- College GameDay (football)
previous logo used from 2005-2009
Format College Football Starring Chris Fowler
Country of origin United States Production Location(s) Bristol, Connecticut
See locations below
Running time 180 minutes Broadcast Original channel ESPN
Original run 1987– present
College GameDay is an ESPN entertainment show previewing college football games. It first aired in 1987 with Tim Brando as host and Lee Corso and Beano Cook as commentators. Beginning more-or-less as a report on college football games, the show would undergo a radical transformation beginning in 1993 as the show began incorporating "live" broadcasts. The official name of the show is College GameDay built by The Home Depot. There is a separate radio broadcast, ESPN Radio College GameDay, on ESPN Radio.
Today, the only original cast member remaining is Lee Corso. Chris Fowler serves as host and Kirk Herbstreit, former Ohio State quarterback, serves as Corso's counterpart and foil. Starting in 2008, Desmond Howard has been added to the cast in the show's introduction. Craig James, currently providing analysis on ESPN Thursday Night games and on ABC's Saturday afternoon games, was on the show in the mid 1990s. Nick Lachey joined the crew as a contributor during the 2005 season. Erin Andrews joined the GameDay crew as a co-host and contributor in 2010.
The show is known for its prediction segment that appears on each broadcast. Typically there are three predictors: Corso, Herbstreit and an invited guest, usually a celebrity, prominent athlete, or radio personality associated with the host university or school for that week. The end of the show always concludes with a catch phrase and prediction from Corso, who subsequently dons the mascot's headgear of the school he predicts to win the game, usually to the ire or excitement of local fans.
College GameDay kicked off its 25th season from Arlington, Texas on September 3, 2011.
- Chris Fowler: (Host, 1990–present)
- Lee Corso: (Analyst, 1987–present)
- Kirk Herbstreit: (Analyst, 1996–present)
- Desmond Howard: (Contributor, 2005–present)
- Erin Andrews: (Contributor, 2010–present)
- David Pollack: (Contributor, 2011–present)
- Larry Burnett:
- Tim Brando: (Host, 1987–1988)
- Bob Carpenter: (Host, 1989)
- Beano Cook: (Analyst, 1987–199?)
- Craig James: (Analyst, early 90's–1995)
- Rocket Ismail: (Contributor, 2003–04)
- Nick Lachey: (Contributor, 2005)
In 1993, GameDay began broadcasting live from outside a stadium hosting a game most Saturdays. The selected stadium is usually hosting one of the biggest matchups of the day, regardless of whether the game airs on an ESPN network. The first show "on the road" took place at South Bend, Indiana for the match up between #2 Notre Dame and #1 FSU. The show takes on a festive tailgate party atmosphere, as thousands of fans gather behind the broadcast set, in view of the show's cameras. Many fans bring flags or hand-painted signs as well, and the school's cheerleaders and mascots often join in the celebration. Crowds at GameDay tapings are known to be quite boisterous and very spirited. Flags seen at the broadcast are not limited to those of the home team; for example, one large Washington State flag can be seen at every broadcast, regardless of the location or the teams involved. The idea began in 2003 on WSU online fan forums and has resulted in the flag being present at more than 95 consecutive GameDay broadcasts.
The show's current intro and theme music is performed by country music duo Big & Rich, who perform their 2005 crossover hit "Comin' to Your City" with revised lyrics that mention several top college teams and a guest appearance by Cowboy Troy. Additional music that has been used for the show include "Boom" by the rock group P.O.D.
Typically, the show will end with Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit issuing their predictions for that day's key matchups, finishing with the game to be played at the stadium hosting GameDay, for which Corso signifies his prediction by donning the head piece of the mascot of his predicted winner. Starting with the 2009 season, a celebrity guest picker will give picks for the day's key games alongside the GameDay regulars (such as Bob Knight when GameDay aired from Texas Tech in 2008). Prior to 2009, this was not done on a regular basis.
In past years, when no suitably important game is available, it will originate instead from the ESPN studios. (Herbstreit, who in 2006 became a game analyst for ABC's Saturday Night Football, is not allowed to make a pick for the game at which he is assigned due to parent company Disney's conflict of interest rules; however, he is allowed to give one or two keys to the game.)
College GameDay was also a source for many arguments regarding the purported east coast bias: From 1993 until 2004, GameDay had only been to two regular season games on the entire West Coast (1998 at UCLA and 2000 at Oregon). Given the popularity of the show and the media coverage it brought to the highlighted game, teams and fans of the West Coast teams felt that the show was only magnifying the perceived problems with excess media focus on East, South and Midwest games; ESPN attributed its lack of West Coast games to the need for a very early start time (07:00 AM PST) and an alleged lack of high quality matchups.
With the addition of the Saturday Night Football game on ABC in 2006, GameDay has increasingly aired from that game. This could be done for many reasons including the fact Kirk Herbstreit is on both programs, thus making it easier for him. Another reason could be to give the Saturday Night Football game added exposure.
Beginning with the show's 21st season (2007), College GameDay began broadcasting in high-definition on ESPN HD.
