For diehard college football fans, there is nothing better than waking up early on a Saturday and getting pumped for a full day of football that usually lasts until after midnight on the East coast. To start the day, ESPN is usually the place to turn, as they are home to the premier college football preview show, College GameDay.
The lineup on College GameDay has changed over the years, but Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit are still there, and so are the famous predictions. Since 1993, College GameDay has been on the road, and live from the location of one of the week’s biggest games. While there have been some small-time matchups that were featured, there have been plenty of blockbuster games with raucous fans behind the stage.
But which campuses have been host to the most visits from College GameDay? There aren’t too many surprises on the list, but maybe some names that you may have forgotten about. Here are the 15 (well, 17) campuses that have hosted the most College GameDay broadcasts for ESPN.
15 T15 - Nebraska/Texas/Miami - 6
The list begins with a three way tie between a trio of colleges that were once on top of the world, but have fallen on some hard times. Nebraska has only had one College GameDay appearance on campus since 2001 (2007 against USC). It has also been six years since GameDay visited Austin and you have to go back even further to find their last visit to Miami. Virginia Tech and Wisconsin are knocking on the door with five home appearances, and Penn State, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M are right behind them.
14 T13 - Oklahoma - 7
The Sooners have maintained a lot of success over the years, so it’s not a surprise that Oklahoma has been featured on College GameDay seven times. The Sooners have made appearances on nearly 30 shows, with seven of them coming from Norman. Oklahoma is 5-2 in those seven games, and the most recent came in 2012 when they lost 30-13 to Notre Dame. The last Sooner win at home where ESPN was there to showcase them was in 2008 when they defeated Texas Tech.
13 T13 - South Carolina - 7
South Carolina is not in the top 10 when it comes to overall appearances on College GameDay, but they have had their fair share of appearances at home with seven in Columbia. You don’t have to go too far back to find the last time that the Gamecocks hosted GameDay, as they did it in 2014 when they were ranked 14th in the nation. South Carolina would end up dropping the contest to the unranked Tigers, which was more disappointing than their 2012 appearances when they toppled the fifth ranked Georgia Bulldogs.
12 T9. Auburn - 8
Auburn has been featured on College Gameday a total of 17 times, posting a record of just 8-9 in those games. The last three Auburn appearances all happened in 2014, with the first coming in their loss to Florida State in the BCS Championship, with losses to Mississippi State and Alabama on the road coming last season. The last time that Auburn hosted College GameDay was a memorable one, as the Tigers defeated Alabama 34-28 on the infamous “Kick Six” play in the Iron Bowl.
11 T9. Tennessee - 8
It has been a long rough patch for the Volunteers, as they have fallen out of the top ranks in college football since their last national championship. For that reason, Tennessee hasn’t been featured much on College GameDay lately, but they still have eight appearances at home. The last GameDay that visited Knoxville saw the Volunteers lost to Florida in 2012. Before that, you have to go all the way back to 2004 when Tennessee hosted Auburn, and they would end up losing 34-10.
10 T9 - Michigan State - 8
Michigan State’s football program has seen a big revival in the past decade, and it has included a lot of premier home games. Now, Michigan State has worked their way up to a tie for ninth on the list with eight GameDay appearances in East Lansing. It was only a few weeks ago when the Spartans had their last GameDay, as they defeated Oregon in September 2015 to improve their record to 3-5. In 2014, the Spartans hosted one College GameDay, and they would end up losing to Ohio State 49-37.
9 T9. Notre Dame - 8
Notre Dame is near the top when it comes to overall appearances on College GameDay, with most of those appearances coming on the road. The Irish will make another appearance this week as they visit Clemson in a premier matchup, but that one is also on the road. Since 2005, GameDay has only visited South Bend once, and that came in 2012 when they defeated Stanford in overtime. The Irish have a 4-4 mark when GameDay makes the trip to Northern Indiana, and their last loss was the famous “Bush Push” game in 2005.
