By this point in the show’s life, heading into Season 22 of traveling on a weekly or near-weekly basis, variety is the spice that keeps College GameDay fresh. New locations are rare and cherished, especially when that new location is the Not So Frozen Tundra Because It’s Still Early September.
So it makes perfect sense when ESPN announced Wednesday College GameDay will put up its stakes in Green Bay for the LSU-Wisconsin showdown on the season’s opening Saturday.
The Lambeau visit marks the second of a odd home-and-home between the Badgers and Bayou Bengals. LSU topped Wisconsin 28-24 in Houston to open the 2014 season.
“Lambeau Field is hailed as a football shrine and is as special of a venue as the game of football has to offer,” ESPN senior coordinating producer Lee Fitting said in a statement. “It is an honor to be able to stage College GameDay from Lambeau as we kick off this opening weekend filled with top-caliber games.”
There were a plethora of choices for Sept. 3 — almost too much. Alabama-USC offers the biggest brand names, and will, in fact, host ABC’s top play-by-play crew of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit. Oklahoma-Houston offers the best combination of highly-ranked teams and competitive balance. Auburn-Clemson would’ve been a choice few could have quibbled with.
But GameDay can broadcast outside Jordan-Hare Stadium or the respective parking lots of AT&T Stadium or NRG Stadium any year they choose. They’ll probably never have a chance to go to Lambeau again.
LSU will make its 26th GameDay appearance, seventh most all-time. The Tigers are 16-9 in their previous appearances. Wisconsin will step in the GameDay spotlight for the 13th time; the Badgers are 5-7 in their previous 12 games, including four consecutive losses. Both teams’ most recent GameDay appearances came in 2015 losses to Alabama.
SEC teams are 5-0 all-time in GameDay games against the Big Ten.