ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Celebrates 30th Season on the Road Saturday at Undefeated James Madison

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ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Celebrates 30th Season on the Road Saturday at Undefeated James Madison

  • College football’s premier pregame show makes its third all-time visit to Harrisonburg, Va.
  • JMU head coach Curt Cignetti will join the GameDay crew live from set while Louisville’s Jeff Brohm joins from the field ahead of the Cardinals’ game against Miami
  • The Jonas Brothers and Bailey Zimmerman will host a live performance from JMU to help celebrate GameDay’s 30th season on the road
  • The Pat McAfee Show will be live Friday from The Quad at JMU

ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot travels to Harrisonburg, Va., ahead of undefeated James Madison’s Sun Belt Conference showdown against Appalachian State on Saturday, Nov. 18. The three-hour pregame show will be live from The Quad on JMU’s campus from 9 a.m. – noon ET on ESPN. The Week 12 show will include a special celebration of College GameDay’s 30 years of traveling road shows – a tradition that began this week in 1993 when ESPN’s pregame show originated from South Bend, Ind., before No. 2 Notre Dame hosted top-ranked Florida State.

Host Rece Davis is joined at the desk by GameDay analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Pat McAfee with college football insider Pete Thamel, reporter Jess Sims and college football betting analyst ‘Stanford Steve’ Coughlin.

College GameDay will make its third all-time visit to James Madison, with previous trips in 2015 and 2017. In each of James Madison’s previous appearances, Coach Corso picked the Dukes for his headgear. Undefeated JMU – ranked No. 18 in the AP Top-25 (the school’s highest ranking ever in a major FBS poll) with a perfect 10-0 record – hosts App State on ESPN+ at 2 p.m., following GameDay. 

Show Highlights & Guests

  • JMU head coach Curt Cignetti will join GameDay live on-set on Saturday while Louisville head coach Jeff Brohm will join from the field at Hard Rock Stadium ahead of the Cardinals’ noon ABC match up against Miami. Arizona’s Jedd Fisch and Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith will also provide exclusive access from their respective teams in preparation for their Week 12 games.
  • Pat McAfee’s Kicking Contest – GameDay will again offer an exclusive contest during the live show, Pat McAfee’s Kicking Contest. One fan will be chosen from the ‘pit’ onsite with the opportunity to attempt a 33-yard field goal. If the contestant successfully completes the kick, he/she will be awarded $90,000 from McAfee. Full details, including official rules, can be found here.
  • To help celebrate GameDay’s 30th season on the road, the Grammy Award-winning Jonas Brothers will perform live at James Madison along with Bailey Zimmerman. The group will make the debut performance of their latest single Strong Enough onsite with additional songs following the telecast and available to stream here. Limited edition band and GameDay collaborative stickers will be given out to fans on site at JMU on Saturday.

This week’s guest picker and additional updates will be announced ahead of Saturday’s show on ESPN PR’s Twitter and College GameDay’s Twitter.


  • The Invisible Hug – For 14 years, Miami super fan Shelton Douthett has worn a full Hurricanes uniform and pads to Miami football games. But behind the face mask and beneath the jersey is a deeper meaning, and a promise from one brother to another. Jen Lada reports.
  • The Journey of Bo Nix – It was practically preordained that Bo Nix, the son of a legendary Auburn quarterback Patrick Nix, would someday carry on his father’s legacy. But that journey didn’t go the way Bo had always dreamed it would. A fresh start and a change of scenery lifted a weight off the quarterback’s shoulders, reignited his passion for the game and has Nix in the Heisman race with his new team on the precipice of the College Football Playoff. Marty Smith reports.
  • Campaign Season – Ten wins and undefeated, James Madison is having a better year than most FBS programs. There’s only one problem – they’re not currently eligible for a bowl game. Ryan McGee makes a plea to the NCAA to do what’s right for America’s Team.
  • The Caleb Conundrum – Saturday may mark the end of Caleb Williams’ tenure at USC. A look back at the legacy and career that reached the highest of highs but will end without a Playoff appearance. So, just how should the Heisman winner’s time at USC be remembered? Justin Tinsley reports.

ESPN’s Expanded Digital Coverage
ESPN’s social and digital pre-pregame show, Countdown to GameDay Presented by Dr Pepper, will be onsite in Harrisonburg for Week 12. Hosts Christine WilliamsonHarry Douglas and Harry Lyles Jr., will discuss the top matchups of the week and look ahead at College Football Playoff scenarios along with the top Heisman contenders.

The show is available across ESPN on YouTube, X/Twitter, Facebook and the ESPN App at 8:30 a.m. ET weekly.

On Site in Harrisonburg
In addition to GameDay, The Pat McAfee Show will hit the road on Friday for a live show at James Madison, open to fans from noon to 3ish p.m., at The Quad. McAfee’s show airs from noon – 2 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN on YouTube from noon to approximately 3 p.m.

The College GameDay cereal collection makes its return this week to help fans at JMU get ready for a full day of college football. Inspired by some of the personalities of the show, all six custom cereals will be available to fans on site Saturday morning.

Additionally, 1,000 limited-edition GameDay anniversary shirts will be given out on Saturday at The Quad to commemorate the show’s 30th season on the road.

For onsite information, please visit College GameDay’s Hub HERE.


Julie McKay

I joined ESPN in 2022 as a member of the communications department working on college sports. My passion for college sports came at an early age in a divided household (Big Ten Conference-divided, that is) and followed that to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (sorry, Dad). Four years in the Athletic Communications Department, along with internships with the Big Ten Conference, Big Ten Network and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, cemented my career path. After spending some time in sports media PR in San Francisco, I’ve spent five-plus years focused in golf, with stints at the American Junior Golf Association, Augusta National and Buffalo Agency, working with the USGA, Youth on Course and Destination Kohler, among others. Despite being a proud Wisconsin native, I’ll forever betray my home state as a lifelong Chicago sports fan. My dog Rizzo knows there’s always next year and wishes his namesake would return home to the North Side.
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