ESPN announced on Sunday that its popular college football pregame show, College GameDay, will be heading to Cambridge for the 131st edition of the Harvard-Yale game.
GameDay is a three-hour long show hosted by ESPN personalities Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and former Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard. It is located on the campus of a notable game each week.
The Game will be crucial in determing the Ivy League standings. A Harvard win would complete an undefeated season for the Crimson, while a Yale victory gives the Bulldogs a share of the Ivy title and would snap a seven-game losing streak at the hands of the Cantabs.
Many assumed that the Yale-Army game, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Yale Bowl, would be the Bulldogs’ best shot at hosting GameDay this season when producer Lee Fitting confirmed that the game was on the “short list” of potential matchups. But ESPN chose instead to visit Columbia, South Carolina for the game between Missouri and South Carolina.
Even without ESPN to witness, Yale defeated Army 49–43 in a memorable showdown that went into overtime. Since that win, the Bulldogs have continued to see success on the field, fielding an 8–1 overall record and a 5–1 Ivy League record, with the team’s only loss coming against Dartmouth.
This matchup between historic rivals would be only the second appearance that College GameDay has made at an Ivy League school. GameDay last visited an Ancient Eight school, Penn, on Nov. 16, 2002, when the Quakers crushed Harvard 44–9 en route to an undefeated Ivy finish.
Captain Deon Randall ’15 noted that having College GameDay in attendance would not affect the team’s preparation or mindset, but it would certainly be an exciting opportunity.
“It’d be awesome to have College GameDay there, to get a couple fans, for us to play on TV,” Randall said. “It’d definitely show that people have respect for Ivy League football. We’d love to have them.”
Yale is coming off an impressive win against Princeton at home, where the Bulldogs defeated the Tigers for the first time in three years 44–30. Harvard has maintained a perfect record so far this season and most recently faced a struggling Penn team, winning 34–24.
GameDay will start at 9:00 a.m. on ESPN, and kickoff for the football game is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.