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GAMEDAY: A look at College GameDay's history with Nick Saban as head coach

CW / Sam MacDonald

Ben Boyton

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Starting as early as Friday night, UA students will start forming a line outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium. This won’t be for the No. 1 Crimson Tide’s game against No. 6 Texas A&M, though. It’ll be for College GameDay.

ESPN’s popular pre-game show, College GameDay is no stranger to the Crimson Tide. Alabama has been in the show’s featured game 37 times to date, which is tied with Florida for the most by any school. It has also hosted the show a record 16 times. Since Alabama coach Nick Saban’s arrival on campus in 2007, College GameDay has chosen Alabama as its location eight times.

Date Alabama Rank Opponent Result Corso’s Pick
9/22/2007 #16 #22 Georgia 26-23 OT, Georgia Alabama
9/11/2010 #1 #18 Penn State 24-3, Alabama Alabama
11/5/2011 #2 #1 LSU 9-6 OT, LSU LSU
11/9/2013 #1 #10 LSU 38-17, Alabama Alabama
11/15/2014 #4 #1 Mississippi State 25-20, Alabama Alabama
11/29/2014 #1 #15 Auburn 55-44, Alabama Alabama
9/19/2015 #2 #15 Ole Miss 43-37, Ole Miss Alabama
11/7/2015 #7 #4 LSU 30-16, Alabama LSU

The table above shows how Alabama has fared in home College GameDay performances. The Crimson Tide has gone 5-3 in such games. The chart also lists who Lee Corso has picked in each of the matchups. Corso is famous for putting on a headgear of the mascot to represent whichever team he picks. Corso has picked Alabama in six of the eight games, though Corso’s record is just 4-4 in the Saban era.

This game against the Aggies on Saturday will be the fourth time the Crimson Tide has played after a College GameDay game as the No. 1 team in the country. Alabama is so far a perfect 3-0 as the top-ranked team under Saban in such games.

For the Aggies, it will be just their second time playing in the featured game as the visiting team. The previous time was all the way back in 1995 when the then-No. 3 Aggies were upset by then-No. 7 Colorado. In fact, Texas A&M has struggled as part of the featured College GameDay matchup. The only win the program has in its six appearances is Oct. 8 this season, as the team beat Tennessee, 45-38, in double overtime.

Alabama and Texas A&M have played each other once before on College GameDay. It was on Sep. 14 when then-No. 1 Alabama beat then-No. 6 Texas A&M, 49-42, in College Station, Texas. The rankings are the same for this week; the location is just different. 

College GameDay is unlikely to visit Tuscaloosa for any other games this season. The Iron Bowl against Auburn is the only other possibility, but it is more likely that College GameDay will be in Ohio for the Ohio State-Michigan matchup. Texas A&M has slightly higher odds of being a part of College GameDay again this season. Its Nov. 12 game against Ole Miss could potentially be the featured game of the week, as Oklahoma-Baylor and LSU-Arkansas are the only other games that feature two currently ranked teams.

Regardless of future appearances, both teams will be focused on their game this weekend. Alabama has never lost as No. 1 under Saban while hosting College GameDay, while Texas A&M is coming off its only College GameDay win in program history and could use a win to take control of the SEC West. It will either be Alabama continuing its success in the spotlight, or Texas A&M starting a new College GameDay winning streak.

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GAMEDAY: A look at College GameDay's history with Nick Saban as head coach