Lee Corso's most-picked 'College GameDay' teams

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November 25, 2019
James Gilbert // Getty Images

Lee Corso's most-picked 'College GameDay' teams

Lee Corso has been a staple on ESPN’s “College GameDay” since it first aired in 1987, making more than 1,700 correct predictions in his 30-plus years on the broadcast. It wasn’t until Oct. 5, 1996, though, that a college football tradition was born when Corso got the idea to wear the Brutus Buckeye head while delivering his pick of Ohio State.

Since that fateful day, Corso has successfully donned the winning mascot head 224 times while losing just 120 through Nov. 7, 2019. Stacker compiled a list of the teams Lee Corso has picked the most on “College GameDay” using data from GamedayCole.com. Colleges are ranked by the number of picks, and ties are broken by the most recent pick.

Along with each team, you’ll find information about Corso’s overall record when selecting that team, as well as the last time he picked them, and how they did in that game. Each slide also contains a little history about each college program, as well as more significant times Corso has picked them.

Corso, who played quarterback for Florida State in the 1950s and was college roommates with Burt Reynolds, suffered a stroke in 2009. Despite needing help from his friends to get through broadcasts, the 84-year-old doesn’t plan on retiring anytime soon. “I go to the best game of the weekend and talk football—and they pay me... Why the hell would I leave something like this?” he said, per the AP, on the eve of the 2017 season.

Keep reading to find out Lee Corso’s most-picked “College GameDay” teams.

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#25. Michigan State

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 4
- Record picking team to win: 3-1
- Most recent pick: Dec. 5, 2015 vs. Iowa
- Most recent result: Michigan State 16 - Iowa 13

The only loss on Corso’s record when picking Michigan State to win came at the hands of Ohio State near the end of the 2014 season. Ten months prior, Corso scored a win when he donned the Spartan head before their 24-20 victory over Stanford at the 2014 Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. Corso is 0-3 since 2014 when picking against the Spartans, who have been led by head coach Mark Dantonio since 2007, who became the school’s all-time winningest coach in 2019.

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#24. Oklahoma State

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 4
- Record picking team to win: 1-3
- Most recent pick: Nov. 4, 2017 vs. Oklahoma
- Most recent result: Oklahoma 62 - Oklahoma State 52

Corso has had a tough time picking Oklahoma State in the Bedlam Series, going 0-3 in the Cowboys’ annual game against in-state rival Oklahoma. Future Heisman Trophy winner and #1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield threw for 598 yards to spoil Corso’s most recent pick of the Cowboys in a record-setting meeting between the two in 2017. A 2013 victory over Baylor was Oklahoma State’s lone win on Corso’s behalf.

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#23. Nebraska

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 5
- Record picking team to win: 3-2
- Most recent pick: Oct. 1, 2011 vs. Wisconsin
- Most recent result: Wisconsin 48 - Nebraska 17

Nebraska, led by head coach Tom Osborne, captured three national titles in four years from 1994 to 1997 and is considered among the best teams ever. Corso started well picking the Cornhuskers, going 3-0 from 1998 until the end of 2001, including a pair of victories over Notre Dame. Miami spoiled his perfect start by crushing Nebraska, 37-14, in the 2002 BCS National Championship Game, and Wisconsin put him on a two-game losing street nine years later with a 48-17 drubbing of the Huskers in 2011.

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#22. Kansas State

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 5
- Record picking team to win: 1-4
- Most recent pick: Dec. 6, 2014 vs. Baylor
- Most recent result: Baylor 38 - Kansas State 27

Corso’s lone victory picking Kansas State came on Nov. 14, 1998, when the Wildcats beat Nebraska, 40-30, to end their 29-game losing streak against the Cornhuskers. Four straight Corso losses have ensued since “College GameDay” first visited Manhattan, Kan., including a 27-24 loss to eventual national champion Oklahoma in the 2000 Big 12 Championship game. Most recently, Baylor dispatched K-State, 38-27, in the final week of the 2014 regular season.

