It’s official, ESPN College Gameday will visit Ryan Field in Evanston for Northwestern vs Ohio State. It was just announced minutes ago that the NU vs tOSU college football tilt will be the featured game on the premier college football kickoff show.
Here’s why ESPN College Gameday chose Evanston.
There are three major factors that determine what location ESPN College Gameday chooses:
1.) magnitude of the contest
2.) being on the ESPN family of networks, with the ABC game given the biggest priority
3.) other games that Saturday having more magnitude. Of course, there are many other minor factors that can play a role too: logistics, travel, office politics etc.
I first wrote about the idea of College Gameday coming to Northwestern on September 8th here. Co host David Pollack said Northwestern is “the hardest team in the nation to game plan against” that morning, so NU has clearly been on their radar. And now they’re #17 in the nation, so if everything remains unchanged, it’s #17 Northwestern versus #3 Ohio State.
College Gameday in NU for what will be the biggest game of the Pat Fitzgerald era.
I had an exclusive with NU alum and national sports talk radio figure Mike “Greeny” Greenberg, published on September 10th. I brought up the idea of ESPN College Gameday coming to Ryan Field. Here’s the snippet:
Banks: what if both Ohio State and Northwestern are undefeated heading into that big showdown in Evanston in a few weeks, which looks very likely given that both teams will be favored in all their games between now and then. How about ESPN College Gameday coming to Ryan Field?
Greeny: “I certainly think it’s possible. I don’t get to make that decision. But either way we’re doing Mike&Mike from the campus of Northwestern and that’s a thrill for me, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Having Gameday there would be great for the team and the school and everybody. I don’t get any say in that decision, but certainly I’m rooting for it.”
Part 2 of this interview, Greenberg discusses Jay Cutler, the Bears, Derrick Rose and the Bulls.
Greeny and his partner Mike Golic will hit the road for hyped up college football and NFL games this year. They’ll be in Evanston on Friday, Oct. 4
Finally, ESPN College Gameday has shown they will go on site for a Northwestern “home game” in recent years. They were here in 2010 when the Wildcats took on the Illini at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. And this final nugget doesn’t factor in the decision making process, but does add to the storyline- the ESPN lead broadcast team of Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musburger is….one Northwestern alum and one Ohio State alum.
Listen to me every Tuesday at 10:30 AM CDT talking Illini and Northwestern on 1620 The Zone
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and FacebookFollow paulmbanks