The football edition of College GameDay is a unique entity in sports. Most have pregame shows, some of which are pretty popular. However, the Emmy-winning GameDay is basically unrivaled as a must-watch lead-in to college football Saturday. For the upcoming season, we have some very strong 2018 College GameDay location possibilities as well.
Every week, Lee Corso, Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, and the crew head to a different game site. Usually it is on a campus, and that always makes for the best atmosphere, although with the rash of huge neutral site games to start the year, we’ve seen plenty of those as well. There will likely be a mix this season once again.
Going through the schedule for the upcoming season, we’ve predicted the location for every weekend of the 2018 College GameDay slate.
Obviously, this is often determined by how teams play during the year. GameDay also tends to throw a curveball or two throughout the season. Here are our best guesses for the 2018 College GameDay schedule.
Week 1: Notre Dame vs. Michigan (Sept. 1)
Notre Dame and Michigan meet for the first time since 2014. We often don’t have splashy non-conference games like this. Of course, this game will be broadcast on NBC, which could lead ESPN to choosing something like Alabama-Louisville in Orlando, but that is not nearly as enticing an option for the fans. Let’s hope they make the call and head to South Bend to kick off the 2018 College GameDay season.
Week 1: Florida State vs. Virginia Tech (Sept. 3)
Last season, we got double College GameDay for Week 1, with episodes ahead of the Saturday slate, and the Monday night game. Assuming we get the same again, GameDay will be on hand for Willie Taggart’s first game at Florida State against Virginia Tech.
Week 2: Texas A&M vs. Clemson (Sept. 8)
The Aggies and Tigers have only faced off four times in history, with the last games coming in a 2004-05 home-and-home. It will be really cool to see the 2016 National Champions heading to Kyle Field, to face a coach that they are very familiar with: new A&M head man Jimbo Fisher.
Week 3: TCU vs. Ohio State (Sept. 15, Arlington, TX)
After a home-and-home with Oklahoma over the last two years, Ohio State gets another prominent Big 12 opponent early in the season. This year, it is Gary Patterson’s TCU Horned Frogs at Jerry World. The two sides haven’t played since 1973.
Week 4: Oregon vs. Stanford (Sept. 22)
After two Group of Five teams and an FCS opponent to start the year, Oregon gets its first big test of the Mario Cristobal era in Week 4. This could also prove to be one of the most important match-ups of the Pac-12 season.
Week 5: Penn State vs. Ohio State (Sept. 29)
Penn State vs. Ohio State has probably be the most important game in the Big Ten over the last two years. That could certainly prove to be the case once again, with both of these programs eyeing the College Football Playoff.
Week 6: Oklahoma vs. Texas (Oct. 6, Dallas, TX)
Oklahoma and Texas face off at the Texas State Fair every year. This season, the Sooners are coming off of a College Football Playoff appearance, and both teams’ exciting young coaches are heading into year two. There’s a lot of juice for this one as a potential 2018 College GameDay site.
Week 7: LSU vs. Georgia (Oct. 13)
LSU has a tough early slate, but if it enters this one undefeated or with one loss, this could be a signature moment of Ed Orgeron’s Tigers program.
Week 8: Michigan State vs. Michigan (Oct. 20)
There’s a chance that ESPN avoids doing an event at Michigan State. Taking away those concerns, this is a solid rivalry that has had some incredibly memorable games in recent years. Jim Harbaugh has caught flack for struggling against Michigan’s main two rivals; a win here could do a lot for the Wolverines.
Week 9: Florida State vs. Clemson (Oct. 27)
These two teams have carried the banner for the ACC for years now. Willie Taggart draws Clemson at home in his first year, with the chance to land a huge signature home win. If FSU gets off to a hot start, the atmosphere in Tallahassee will be fantastic.
Week 10: Michigan vs. Penn State (Nov. 3)
We’ve featured Michigan on the road twice. Now, we have GameDay heading to The Big House for Week 10. Michigan hosts Penn State in a massive Big Ten East match-up.
Week 11: Georgia vs. Auburn (Nov. 10)
Last year, Auburn handed Georgia its only regular season loss in this rivalry match-up. The Bulldogs got revenge in the SEC Championship. Once again, College Football Playoff hopes could hinge on this great cross-division battle.
Week 12: UCLA vs. USC (Nov. 17)
With the SEC taking the week off, and a lack of great games elsewhere, it’s a good excuse for GameDay to head back out West. Here, we get Chip Kelly’s first Victory Bell battle with USC. There’s never a bad reason to go to the Rose Bowl.
Week 13: Alabama vs. Auburn (Nov. 24)
The debate for Week 13 is always Ohio State vs. Michigan or the Iron Bowl. It’s hard to go wrong between those two, but Alabama and Auburn probably projects as the more competitive match-up, at least at this point in the year. Last season, Auburn got the win, but Alabama captured the ultimate prize in the College Football Playoff. The game returns to Tuscaloosa in 2018.
Week 14: SEC Championship (Dec. 1, Atlanta, GA)
This usually comes down to the SEC or the Big Ten. If the favored match-up of Alabama vs. Georgia comes to fruition, the SEC will be the choice. It’d be nearly impossible for ESPN to pick against a national title rematch for the second-to-last 2018 College GameDay regular season episode.
Week 15: Army-Navy Game (Dec. 8, Philadelphia, PA)
The Army-Navy Game has stood alone on the schedule for a few years now, and for good reason. After years of Navy dominance, Army has pulled close upsets for two straight years. The last four Army-Navy Games have been one-score affairs. This is always a good watch, and with GameDay on hand, it adds to the already vaunted atmosphere even more.