As football season approaches, players and coaches are being analyzed to give fans expectations on how their team will do. Let’s take a break from talking about the on-field product Mississippi State will bring, and discuss a college football fan-favorite event: College GameDay.
In an article written by Tanner Spearman on Underdog Dynasty, he goes through potential games that Group 5 teams could host College GameDay. In the spirit of the offseason, let’s see which games could see Starkville host GameDay for the first time since 2014.
Stephen F. Austin at Mississippi State, Week 1
With all respect to the the Lumberjacks, no chance this happens.
Louisiana at Mississippi State, Week 3
Formerly known as “Louisiana-Lafayette”, the Ragin’ Cajuns becamee a respectable Group 5 program a few years ago. Then, reports of recruiting violations led the NCAA to investigate and force Louisiana to vacate 22 wins between 2011 and 2014. They aren’t a glamorous opponent, and Alabama travels to Ole Miss the same week. So count week three out.
Florida at Mississippi State, Week 5
Here’s the first game that poses as a legitimate case to host College GameDay. State’s former head coach Dan Mullen will be making his return to Davis Wade Stadium with his new team, the Florida Gators. The storyline is there, but it’ll come down to how both teams do in the four weeks prior to it.
Both Mississippi State and Florida have good chances of coming into this game at 4-0. If that were to happen, combined with the storyline of Mullen making his return, it’d be very difficult to not have this game at the top of the list.
Other games that pose as a threat are: Stanford at Notre Dame and Ohio State at Penn State.
Auburn at Mississippi State, Week 6
Like the Florida game, if Auburn and State are undefeated in week six, this could be another appetizing game for GameDay to attend. Two top SEC teams battling it out is something fans always enjoy, but there’s one small (huge) issue: The Red River Rivalry is the same week. If Texas has a competitive record and Oklahoma doesn’t fall well below expectations, GameDay will most likely go there.
Texas A&M at Mississippi State, Week 9
A game where two first-year coaches at their respective schools will battle it out, this has a relatively long shot at being chosen as a destination for GameDay. The Aggies host Clemson and travel to Alabama early in their season. In other words, they could very well have two losses heading into this game. I’ll give this a decent chance because there aren’t any other games that really stick out in week nine.
Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State, Week 10
No chance. Alabama travels to Death Valley and Penn State visits Michigan the same week.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, Week 12
With Arkansas in the beginning of a new era, they might not be an appealing opponent this year. That’s not to say they’ll be good in the future, but this probably won’t happen unless every single thing goes right for both teams.
So, week five’s game against Florida and week six’s game against Auburn are State’s two best chances to host GameDay. Not being superstitious, but the last time Starkville welcomed the GameDay crew, it was against Auburn.