ESPN Hits the Road for On-Site Studio Programming Surrounding College Football Playoff Semifinals, Rose Bowl Game Presented by Capital One Venture X

College Football

ESPN Hits the Road for On-Site Studio Programming Surrounding College Football Playoff Semifinals, Rose Bowl Game Presented by Capital One Venture X

ESPN’s expansive studio programming surrounding the College Football Playoff semifinals is in full swing, with live coverage from ESPN and SEC Network sets at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and Capital One Orange Bowl. ESPN platforms are set for more than 30 hours of on-site analysis and insight leading into the final college football showdowns of 2021.

ESPN will have live pre-game, halftime and post-game wraps throughout the week from ESPN’s sets in Miami Gardens. Ram Trucks College Football Pregame is live from outside Hard Rock Stadium beginning Wednesday, Dec. 29, with Kevin Negandhi anchoring the day’s wraps, joined throughout the afternoon by analysts David Pollack, Joey Galloway and Booger McFarland. Ram Trucks College Football Pregame returns on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 6:30 p.m., leading into the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, with Negandhi, Galloway and McFarland prepping fans for CFP and New Year’s Six action.

College GameDay Covers the Capital One Orange Bowl
College GameDay Built by The Home Depot launches a full day of on-site studio shows Friday, Dec. 31, with nearly a dozen hours of live studio programming across ESPN and SEC Network, originating from sets in the Lone Star and Sunshine states. Rece Davis hosts the 12-time Emmy Award-winning show with analysts Lee CorsoKirk HerbstreitDesmond HowardDavid Pollack, research producer and sports betting analyst Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica, and reporters Jen Lada and Gene Wojciechowski. The three-hour show starts up at 8 a.m. from outside Hard Rock Stadium. Galloway, McFarland and Negandhi will join the show as well.

The College GameDay cast has several CFP semifinal ties, with Alabama alum Davis, Heisman Trophy-winning Michigan WR Howard, and recent Hall of Fame inductee and Georgia great Pollack behind the CGD desk. That trio will provide pre-game, halftime and post-game wraps on Friday afternoon from ESPN’s set outside Hard Rock Stadium.

The College GameDay crew will also be live on New Year’s Day from the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Capital One Venture X, previewing the many Jan. 1 games at 10 a.m. from Pasadena, site of the Utah/Ohio State showdown (5 p.m., ESPN).

College GameDay Features:

  • Friday, Dec. 31
    • Ojabo’s Journey: Born in Nigeria and raised in Scotland, Michigan linebacker David Ojabo moved to New Jersey in high school, where he started out playing soccer and basketball. It wasn’t until he saw a classmate getting scholarship offers to play football, that he decided to give that sport a try. Now, even though he is still learning the game, Ojabo is a prospect with first-round potential and a key member of the Michigan defense. (Reporter: Gene Wojciechowski)
    • Bigger Than Ball: For the last year, football has been more than a game for 13-year-old Taeden Johnson. It’s been an outlet and an escape. The Georgia football team – beyond the extraordinary season they’ve put together – has emerged as an extension of the family he recently lost. (Reporter: Jen Lada)
    • Jim Harbaugh Convo: Marty Smith sits down with the Michigan Head Coach to talk his coaching journey at Michigan, why he made the decision to have this team be a more player-led group, beating Ohio State, and losing his wallet after the Big Ten championship.
    • Luke Fickell Convo: Kirk Herbstreit sits down with his old college teammate, Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell, to talk about the challenges of the season, how he will prep for Alabama, his distinguished wrestling career, and just how many pull-ups he thinks he can do.
    • Nick Saban Live: Alabama head coach Nick Saban joins the College GameDay cast live from Miami
    • 2001 Miami Roundtable: Andrea Adelson sits down with some key members of the 2001 Miami Hurricanes, including Ed Reed, Jonathan Vilma and Bryant McKinnie, to reflect on one of the greatest teams in college football history, 20 years later.
    • Bryce Young Convo: Gene Wojciechowski sits down with the Heisman Trophy winner to discuss how he always remains so calm and how that wasn’t always the case, the defining moment of the season so far, and how this team learned to respect winning again.
  • Saturday, Jan. 1
    • Forever Bonded: Aaron and Ty: Aaron Lowe and Ty Jordan were best friends, as high school teammates in suburban Dallas, and as teammates at the University of Utah, where Jordan was the Pac-12 Offensive freshman of the year and Aaron was a special teams regular and nickelback. But two tragic events, nine months to the day of each other, ended their lives, but not their bond. (Reporter: Gene Wojciechowski)
    • Dream Weaver: Kentucky Linebacker J.J. Weaver was born with a sixth finger on his right hand. Often hiding his extra digit as a kid, J.J. is now embracing what makes him unique and inspiring children just like him. (Reporter: Jen Lada)
    • CJ Stroud Convo: Tiffany Blackmon sits down with the Ohio State quarterback to talk about as a Cali kid, what the Rose bowl means to him, how his Heisman experience has motivated him even more, and what it means to him to get to play a game back home.
    • Big Man, Big Heart: Offensive Lineman Dillan Gibbons befriended Timothy Donovan, who lives with VACTERL, after Timothy attended his first game at Notre Dame. The friendship has endured, having a life-changing effect on Donovan. When Gibbons transferred to Florida State, he used his NIL rights to help bring Timothy to Florida State for the Notre Dame game. (Reporter: Marty Smith)

