The real story behind ESPN's GameDay selection
The Big Lead tweeted this earlier today:
ESPN Gameday taking a ton of heat already for going to FSU-BC game. enhances East Coast bias, for sure. would rather c them at LSU/Okl/Cal
I agree that BC hosting Florida State is surprising decision. There have been plenty of better BC games that were ignored by GameDay over the years and there are multiple games that deserve the spotlight more than two unranked ACC teams in early October. Yet talking to two different ESPN folks, I got the story on how GameDay at BC came to be.
1. Problems with the other candidates. This is the main reason. There isn't a can't miss game this weekend. The closest thing to a can't miss is Oklahoma-Miami. However, Miami's loss to VT and their move to LandShark aka Dolphins Stadium hurt their chance. GameDay feared hosting the show in front of an empty parking lot. The SEC matchups were appealing but the thought in Bristol was that they've already done SEC games and will do more in the coming weeks. Washington-Notre Dame was considered until the Huskies lost to Stanford. USC-Cal was also considered but Cal's loss and USC's recent (and likely future) GameDay involvement made it a no go this week.
2. The Mark Herzlich story. ESPN is putting together a feature on Herzy. His story is compelling and his early prognosis is very good. If he returns to play next season, ESPN is out in front of what could be a huge general news story.
3. The economy. It is easier and cheaper for ESPN to pull off the show from Boston (their backyard) than it would be from California or even somewhere in SEC country.
4. It has nothing to do with ESPNBoston.com. Some conspiracy theorists are floating the idea that GameDay is part of ESPN's corporate synergy to promote ESPNBoston.com. I am sure ESPNBoston will be mentioned once or twice during the broadcast, but one ESPNer said to me "ESPN.com boston has little or nothing to do with it [The selection]."