College GameDay expanded to 3 hours, with the first hour being televised on ESPNU beginning September 4, 2010. In addition, ESPN Radio simulcasts the television version from 9am-noon ET. Other changes include Erin Andrews being added as a contributor, anchoring several segments during the first hour on ESPNU, and contributing during the ESPN portion. Andrews also works as a sideline reporter on the game from which College GameDay will originate from, if the game airs on 1 of the ESPN family of networks (i.e. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ABC).
All game-time rankings are ESPN/USA Today (Coaches Poll). If a listing is blank, that week's show originated at the ESPN studios. Ohio State has hosted 13 College GameDay broadcasts, the most ever, with a record of 10-3. Florida has hosted the second most, having hosted 11 College GameDay shows (7-4). Alabama has hosted 10 shows (3-7), the first three of which were in Birmingham. Michigan is also tied for 3rd most appearances with 10 (7-3). The Gators have appeared in the on-site game the most times 32 (21-11). Ohio State (28) is second in on-site appearances. Florida versus Florida State has been the most-covered matchup, being covered 8 times - 5 times in Gainesville, 2 in Tallahassee, and 1 in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.
Through the end of the 2010 football and the announced 2011-2012 basketball seasons, 26 schools (Arizona, Boston College, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Kansas State, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and Wisconsin) have hosted College GameDay for both basketball and football events.
Only Texas (08-09 and 05-06), Kansas (07-08), Ohio State (twice in 06-07), and Oklahoma State (04-05) have appeared on both versions of College Gameday in the same season (although LSU and Michigan State hosted both in the 2007 and 2011 calendar years, respectively). Florida State will join this elite group in 2011-2012, as College Gameday visits the Seminoles football game against Oklahoma, and is scheduled to visit on January 14, 2012, when FSU plays host to UNC in basketball. 
- August 27, 2000: The BCA Kickoff Classic was canceled due to severe weather. Moments after picking Georgia Tech to win against Virginia Tech, Lee Corso's rental car was struck by lightning. Corso later joked that God was a Hokie fan.
- November 3, 2001: The first time GameDay went to a non-BCS conference venue (Army at Air Force, with a post-9/11 feel).
- November 16, 2002 marked the first time GameDay was broadcast live from an Ivy League school as Harvard played at Penn.
- September 27, 2003: At West Point, where most of the broadcast was suspended due to lightning.
- October 4, 2003: GameDay's visit to Texas for the Kansas State–Texas game marks the first appearance of the "Coug Flag", as Washington State fans begin their ongoing tradition of flying a school flag at every GameDay broadcast.
- October 24, 2003: The first time GameDay went to a Mid-American Conference venue (Bowling Green State University). Number 23 Bowling Green upset number 12 Northern Illinois in a final of 34-18.
- November 26, 2005 marked the first time that GameDay was live from a game involving two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as Southern University played Grambling in the Bayou Classic in Houston (the game was moved from New Orleans to Houston due to Hurricane Katrina).
- On November 4, 2006, Chris Fowler did not host the show for the first time in 16 years. Rece Davis, host of College Football Final filled in for him. Fowler was on assignment, hosting ESPN's coverage of the Breeders' Cup from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
- September 1, 2007: GameDay came to Virginia Tech just five months after the Virginia Tech massacre as a special tribute.
- November 10, 2007 marked the first time that GameDay was live from a Div. III location as Amherst played at Williams.
- November 24, 2007: College Gameday was at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium for the 116th edition of the Border War, the nations oldest rivalry "West of the Mississippi (River)" as the 10-1 and 4th ranked Missouri Tigers faced the 11-0 and 2nd ranked Kansas Jayhawks with a potential #1 BCS ranking on the line, the first for both schools. Missouri opened a 28-7 lead into the 4th quarter, then the Jayhawks fought back making the score 34-28, but Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing was sacked in the end zone with under a minute to play, and The Tigers went on to win 36-28.
- April 12, 2008: GameDay went on location at their first spring football game, 'The Orange & Blue Debut' at Florida.
- The November 15, 2008 broadcast at Florida A&M was the first time GameDay originated from an HBCU.
- October 3, 2009 GameDay was at the Florida State vs Boston College game to pay tribute to Mark Herzlich, a BC player who was diagnosed with cancer.
- November 7, 2009 paid tribute to the troops by attending the Army-Air Force game.
- October 23, 2010, a GameDay attendance record was set in Columbia, Missouri at the University of Missouri; ESPN estimated over 18,000 fans turned out on David R. Francis Quadrangle.
- November 19, 2011, The first time GameDay will go to a Conference USA venue (University of Houston). The number 11 Houston Cougars play SMU.
20th Anniversary memorable moments
During the 2006 season, as part of College GameDay's 20th year anniversary, they brought back some of the most unforgettable moments in the show's history. Some of the clips include:
- College GameDay Hits the Road: On November 13, 1993, College GameDay hits the road, after six years in the studio, to see the #2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the #1 Florida State Seminoles in "The Game of the Century". Lee Corso picks Florida State 31-30, but the end result was Notre Dame 31–24.
