and the close game last year, and this could be a really fun one.
No it’s not the sexiest match-up and it would require Iowa State to probably have no more than one loss, but, I do think there’s a chance here, especially if Gameday has yet to visit a Big 12 game.
Other options: LSU @ Alabama, Clemson @ NC State, FCS game
Week 12 – Texas at Iowa State
Let’s say Texas and Iowa State both beat OU, then this could be a fantastic match-up. Plus, it’s not like Gameday gets up to Ames, Iowa all that often. The crowd would be loud and packed, just like ESPN likes it.
Yes, it’s a longshot, but unless the Big 12 has someone unexpected team rise up — OSU, TCU or Baylor, I feel like the Sooners, Longhorns, and Cyclones are the three most likely
Other options: Georgia at Auburn, Alabama at Mississippi State, Michigan State at Michigan,
Let us hear what you think in the comments section.