OSU is on the short list to host ESPN’s GameDay next week. Cowboy officials have been told to be ready, though ESPN gave no parameters on what needs to happen to make GameDay come to Stillwater for the fourth time.
OSU plays at Texas on Saturday night. On Nov. 23, OSU hosts Baylor. Texas and Baylor are the Big 12′s lone unbeaten teams in conference play. OSU is 5-1. If the Cowboys beat Texas, the OSU-Baylor game will be for the Big 12 lead and a potential Big 12 title game.
GameDay is ESPN’s college football pregame show, which originates from a game site, typically one of the top games of the day. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso are staples of the show, which has become a virtual institution itself. Thousands off fans typically show up for the telecast, which runs 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. each Saturday. The set is also used on Fridays as a buildup to the game and on Saturday night in post-game wrapup shows.
A hint that ESPN was strongly considering Stillwater came when ABC picked OSU-Baylor for its 7 p.m. telecast window. Herbstreit typically is the game analyst on ABC’s prime-time game, and it’s always convenient when he calls a game at the site of GameDay.
On Nov. 23, the only games matching ranked teams are Texas A&M at LSU, which will be televised by CBS, and Arizona State at UCLA. Neither has the national ramifications of OSU-Baylor.
OSU’s previous GameDay hostings were all Bedlam games — 2004, 2008 and 2010.
Ohio State leads the nation in GameDay hostings, with 13, followed by Florida 12; Michigan 11; Alabama 11 (counting three in Birmingham); Southern Cal 10; Florida State and LSU nine each; Notre Dame, Oregon and Tennessee eight each; OU and Auburn seven each; Miami, Michigan State, Nebraska, Texas and South Carolina six each; and Virginia Tech and Wisconsin five each.
The OU-Texas game at the Cotton Bowl has been the site five times. The Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville has hosted three GameDays, as has the kickoff Chick-fil-A game in Atlanta.
When GameDay has visited Stillwater, it has set up on the lawn of the OSU library.