Tennessee has hosted ESPN College GameDay nine times on campus, the last time Sept. 24, 2016, when the Vols defeated Florida, 38-28.
ESPN College GameDay appearances at Tennessee:
- September 9, 1995: Tennessee 30 Georgia 27
- September 21, 1996: Florida 35 Tennessee 29
- November 6, 1999: Tennessee 38 Notre Dame 14
- September 16, 2000: Florida 27 Tennessee 23
- September 21, 2002: Florida 30 Tennessee 13
- November 9, 2002: Miami 26 Tennessee 3
- October 2, 2004: Auburn 34 Tennessee 10
- September 15, 2012: Florida 37 Tennessee 20
- September 24, 2016: Tennessee 38 Florida 28
Top 10 schools that have hosted ESPN College GameDay:
- Ohio State: 16
- Alabama: 13
- Florida: 12
- Florida State: 11
- LSU: 11
- Michigan: 11
- USC: 10
- Auburn: 9
- Oregon: 9
- Tennessee: 9
It does not appear Tennessee will host ESPN College GameDay on campus during the 2018 season, ushering in the Jeremy Pruitt era.
Chris Fallica has been with ESPN College GameDay since 1996 and says UT’s home schedule will make it difficult to make a trip to Knoxville in 2018.
“I think Knoxville is probably going to be a little tough to get to this year, just because how the schedule breaks out,” Fallica told Vols Wire. “The Florida game is Sept. 22 and probably the only one early in the year that would have any type of chance just because of Tennessee’s schedule.”
Tennessee plays East Tennessee State, UTEP, Florida, Alabama, Charlotte, Kentucky and Missouri at Neyland Stadium in 2018.
Fallica says “it may be hard to get off to a really good start” for Tennessee, but he thinks with Jeremy Pruitt as head coach that the future is bright in having ESPN College GameDay on UT’s campus for upcoming meaningful games.
“I think long-term, we all know the road with Tennessee by getting a very good head coach,” he said. “I think he (Pruitt) will get them back to respectability pretty quickly.”
Over the last two years, Fallica has been a focal point of the show by suggesting games to bet on with an emphasis on point spreads.
“It’s kind of a realization and acceptance of that we know people are gambling on games whether it is in Las Vegas or wherever,” Fallica said. “If people are going to make a bet, they are going to make a bet. We are just trying to serve an interest of college football fans.
“We are not saying go bet on a game, but it is information presented in a way that other than picks itself, there are interesting tidbits like how Urban Meyer does well when he has been an underdog.”
Fallica has picked games well since GameDay has been discussing point spreads, well enough for USA Today sports handicapper and analysis Danny Sheridan to acknowledge it.
“The picks itself, I have received a lot of positive feedback from people who watch and understand the stuff I am presenting on air,” he said. “Maybe some people have made some money, but some people have found it interesting in the presentation. Danny Sheridan has been in touch with me saying I have been over 60 percent the last two years and says that is a good accomplishment.”
Even if someone is not betting on a game, keeping up with point spreads that are more mainstream now might be a reason for someone watching to pay a little more attention to during games.
Now, with the United States Supreme Court ending sports betting prohibition in May, allowing states the right to legalize it, the future of sports betting and keeping up with point spreads will be even more noticeable.
“The interesting thing now is the legalization by a state-by-state basis,” Fallica said. “It will be interesting to see what direction this goes. I think you will have a lot more people interested in terms of people hanging around later in games. Will there be in-game wagering that comes out of this? The possibilities are really endless in terms of what you can do.”