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#21. Stanford

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 5
- Record picking team to win: 4-1
- Most recent pick: Jan. 1, 2016 vs. Iowa
- Most recent result: Stanford 45 - Iowa 16

Future NFL star Christian McCaffrey amassed 368 all-purpose yards as Stanford throttled Iowa in the 2016 Rose Bowl to prove Corso correct in his most recent selection. The lone blemish on Corso’s Cardinal record came at the hands of Oregon in 2011, 10 months after correctly picking them over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. The Cardinal have won two national championships in their history, long before Corso’s time, most recently in 1940, and also 1926 under the leadership of legendary coach Pop Warner.

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#20. Tennessee

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 5
- Record picking team to win: 3-2
- Most recent pick: Sept. 10, 2016 vs. Virginia Tech
- Most recent result: Tennessee 45 - Virginia Tech 24

Tennessee claims six national titles on its resume, including the undefeated 1998 team, which defeated Florida State 23-16 in the Fiesta Bowl. Corso incorrectly picked the Seminoles in that game, with Vols quarterback Tee Martin tossing two touchdown passes for Tennessee’s first crown since 1951. Corso moved over the .500 mark while picking Tennessee thanks to a 45-24 whitewashing of Virginia Tech early in the 2016 season. That game, at Bristol Motor Speedway, set an NCAA attendance record, with 156,990 fans watching the Vols respond from a 14-0 deficit for the convincing victory.

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#19. TCU

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 5
- Record picking team to win: 5-0
- Most recent pick: Oct. 7, 2017 vs. West Virginia
- Most recent result: TCU 31 - West Virginia 24

Corso is unbeaten when he pulls the Horned Frog over his head, going 5-0 since first picking Texas Christian over BYU in 2009. TCU would crush Utah three weeks later, and again less than a year later to keep Corso unblemished when choosing the private college in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired to defeat West Virginia in 2014 on Corso’s behalf, and in 2017, victimized the Mountaineers once again to remain one of only two teams Corso has picked at least five times without a loss.

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#18. Georgia

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 5
- Record picking team to win: 1-4
- Most recent pick: Sept. 21, 2019 vs. Notre Dame
- Most recent result: Georgia 23 - Notre Dame 17

Despite three SEC Championship Game victories on its resume, Georgia didn’t reward Corso with his first victory until the 2019 season, a 23-17 win over Notre Dame. The University of Georgia football traces back to the mid-1890s and was the first job for legendary coach Glenn “Pop” Warner, who simultaneously served as a co-coach at Iowa State. The Dawgs have claimed two national titles, in 1942 and the unexpectedly undefeated 1980 team, led by freshman and future Pro Football Hall of Famer Herschel Walker.

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#17. Auburn

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 6
- Record picking team to win: 4-2
- Most recent pick: Sept. 18, 2010 vs. Clemson
- Most recent result: Auburn 27 - Clemson 24

Auburn kicker Wes Byrum booted a field goal in overtime to give the Tigers a 27-24 overtime victory over Clemson the last time Corso picked them. A few months later, Byrum and Auburn would deal Corso a loss, with the kicker nailing a game-winner as time expired in the BCS National Championship Game against the Corso-picked Oregon Ducks. That team, led by Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, went unbeaten to earn the Tigers their second national championship, with the first in 1957.

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#16. Navy

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 6
- Record picking team to win: 2-4
- Most recent pick: Dec. 8, 2018 vs. Army
- Most recent result: Army 17 - Navy 10

The Navy-Army rivalry is among the oldest in college football, with Navy leading the overall series 60-52-7. While the 120th meeting will take place in December 2019, Corso has chosen the Midshipmen each of the past five years, winning the first two before Army’s current three-game win streak sent his record below .500 when picking Navy. Navy defeated Air Force early in the 2019 season, giving them the inside track to the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, awarded annually (usually by the president) to the best team of the three military academies.

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#15. Penn State

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 6
- Record picking team to win: 4-2
- Most recent pick: Oct. 19, 2019 vs. Michigan
- Most recent result: Penn State 28 - Michigan 21

Corso correctly picked Ohio State over Penn State in the first official headgear game on Oct. 5, 1996. Penn State captured a pair of national titles during the 45-year tenure of head coach Joe Paterno, who is second all-time in college coaching wins. Most recently, Penn State scored Corso a W with a 28-21 showing against Michigan in mid-October, behind a four-touchdown performance from quarterback Sean Clifford.

