Manhattan already catching Gameday fever

On my way home from the Texas Tech game this weekend I shared a plane ride with Kansas State president Kirk Schulz, and like every other Wildcats fan right now he has “College Gameday” fever.

I asked him what he thought the chances were for Manhattan to host the popular ESPN show in two weeks when Oklahoma comes to town, and he thought they were pretty good.

He said Bill Snyder’s resurgence would give the ESPN crew a compelling story to tell, and he thought everyone around Manhattan would enthusiastically embrace the show. He gave me the impression he would do whatever he could to help convince “Gameday” to come.

Other possible destinations for Gameday appear to be: Clemson vs. Georgia Tech, USC vs. Stanford, Michigan State vs. Nebraska and Illinois vs. Penn State.

Of those games, No. 8 Clemson/No. 20 Georgia Tech seems like the biggest competition. But Georgia Tech just lost while third-ranked Oklahoma and 12th-ranked K-State are undefeated. If both teams win this weekend, that game has an edge.

But “Gameday” has been known to choose its destination based on factors outside of national rankings. One thing that could hurt K-State’s chances is the fact that “Gameday” has already been to two Oklahoma games this year (at Florida State and against Texas). “Gameday” might say it has seen enough of the Sooners and head elsewhere.

I asked ESPN publicist Michael Humes by e-mail about that and he replied: “Not necessarily a reason for deciding to go to another site. There are some good games that weekend, so will depend on rankings, storylines, etc.”

Humes said “Gameday” personnel compile a list of possible game destinations for every week. While nothing has been decided, an ESPN source has told me K-State/Oklahoma is the current favorite on the list for Oct. 29.