One of the most exciting side stories of the college football season is the weekly decision for ESPN's College Gameday crew about where they will hold their show.
It is a point of pride for a school to host Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Chris Fowler because those men do not preview a game unless it is elite. This gives the players, students and fans a little extra energy for the high-profile matchup.
However, choosing the top game of the week is not always an easy decision. There are a number of weeks in college football this season that will leave a couple of teams feeling snubbed.
Wisconsin at Nebraska or Ohio State at Michigan State?
There are five Big Ten teams that will all be in the mix at the top of the standings at year's end, and four of them face each other in Week 5. Each squad wins in very different ways, but they all have an incredible amount of talent and both of these should be great to watch.
Although both games should be entertaining, the Wisconsin-Nebraska game should be the better choice, especially if the crew travels to Michigan State for the Spartans game against Notre Dame earlier in the year.
Nebraska's Taylor Martinez has shown an extra dimension to his game with his new passing ability, while Wisconsin has one of the best running backs in the nation in Montee Ball. These teams were undefeated when they faced in 2011 and should be undefeated again for a great conference matchup.
South Carolina at LSU or Texas at Oklahoma?
The ESPN crew needs to decide between great teams or a great rivalry. South Carolina and LSU will likely both be in the top 10 at this point in the season, but records do not matter when Texas and Oklahoma compete.
In three of the last four years, Gameday has covered the Red River Rivalry. That tradition should not change in 2012 as both should still be near the top of the rankings and will provide plenty of excitement for more than just Big 12 fans.
Alabama at LSU or Oregon at USC?
This will be the toughest decision of the entire season. Both matchups feature two top-four teams and each brings something different to the table. The Pac-12 battle should be a high-scoring affair between two of the best offenses in the nation, while the SEC showcases its elite defense.
The deciding factor might be the fact that the LSU-Alabama showdown is a rematch of last year's national championship. It is tough to see ESPN passing up a chance to hype this game all week long.
Notre Dame at USC or Michigan at Ohio State?
Every year, rivalry week features some of the best games of the season. Besides these two games, the Gameday crew will have a choice of Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, Auburn at Alabama, South Carolina at Clemson or Florida at Florida State. Choosing the best will be difficult, but there does not seem to be a bad choice among them.
The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is always exciting, but it is likely the choice goes to a game with national title implications. If USC runs the table to this point, Notre Dame could be one of the only teams left on the path to another championship.
This will simply be too good for the network to pass up.
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