College GameDay’s effect on Alabama football"> Alabama-Mississippi opens up a tough slate for ESPN
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College GameDay’s effect on Alabama football

Kevin Jairaj- USA TODAY Sports

A man and his headgear. It has been the defining moment for 28 years, seeing college football analyst Lee Corso put on a helmet in representation of a winner. Since 1987, ESPN’s College GameDay has brought joy, tears and insight into the homes of fans and experts. Corso’s trademark catch phrase “Not so fast my friend” has opened numerous in-depth debates.

The show takes on a new meaning this season, as former University of Alabama alumni Rece Davis is a host. Alabama football has been featured on College GameDay 28 times, dating back to 1994. It’s made an appearance 23 times under head coach Nick Saban since 2007.

A show consistenting the personalities of Corso, Kirk Herbestreit, Desmond Howard and Davis can be unorthodox when making predictions; however, the cast is usually spot on with Alabama.

The Crimson Tide was a dismal 2-5 in games hosted by College GameDay, prior to Coach Saban. Its lone wins came against No.6-ranked Auburn in 1994 and No.11-ranked LSU in 1996. ESPN didn’t feel compelled to come to Birmingham or Tuscaloosa, Ala., in the 1990s or 2000s, but Saban’s arrival brought marketability and a lust for must watch television.

Saturday night’s meeting between Alabama and Mississippi will be College GameDay’s 24th trip to Tuscaloosa since 2007. The Crimson Tide have claimed 16 of 23 wins (69.6 percent), five of which have occurred at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Saban’s track record in Southeastern Conference openers is remarkable, posting a 12-1 all-time mark.

He is a perfect 8-0 at Alabama.

The Crimson Tide will put its current 17-game home winning streak on the line against Mississippi and ESPN this weekend. Corso’s choice of headgear will be intriguing.

Alabama has experienced its highs and lows with College GameDay, from a exhilarating 41-30 win over Georgia in 2008 to a heart-breaking 9-6 overtime loss to LSU in 2011. All eyes will be on Tuscaloosa, as Saturday will unveil a huge decision in week three of college football.

Listed below are some of the best wins and worst losses for Alabama on ESPN since 2007.

Best wins with College GameDay

  • 2008: Alabama 41, Georgia 30
  • 2008: Alabama 27, LSU 21
  • 2009 SEC title game: Alabama 32, Florida 13
  • 2010 BCS national title game: Alabama 37, Texas 21
  • 2012 BCS national title game: Alabama 21, LSU 0
  • 2011: Alabama 27, Penn State 11

Worst Losses with College GameDay

  • 2008 SEC title game: Florida 31, Alabama 20
  • 2010: South Carolina 35, Alabama 21
  • 2011: LSU 9, Alabama 6 (OT)
  • 2013: Auburn 34, Alabama 28
  • 2014: Ole Miss 23, Alabama 17

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine and SB Nation. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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