It might not feel like it in these early summer days, but college football will be back sooner than you think. With that, comes all the traditions, and that includes ESPN’s College Gameday.
Yes, Gameday has become a staple for the college football season. Every Saturday for three months, we get the tradition of watching hundreds of screaming fans hold up pop culture relevant signs, while Lee Corso wears a mascot head.
However, not every school gets to partake in the fun that comes with having a College Gameday. Obviously, California turned down the opportunity (and we don’t know when). Believe it or not, there are at least a dozen Power 5 schools that have never hosted a College Gameday. Here are a few of those schools:
2016 Record: 4-8 (2-6 in conference)
Thoughts: While it’s never hosted College Gameday, Syracuse has made two appearances on the program as the opponent of former Big East foes. Coincidentally, both instances happened during the Paul Pasqualoni era. Fun times!
How do they get on Gameday: With Dino Babers in charge, the Syracuse offense can only get better from here. They showed a few signs of improvement offensively in 2016.
However, they only scored nine points in the loss to Wake Forest. So maybe the improvement is overstated on my part.
Unfortunately, Syracuse has to hit the road for all their match-ups against the heavy hitters (i.e. LSU, Florida State, Louisville). The Clemson game is on a Friday night and I can’t see ESPN getting excited about a Syracuse-Pitt Gameday remote, unless the two teams combine to score 137 again. Sorry Syracuse, try again later!
Iowa State Cyclones
Conference: Big 12
2016 Record: 3-9 overall (2-7 in conference)
Thoughts: Here’s some food for thought: Iowa State has never had a 10-win season. The Cyclones won 11 games in their last four seasons combined, and are 3-9 in bowls. It doesn’t exactly take a rocket scientist to see why Iowa State has never hosted College Gameday.
ISU hasn’t even been a worthy opponent to make an appearance. And what is there even to do in Ames? Well…
How do they get on Gameday: Honestly, unless ESPN is covering the CyHawk game, I can’t see how Iowa State gets featured on Gameday this season or any other time in the future. This year’s CyHawk game would be tough, anyway; Ohio State and Oklahoma play later that night.
Hell, Washington State/Boise State would be far more compelling than El Assico.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
2016 Record: 2-10 (0-9 in conference)
Thoughts: Truth be told, there were several B1G teams we could have chosen, including Illinois and Maryland. For this instance, it was important to go with New York City’s beloved B1G team.
It’s hard to talk about a team that won just two games in 2016. The Scarlet Knights gave up 58 to Ohio State and 78 to Michigan in back-to-back weeks.
If that’s not enough, they gave up 49 to Michigan State, which, by the way, was Sparty’s only B1G win last season. It’s rough being the State University of New Jersey.
How do they get on Gameday: Rutgers has never hosted or appeared as an opponent on Gameday. It’s going to take a lot, to be honest. Rutgers wasn’t even a possibility, even during the peaks with Greg Schiano as head coach.
Maybe they can go undefeated into the Ohio State game. However, that involves beating Washington at home and Nebraska on the road.
Washington State Cougars
2016 Record: 8-5 (7-2 in conference)
Thoughts: You would’ve thought Washington State had hosted College Gameday by now. The Cougars appeared twice, but never has Pullman gotten the opportunity to host. How? I mean, the Washington State flag is one of the College Gameday traditions.
How do they get on Gameday: It has to happen for the Cougars at some point, right? I joked earlier that Washington State/Boise State was a more compelling Gameday remote than Iowa State/Iowa and I remain firmly committed to that belief (even though it will end up being Ohio State/Oklahoma).
A lot has to work out in the Pac-12 if Washington State is going to be a host this season. Can Stanford and Colorado be potential playoff contenders to justify a Gameday in Pullman? The Cardinal’s visit to the Palouse on Halloween 2015 was a contender, but lost out to Notre Dame at Temple.
Quality options come to Martin Stadium, but Washington State has to hold up its end of the bargain. I think you get the point.
Obviously, this is an abridged version; not every Power Five without a Gameday to its credit made the breakdown. I just really didn’t want to think up potential reasons as to why Virginia, Kansas or Indiana should host a Gameday in 2017.