College GameDay Built by The Home Depot – expanded to three hours and now beginning on ESPNU at 9 a.m. ET and continuing on ESPN at 10 a.m. every Saturday – will open the season Sept. 4 live from Atlanta, site of No. 21 LSU vs. No. 18 North Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game (Sept. 4 on ABC at 8 p.m.). Erin Andrews will anchor several segments of the first hour on ESPNU and contribute reports, interviews and features during the ESPN portion of the two-time Emmy Award-winning program. Chris Fowler will return as show host with analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard. College GameDay is entering its 24th season and the 18th consecutive year of originating from the site of one of the day’s best games or a game with the most compelling storyline.
In addition to the traditional analysis, news and features the show provides each week, the season-opening program will include:
- Mark Herzlich Update: Tom Rinaldi reports on the comeback of Boston College senior linebacker Mark Herzlich from his battle with cancer.
- Garrett Gilbert Feature: Erin Andrews talks with Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert and head coach Mack Brown about the sophomore’s first season as the team’s new starting quarterback and the high expectations for the Longhorns following an appearance in last year’s National Championship Game.
- Urban Meyer Feature: Tom Rinaldi examines the off-season for Florida head coach Urban Meyer and what went into his decisions to resign and return as head coach of the Gators within a few days.
- Discussions: Various topics to be discussed during the show include:
- What to expect from Notre Dame this year under new head coach Brian Kelly;
- the pressure on Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez to bounce back from a 3-win season in 2009;
- The expectations on defending National Champion Alabama and the obstacles to winning back-to-back titles;
- Whether Boise State and TCU deserve their high pre-season rankings.
- McShay on Jaquizz Rogers and Jake Locker: ESPN football analyst Todd McShay, who also serves as director of college football scouting for ESPN Scouts Inc., discusses why he thinks Oregon State junior running back Jaquizz Rogers will give opening opponent TCU problems and breaks down the play of Washington senior quarterback Jake Locker, Mel Kiper’s number one prospect for the 2011 NFL Draft.
- New look of Florida State: Analyst David Pollack discusses the new look of Florida State under first-year head coach Jimbo Fisher, who takes over the Seminoles following the resignation of Bobby Bowden after 34 years as coach.
- Rece, Lou and Mark: Rece Davis, host of ESPN’s daylong Saturday studio coverage with analysts Lou Holtz and Mark May, will anchor a segment featuring updates from reporters at games around the country. In addition, Holtz and May will make their picks for that day’s games.
- Wired: Two “wired” segments, including new Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley as he takes over the Volunteers after former head coach Lane Kiffin left for USC and an entertaining look at the high intensity “big cat drill” LSU does during every practice.
- Freshman impact: Dari Nowkhah hosts a segment from a studio in Charlotte on the freshmen players to keep an eye on in 2010.
- On most weeks, the show will conclude with a special surprise guest – only to be revealed at the end of the show – on the set to pick their game winners for that day.
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