Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Is it Game Day yet?

The news that came down yesterday probably did little to change ESPN College Game Day's status as your wife/girlfriend's least-favorite show on television: they're starting an hour earlier this year, and they've added Erin Andrews. So now you only have to wait until 8:00am (central) to start watching, and you'll get to enjoy Andrews'...uh...insightful commentary.

Hearing about those developments got me thinking back to last November 14th, when Game Day finally descended on Fort Worth for the first time. I didn't get up before the sun came out to get a prime spot, as some did, but it was still a very exciting morning on the TCU campus. So if I'm your average, ordinary westside citizen of Bodymore, Murdaland and ESPN is a member of the Barksdale Crew, I've got to ask: when can I get some more of that WMD? It's the bomb.

Let's go week by week through the 2010 season to see whose campus will be the visual accompaniment for so many liberally-mixed breakfast cocktails across the nation, and if TCU (or at least the MWC) have a chance at being showcased:


Saturday, September 4th:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: The fact that ESPN arranged the TCU/Oregon State game at Jerry World makes you think they'll consider it (if only because Jerry will lobby for it), and BYU hosts Heisman-hype recipient Jake Locker and Washington. Colorado State against Colorado might be considered if Game Day's top sponsors were companies that make rolling papers and leftover pizza.

-My money's on: LSU vs. North Carolina. Game Day (and ABC/ESPN in general) have fallen in love with the new tradition of pitting an ACC team against an SEC team in the Georgia Dome on Labor Day weekend. Plus, remember that Home Depot (the show's title sponsor) is based in Atlanta.



Saturday, September 11th:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: Somehow, I don't think ESPN is dying to cover the Frogs against Tennessee Tech, and unless they decide to go Patriotic on 9/11 and feature BYU at Air Force, the conference likely has no chance in Week #2.

-My money's on: Penn State at Alabama. The Nittany Lions and Crimson Tide haven't played since 1990. This game would be the recipient of Favre-level hype from ESPN if there weren't a number of other ridiculously high-profile inter-conference matchups the same day: Florida State/Oklahoma, Miami/Ohio State and Notre Dame/Michigan.



Saturday, September 18th:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: If a 2-0 TCU team is hosting a 2-0 Baylor team on which Robert Griffin is showing signs up living up to his potential, this game has a shot to be hyped considerably, but probably not enough to host. Air Force is at OU and BYU is at Florida State and Heisman darkhorse Christian Ponder.

-My money's on: Florida at Tennessee. Even though it'll likely be a Verne Lundquist-called CBS game, there's no way ESPN can stay away from Knoxville for this one- there have just been too many classic games between these two to ignore it.



Saturday, September 25:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: The Frogs have no shot this week, as their game at SMU is on Friday evening. None of the games featuring current MWC teams are very exciting, but Boise State does host Oregon State.

-My money's on: Oregon State at Boise State. This is the first big game the Broncos have hosted on a Saturday in a long, long time, and their fans are gonna go bananas for it. Perfect scenario for Game Day.



Saturday, October 2nd:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: TCU at Colorado State sure would be a surprise pick, slightly moreso than Air Force at Navy, the conference's highest-profile non-conference game of the weekend.

-My money's on: Texas vs. OU in Dallas. There are some big games in the SEC this weekend- LSU/Tennessee and Florida/Alabama, but I'm not sure if anything is bigger than the AT&T Red River Rivalry.



Saturday, October 9th:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: If Wyoming can somehow navigate their brutal early schedule (Texas, Boise State and Air Force in consecutive weeks), their game at TCU might be pretty big, and the "Culture Shock Bowl" featuring UNLV at West Virginia might also capture ESPN's imaginations.

-My money's on: USC at Stanford. Everyone loved seeing Stanford beat USC while Pete Carroll was still there, so won't they enjoy the Cardinal kicking the Trojans while they're down? Also in consideration are Florida State at Miami (complete with a montage of the missed field goals in that series' history) and Michigan State at Michigan in case the folks in Big Ten country are feeling ignored by now.



