There’s no doubt who the king of Saturday morning college football shows, as ESPN College GameDay not only survived a challenge from Fox Sports’ Fox College Saturday but it gained in audience in 2013. It also led Fox to cancel the studio pre game show after just one season.
Despite the dominance of the television landscape, don’t expect the flagship show to rest on its laurels ahead of the 2014 season. According to a report by SI.com, there will be a few changes made to the format of the show this season.
Some of them will be noticeable to the television viewer, while others will be made to help crowds that are now asked to be around for four or five hours of their early morning.
One of the biggest changes for TV viewers will be an expanded first hour. There will be fewer commercials and more in-depth analysis. SI.com reports that coordinating producer Lee Fitting is looking to get more information out to the hardcore football fan.
““I think we need to have stronger opinions and more opinions, but do so organically,” lead host Chris Fowler told SI.com’s Richard Deitsch. “I think one of the reasons GameDay has had its long-term success is we don’t force things in merely for theater.”
Fowler will also be a mainstay of not just GameDay, but he’ll be taking over as lead announcer for Brent Musburger on the ABC Saturday Night game. It means Fowler and Herbstreit will team up on two broadcasts for the ESPN family of networks.
The fans in attendance at College GameDay will get some help in staying energetic this year according to Fitting, who told SI.com that they are considering adding a DJ to the mix for those who are live in attendance. Having attended a few of these events in my day, that’s a great idea because long commercial breaks can really drain the energy out of the crowd, especially during the second-half of hour two.
GameDay will kick off live from Sundance Square Fort Worth ahead of the Cowboys Classic between reigning national champion Florida State and Oklahoma State.