Earlier this week, College GameDay producer Lee Fitting tweeted the following:
This year, @CollegeGameDay will broadcast from a location that we've never been to before. Always fun.
— Lee Fitting (@leefitting) May 28, 2014
While we don’t know where that location will be just yet, it got people guessing as to where it might be. It got us thinking about all the places they’ve gone in the past. Repeatedly. Like 13 times in some instances. Below are the most popular hosts in the history of College GameDay:
1) Ohio State – 13 visits
This might be a surprise considering many Ohio State fans feel that there’s a conspiracy against them and every non-SEC school at ESPN. The last time the Buckeyes hosted College Game Day was in 2010, when they blew out Penn State, 38-14. Even though Penn State was unranked, the game still drew an attendance of over 105,000. Ohio State is at the top of this list because of the team’s lenghty success and (insane) devoted fanbase. I would be surprised if they didn’t host this coming season since it’s been such a long time.
2) Florida – 12 visits
The Gators welcomed South Carolina to Gainesville in 2012, the last time Florida hosted the ESPN crew. Even though SC was ranked 7th at the time, #2 Florida curb stomped them, 44-11, in front of 90,000 people.
3) Michigan – 11 visits
I find it somewhat surprising that the last times Michigan and Ohio State hosted GameDay, they weren’t playing each other. It’s THE GAME, after all. Michigan hosted Fowler, Corso, Herbstreit and co. last year when Notre Dame came to Ann Arbor as the higher ranked team and left with a 41-30 loss.
4) USC – 10 visits
USC upset Stanford, 20-17, when they hosted the Cardinal last season. The interesting thing about USC is that they had never hosted before 2004, and in 2004 they hosted twice, as well as once in 2005 and twice in 2006. I am sure Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush had a lot to do with that, however USC has still hosted GameDay at least once every year since 2010.
T5) Florida State – 9 visits
The Seminoles smoked the Hurricanes into oblivion last season, 41-14. As a ‘Canes fan, it was super depressing to watch that mess unfold, as I really thought Miami was coming back from the nose dive it’s been in for several years. Oh wait, this blurb was supposed to be about FSU? Oh well!
T5) Auburn – 9 visits
Y’all remember this, right? Well, that’s when Auburn last hosted College GameDay and upset #1 Alabama on a 107 yard missed field goal return for a TD or whatever the yardage was. That was easily the most exciting game of the 2013 college football season.
T5) LSU – 9 visits
LSU last hosted in 2012, losing to #1 Alabama by the claw of a tiger (SEE WHAT I DID THERE? Okay, I will see myself out). Surprisingly, that’s the only visit by GameDay to Baton Rouge since 2009.
T8) Oregon – 8 visits
Oregon has hosted for the last five years in a row, so it will be interesting to see whether or not the streak remains in 2014. Last season, the Ducks absolutely CRUSHED a fairly decent UCLA team, 42-14 in front of the GameDay gang.
T8) Notre Dame – 8 visits
South Bend will always go down in history as the first on-campus College GameDay show back in 1993 for #1 Florida State at #2 Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish also last hosted in 2012, beating a ranked Stanford team, 20-13. Stanford does not do very well as the away team when the home team is hosting GameDay, in October, if there’s a full moon, when the Wednesday before dropped below 70-degrees, etc.
T8) Alabama – 8 visits
Given the Crimson Tide have been the top program in college football the last five years, you would think they would rank much higher. However, GameDay’s first visit to Tuscaloosa wasn’t until 2001. The Alabama/LSU game is always a huge draw, obviously, since the last time College GameDay visited both campuses, the schools were playing each other.
T8) Tennessee – 8 visits
At the other end of the spectrum are the Vols. Before hosting in 2012, GameDay hadn’t visited Knoxville since 2004, which is tied for the biggest gap between the top ten hosts.
Others: Teams I am surprised haven’t hosted more: Miami (FL) has only hosted six times, and not since 2006. Texas and Nebraska have also only hosted six, and those are also teams with big fan bases and a history of success.
We’re excited to see this year’s schedule and the new location reveal. Last year, North Dakota State and Washington were first time hosts. Who will it be this year? Villanova? Yes… no… maybe?
You can find the full list of GameDay hosts here.