ESPN Studio Crews Live from Several Thursday Night Games
ESPN College GameDay Built by The Home Depot – college football’s longest running and most celebrated pregame show – will begin the season for the second straight year from Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas. The weekly three-hour Emmy Award-winning show (Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon) will open Sept. 5 in advance of the annual neutral-site matchup from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, this year showcasing No. 20 Wisconsin against No. 3 Alabama on Saturday Night Football on ABC presented by Wells Fargo, as part of DICK’s Sporting Goods Kickoff Week at 8 p.m.
Host Rece Davis takes the reigns of the desk, and is joined by familiar faces in analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack, as well as contributors Samantha Ponder, Tom Rinaldi, George Whitfield and Gene Wojciechowski. Chris Fowler and Herbstreit will join together in the booth, along with reporter Heather Cox, for the call of the Wisconsin-Alabama game.
Also returning to GameDay – in her second season as resident DJ – is Cait “Babi Mac” McMahan, who provides entertainment for fans on-site. Country music superstar Brad Paisley will perform his new single, “Country Nation,” for the crowd and viewers at home on Saturday during the College GameDay telecast.
SportsCenter segments will begin in the 9 a.m. hour on Friday from Sundance Square, and College Football Live will originate from the GameDay set at 2 p.m. on ESPN2 with Ponder, Howard and Pollack at the desk.
The opening weekend GameDay telecast will be Corso’s 258th headgear selection, holding a 10-6 all-time week one record (5-1 in last six years). Corso has previously picked Alabama 22 times with a 15-7 record, and has selected Wisconsin four times, holding a 2-2 mark.
Davis, Howard and Pollack will make an additional stop in Blacksburg, Va., for College Football Countdown on Monday, Sept. 7, in advance of a special edition of the ESPN College Football presented by Capital One telecast featuring Virginia Tech vs. defending National Champions and No. 1 Ohio State at 8 p.m. The trio will be on-site for pre-game, halftime and post-game reports, beginning at 7 p.m.
ESPN’s DICK’s Sporting Goods Kickoff Week begins with an ESPN Thursday doubleheader featuring North Carolina vs. South Carolina from Charlotte, at 6 p.m., followed by No. 2 TCU at Minnesota at 9 p.m. Host Adnan Virk, along with analysts Joey Galloway and Danny Kanell, will be live from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte beginning with College Football Live at 1 p.m. on ESPN2 and a special edition of College Football Countdown at 5 p.m. on ESPN. In addition, host John Saunders and analyst Mark May will be live from TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Thursday night’s telecasts will include live hits from Provo, Utah and site of the Michigan at Utah game from analyst Butch Davis and reporter Marty Smith.
Weekend studio coverage returns to ESPN’s Bristol campus on Friday.