ESPN College GameDay coming to Bloomington

The stage for the so-called biggest opener in Indiana football history just got a little bigger.

ESPN’s popular pregame show “College GameDay” will be in Bloomington for IU’s season opener against Ohio State on Aug. 31.

The show will air from 6 p.m. Eastern until kickoff at 8.

It’ll be the first time the show has traveled to Bloomington since it began shooting on location in 1993. GameDay’s arrival on campus comes two years after a push to land the show, led by IU blog Crimson Quarry, fell short.

In 2015, Indiana won each of its four non-conference games before hosting No. 1 Ohio State in the Big Ten opener. The groundswell of support for bringing the show to Bloomington for the game against the Buckeyes caught the attention of ESPN producers, who ultimately chose to broadcast from Clemson that week.

Now, the show is on its way to Indiana.

On Thursday afternoon, host Rece Davis spilled the secret while making an appearance on the Bob Valvano Show on ESPN 680 in Louisville. Indiana, along with an ESPN spokesperson, later confirmed the plans.

GameDay’s trip to Bloomington means former Indiana coach Lee Corso will be back at the school he guided from 1973 through 1982. Two years ago, Corso celebrated his 80th birthday in Bloomington at a celebration that included 190 former Corso-era IU players and staff members.

Joining Davis and Corso on the GameDay panel are analysts Desmond Howard, Kirk Herbstreit and David Pollack.

The game on Aug. 31 also marks the return of another former IU coach — Kevin Wilson, who parted with the program on Dec. 1 after six seasons at the helm. Wilson is now Ohio State’s offensive coordinator.

At Big Ten media day in Chicago last week, first-year Indiana coach Tom Allen called the Ohio State game the biggest opener in IU football history, pointing to the primetime television designation and the fact that the Buckeyes are expected to open the season ranked inside the top five.

Earlier Thursday, Ohio State debuted at No. 2 in the Amway Coaches Poll. The Associated Press poll is due out later this month.

Indiana hasn’t opened the season against a ranked opponent since losing at No. 7 Notre Dame in 1991. This year also marks the first time since 1954 that the Hoosiers will open the season against the Buckeyes.

When they meet, it’ll be on one of the nation’s brightest stages.

“It’s going to be a very exciting opportunity for me to be in my first home game as the head coach in my home state,” Allen said in Chicago. “Very, very blessed to be in this position.”

4 comments

  1. This is great for IU’s FB program and even better when they upset OSU. Our players will be jacked about playing this game and I hope the students and alumi are just as fired up. Ticket sales have been going well and after the announcement took off even more.

    1. This helps in a big way in putting Bloomington on the CFB recruiting map even if it is because of timing in the schedule and the opponent. But the impact is the same, a very big positive+ for IU. The Corso effervescent personality at the pregame microphone is also a pro-IU upside. The atmosphere on TV or in person will be high voltage. All good!

  2. I agree completely, as long as IU fans make sure to fill Memorial Stadium and remain in their seats after halftime. If, as is typical, there are more people tailgating during the second half than there are sitting in the seats, it could be a huge embarrassment for IU. We got want we asked for, now its up to The Hoosier nation to take full advantage of this opportunity to promote IU Football. Corso should be able to provide lots and lots of good material to make this a very special and entertaining pre-game show. I can’t wait.

  3. GO HOOSIERS!!!!! I hope this turns out to be the biggest night (to date) in IU football. Beat OSU!!!

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