ESPN College GameDay 2017: Week 4 Location Hosts and TV Schedule

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2017

BRISTOL, TN - SEPTEMBER 10: ESPN's Jerry Punch and Lee Corso interview former NASCAR driver Richard Petty during College Gameday prior to the game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Tennessee Volunteers at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 10, 2016 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

After stopping to watch Clemson dismantle Lamar Jackson and Louisville in Week 3, the ESPN College GameDay crew gets unorthodox in Week 4 with a stop in Times Square. 

Call it home-field advantage for the crew, which for 25 years hasn't put up shop where it originated. The New York City-based show will stay home for its 81st locale and plans to highlight the city's prestigious collegiate football history as a prelude to what looks like another strong week of games. 

Here's a look at the broadcast information for the special event, as well as the reaction to the decision and some of the week's top games the crew is sure to spotlight. 

              

College GameDay Week 4 Info

Date: Saturday, September 23

Time (ET): 9 a.m. to noon

Location: Times Square, New York

Watch: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN

             

Preview

Given the history of teams in the area's past such as Army and the fact College GameDay itself is a New York-based show, it only seemed right for the broadcast to stay home for a week at some point. 

Still, given the nature of the show and the weekly tradition it has created, there was never going to be a great time to do it. Those in charge chose this week, and it only takes one quick Google or Twitter search to see that fans of teams who felt they were host candidates are upset. 

Kirk Herbstreit‏ defended the decision on Twitter: 

Former host Sam Ponder made a noteworthy comment about the decision as well: 

The above makes plenty of sense—as some might point out, New York doesn't exactly have a booming college football scene right now. But it is one of the biggest cities on the planet and the sport still thrives in bars, restaurants and elsewhere thanks to the millions of relocated fans residing there. 

It's a rare opportunity for those who live there—and rest assured they're motivated to show it's a well-deserved visit. 

And their sign games will be on point. 

As for some of the showdowns missing out on a visit from the crew, a late-night showdown between No. 4 Penn State and Iowa would have made some sense. The Nittany Lions and elite tailback Saquon Barkley have looked dominant so far, but hitting the road for a game against an undefeated Hawkeyes team isn't an easy task.  

Perhaps the biggest matchup of all, though, goes to the showdown between No. 16 TCU and No. 6 Oklahoma State. As one of two games between top-25 teams this week, a trip to Stillwater would have made for quite the environment. 

There, fireworks seem a guarantee. The Cowboys have cruised to a 3-0 mark while scoring no less than 44 points in a game. Mason Rudolph has thrown for 11 touchdowns and three different targets have at least three receiving scores. 

However, TCU has put up showings of 63 and 56 points. The Horned Frogs look like one of the most complete teams in the Big 12, which is something Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy hasn't been shy in talking up, per Stats LLC (via ESPN.com): 

"I think it's the best group we will have played up to this point. And they're always going to challenge you.

"TCU is going to hold its defensive call until the last second and they're going to run with you. They recruit well. Their guys can tackle and move well, so it'll be a challenge for all of us. It'll be a good game."

If the crew wanted to save the locale for later, a trip to Vanderbilt would have made for an interesting time. After taking down then-No. 18 Kansas State in 14-7 fashion, the Commodores now face one of their biggest home tasks of season with No. 1 Alabama in town. 

The other game between top 25 programs—an SEC staredown between No. 17 Mississippi State and No. 11 Georgia—looked like a candidate. College GameDay making a trip near Houston when the undefeated Cougars host Texas Tech in an assured shootout could have made for some must-see television in the wake of the storms that touched down in Texas. 

All great choices, though the crew and fans set to come out for the festivities will ensure most come away impressed with the showing in the Big Apple.

The absence of College GameDay at a notable campus to get the slate of games started will be noticeable, but it won't take away from what is sure to be an entertaining set of games with season-long implications either way. 

               

Stats and information via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.