Intrepid Reporters Ready for Sidelines and Storylines
A quartet of ESPN reporters have been assigned to the respective CFP semifinal teams, with Holly Rowe (Georgia) and Marty Smith (Michigan) reporting from Miami all week, and Molly McGrath (Cincinnati) and Laura Rutledge (Alabama) on site in Arlington. has the College Football Playoff covered, as Paolo Uggetti and Dave Wilson will be on site from the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, and Andrea Adelson and Mark Schlabach will report from the Capital One Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens.

SportsCenter will also have a full slate of live updates from Miami, starting Wednesday and continuing through kickoff.

SEC Network
SEC Network presents a full week of wall-to-wall studio analysis and in-game reaction surrounding the CFP semifinals. On Friday, Dec. 31 alone, SEC Network will spotlight more than 15 consecutive hours of live programming, the most in a single day in network history, as Alabama and Georgia fight for their places in the grand finale of college football, the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T. More details.

ESPN Digital and Social
Countdown to the College Football Playoff Semifinal Presented by AT&T 5G is one of a number of digital shows surrounding ESPN’s postseason coverage, with Christine Williamson, Gary Striewski, Jason Fitz, Skubie Mageza, Harry Douglas and Mike Golic Jr. recapping the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and gearing up for the Capital One Orange Bowl. The show, originating from Hard Rock Stadium, is live across Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and the ESPN App at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 31.

Fans can follow and engage in all the action across College GameDay’s social platforms (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok).

ESPN+ Exclusively Streams Inside the College Football Playoff, Full CFP Archive
To help get fans ready for the upcoming College Football Playoff, ESPN+ will exclusively stream four episodes of Inside the College Football Playoff, featuring an inside look at Alabama, Michigan, Georgia and Cincinnati as the elite college football programs battle to claim the ultimate prize – a national championship. The first episode, “Welcome to the Show,” debuted on Thursday, Dec. 23. The second episode will premiere on Thursday, Dec. 30.

Additionally, fans can stream every single semifinal and national championship since the inception of the College Football Playoff. The 21 games can be accessed exclusively on ESPN+. More details on ESPN’s CFP offerings here.


Date Time (ET) On-Site Programming Network
Thu, Dec 30 8:30 a.m. SEC Now: Coaches Press Conferences SEC Network
  3 p.m. The Paul Finebaum Show Presented by Johnsonville SEC Network
  6:30 p.m. Ram Trucks College Football Pregame ESPN
  Halftime* Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Halftime ESPN
Fri, Dec 31 8 a.m. College GameDay Built by The Home Depot ESPN/ESPNU
9 a.m. Marty & McGee Presented by Old Trapper SEC Network
  10 a.m. SEC Nation Presented by Dr Pepper SEC Network
  2 p.m. SEC Nation Presented by Dr Pepper  SEC Network
  2:30 p.m. Ram Trucks College Football Pregame ESPN
  3 p.m. Ram Trucks College Football Pregame ESPN/ESPN2/
  Halftime* Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Halftime ESPN
  6:30 p.m. Countdown to the College Football Playoff Semifinal Presented by AT&T 5G ESPN App
  7 p.m. SEC Nation Presented by Dr Pepper SEC Network
  7:20 p.m. Ram Trucks College Football Pregame ESPN
  Halftime* Capital One Orange Bowl Halftime ESPN
  11 p.m. SEC Football Final Presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors SEC Network
Sat, Jan 1 10 a.m. College GameDay Built by The Home Depot ESPN
  Halftime* PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Halftime ESPN
  4:50 p.m. Ram Trucks College Football Pregame ESPN
  Halftime* Rose Bowl Game Presented by Capital One
Venture X Halftime
  Halftime* Allstate Sugar Bowl Halftime ESPN

*All halftime timing is approximate

Amanda Brooks

Amanda is the Director of Communications for ESPN College Football and SEC Network, and oversees publicity for college gymnastics and track & field across all ESPN networks. Amanda is a proud alum of Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., and earned her master's in ethics from Vanderbilt University. A native of Kent, Ohio, she is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan.
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