Zero to 150: ESPN Enhances College Football’s Week 0 Experience, Commencing Full College Football 150 Multifaceted Storytelling

College Football

Zero to 150: ESPN Enhances College Football’s Week 0 Experience, Commencing Full College Football 150 Multifaceted Storytelling


  • Season’s First ESPN CFB150 Showcase Game of the Week: Miami vs. Florida in The Camping World Kickoff from Orlando, Fla.
  • College GameDay Built by The Home Depot from Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Iconic Show’s First-Ever Week 0 Road Show
  • Football is US: The College Game Documentary Debuts Directed by Jonathan Hock; Begins Five Months of Original Content Dedicated to Recognizing College Football’s Place in History and Society
  • Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff: Samford vs. Youngstown State, as ESPN Showcases Both Levels of Division I College Football

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College football’s 150th season will be the sport’s most extensive across ESPN, as the network turns Week 0 (Saturday, Aug. 24) into a signature day to start the season and ramps up its multifaceted College Football 150 storytelling experience through an all-day extravaganza celebrating the best the sport has to offer.

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot begins its road shows a week earlier than years past, as the 11-time Sports Emmy Award-winning program will televise from Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort for the first time (9 a.m.- noon ET). The Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff between Samford and Youngstown State (3 p.m.) from the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., will be the first college football game on ESPN during the sesquicentennial season and leads into the season’s first CFB150 Showcase Game of the Week: Miami vs. Florida in The Camping World Kickoff. The more than 15 hours of football-centric programming will conclude with Football is US: The College Game, a 90-minute documentary film that explores college football roots and the question: What sets college football apart from every other sport?

This unprecedented Saturday slate sets the foundation for ESPN’s season-long College Football 150 endeavor, which will feature more than 1,000 games, more than 35 hours of original CFB150-centric programming across two documentaries, two weekly docuseries, an eight-part film, an ongoing digital series naming the best coaches, games, players and teams and much more. The season will reach its climax at the College Football Playoff National Championship (Monday, Jan. 13 on ESPN), where the sport’s newest champion will be crowned and its All-Time All-America Team is recognized.

Fans can explore portions of ESPN’s College Football 150 initiative now on, and beginning on August 17 – 150 days until the CFP National Championship – content will be featured across multiple platforms, including the launch of My Story. The one-minute testimonials will feature personalities from all parts of the college football tapestry – current and former players, coaches, administrators, media and fans – which will offer memories of the game through engaging tales and some of the best untold stories, breathing new life into the history of the sport.

More on ESPN’s CFB150 plans can be found in previous announcements:

Additional plans will be released throughout the season.

Magic Kingdom Becomes 85th Site to Host College GameDay
College GameDay’s 26th season of road shows begins at its 85th location, as the pregame show televises atop the elevated Main Street Train Station, with iconic Main Street, U.S.A. and Cinderella Castle as the backdrop. Throughout the show, various segments and reports will be conducted from around the park.

The season debut of College GameDay will originate just 22 miles from the Hurricanes-Gators matchup at Camping World Stadium and play a significant role in the College Football 150 initiative, airing an exclusive excerpt from the Football is US: The College Game documentary set to air that night, as well as feature several My Story vignettes.

Rece Davis will host, reuniting the cast of characters: Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, David Pollack and Maria Taylor. This past spring, Herbstreit was honored with the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Studio Analyst across all sports – his third such award for his work on the show (2010, 2011) – and Davis was nominated in the Outstanding Studio Host category.

Today’s Magic Kingdom College GameDay announcement completes the show’s early season plans, which will include a stop at Clemson (Thursday, Aug. 29) ahead of ACC Network’s presentation of Georgia Tech-Clemson and then Sundance Square in Downtown Fort Worth, Texas, for the season’s first Saturday ahead of Oregon-Auburn on the season debut of ABC’s Saturday Night Football (Saturday, Aug. 31).

College GameDay Facts and Figures

  • College GameDay’s season begins with its 365th road show.
  • The show returns to the Orlando area for the second time in less than a year, as it made its debut at UCF on November 17, 2018. Prior to that occasion, the show had never been to Orlando.
  • Lee Corso enters the season with an all-time headgear record of 214-115.