8 Oregon - 9
With the amount of success that Oregon has had lately (not to mention the cool-factor of the uniforms), it isn’t a shock to see that Eugene has had a lot of recent appearances on College GameDay. 2014 marked the sixth consecutive season that GameDay showed up to campus, as the Ducks hosted Michigan State in a win. After two losses in their first four games, it’s not likely that Oregon will be able to continue the streak, but crazier things have happened. In their 2013 appearance at home, Oregon defeated 12th ranked UCLA, 42-14.
7 T5 - Michigan - 10
Michigan is another program on our list that has fallen on some hard times, but with Jim Harbaugh as the new coach, it’s only a matter of time before the Wolverines host another College GameDay. It has been two years since the last GameDay from Ann Arbor, as Michigan defeated Notre Dame, 41-30. The second to last matchup between Michigan and Notre Dame in Ann Arbor was also featured on College GameDay in 2011. Surprisingly enough, 2014’s matchup was not featured despite being the last in their series until further notice.
6 T5. USC - 10
While they were being coached by Pete Carroll, the USC Trojans were considered by some to be a dynasty, and their biggest matchups were frequently featured on College GameDay. USC’s campus has been the site for 10 appearances for GameDay, and the most recent actually came while they were unranked. The Trojans were taking on Stanford in 2013 (who was ranked fifth at the time), and they pulled off the upset by kicking a last minute field goal to win the game by a score of 20-17.
5 T5. LSU - 10
LSU has yet to appear on College GameDay in 2015, but with an undefeated record so far and Leonard Fournette being a potential Heisman candidate, it’s possible they can move up this list. LSU has still hosted 10 College GameDay shows, and the most recent was in 2014 when the Tigers played Ole Miss. The Tigers were able to upset the third ranked Rebels in a defensive battle that year, winning 10-7. With the win, LSU moved their record to 6-4 when hosting College GameDay, and 15-7 all-time when being featured on the show.
4 T3. Florida State - 11
Florida State appeared on the first College GameDay show that took place on the road when they were in South Bend to play Notre Dame. Since then, Florida State has been featured nearly 30 times on College GameDay, with their most recent coming at home in 2014 when they hosted Notre Dame in an undefeated matchup. Earlier that year, Florida State had another College GameDay appearance in Tallahassee as they played host to Clemson, which would end in another Seminoles win.
3 T3. Alabama - 11
There are a lot of people that feel like ESPN has a big bias in favor of the SEC, and especially Alabama. While it may or may not be true, it’s hard to deny that ESPN has favored going to Tuscaloosa since Nick Saban has been the head coach there. Tuscaloosa has hosted 11 College GameDay shows, and they already have one under their belt this year as the Crimson Tide were defeated by Ole Miss in September 2015. Alabama was already on College GameDay two weeks before that for a neutral site game against Wisconsin, and they were featured three times in 2014, as well.
2 Florida - 12
Florida has the most appearances all time on College GameDay, with 35 of their games being featured on the ESPN show. However, only 12 of those shows have come from Gainesville, and they haven’t had one since 2012 when they played host to South Carolina. The Gators would end up rolling over the Gamecocks, winning 44-11. Before that, the most recent trip to Gainesville for GameDay saw Florida take care of Florida State, 37-10. The 2012 version also had a memorable moment when swimmer Ryan Lochte was the celebrity guest picker.
1 Ohio State - 13
Ohio State is right behind Florida in terms of College GameDay appearances, with a total of 33, good for second all-time. However, Ohio State holds the edge of Florida in home appearances, with an impressive 13 visits. Interestingly enough, despite all of their success, Ohio State has been featured on the road as of late (2014 at Michigan State, 2013 in the Big Ten Championship and 2013 at Northwestern). 2010 was the last time that Columbus hosted a College GameDay, and it resulted in a Buckeyes romp over unranked Penn State, 38-14.