Amidst the frustration following Saturday’s loss to BYU, as if I wasn’t down enough, it occurred to me that College Gameday probably would not be coming to Seattle for the Nebraska game in week 3. Before the season began, there were rumblings that if Nebraska and Washington could handle their first two opponents, College Gameday would be very enticed by a week 3 matchup between NU and UW, especially if both teams were ranked. However, after losing to BYU, the Huskies will not be ranked heading into the Nebraska game, even if they throttle Syracuse. So can we officially cross UW off the possible week 3 sites to host Gameday? As Lee Corso would say, not so fast my friend! Working in Washington’s favor is a relatively weak slate of games in week 3, of which I’ve narrowed the list to 5 possibilities.
1—Clemson at (21) Auburn
This does not exactly scream game of the week, and I doubt it will be, but Clemson may be ranked by next week, and Auburn has a nice team. College Gameday loves those SEC crowds, and this one is already set for a 7pm ET kickoff, but ultimately there are better games to choose from.
2—Florida (8) at Tennessee
The annual week 3 rivalry is usually about as marquee as it gets, but the Vols are really down this year, and this game doesn’t have the luster it normally does. If Oregon beats up on Tennessee this weekend, I highly doubt Gameday will choose Rocky Top for it’s next host, especially given how many more great SEC matchups will present itself as the year goes on.
3—Iowa (9) at Arizona
Both Arizona and Iowa have easy games in week 2, so this will certainly be a matchup of 2-0 teams. Arizona also may be ranked at this point, and Nick Foles is a player the nation needs to see, but Tucson hosted College Gameday just last season, which probably decreases the likelihood of returning so soon. Still, this is a top 3 game in week 3 to be sure.
4—Arkansas (14) at Georgia (22)
A hesiman contender, SEC matchup, two ranked opponents—this game has a lot that Gameday looks for. But as mentioned, good SEC matchups are a dime a dozen, and if Gameday wants to see Ryan Mallett and Arkansas, why not wait one more week until they host #1 Alabama, or in week 5 vs. Texas A&M, or week 6 at Auburn? Georgia also has a ton of big games, most notably in week 9 against Florida. This is a contender to be sure, but there are better opportunities down the road for Gameday to consider. Also, if Georgia stumbles at South Carolina in week 2, this game is likely out of the running.
5—Nebraska (6) at Washington
It’s hard to believe that since College Gameday hit the road with their game of the week format, Montlake has never hosted the prime time affair. UW has been the road team in just 3 Gameday contests; ’98 at Nebraska,’02 at Michigan, and ’03 at Ohio State. The Gameday crew has made mention of their desire to do a game at Washington, and this seems like the perfect opportunity. Locker’s heisman hype may have taken a hit last week, but he is still pegged to be the top pick in the NFL draft. Throw in the Sarkisian era in year 2, Pete Carroll coaching in the same town, and a Huskies-Huskers matchup that has history, and you have a load of storylines that ESPN would love to cover. UW won’t be a top 25 team by week 3, but Nebraska is ranked 6th, and after the well documented USC upset last year, this game has upset special written all over it.
Andrew brings up a good point about Notre Dame at Michigan State being a possible big game in week 3, especially if ND can handle Michigan at home this weekend. Kickoff is 8pm ET in East Lansing, a natural time slot for Gameday to partner with ABC’s Saturday Night Football.
To recap, this weekend root for Michigan over Notre Dame, South Carolina over Georgia, Oregon over Tennessee, and of course Washington over Syracuse! If these chips fall in place, Gameday in Seattle may be a reality.