College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Kicks Off 2021 Season in Atlanta Ahead of Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff

College Football

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Kicks Off 2021 Season in Atlanta Ahead of Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff

  • First-ever Visit to MEAC/SWAC Game and Third HBCU Stop Includes Special Performance by Migos and University Marching Bands
  • HBCU Head Coaches Eddie George and Deion Sanders Expected to Join the Show Live
  • Countdown to GameDay with Christine Williamson and Harry Lyles Jr. Debuts Saturday

College GameDay Built by Home Depot is heading to ‘The A’ for its Week 0 roadshow. The three-hour season preview show on Saturday, Aug. 28, from 9 a.m. – noon ET on ESPN and ESPNU, will air live from outside Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta, preceding the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff between North Carolina Central and Alcorn State (7 p.m., ESPN). The premier traveling pregame show will highlight key storylines and offer news, analysis and predictions for the upcoming college football season, while also celebrating the tradition, legacy and values of Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs).

The 12-time Emmy Award-winning show is hosted by Rece Davis, with analysts Lee Corso – who returns to the main desk after contributing virtually last season, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack, research producer and sports betting analyst Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica, and reporters Jen Lada and Gene Wojciechowski.

This will be the third HBCU matchup that GameDay has attended – previous stops include Hampton at Florida A&M (2008), and Grambling vs. Southern in Houston (2005).

GRAMMY® nominated hip-hop supergroup Migos (comprised of Offset, Quavo and Takeoff) will also perform live on GameDay, alongside The NCCU Sound Machine Marching Band and Alcorn State University’s Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Marching Band, followed by a post-show ‘mini-set’ for the crowd with two songs off their album.

Show Highlights

  • The HBCU Experience: The Undefeated’s William Rhoden, an HBCU alum, examines the history and relationship between HBCUs and football, and how an HBCU football Saturday is much more than a celebration of the game – it’s a celebration of each other, a celebration of Black love
  • Summer of Change: From NIL, to playoff expansion talk, to conference realignment, a lot has happened since we last saw college football. Jen Lada helps put the eventful offseason into perspective
  • Conversation with Scott Frost: Gene Wojciechowski sits down with Nebraska head coach Scott Frost to talk about the struggle of his first 3 seasons, the expectations moving forward, and why this Nebraska team is the one that will get them over the hump
  • Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Mississippi Valley State star Jerry Rice picks his all-time HBCU Football All-Star team, a team that would stack up against any of the all-time greats across the NCAA
  • College and NFL legends Eddie George and Deion Sanders – now head coaches at HBCU programs Tennessee State and Jackson State, respectively, are expected to join live on-set
  • Live interviews with Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and UCLA head coach Chip Kelly
  • ESPN commentators and HBCU graduates Tiffany Greene (Florida A&M) and Jay Walker (Howard), and Robert Griffin III – making his ESPN analyst debut – will also join the show; they will call the game alongside Mark Jones and Quint Kessenich
  • Atlanta-raised artist George F. Baker III (@gfb3) will complete an HBCU-inspired mural Welcoming Back College Football throughout the three-hour show, debuting the final product live during GameDay. The mural was created in conjunction with art activation agency Muros (Muros.co) and will be donated by ESPN to APEX Museum

Corso Facts

  • This will be GameDay’s 403rd road show and Lee Corso’s 366th headgear pick
  • Regardless of which team Corso selects, it will be the 63rd different headgear he has worn
  • His headgear record stands at 240-125
  • Corso started 2020 on a roll, picking the winner correctly in each of his first 11 headgear picks.

The Undefeated
The Undefeated – ESPN’s multiplatform content initiative exploring the intersection of sports, race and culture – has features and content planned around the start of the college football season this weekend, including:

  • All eyes on coach Deion Sanders as HBCU football hopes for a renaissance. What can we expect this season on the HBCU landscape with Deion Sanders & Eddie George, NC A&T to the Big South, and the new SWAC alignment? Jean-Jacques Taylor
  • The Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff, featuring Alcorn State & N.C. Central – neither team has played since 2019 after opting out of 2021 spring season. Alcorn is one of SWAC’s top teams; NCCU under the second season of new coach. Joshua Eferighe
  • Commentary by Roland West on the value of Black students attending HBCUs instead of predominantly white institutions (PWIs) from Division I athlete who attended a PWI, but whose children all went to HBCUs
  • Live social media coverage of Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff halftime & the 5th Quarter (after-the-game versus between the bands) by special correspondent Naderah Munajj
  • Profile of Alcorn State quarterback Felix Harper, a fifth-year senior from Atlanta, on the watch list for Black College Player of the Year & the Walter Payton Award

ESPN Social and Digital
Countdown to GameDay Live is College GameDay’s pregame show, before the pregame show. Each week, host Christine Williamson and reporter Harry Lyles Jr. will usher fans into the show and the Saturday college football lineup throughout the season at 8:30 a.m. Countdown to GameDay premieres on Saturday across Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and the ESPN App.

Additionally, College GameDay: All Access on Snapchat debuts this season, with Williamson taking fans behind the scenes of the legendary pregame show College GameDay. From interviews with players and coaches to experiencing local traditions to the best GameDay signs, she will give fans everyone a look at why Saturdays are so special – even before the games start.

Fans call follow and engage in all the action each and every Saturday across College GameDay’s social platforms (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube). Migos’ performance will also be available for fans at home, live on College GameDay’s TikTok account.

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Anna Negron

It was always a dream of mine to work at ESPN, and here I am! I joined the College Sports PR team in March 2016. Hailing from the great Garden State, I graduated from Seton Hall University (Go Pirates!) with a degree in sport management, where I not only sang the National Anthem at games, but was also a member of the Seton Hall Sapphires Dance Team and a student reporter for Pirate Sports Network. Before joining ESPN, I served as a Public Relations Associate for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
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