Wake Up the Echoes: College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Returns to Notre Dame, The Original Road Show Campus, to Begin 2018 Season

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Wake Up the Echoes: College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Returns to Notre Dame, The Original Road Show Campus, to Begin 2018 Season

  • First Visited South Bend 25 Years Ago in 1993 as Show Embarked on New Era 
  • Coach Corso Begins 32nd Year on Iconic Show, Kirk Herbstreit His 23rd Year 
  • Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, David Pollack, and Maria Taylor All Return with Chris “The Bear” Fallica, Jen Lada, Tom Rinaldi, and Gene Wojciechowski
  • Fighting Irish’s Head Coach Brian Kelly Joins the Show Live; Marty Smith with Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh 
  • Awarded Sports Emmy for Outstanding Studio Show Weekly for Fifth Consecutive Year, Eighth Overall in Offseason 

In November, 1993, ESPN had a vision. Twenty five years later, that vision has become a legacy. College GameDay Built by The Home Depot is kicking off its 2018 season campaign by paying homage to where it all began: The University of Notre Dame.

The 10-time Emmy award-winning pregame show brings its iconic set to Library Quad on the historic college campus in South Bend, Ind., for college football’s kickoff week (Saturday, Sept. 1) as the Fighting Irish renew their rivalry vs. Michigan. For the entire season, the three-hour pregame show remains in its traditional time slot (9 a.m. – noon ET) every Saturday on ESPN and, new this season, ESPNU will simulcast each show each week. ESPN will have live programming throughout the day from Liberty Quad on Friday, Aug. 31, including a full episode of College Football Live.

The season-debut from South Bend begins the show’s annual, season-long pilgrimage visiting the sport’s best storyline each week.

Lee Corso Begins 32nd Year, Kirk Herbstreit’s 23rd; Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, David Pollack, Maria Taylor and More Return
The longest-tenured personality on College GameDay, Coach Lee Corso begins his 32nd season, having been with the show since it began in 1987.  Analyst Kirk Herbstreit enters his 23rd year, while analysts Desmond Howard and David Pollack enter their 14th and eighth years, respectively. Rece Davis is back as host, his fourth season, and Maria Taylor as the reporter, having joined the program last season.

Tom Rinaldi, Gene Wojciechowski and Jen Lada all return as contributors and Chris “The Bear” Fallica will continue to add his statistical and analytic-based insights. Fallica’s first year on the show was 1996, the same as Herbstreit’s.

Highlights of This Week’s Show

  • Live on the Set: Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly will join the show.
  • The State of Harbaugh: Marty Smith interviews Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, as he enters his fourth season leading his alma mater
  • Tua or Jalen: Tom Rinaldi looks at the biggest on-the-field topic of this offseason: Who will be playing quarterback for Alabama?
  • Ivan Maisel Reports: Seven months after the death of Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski, his parents cope with their grief and memories.

Foundation was Set in South Bend
College GameDay ventured out of Bristol, Conn., for the first time ever in 1993, its seventh year on the air. The show headed to South Bend when No. 1 Florida State faced No. 2 Notre Dame on November 13, 1993. The show’s first road show was so unique and successful, the producers decided to go back for the Fighting Irish’s 1994 home opener, the first of six road shows that season. College GameDay would return to South Bend in 1995 and 1996, firmly setting the foundation for show’s new road show era.

The season will mark GameDay’s ninth visit to Notre Dame, having last been to South Bend in 2012. The show also originated from the campus in 2005, 2000, and 1998.

College GameDay has Outstanding Offseason, Winning Three Sports Emmys
College GameDay continues to be recognized as sports media’s most successful studio show, as the premier pregame show was awarded the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Studio Show Weekly, winning that category for the fifth consecutive year and its eighth time overall in the category. The show’s journalism and operations technical expertise was also recognized, capturing Sports Emmys for Outstanding Short Feature and Outstanding Tech Team Studio.  To date, the show has won 10 Emmys in the last 11 years.

Corso to Make Headgear Selection No. 312; College GameDay by the Numbers
Coach Corso will make headgear selection No. 312 at the season opener, having surpassed the 300th headgear selection last season. The lovable-personality now has a career record of 203-108, including a 13-7 record in week 1.

More College GameDay numbers:

  • On the Road Again: The 2018 season debut will be road show No. 347
  • We’ve Been Everywhere Man: College GameDay has been to 82 cities and at 69 different schools
  • Home Away from Home: Ohio State has hosted the most times (17), followed by Alabama (13) and Michigan (12)
  • On the List: 12 schools from the Power Five conferences are still waiting to host their first College GameDay.
  • Ol’ Crimson: The Washington State Cougars flag has appeared in the crowd for 209 consecutive regular season shows


Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner


Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
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