ESPN College GameDay officially announced Madison, Wisconsin, as the broadcast’s next stop for this Saturday’s top 10 battle between No. 8 University of Wisconsin and No. 2 Ohio State University at Camp Randall Stadium.
College GameDay’s five analysts and former football minds talk about the upcoming games around the country, capped off by Lee Corso’s unpredictable pick of which team he thinks will win. The show has become the oracle as to which game is the best of the week. Given Wisconsin’s normally bland schedule, it is a rare and special occurrence in Madison.
Hey Madison! We're headed your way next week for Ohio State-Wisconsin. pic.twitter.com/tWEdmGoD49
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 9, 2016
Why Wisconsin fans should be excited
Outside of the unrivaled, electric atmosphere College GameDay brings to campus, there are a number of reasons why Wisconsin fans should be itching for another GameDay visit to UW.
The last time Ohio State came to Madison for a College GameDay featured matchup was 2010, when Wisconsin sent the No. 1 Buckeyes packing in a thrilling 31-18 upset victory before students rushed the field at Camp Randall. This was also the last time Wisconsin defeated a No. 1 team, and the fourth time this had been done in school history. Though the Buckeyes will take the field as the No. 2 team in the land Saturday, the idea of upsetting another national contender and Big Ten rival before the eyes of the entire nation is no less romantic for any Wisconsin football fan.
College GameDay has not paid a visit to Madison in more than five years, with UW’s most recent appearance resulting in a 48-17 rout of No. 8 University of Nebraska in 2011. Wisconsin has hosted the GameDay crew at home a total of five times, and the Badgers stand 3-2 overall since the the show’s Madison debut in 1999. Even though Wisconsin is only one game above 0.500 in these matchups, the Badgers have not lost a GameDay-featured showdown at home in over a decade after winning their last three of these games in a row.
Whether you believe superstition, history or a team’s most recent performance will predict a great competition, Saturday’s matchup with the Buckeyes has them all behind it. After a week away from the field, expect a healthier and rejuvenated Badgers team to feed on the electricity in the atmosphere of the national college football spotlight. Wisconsin could not have asked for a more perfect weekend to get a shot at upsetting the nation’s No. 2 team, and Badgers should give the Buckeyes a run for their money in front of more than 80,000 screaming fans Saturday night.
How the home team has fared this season
So far this year, all four home teams who have welcomed College GameDay to their campus have emerged victorious. There have also been two games played at neutral sites. But in similar fashion to the home-field advantages, the schools in the same state as the neutral site have won both games as well.
This, of course, applies to the Badgers, whose marquee win of the season came only a few hours north of Madison earlier this fall.
As Badgers fans surely remember, Wisconsin kicked off the 2016 college football season at historic Lambeau Field with a thrilling 16-14 upset over then-No. 5 Louisiana State University in Green Bay.
In Week 2, GameDay traveled to Bristol, Tennessee, for the then-No. 17 University of Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech game, where the Volunteers defeated the Hokies 45-24 in front of a college football record attendance of 156,990 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
How Madison was chosen
Wisconsin’s battle with Ohio State is far from the only GameDay-worthy matchup in this Saturday’s lineup, but thanks to a few key losses by ranked teams last weekend, the Badgers got some help.
Before Tennessee’s stumble to then-No. 8 Texas A&M University last Saturday, it appeared as though Madison’s biggest competitor for landing College GameDay was Knoxville, Tennessee, where the Vols host No. 1 University of Alabama. Remarkably, UT has already appeared in three matchups hosted by College GameDay this season, but the loss to the Aggies in College Station — GameDay’s most recent destination — all but guaranteed that Oct. 15 won’t be the Volunteers’ fourth.
Losses by then-No. 6 University of Houston and then-No. 10 University of Miami also helped clear more room for the Badgers to climb in the Associated Press Poll. These upsets allowed Wisconsin to slide into the No. 9 spot from No. 11, making Saturday’s showdown in Madison an official top 10 matchup.
Corso’s headgear favorite
Lee Corso’s infamous College GameDay prediction delivered via mascot headgear selection has blossomed into one of the most popular traditions in college football across the country, and for more than just theatrics.
Since the tradition began in 1993, the 81-year-old host has gone 176-89 all-time in his headgear predictions and has also picked the correct winner in four of this season’s six games thus far. Wisconsin’s victory over LSU was one of those two errors, and when it comes to picking the Badgers historically, Corso’s predictions haven’t proven quite as insightful as his overall record might suggest.
Including post-season bowls games, UW has made a total of 13 appearances in front of College GameDay. Of those games, Corso has recorded a near-even 7-6 overall record when choosing between the Badgers and their opponents. Here’s a list of Corso’s selections (bolded) in all 13 of Wisconsin’s appearances in GameDay-featured matchups:
1999: No. 4 Michigan at No. 20 Wisconsin Correct
2000: No. 17 Wisconsin at No. 9 Michigan Correct
2003: No. 13 Purdue at No. 14 Wisconsin Wrong
2004: Penn State at No. 20 Wisconsin Correct
2004: No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 5 Purdue Wrong
2010: No. 1 Ohio State at No. 18 Wisconsin Correct
2011: (Rose Bowl) No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 3 TCU Wrong
2011: No. 8 Nebraska at No. 7 Wisconsin Wrong
2011: No. 4 Wisconsin at No. 15 Michigan State Wrong
2012: (Rose Bowl) No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 9 Wisconsin Correct
2013: (Rose Bowl) No. 8 Stanford vs. No. 23 Wisconsin Correct
2015: (AT&T Stadium) No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 20 Wisconsin Correct
2016: (Lambeau Field) No. 5 LSU vs. Wisconsin Wrong
Despite having only chosen between the head of Brutus and Bucky one time, Corso did successfully predict Wisconsin’s thrilling 2010 upset over Ohio State at Camp Randall.
That being said, if the charismatic college football oracle decides to don the Badger headgear Saturday night, the cheering in Madison could be loud enough to hear from Milwaukee.
Who knows, you might even Jump Around too.