Since the beginning of time, well at least since 1987, there has been College Gameday. Actually, Gameday as we know it didn't start traveling around the country until 1993. As many of you know, when there is a football game that has any kind of significance, then the Gameday crew packs its gear and hosts a show at the home campus. Many a sports fan will spend three hours of his Saturday watching Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Chris Fowler talk nothing but college football.
I can't help but notice that each year, understanding Lee Corso's analysis of games becomes increasingly difficult. In fact, it is my thought that the only reason Corso is still on the show is because ESPN can't find anyone else to put on a mascot head. That thought coincides with the fact that ESPN Gameday is the only reason Corso is still breathing ... but I digress.
Regardless of what you think the varying quality of College Gameday is, hosting it is a big deal. For many places, unless you're Alabama or LSU, it ends up being one of the highlights of the year. However, since the game actually needs to have national implications, getting selected as the host city is, to put it simply, nearly impossible unless you happen to be in the SEC. If you want to argue with me, go here .... The fact is, until 1997, no cities on the west coast hosted Gameday, and that was for the Rose Bowl ... Up until 2005, the west coast was only chosen as the host city a whopping 2 times. That has changed a bit, but for the most part, the east coast gets Gameday action more often.
With Gameday coming to Seattle for the first time ever, two questions came to mind. First, what does this mean for the Pac-12 and second, what does this mean for the Husky football program?
In all honesty, I'm not quite sure how to answer the first question ... I mean yeah, it's great for the Pac-12 that one of its cities is hosting Gameday. It's good exposure for the conference, the east coast is saying that this game is important, which must count for something ..., the pollsters might be persuaded to vote favorably to Washington ... and worse for Alabama. I don't know. The one thing that keeps coming back to me is that when Washington is good, the rest of the conference looks better. At least I think so.
Look at it this way. When other teams, like Arizona, or Oregon State, or even Washington State are killing it, the Pac-12 must be having a down year. That line of thinking came from the fact that USC and Washington were so dominant for such a long time. If those two teams were having mediocre years, then it was just a mediocre year for the Pac-12. Then the 2000s hit and UW sucked. So I suppose that argument flies out the window ... or does it?
Let's face it. People still remember "the good old days" as just about everyone remembers it, unless you're an Oregon fan ... in that case it's simply called the dark ages. With Washington out of the picture, another team had to step up, and that team happened to be Oregon (sorry Stanford fans). However, it was still thought that Washington would come back. It was almost expected. Well, now that Washington sorta looks like a legitimate contender, depending on who you ask, at least for a possible Pac-12 championship, the first thing that happens is Gameday decides to take a visit. Coincidence? I think not. Washington's glory days still mean something to college football, and the fact that Washington is possibly on the verge of being in that position once again, ESPN had to come check it out.
Now, as for the second question. This is a big deal for Washington. There have been glimpses of "greatness" if you will throughout Sark's time here, but nothing more. Last week, even though it was a loss, was a statement to the rest of the country. Washington is here for now, and everyone else better take a look.
To the rest of the country, this game doesn't mean a lot. I mean, look at the history of these two teams for the past 10 years ... it's sorta lopsided in favor of Oregon. However, Washington stands on the verge of breaking something big, and ESPN wants to be there when it happens. Get used to it Oregon fans, if UW is good, the Pac-12 is going to look a lot better. Then you can look on the bright side and say, if Oregon happens to win a game against the Huskies, that you won the conference championship in a really good year for the Pac-12. But honestly, this game really just means that the national media is giving the Huskies some respect ... and for once in a long time, it's deserved.