If popular sports media blog Awful Announcing is right, ESPN’s College Gameday might soon be back in State College.
Awful Announcing recently released its annual prediction of College Gameday sites for the year, and writer Terry Johnson thinks Penn State will host Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, and the rest of ESPN’s gang for the Oct. 25 matchup with Ohio State. It would be the fifth time Gameday would broadcast from Happy Valley, and the first since the 2009 season, when unranked Iowa overcame a torrential downpour and a full-stadium Whiteout to stun the No. 5 Nittany Lions.
Even though GameDay might be inclined to pick one of the SEC matchups, it makes the most sense to send the crew to Happy Valley. After all, this contest will be the only one that pits two undefeated teams against one another. Considering that Penn State isn’t allowed to play in the postseason this year, the Nittany Lions will probably treat this contest as its bowl game, ready to pull out all the stops to derail OSU’s national championship dreams. That will create a playoff-type atmosphere for this contest, making this environment simply too good to pass up. James Franklin’s presence at Penn State would add a dimension of intrigue and electricity to this game if both teams are unbeaten.
One conference might stand in the way of a Gameday trip here — you guessed it, the SEC. Both South Carolina at Auburn and Ole Miss at LSU are slated for the same week, with AA predicting South Carolina, Ole Miss, and LSU all losing only one game at that point in the season. Although the Nittany Lions might have some competition for ESPN to come into town, it should be said that AA is predicting that both the Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions will be undefeated heading into the game (the prediction was made before it was known that Braxton Miller would be out for the season.)
Of course, Ohio State is this season’s Whiteout, but having Gameday coming to town for a team still under NCAA sanctions might be a stretch. As for now, let’s just hope that Penn State leaves Ireland with a win on Saturday.