ESPN's first visit to Blacksburg for its basketball version of College GameDay was a rousing success that showcased Virginia Tech's renewed vigor for the basketball program. It also got me wondering if there's any chance GameDay will make its seventh trip to Tech for football in 2011.
The program hasn't visited Blacksburg for football since Sept. 1, 2007 for the Hokies' opener against East Carolina. Odds are, we'll have to wait another year before we see GameDay in Blacksburg. A lot of that has to do with the schedule since the Hokies only have six home games this year and one of them is on a Thursday. In fact, there are only three dates that there's really any chance we see GameDay at Virginia Tech.
There's no way GameDay will come for the App State, Ark State or North Carolina games. That leaves only the Clemson, Miami and Boston College games as remote possibilities.
For them Clemson game, both teams could be 4-0 and it would still be doubtful game day would show up. Other games that day include Alabama at Florida, Auburn at South Carolina, Arkansas at Texas A&M, Michigan State at Ohio State and Nebraska at Wisconsin.
CBS will probably televise Alabama-Florida and GameDay has shown an aversion in recent years to going to games outside of the ESPN family of networks. If Clemson beats Auburn in Week 3 and Florida State in Week 4, the game would be an attractive matchup, but I still think the show would go to one of the Big Ten games, maybe Nebraska at Wisconsin because it will be the Huskers' first B1G conference game.
The Miami game is the marquee game on Virginia Tech's home schedule, but look at the other games that week: Florida at LSU, Iowa at Penn State, Ohio State at Nebraska, Oklahoma vs. Texas and Boise State vs. Fresno State. even if both the Hokies and Hurricanes are unbeaten going into that game, it's likely the show will be elsewhere even if CBS is showing Florida-LSU.
Amazingly, the best chance could be the Boston College game on Oct. 22 simply because of the other matchups available. Also that week are Auburn at LSU, Wisconsin at Michigan State, Utah at Cal, Tennessee at Alabama and West Virginia at Syracuse. With CBS likely showing the Auburn-LSU game, there's a decent chance GameDay would come to Blacksburg if the Hokies are still title contenders and the Eagles are having a good season.
Tech has a very favorable schedule first two months of the year. It's entirely in the realm of possibility the Hokies could be 7-0 or 6-1 going into the BC game. Meanwhile, the Eagles play Northwestern, at UCF, Duke, UMass, Wake Forest and at Clemson before playing the Hokies. Other than Clemson, it's not exactly Murderer's Row.
There's a small chance the Hokies could host GameDay again in 2011, but they have to take care of business against a manageable schedule and get some luck. Their opponents have to win and other matchups that look good in the preseason have to lose some luster.