CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - For the first time, ESPN will host its “College GameDay” show at Brooks Stadium on Saturday after a week of questions surrounding whether or not a game would be played.
The show will air hours before No. 14 Coastal Carolina takes on No. 8 BYU in a battle of two unbeaten teams at 5:30 p.m.
College GameDay host Rece Davis said he’s excited about coming to the Grand Strand to host the show because the stakes are now so high for both teams.
Some people wanted to know if COVID-19 has forced the award-winning show to change how it delivers sports news in the community.
Davis said while the pandemic has not impacted the panel’s ability to talk football, and Saturday’s show will be no different. In fact, it’s the moments after the show where the pandemic’s effects are most felt.
“The difference is when I go back to review the show,” he said. “It’s sort of like the soundtrack is missing, the kind of the buzz in the background you [would normally] hear. You don’t notice it so much when you’re arguing with [other sports analysts]. But when you go back and listen. It’s like wait, there’s no crowd back there.”
Davis said there will be much to discuss because of the storylines surrounding the CCU-BYU matchup.
The Chants were originally scheduled to play Liberty, but the Flames canceled on Thursday due to COVID-19 concerns. Shortly after, officials confirmed BYU would come to Conway for Saturday’s game instead.
Analyst David Pollack said the change in opponent made the game even more interesting, being that both teams are undefeated. The game could also have massive postseason implications.
“It’s super exciting that [BYU] with that short of notice would take on a challenge like that,” Pollack said. “It’s not easy to do, it’s not fun to do. They had to send their trucks out before they knew this game was finalized. I think it went from ‘hey this is an awesome game to hey this is even a better game’ so let’s get weird.’
Right now, Davis said he’s leaning towards a CCU win.
”I picked them early as my super-dogs,” Davis said.
Pollack appears to be trending in a different direction, towards a BYU win.
“BYU [is a] team with a bunch of grown men,” Pollack said.
Considering the storyline and both teams being undefeated, some people feel the game should air on ESPN. As of now, the game will be seen on ESPNU. Davis said people that love the game, will find it, regardless of where it can be seen.
“I think the savvy football fan finds a good game,” Davis said.
A limited number of fans will be permitted to attend College GameDay, and those fans were already contacted by the CCU athletic department.
College GameDay airs at 9 a.m. Saturday on ESPN.