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#14. Miami (FL)

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 7
- Record picking team to win: 5-2
- Most recent pick: Sept. 4, 2006 vs. Florida State
- Most recent result: Florida State 13 - Miami (FL) 10

Corso hasn’t chosen the University of Miami since the opening week of 2006, a 13-10 loss at the hands of in-state rival Florida State. That meeting was the most-viewed college football game in ESPN history to that point. Corso’s only other loss when taking the Hurricanes came in the 2003 BCS Championship Game, as Ohio State won in double overtime in one of the greatest games in college football history.

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#13. Wisconsin

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 8
- Record picking team to win: 3-5
- Most recent pick: Oct. 13, 2018 vs. Michigan
- Most recent result: Michigan 38 - Wisconsin 13

Wisconsin hasn’t been kind to Corso when he has donned the Badger head, falling to 3-5 after Michigan’s 38-13 romp in the 2018 season. TCU played spoiler for Corso on New Year’s Day 2011, clipping fifth-ranked Wisconsin by two points, 21-19, in the Rose Bowl. That loss was the first of three straight for Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, with Corso correctly picking Oregon and Stanford over the Badgers the next two seasons.

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#12. Notre Dame

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 10
- Record picking team to win: 6-4
- Most recent pick: Sept. 1, 2018 vs. Michigan
- Most recent result: Notre Dame 24 - Michigan 17

From Knute Rockne’s famous “Win One for the Gipper” speech in 1928 to the fans chanting “Rudy” at the end of the movie of the same name, Notre Dame is one of the most iconic programs in college football. The Fighting Irish have won 11 national championships, but unfortunately for Corso, #12 wasn’t meant to be in 2013, when Alabama steamrolled past Notre Dame, 42-14 in the BCS title game. That began a run of four straight losses for Corso when picking Notre Dame, which finally ended in 2018 with a 24-17 win over Michigan.

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#11. Clemson

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 10
- Record picking team to win: 8-2
- Most recent pick: Aug. 29, 2019 vs. Georgia Tech
- Most recent result: Clemson 52 - Georgia Tech 14

The Clemson Tigers have won two out of the past three national championships, defeating Alabama in the CFP National Championship Game in 2016 and 2018. Corso was right in January 2019 when the Tigers capped off a 15-0 season—the sixth unbeaten campaign in program history—by crushing the Crimson Tide, 44-16. The defending national champions kicked off the 2019 campaign by scoring Corso another W with a 52-14 dismantling of Georgia Tech.

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#10. Texas

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 11
- Record picking team to win: 7-4
- Most recent pick: Jan. 7, 2010 vs. Alabama
- Most recent result: Alabama 37 - Texas 21

The University of Texas has four national titles in the school’s history, including a 2006 win over USC, 41-38, in what many consider college football’s greatest game. Quarterback Vince Young delivered the Longhorns (and Corso) to victory by running for an eight-yard touchdown on fourth down with 19 seconds left. Corso tried to win the big one with Texas again in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, but Alabama pulled away in the final minutes for a 37-21 victory.

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#9. Michigan

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 11
- Record picking team to win: 7-4
- Most recent pick: Nov. 24, 2018 vs. Ohio State
- Most recent result: Ohio State 62 - Michigan 39

The University of Michigan’s 21-16 victory over Washington State at the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day 1998 capped a 12-0 season and marked the first time Corso correctly picked a national champion. The Wolverines would split the crown with a similarly unbeaten Nebraska team that season, the last before college football began the BCS era. Corso was victorious in the only other bowl game he took Michigan, a narrow 23-20 win over Virginia Tech at the 2012 Sugar Bowl.

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#8. USC

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 17
- Record picking team to win: 17-0
- Most recent pick: Jan. 02, 2017 vs. Penn State
- Most recent result: USC 52 - Penn State 49

Corso and the University of Southern California have been perfect together, with his 17-0 record including a national championship pick and five Rose Bowl wins. The most recent Rose Bowl win came in 2017, a dramatic 52-49 win over Penn State on a field goal as time expired. The Trojans have won 11 national titles (although the 2004 title was vacated), and trail Notre Dame by one with 12 players going on to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Corso is also 5-1 while picking against USC.

