The Syracuse Orange are 5-0 and ranked in the Top 25 with a big game waiting for them after this bye week. Many fans have spent the last couple of weeks talking themselves into ESPN’s College Gameday making their first-ever visit for a Syracuse football game.
Yesterday’s news that the Syracuse game against NC State will be a 3:30 start and shown on the ACC Network seems to close the door on a Gameday visit. If ESPN was thinking about sending Rece, Desmond, Kirk, Corso and Pat McAfee’s black tank tops to the 315 they probably would have put a 7-day hold on the game.
Let’s take a look at what CuseSports44 had on Twitter and break down the points.
Here's my take on the current position that Syracuse is in to host @CollegeGameDay for the first time ever. Let me know what I got wrong. @jimmyg44 @MinkNate @NunesMagician @ReceDavis @KirkHerbstreit @emleiker @ccarlsononSU @McAllisterMike1 @WildhackJ @MattPark1 @BrentAxeMedia pic.twitter.com/hOTd2kgsgq— CuseSports44 (@CuseSports44) October 3, 2022
Now things can change based on the outcomes of games this weekend but those are the four games that feature teams ranked higher than Syracuse-NC State. The only one of those four to be shown on ABC/ESPN is Oklahoma State at TCU and I think right now we’d say Alabama-Tennessee is the top game on the slate with Penn State-Michigan not far behind.
Would ESPN go to Knoxville a second time this year? Would they go to Ann Arbor for a game that will be on Fox with Fox’s pre-game show at the same site?
Well we don’t have to look to far to find precedent for either situation. Last year Georgia was featured three times in the regular season, including hosting twice in a three-week period, There opponents were Arkansas and Kentucky, both of whom were ranked in the top 15, neither of whom are Alabama. If the Volunteers win at LSU this weekend and Bama beats Texas A&M, Knoxville is likely to host again.
Earlier this season Gameday went to Austin for Alabama-Texas. Not only was that the Fox Big Noon Kickoff game, the Fox pre-game show was also in Austin. ESPN would not be afraid to show up in Ann Arbor next weekend if that’s the biggest game.
The fact that Clemson at Florida State is the ABC primetime game would put Oklahoma-TCU higher on the list than Washington State-USC. Even flying private it doesn’t seem like Kirk wants to go coast-to-coast after calling the Thursday NFL game in Denver. Going from Denver to Dallas to Tallahassee is certainly plausible.
Another factor working against Syracuse next weekend is logistics. On Friday night, the JMA Wireless Dome will host the Orange Tip-Off event. That means the Dome staff will have to complete a full change-over to get the Dome ready for football the next day.
The Quad is already full of pre-game football activities. If Gameday is setting up, it would like be in front of Hendricks Chapel and that means a lot of adjustment of the normal game-day locations. Is getting the Quad and the Dome ready in one day feasible?
Obviously the one sure-fire way to fix this is for the Orange to keep winning football games. Find a way to beat NC State and win on the road at Clemson and there’s a very good chance that McAfee and Post Malone will be drinking shots at Chuck’s when Notre Dame comes to town.