Athens, GA (Sept 26, 2008) - The University of Georgia is gearing up for its first visit by ESPN College GameDay in 10 years. The last time GameDay came to Athens was for a game against Tennessee in 1998. At that time, the stage was set up on top of the Tate Student Center, giving ESPN the stadium backdrop they prefer.
This time, the Tate Student Center is unavailable because of expansion and construction. As reported earlier this week, the show will originate from Myers Quad, which most definitely does not have a view of the stadium. In November of 2007, CSTV (now CBS College Sports) set up their stage on Myers Quad for the UGA game against Auburn.
Photograph Copyright 2007 by Eye on Sports Media/The Cayuga Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
But the ESPN set and compound is much bigger. This means that Myers will be closed to tailgaters until after the show is completed, and they are not pleased about that. In fact, it is one of the many things that Georgia fans are griping about when it comes to ESPN. The biggest is why they have not been back to Georgia in ten years.
"Our decision of where to go each week comes down to a couple of big factors," says ESPN spokesperson Michael Humes. We have to look at the record of both teams playing in the game and the significance of the game. A lot of times it a team's home schedule doesn't have the games of significance, we do not go there."
But tell that to rabid SEC and Georgia fans who are convinced that ESPN is biased against them. One of the conspiracy theories that is running around the internet is that ESPN does not want to have cross-country trips from week to week. This is not the case says Humes. "If that were true, we would not have done our show in Oregon last year, and traveled to a remote part of Massachusetts the next week for the show."
And Oregon plays a key part this year as well. Chris Fowler was in Corvallis last night for Southern California's (2-1, 0-1 PAC 10) stunning 27-21 loss to Oregon State (2-2, 1-1 PAC 10). After the game, he had to do a post-game piece on SportsCenter, and then hop on a red-eye to be in Athens later today for pre-show production meetings and to tape pieces for Saturday's show.
We will be visiting the ESPN compound later today, as well as tomorrow for the show. So check back for some interviews and photo as we offer a behind the scene look at ESPN College Gameday.