WE WERE RIGHT! Sort of. Chris Fowler on ESPN Insider admits what we suspected (HT: Mike):
For 13 seasons, the locations of the GameDay road shows have been editorial decisions based on the college football landscape. The basic principle was to (almost) always come from the site of the "biggest game," or occasionally, "the best story..."
Now, the philosophy has been rethought by upper management. For the first time, the competitive landscape of football programming is a frequent consideration. Serving the needs of ABC's new prime-time package of games is often a priority. The decision on GameDay's site is less a clear-cut "best game" philosophy now and is more complicated, made on a landscape where terms like "synergy" and "branding" live.
Branding--it's not just for cattle and fraternity hazing anymore. What ABC/ESPN/Disney/Cthulu management don't understand about the "branding" of the game is the divide it puts between Gameday's fiercely loyal fanbase and the games they deem most important. Rather than providing the best story, they're following network dictates like every other schlubby pregame show, and by doing so cheapen the cachet Gameday once had.
Cthulu's taken what Gameday once was. If you haven't seen the Cthulu/Family Circus mashups, click here...if you dare, dear reader.