Will Maryland be a First-Time ESPN College GameDay Host in 2022?

Will Maryland be a First-Time ESPN College GameDay Host in 2022?
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

We’re officially into the opening stretch of the 2022 college football season, which means fans across the country have the potential to attend what has become a weekly mainstay of the sport.

That mainstay is ESPN’s "College GameDay," a three-hour showcase from one lucky college campus, complete with elder statesman Lee Corso making his customary head gear pick at the show’s conclusion.

The ESPN stalwart has been going strong since 1993, with its on-campus visits taking place hundreds of times since.

The show has visited Ohio State (21), Alabama (16), Florida and LSU (13 apiece) the most, with the Buckeyes (54), Crimson Tide (53), and Gators (41) having the most appearances on the telecast over the last four decades.

Conversely, of the 65 “Power Five” programs, only eight have never hosted, including the Maryland Terrapins.

BetMaryland.com used a host of metrics to determine how likely one of those eight teams is to host ESPN’s "College GameDay" in 2022.

Retail Maryland sports betting is available, but online wagering is still working its way through the regulatory process. The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission announced Monday that it has opened the process for interested parties to apply for mobile sports betting licenses, as well as Class B applicants.

Odds of First-Time ESPN College GameDay Host in 2022

Rank Team Index Value Likelihood (%) Odds
1🏈 Maryland25.023.1%+333
2🏈 Illinois22.520.8%+380
3🏈 Cal18.016.7%+500
4🏈 Rutgers14.513.4%+645
5🏈 Syracuse9.08.3%+1105
T6🏈 Virginia7.06.5%+1440
T6🏈 Duke7.06.5%+1440
8🏈 Kansas5.04.6%+2075
Odds developed by BetMaryland.com and aren’t available for wagering.

Maryland Mostly Likely First-Time Host in 2022

It appears Mike Locksley’s team is the most likely program to host "College GameDay" for the first time in 2022.

The Terps have the highest overall index value (25.0), and the highest likelihood of hosting the program (23.1%), giving them hypothetical odds of +333 to get "College GameDay" to College Park in 2022.

Trailing the Terps are Illinois (+380 odds), California (+500), Rutgers (+645), Syracuse (+1105), Virginia and Duke (+1440 apiece), and Kansas (+2075).

When online betting does go live, BetMaryland.com will be the place to go for Maryland sportsbook promos.

When Could Terps Host GameDay in 2022?

One big game that could attract Corso and company is Oct. 1 when the 15th-ranked Michigan State Spartans come to Maryland Stadium.  

Thanks to Maryland’s 31-10 drubbing of Buffalo in Saturday’s opener, it’s not hard to dream of a 3-1 start for the Terps, with the lone loss coming against eighth-ranked Michigan in Ann Arbor on Sept. 24.

Before that, Locksley’s team is likely to be favored against Charlotte and SMU in its next two contests, setting the stage for an early October clash against the Spartans with high stakes for both sides.

There’s also the Terps’ Nov. 19 home game against second-ranked Ohio State that could attract "GameDay" to campus given the program’s attraction to the Buckeyes over the years.

And "SportsCenter" anchor Scott Van Pelt is a Maryland graduate who isn't shy about his interest in the Terps; the ESPN star has a photo of himself at a Maryland basketball game on his Twitter home page.

When Might the Other First-Timers Get GameDay?

It’s hard to see "GameDay" going to places like Lawrence or Durham any time soon, as Kansas and Duke are amid multiyear rebuilds.

The near-distant future is much brighter for teams like Cal, Rutgers, and Syracuse, however, thanks to their fast start to the year.

The Golden Bears hammered overmatched UC-Davis, 34-13, in their opener Saturday and face another pushover in UNLV this week, before heading to South Bend to square off against Notre Dame.

A win over the Irish, however unlikely, would allow the Bears to emerge as a contender to make the program’s first Pac-12 title game appearance, which could bring "GameDay" to Berkeley when they host Oregon on Oct. 29.

The Scarlet Knights have been abysmal since Greg Schiano left Piscataway for the NFL in 2011 but seem to be more or less back on track now that Schiano has returned.

Rutgers managed to escape with a 22-21 road win over a much-improved Boston College squad on Saturday in the team’s opener and faces Wagner, Temple, and Iowa next — before heading to Columbus for a buzzsaw showdown against the Buckeyes.

Even with a loss to Ohio State, the Scarlet Knights could find themselves at 7-1 for the year with wins over Nebraska, Indiana and Minnesota in October by the time Michigan comes to New Jersey on Nov. 5.

Another unlikely first-timer that could very well get "GameDay" on campus in 2022 is Syracuse, which dispatched Louisville, 31-7, in their opener Saturday.

Dino Babers' bunch appears to be a contender to make it back to a bowl game for the first time since they went 10-3 and made the Camping World Bowl in 2018.

The Orange have a manageable schedule, with a road game against UConn this week followed by home games against Purdue, Virginia, and Wagner, before hosting 13th-ranked NC State on Oct. 15.

With wins over those teams, the Orange would be 5-0 for the year by the time the Wolfpack come to Raleigh, which could mean "College GameDay" makes its first ever appearance (for football) at the Carrier Dome in mid-October.

It’s also possible Virginia, under first-year head coach Tony Elliott, gets "GameDay" to Charlottesville in late October, when the 16th-ranked Miami Hurricanes come calling.

To do so, the Cavs’ will likely have to beat Illinois on the road this weekend, while also thwarting Old Dominion, Syracuse, Duke, Louisville and Georgia Tech in the runup to that Oct. 29 showdown.

UVA hasn’t posted a double-digit win season since 1989, when George Welsh was their head coach, and they finished 10-3 and made the Citrus Bowl.

It’s not inconceivable the Cavaliers could be 7-0 by the time they host Miami in late October.

It’s more likely, however, UVA’s former ACC rivals to the north get the honor of becoming the latest first-timer for the weekly program, perhaps doing so before the end of the year.

Methodology

BetMaryland.com used a host of metrics to determine how likely one of the eight Power 5 teams to never host ESPN’s "College GameDay" will host the program in 2022. The formula used the team’s average recruiting rank from 2021-23, their projected win total for 2022 (from DraftKings Maryland Sportsbook), stadium and entertainment value, conference value, previous appearances on "College GameDay" and overall program value (from The Wall Street Journal).

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Contributors

Christopher Boan writes for BetMaryland.com and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.2021-08-02

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