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#7. Oklahoma

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 17
- Record picking team to win: 10-7
- Most recent pick: Oct. 6, 2018 vs. Texas
- Most recent result: Texas 48 - Oklahoma 45

Corso is 1-2 when picking Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown, the annual rivalry meeting with the University of Texas. Though the Sooners have won two straight over their border rival, Texas spoiled Corso’s last selection in 2018, with the Longhorns surviving a furious comeback to win 48-45 on a late field goal. Oklahoma has seven national championships under its belt, most recently defeating Florida State, 13-2, as a double-digit underdog in the opening days of 2001.

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#6. Florida State

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 20
- Record picking team to win: 13-7
- Most recent pick: Oct. 18, 2014 vs. Notre Dame
- Most recent result: Florida State 31 - Notre Dame 27

Under the guidance of Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden, Florida State had the most dominant decade ever, going 109-13 in the 1990s. The Seminoles won two national championships under Bowden, in 1993 and 1999, with Corso correctly picking Florida State to defeat Virginia Tech in what would be a wild, back-and-forth affair in the opening days of the 21st century. Florida State scored another win for Corso early in 2014, as quarterback Jameis Winston led the Seminoles back from a 21-3 deficit to defeat Auburn, bringing Corso to 2-2 picking the Tallahassee school in the big game.

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#5. Oregon

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 20
- Record picking team to win: 13-7
- Most recent pick: Aug. 31, 2019 vs. Auburn
- Most recent result: Auburn 27 - Oregon 21

The Oregon Ducks had quite a run from 2010 to 2014, going 60-8 during that span while appearing in a pair of national championship games. Corso picked Oregon to win the title in January 2011, but a last-second field goal by Auburn’s Wes Byrum sent the Tigers to a 22-19 victory. Auburn got the best of Corso and the Ducks on his most recent pick, 27-21, once again scoring in the final seconds as Bo Nix found Seth Williams for a 26-yard score with nine seconds left.

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#4. LSU

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 20
- Record picking team to win: 14-6
- Most recent pick: Oct. 12, 2019 vs. Florida
- Most recent result: LSU 42 - Florida 28

Corso's biggest selection of Louisiana State University came in the 2004 Sugar Bowl, a 21-14 victory over Oklahoma for the national championship. The Tigers would capture their third overall national title in 2008, erasing an early 10-point deficit to defeat Ohio State, though Corso took an L in selecting the Buckeyes. He is 3-0 so far in 2019, successfully picking the Tigers to defeat Texas, Florida, and Alabama.

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#3. Florida

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 23
- Record picking team to win: 15-8
- Most recent pick: Oct. 05, 2019 vs. Auburn
- Most recent result: Florida 24 - Auburn 13

Two of Corso’s 15 victories while picking Florida came on the ultimate stage, as the Gators won national championships in 2007 and 2009, defeating Ohio State and Oklahoma, respectively. Led by Urban Meyer from 2005 to 2010, the Gators went 5-1 when Corso chose them to win. The Gators have added a pair of victories on Corso’s behalf so far in 2019, a 24-20 victory over in-state rival Miami to kick off the season, and, most recently, a 24-13 defeat of Auburn.

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#2. Ohio State

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 29
- Record picking team to win: 21-8
- Most recent pick: Sept. 28, 2019 vs. Nebraska
- Most recent result: Ohio State 48 - Nebraska 7

Eight-time national champion Ohio State started it all for Corso back in 1996, when the prognosticator correctly picked the Buckeyes to defeat Big Ten rival Penn State. The Brutus Buckeye head has been kind to Corso over the years, just not in big games, where he is 2-2 while picking Ohio State in either National Championship or College Football Playoff games, losing in 2008 and 2016. Prior to his last Ohio State pick over Nebraska early in the 2019 season, Corso wore Brutus Buckeye before their 28-23 victory over Washington in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019.

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#1. Alabama

- Number of times Corso picked to win: 32
- Record picking team to win: 22-10
- Most recent pick: Dec. 29, 2018 vs. Oklahoma
- Most recent result: Alabama 45 - Oklahoma 34

Only Princeton and Yale have more national championships than Alabama’s 17 but have claimed only one combined since 1936. Current Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has five national titles (six total, LSU 2003) under his belt since taking the reins in 2007, during which Corso has gone 20-8 when he picks Alabama to win. The Tide’s 45-34 defeat of Oklahoma at the Orange Bowl in 2018 sent Alabama to its fourth consecutive National Championship Game, where it would fall to Corso’s pick: Clemson.

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