Movement Gaining Steam For ESPN College GameDay in El Paso
What started out as a longshot may actually be a possibility. ESPN College GameDay will announce next Monday where they will be on Saturday, November 6th, and El Paso could be their landing spot. KVIA's Nate Ryan tweeted out on Tuesday that UTEP is one of 10 schools that are in the running to be selected for the show. In addition, Ryan and KTSM's Colin Deaver have both been vocal on air about lobbying for El Paso to host College GameDay.
In addition to the local media push, Brian Davis from the Austin American Statesman, the college football Reddit Twitter account, and even ESPN's Adam Rittenberg voiced their support for UTEP.
The good news is that UTSA will still be undefeated and ranked in the Top 25 when the November 6th game kicks off at the Sun Bowl. Like the Roadrunners, UTEP is already bowl eligible and the Miners are currently 3-0 in the conference as they travel to play FAU on Saturday. The UTEP-UTSA showdown was originally scheduled for 2 p.m. on ESPN+, but both teams agreed to move it back to 8:15 p.m. to accommodate ESPN2.
If you look at the schedule for Top 25 games next weekend, there are no enticing matchups other than Texas A&M and Auburn, which adds to the intrigue. College Gameday has never been to El Paso before, and they love coming to new markets. Add in the fact that Lee Corso played in the 1957 Sun Bowl for Florida State and you have another great storyline for college football fans. Corso, who joined me in 2013 reminisced about the game and getting hurt just minutes into the contest against Texas Western.
There are tons of great storylines for College GameDay in El Paso. UTEP and UTSA's terrific football seasons are the big ones, but you also have Aaron Jones, El Paso's recovery from the WalMart shooting, C-USA's future (without UTSA) just to name a few.
As good as this idea sounds, the sun will not rise in El Paso until about 7:27 a.m. on November 6th. That means the first half hour of College GameDay will take place in the dark. Although ESPN does not usually take their signature show on the road to the pacific or mountain time zones, they did go to Brookings, South Dakota two years ago and start that show before sunrise. Over the years, they have also visited Eugene, Oregon and Seattle. Keep the social media campaign going. It worked for El Paso with Kraft Hockeyville and lightning just might strike again next Saturday.