Saturday, October 16th:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: Depending on how BYU does early on, their game at TCU this weekend might really be among the games being considered.

-My money's on: Texas at Nebraska. After the numerous classic games between these two and the bad blood between them during the conference shuffling earlier this summer, this will be a lot of anticipation for this one. Also, don't rule out Ohio State visiting Madison.



Saturday, October 23rd:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: The pageantry of a game involving a service academy has always been alluring to ESPN, so Air Force at TCU is probably the conference's best chance this weekend.

-My money's on: Notre Dame vs. Navy. For the same reason listed above, only this game also involves Notre Dame and it's being played at the new Giants Stadium right outside of New York City.



Saturday, October 30th:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: If TCU at UNLV is getting any hype this late in the season, then new Rebels coach Bobby Hauck will be the front-runner for National Coach of the Year. Air Force hosting Utah is the conference's marquee game of the weekend.

-My money's on: Michigan at Penn State. Big Blue may be down right now, but it's still a big deal when they come to Happy Valley. Also, don't rule out Florida/Georgia in Jacksonville and Oregon at USC.



Saturday, November 6th:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: The Frogs' return to Salt Lake after the thrashing they gave to the Utes in Fort Worth last year and the heart-breaking loss in '08 may just be the conference's best chance to snag a Game Day in 2010.

-My money's on: Alabama at LSU. They do not like Nick Saban in Baton Rouge. Like, at all. Death Valley will be rocking for this one.



Saturday, November 13th:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: I doubt TCU's Senior Day (vs. SDSU) will generate much hype, but a late-season trip by Utah to South Bend to take on Notre Dame might.

-My money's on: Tulsa at Houston. Aside from Penn State/Ohio State, there aren't many games with a truly national appeal to them this weekend, so ESPN may think outside the box (which they usually do about once a year) and pay a visit to U of H (who could be working their way up the rankings by this point) and QB Case Keenum (who by then will have racked up about 3,500 passing yards and possibly be part of Heisman discussions) a visit as they host a potential contender in CUSA-West.



Saturday, November 20th:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: The Frogs are off this weekend, and the Colorado State-Wyoming "Border War" is probably the most intriguing game on the conference slate.

-My money's on: Virginia Tech at Miami. Going back to their days in the Big East, these two have played some real good ones. Also, the warm weather in Miami in late November won't hurt this one's chances of hosting.



Saturday, November 27th:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: Even more so than the TCU/UNLV game, if TCU at New Mexico receives any hype this late in the season, then Lobos coach Mike Locksley will SERIOUSLY be considered for not only Coach of the Year awards, but probably also Time's Person of the Year and maybe even a Nobel. The BYU-Utah "Holy War" will always be a consideration because of the massive hate flowing between those two soon-to-be non-conference rivals.

-My money's on: Michigan at Ohio State. Even if it's not a crucial game in the Big Ten or national title pictures, ESPN is going to hype the shit out of this one. Just like UNC-Duke, the national media can't let this just be a regional rivalry: they seem to think that houses across the nation are divided when it comes to Wolverines vs. Buckeyes. I, for one, don't really care.



Saturday, December 4th:
-TCU/MWC's best chances: UNLV at Hawaii is the only game involving an MWC team this weekend, but it's likely going to be an afterthought.

-My money's on: The SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. This has pretty much become a de-facto national semifinal game over the past few years, and will create a nice little bookend to Game Day's 2010 premiere in Atlanta.

Morning Dump


Football:
Gary Patterson foundation continues to grow Star-Telegram

Dalton named to Johnny Unitas award watch list
GoFrogs.com

2010 Heisman hopefuls: Andy Dalton
Bettor.com

College Gameday expands to three hours
ESPN

Sherrington: Big 12 will only last until TV contract expires
Dallas Morning News

Recruiting:

Crosby sets sights on TCU
Baytown Sun

Baseball:

Purke named baseball America freshman of the year
GoFrogs.com

Frog Alumni:
Holaday shines in Lakeland's win The Ledger

Curry drives offense
Daily Collegian