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ESPN College GameDay from Rose Bowl To Feature 12 Year Old Guest Picker

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 2:30 PM, under , ,

If you have not yet seen the emotional ESPN story about twelve year old USC fan Jake Olson, go ahead and watch it, and then come back and read about how he will be the guest picker for the special edition of ESPN College GameDay from the Rose Bowl on Friday, January 1, 2010.

Campus Visit: The ESPN College Football GameDay visit to the University of Georgia
in Athens, GA in September 2008. Eye on Sports Media/2008.

Here is the full press release from ESPN

College GameDay at Rose Bowl Jan. 1: Urban Meyer on Coaching Status, Images of the Decade, Show Awards and Guest Picker Jake Olson

ESPN will air a special edition of College GameDay Built by The Home Depot from the Rose Bowl Friday, Jan. 1, at 9 a.m. ET. The two-hour program will be hosted by Chris Fowler with analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard. ABC and ESPN Radio will broadcast the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi featuring No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 7 Oregon Friday, Jan. 1, at 4:30 p.m. College GameDay show elements include:

Interviews with several prominent coaches and players, including:

* Urban Meyer discussing his decision to resign as head coach of Florida on Saturday and then announce he would instead take a leave of absence the following day;
* Legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno talking with ESPN analyst Todd Blackledge on a variety of topics;
* Lisa Salters talking with Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and Oregon coach Chip Kelly as they prepare for the Rose Bowl Game;
* Tom Rinaldi interviewing Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who plays in his last college game with the Gators in the Allstate Sugar Bowl (Friday, Jan. 1, at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN Radio);
* Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald talking with reporter Rob Stone prior to his game against Auburn in the Outback Bowl (Friday, Jan. 1, at 11 a.m. on ESPN).

Special features and elements:

* Images of the Decade: a montage of video highlights showcasing a look at the moments that defined college football in the past 10 years;
* College GameDay Awards: Fowler, Corso, Herbstreit and Howard handing out end of the season awards in various categories, including the best moment, unsung player, overachieving coach, underachieving team and “what was I thinking!”;
* Tim Tebow as a Pro: Todd McShay talking to NFL Hall of Fame quarterbacks to breakdown the challenges Florida quarterback Tim Tebow could face as he moves to the NFL;
* Florida Mindset: Tom Rinaldi providing a live report from New Orleans on the mindset of the Florida Gators as they prepare for the Allstate Sugar Bowl showdown against Cincinnati;
* Bobby Bowden: The best of Bowden’s interviews over his career as he prepares to take the field for his last game as head coach of Florida State in the Gator Bowl against West Virginia;
* 50 years of the Blimp: Chris Connelly will look back at the historic moments captured by the Goodyear Blimp as it celebrates 50 years in the sky;
* State of Florida Recruiting: ESPN recruiting expert Tom Lugenbill takes a look at the impact recent coaching news at Florida and Florida State is having on recruiting.

Guest picker

Twelve-year-old USC fan Jake Olson, who had his left eye removed when he was one to retinoblastoma and then had his right eye removed this year after learning the cancer had returned and treatment was unsuccessful, will serve as the guest picker. In November, Shelley Smith profiled Olson, who wanted to see one more USC game before he lost his eyesight and how what started out as tickets to a game turned into a relationship with the Trojan family that Olson says is helping him endure his battle.

In addition, the show will feature several discussion topics, including:

* Urban Meyer and the Florida coaching status;
* Texas Tech and the Mike Leach suspension;
* A preview of the Citi BCS National Championship Game;
* What’s next for Florida State and new head coach Jimbo Fisher;
* If Penn State or LSU has the edge in the Capital One Bowl;
* The matchup of the Ohio State defense vs. the Oregon offense;
* A preview of the Boise State vs. TCU Tostitos Fiesta Bowl showdown.

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