Indiana football is 3-0, and could move to 4-0 this week when it faces Wake Forest. The Hoosiers shouldn’t overlook the Demon Deacons — this is a heated and historic rivalry game after all, and anything can happen in a rivalry.
But, should Indiana go to 4-0, ESPN has but one logical decision to make: send College Gameday to Bloomington for the Hoosiers’ Week 5 tilt with Ohio State.
The possibility is being kicked around, per a most reputable source.
ESPN GameDay producer Lee Fitting on Dan Dakich show says Indiana-OSU is up against Notre Dame-Clemson and Alabama-Georgia.
— Jeff Rabjohns (@JeffRabjohns) September 24, 2015
Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson immediately downplayed the possibility the moment rumblings started.
“First, you’ve gotta fill your stadium, which we haven’t played well enough to do,” Wilson said on his weekly radio show. “We actually blew all that up, because it’s a wasted conversation for our football team.”
Has there ever been more transparent reverse psychology? Wilson is laying down a thinly veiled challenge to the Indiana fan base — the same fan base that packs Assembly Hall even in down years — to make it out for the best Indiana football team in years. As for any Week 5 Gameday chatter, of course Wilson is going to stifle it ahead of Week 4.
This is all contingent on Indiana handling business against Wake Forest, after all.
Alas, the outlook isn’t particularly favorable, win or lose Week 4. Clemson and Georgia are attractive enough destinations, and each hosts a high-profile, history-rich opponent.
However, I posit because Clemson, Georgia, Alabama and Notre Dame are all so rich with college football history, Indiana is an even more attractive option for ESPN’s Saturday flagship program.
The aforementioned four, and specifically hosts Clemson and Georgia, will have plenty more opportunities to attract Gameday to their campuses. How often is Indiana even in the discussion? The Hoosiers haven’t even been to a bowl game since 2007, let alone in a position to host the national game of the week.
Certainly part of the allure of Indiana Week 5 is that it hosts defending national champion Ohio State, which might seem like a negative against bringing Gameday: mismatches don’t make for the most appealing showcases.
However, Indiana’s played Ohio State surprisingly tough in Kevin Wilson’s tenure. The 2012 contest — the last in Bloomington — came down to a final onside kick, with the Buckeyes escaping 52-49. The Bucks then needed a 21-point fourth quarter to hold off the Hoosiers a season ago.
The remote possibility of a seismic upset has to be appeal to Gameday producers, and similarly, venturing away from the usual cast of characters is appealing to me as a viewer.
Part of the attraction of College Gameday is seeing different campuses and the atmosphere at universities around the nation. The show’s deviated from traditional football powers in recent years, visiting North Dakota State twice. Fargo made for arguably the most memorable locale of the last two years. The show’s going a bit unorthodox this week with its visit to Tucson for the Arizona-UCLA game, so I have hope.
Also…EGREGIOUS OVERSIGHT ALERT!
@kensing45 you left out corso going back to bloomington!
— Matt d (@PSUMatt2005) September 24, 2015
This is a full-on, no-brainer, Bristol.
Should the Hoosiers beat Wake Forest this week, Gameday‘s Week 5 choice is obvious. Don’t make me start a Change.org petition, ESPN — even if it is the least frivolous petition set up there this week.