Predicting where ESPN’s College Gameday will Appear Each Week in 2023

College Football Playoff Trophy Inglewood, California. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
College Football Playoff Trophy Inglewood, California. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Am I the only one that tries to predict where ESPN’s College Gameday is going to be each week of the college football season? The three-hour morning show that ESPN premiered in 1987 broadcasted for a studio in Connecticut. Today, it has evolved into arguable the most iconic pre-game show in all of sports. Main stays returning are Desmond Howard and Kirk Herbstreit, who each played college football for the University of Michigan and Ohio State, respectively. This year former West Virginia Punter and media sensation, Pat McAfee has joined the case as well making it even more of an exciting draw for many. In the past, McAfee has led the school’s fans in chants, done backflips into the Tennessee River and more.

So, what college campus will this spectacle be broadcast from each week of this upcoming 2023 college football season? Here are my predictions:

Predicting where College Gameday will appear each week in 2023

Week One – College Gameday will appear in Fort Worth, Texas on the campus of Texas Christian University (TCU) as the Horned Frogs take on the Colorado Buffaloes. With what many would argue as a relatively “weak” week one schedule nationally, this game easily takes a spotlight with the Horned Frogs coming off a national championship appearance, in addition to the Buffaloes being led by first year Head Coach Deion Sanders. Sanders dominated at HBCU, Jackson State University, which is part of the Southwest Athletic Conference. This is a level below FBS, which leads to the intrigue to see how Deion does at the FBS level.

Week Two – Coming off an extremely close game in Austin last year between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Texas, the two teams will rematch this year in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which is where Gameday will be.

Week Three – Expect College Gameday to make their first ever appearance in Champaign, Illinois for week three as the Illinois Fighting Illini take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in an early season Big 10 showdown. The Nittany Lions, led by former Vanderbilt Head Coach, James Franklin, is coming off an 11-2 season, while the Illini are up-and-coming under third year Head Coach, Bret Bielema- former coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Week Four – College Gameday will be in Clemson, South Carolina again to watch the Clemson Tigers take on the Florida State Seminoles. In a game that has lost some juice over the last few years as the ‘Noles have had some rough years, their resurgence is expected to continue coming off a 10-3 campaign last year.

Week Five – College Gameday makes its way to Knoxville, Tennessee for a showdown between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Tennessee Volunteers. This is one of the most anticipated home games of the season for the Vols as the Gamecocks defeated them last year in Columbia 63-38 in a game which saw Heisman front-runner and started Vols Quarterback, Hendon Hooker, go down with a season-ending ACL injury. The Vols also lost their second game of the season – all but ending their national title chances. Volunteer nation will be alive for this one.

Week Six – Expect College Gameday to make yet another appearance for the Red River Rivalry between the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners in Dallas, Texas for this one. The Longhorns look to improve off last season’s campaign with Head Coach Steve Sarkisian, who is entering his third year with the school. Meanwhile, the Sooners look to improve off of a disappointing 2022 campaign in which they went 6-7, their worst record since 1998.

Week Seven – Expect College Gameday to end up in South Bend, Indiana as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the USC Trojans. The Irish finished last season on a high, going 9-2 after an 0-2 start. The Trojans defeated Notre Dame in Los Angeles last year 38-27. Look for this historic rivalry to return in energy this season with both teams projected to have 10-win campaigns by many.

Week Eight – Columbus, Ohio will be the site of College Gameday in week eight this year as the Ohio State Buckeyes host the Penn State Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes came within a whisker last year of defeating the Georgia Bulldogs last season in the Semifinals of the College Football Playoff, while the Nittany Lions are coming off an 11-2 campaign.

Week Nine – The Kentucky Wildcats could be a heavily underrated team this year. And if they play the part well, College Gameday will end up in Lexington, Kentucky for week nine as the Wildcats host the Tennessee Volunteers in an SEC rivalry between bordering states. The site for this week could be a bit more up in the air and unpredictable than most others as pre-season there does not look to be that many premiere matchups. Also watch out for Gameday this week to take the opportunity to make an appearance at an FCS school, which they seem to have made a tradition of each year.

Week Ten – Austin, Texas will be the site of College Gameday for this week as the Texas Longhorns take on the Kansas State Wildcats. The Longhorns are the favorite to win the Big 12, while the Wildcats are coming off of a 10-4 season under coach Chris Klieman who excluding the shortened season in 2020 has improved the Wildcats record each season at the helm.

Week Eleven – Who does not love a good “white-out” in Happy Valley? Gameday will appear in State College, Pennsylvania bearing the cold as the Michigan Wolverines travel east to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions. Both teams are poised to have great seasons, and this late season showdown could go a long way in deciding the Big 10 in 2023.

Week Twelve – College Gameday will make an appearance in Los Angeles, California as the USC Trojans host the UCLA Bruins in this Pac-12 rivalry. USC returns second year Head Coach Lincoln Riley, as well as 2022 Heisman Trophy Winner Caleb Williams. The Bruins go into their fifth season under coach Chip Kelly who is going into his sixth season with the school and has improved the Bruins win totals in each of the last five excluding the shortened 2020 season.

Week Thirteen – Baton Rouge, Louisiana will play host to College Gameday as the LSU Tigers host the Texas A&M Aggies who defeated the Tigers 38-23 last season in College Station, Texas. This loss ended any chance the Tigers had at making the College Football Playoff, so the Tigers will be seeking revenge. Both teams may still be in the hunt for the SEC West title at this point in the season, so this could further intensify the atmosphere and matchup.

As far as the regular season, week thirteen will be the last stop for College Gameday. Traditionally College Gameday has still hosted their shows during conference championship week at one of the host game sites, as well as the college football playoff sites.

Will these regular season locations be accurate? The early weeks are easier to predict than the later, but it is at least fun to dive into the schedule and speculate, so we shall wait and see!

Here is a historical list of all locations starting with the 1993 season in which College Gameday went on-site to a campus for the first time in South Bend, Indiana.

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