- Herbstreit Joins GameDay: On August 31, 1996, former Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Kirk Herbstreit joined the College GameDay crew, to complete the cast that hasn't changed since.
- Corso's First Mascot Head: On October 5, 1996, a tradition starts when Lee Corso picks Ohio State to beat Penn State by sporting a facsimile of Brutus Buckeye's mascot head. Since that day, every College GameDay has ended with Corso sporting the team's headgear, usually a mascot head (eventually shifting to official mascot heads provided by the university) or another headpiece when a team does not have a suited mascot, such as a Trojan-style helmet for USC or the signature winged helmet of Michigan. For the game between Harvard and Penn that GameDay did in 2002, Corso dressed as Benjamin Franklin and in 2011 he dressed as a Tree to pick Stanford.
Occupy GameDay controversy
On September 24, 2011, special guest West Virginia head basketball coach Bob Huggins made a reference to the oversized head cutout of former ESPN broadcaster (and current host of a well-listened-to national radio show) Dan Patrick that was visible within the crowd behind the broadcast set. Host Chris Fowler proceeded to laugh nervously then quickly change the subject, as Dan Patrick has been involved in an ongoing dispute with ESPN since leaving the network. Following the College GameDay broadcast of Texas vs. Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl two weeks later, Patrick reported on his radio show that fans had been turned away by security if they had signs or cutouts that featured obvious references to him or The Dan Patrick Show. Despite these restrictions, attendees in Dallas were able to bring in a sign that read "Chris in Syracuse", a reference to a listener who calls into the show daily. Patrick has dubbed the movement "Occupy GameDay" - after the Occupy Wall Street protests that have spread across the nation in recent weeks, and claims that he and the Danettes "do not encourage it, but we do celebrate it." Occupy Gameday is still ongoing as of November 11, 2011 and some "occupy gameday" signs are hanging in Patrick's Mancave, where his radio show is produced in Milford, Connecticut.
- ^ http://www.espnmediazone3.com/us/2009/10/28/corso_lee/
- ^ a b c d e http://www.bonham.com/NewsDetails.aspx?NID=12
- ^ Steward Mandel, Burning questions about BCS, a few candidates for Tennessee and more, SI.com, November 12, 2008, Accessed November 12, 2008.
- ^ Michael Hiestand, 'GameDay' flag relay is worth a salute, USA TODAY, October 30, 2008, Accessed November 12, 2008.
- ^ As Mark Gross, coordinating producer of GameDay, noted: "You're asking a thousand people to show up 12 hours before the game starts [. . . ] By no means are we ignoring (USC). We always discuss the possibility. But the time is something to think about." Patrick Kinmartin, What time is it? Time for 'College GameDay' to make its way to L.A., The Daily Trojan, April 8, 2004.
- ^ 
- ^ ESPN College GameDay Information (compiled with help from ESPN research staff & school SIDs)
- ^ 
- ^ http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/19822/record-turnout-for-college-gameday
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dfEZ0eu4Ns
- ^ http://kezi.com/sports/227231
- ^ http://www.danpatrick.com/2011/10/11/media-is-starting-to-cover-occupy-gameday/
- ^ http://www.danpatrick.com/
-  ESPN College GameDay Information (compiled with help from ESPN research staff & school SIDs)
ESPN College Football Related articles Programs Game coverage Current commentatorsRece Davis · Chris Fowler · Terry Gannon · Mark Jones · Sean McDonough · Brad Nessler · Mike Patrick · Dave Pasch · Joe Tessitore · Pam Ward · Craig James · Ray Bentley · Todd Blackledge · Bob Davie · Rod Gilmore · Kirk Herbstreit · Lou Holtz · Brock Huard · Mark May · David Norrie · Jesse Palmer · Chris Spielman · Andre Ware · Erin Andrews · Todd Harris · Holly Rowe · Rob Stone · Lee Corso · Desmond Howard · Robert Smith · Mike Tirico Past commentatorsDave Barnett · Bob Carpenter · Ron Franklin · Jerry Punch · Jim Simpson · Charley Steiner · Todd Christensen · Bill Curry · Gary Danielson · Mike Golic · Mike Gottfried · Paul Maguire · Gino Torretta · Mike Adamle · Stacey Dales · Alex Flanagan · Adrian Karsten · Matt Winer · Trev Alberts · Beano Cook Lore televised by ESPN Conferences televised Conference Championships televised Bowls broadcast by ESPNSt. Petersburg Bowl · EagleBank Bowl · International Bowl · New Mexico Bowl · Papajohns.com Bowl · Poinsettia Bowl · Armed Forces Bowl · Belk Bowl · Hawaii Bowl · Emerald Bowl · GMAC Bowl · Music City Bowl · Humanitarian Bowl · Little Caesars Pizza Bowl · Alamo Bowl · Maaco Bowl Las Vegas · Champs Sports Bowl · Holiday Bowl · Outback Bowl · Independence Bowl · Chick-fil-A Bowl · Liberty Bowl
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