Please note: Fans interested in experiencing College GameDay in person will have to follow Magic Kingdom Park policies, including its admission, rules and regulations. For more information, please see here (updated Aug. 22). ESPN is owned by The Walt Disney Company.

New This Season: CFB150 Showcase Game of the Week
The Camping World Kickoff between Miami and Florida (7 p.m.) from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., marks the debut of the network’s CFB150 Showcase Game of the Week. Throughout the season, ESPN will designate one game per week under this banner, with the selected game set to feature historical elements throughout the telecast. For the Hurricanes-Gators, special productions will include:

  • The Tease: Leading into the game, the trailer will feature a look back at one of the sport’s great in-state rivalries, which dates back to 1938.
  • Flashbacks: Throughout the game, relevant historical memories between the two teams will be highlighted.

ESPN will commemorate the first game of its College Football 150 season with three special Marvel covers — two historical games between the two rivals and one for this year’s matchup. The covers will launch the sixth season of the ESPN College Football and Marvel partnership and continue to pay homage to original Marvel covers from The Incredible Hulk and The Mighty Thor.

  • 1983: Florida defeated Miami 28-3 to open the season, jump-starting a 9-2-1 season. For the Hurricanes, it was their only loss in a year which concluded with their first national championship.
  • 2000: Miami topped Florida 37-20 in the 2001 Sugar Bowl, capping an 11-1 campaign.

This season’s matchup is the 56th meeting between the two teams and just the third since 2004.

Miami-Florida Airs on ESPN; Alternative Viewing Options on ACC Network, SEC Network and ESPN3
ESPN will air Miami-Florida’s traditional telecast, with Chris Fowler and Herbstreit in the booth and Taylor on the sidelines. Fowler and Herbstreit begin their 24th season working together and sixth calling games. The duo welcomes back Taylor, who is in her third season with the crew. The trio will regularly call ABC’s Saturday Night Football games during the regular season and conclude the year with the College Football Playoff.

The ACC Network, SEC Network and ESPN3 will offer alternative telecasts of Hurricanes-Gators:

  • ACC Network: Current ACC analysts and former Miami head coach Mark Richt and linebacker Jon Beason will be in the Bristol studios with Mark Packer and Wes Durham, hosts of the network’s daily morning show Packer and Durham, reacting to the live game action. Former Hurricane first team All-American and current ESPN college football analyst Jonathan Vilma will contribute from the sidelines of Camping World Stadium.  More information on ACCN Week 0 and Week 1 plans can be seen here.
  • SEC Network: SEC Now host Dari Nowkhah with current analyst Chris Doering and special guest Danny Wuerffel, both Florida greats, along with Gene Chizik, will react to the game, live from the Charlotte studios. The group will be joined by featured guests throughout the game including Tim Tebow live from the sidelines. More information on SEC Network plans can be found here.
  • ESPN3: Command Center and SkyCam viewing options will be available to stream.

Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff: Samford and Youngstown State
ESPN will air the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff in Week 0, as Samford and Youngstown State play in the sixth edition of the annual ESPN Events game. Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer and Lauren Sisler will call the neutral site game. Similar to the all the programming that day, the FCS game will feature historical elements around ESPN’s CFB150 initiative.

Football is US: The College Game Airs Immediately Following Miami-Florida; First of Multiple Original Content Productions around ESPN College Football 150
Immediately following the game, ESPN will debut Football is US: The College Game, the first of several major original content offerings that will debut throughout the college football season.

The 90-minute documentary is directed by veteran 30 for 30 filmmaker Jonathan Hock and will feature several of the sport’s major stars, past and present, including NCAA record-setting wide receiver Jerry Rice, national championship-winning head coaches Barry Switzer and Nick Saban, Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware and many more.

In exploring the sport from the first game in 1869 to the present day, the film will take a deep dive into the following subjects:

  • The coach as a central figure in the sport
  • The tension between the dangers of the game and the beauty of it
  • Race and the journey of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Oligarchs and Innovators
  • Transcendence

A look at the captivating documentary open can be seen here.


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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