College GameDay: 10 Things ESPN Must Change To Keep Us Watching

Denton Ramsey@DentonRamseySenior Analyst ISeptember 4, 2010

College GameDay: 10 Things ESPN Must Change To Keep Us Watching

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    Let’s be blunt: there are many things ESPN could and should change to make the world of sports just a little bit better.

    But today we’ll be discussing 10 things the “worldwide leader in sports” must change to keep us watching one of the network’s biggest pregame hits, “College GameDay.”

    I could easily make a list of 20-30 things ESPN needs to enforce to improve the quality of the network’s programs for both viewers and commentators.

    However, I’ll try to keep things as simple as possible this Saturday by narrowing that lengthy list down to 10.

    Let’s begin…

No. 10: Better Guest Appearances

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    Not to slam on “Big Boi,” but today’s “College GameDay” is a prime example of what’s become of guest appearance spots on the show.

    Can’t ESPN at least pick out better celebrities and guests to come on their weekly show and give their insight and analysis on the day’s games?

    Personally, I don’t give a $@!# what Big Boi thinks about college football—nor do I think many people will be placing their sports bet based on Big Boi’s predictions.

    Come on ESPN, at least begin providing viewers with better guest appearances if you want to keep them watching.

    I know it’s “all about the money,” but it’s a three-hour program for God’s sake; wake up and save the show before you drown it.

No. 9: Get Fans More Involved

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    This is something I believe ESPN has attempted to begin doing since the first “College GameDay” aired in 1987, but it still needs vast improvement.

    Getting fans involved with the host and analysts is pivotal to making the program a success.

    And ESPN could absolutely do a better job of tossing a helping hand to fans.


    One option: have a reporter join the crowd and get fans input on the big game of the day along with other matchups.

    Or even have a fan be a reporter for a day.

    I could go on for quite some time, but let’s move on to No. 8...

No. 8: Consider Other Locations

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    Yes, we all know ESPN loves to hype up the games that matter most to them and the ones that will be making the biggest bucks.

    But the network should also consider filming and hosting at other locations and at universities that may often be overlooked in college football polls and predictions.

    One example? Baylor University, nestled along I-35 in Waco, Texas.

    Does the “College GameDay” crew even know where Waco is?

    This is just one example of many schools that are pushed aside by ESPN in order to accommodate the larger and higher seeded schools.

    It’s all about the money; we know that already.

    But at least CONSIDER other schools.

No. 7: Show Erin Andrews More Love

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    Guys love Erin Andrews.

    And guys love college football.

    It at least makes sense that she’s a part of the “College GameDay” crew, but the network could and should begin showing Andrews more love.

    What I mean by that is getting her more involved with the program; have her spend time with the fans and use part of the three-hour show with some fun in the sun as Andrews socializes with college misfits.

    Gridiron greatness may begin and end on the field of play, but ESPN could absolutely improve the quality of the “College GameDay” program by getting Andrews more involved.

    Any arguments?

No. 6: Use Latest Technology to Network’s Advantage

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    With all the millions ESPN is swimming around in, you would think they could begin using some of that latest technology to their advantage.

    And I’m not just talking about social network sites such as Twitter and Facebook, though the “College GameDay” crew could at least begin there as step one.

    Am I expecting Lee Corso to be blasted into a 3D image that surrounds every inch of the living room?

    No; in fact, that would probably be a little scary.

    But in the same breath, we all know the latest technology—regardless of it changing and improving by the second—can and should be implemented into ESPN’s programs in order to truly make them a success.

    With 3D televisions now a reality and HD TV’s becoming a common thread, it’s time for ESPN to begin changing with the times.

    Instead, I get what mascot head will Corso be putting on today?

No. 5: Interview a Cheerleader from Host University

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    This suggestion could be a complete disaster, I know.

    But ESPN should at least give it a shot.

    Or two.

    Would adding a segment where the host and analysts speak with a beautiful college co-ed cheerleader make more people watch?

    If advertised and promoted properly, you bet.

    It’s worth a try, right?

No. 4: Give Fans a Chance to Call-In, Talk to Analysts

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    Maybe I am beginning to have too many PTI dreams associated with ESPN and how they could improve.

    But adding a segment to the show where fans can call-in and talk to the “College GameDay” crew would be a really neat way to continue having fans and viewers involved with the program.

    And I can also almost guarantee you it will lead to more viewers.

    Fans love to talk to the analysts they listen to every day talking on radio or through their television screens.

    Their palms are outstretched waiting for a returned high-five and all ESPN needs to do is allow for that high-five to happen.

    Get the fans more involved, ESPN. Let them call-in and talk to the analysts. It’s time for some changes…

No. 3: Add Viewer Polls as Part of the Show

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    Another nifty idea “College GameDay” could consider is adding viewer polls to their ritual Saturday show.

    It would be fairly easy to implement as well; just have fans vote on different scores and events surrounding college football and have a new poll every 30 minutes.

    It’s a three-hour program, right?

    So let’s try, at least to start, doing 5-6 polls per show.

    Can it work? Yes.

    Will ESPN implement it, though? I Highly doubt it.

    But I could be wrong, and have been numerous times before…

No. 2: Hit the “Mute” Button on Kirk Herbstreit

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    Is it just me, or does Kirk Herbstreit suck?

    He’s basically an ESPN robot, programmed to say whatever the network wants him to say.

    And a majority of the time he even looks like a robot.

    Herbstreit’s nickname should be “ESPN’s Wall-E.”

    However, I digress.

    Today’s No. 2 top priority of things that must change to keep us watching “College GameDay” is none other than to limit how much Herbstreit talks on the show; or just get rid of him all together.

    Either way works… 

No. 1: At Least Pretend To Be Having Fun

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    It seems like a majority of the time “College GameDay” appears to be a hangover-style marathon for the host and analysts.

    Granted, there are times they seem upbeat and happy to be on the set.

    Then again, there are also times it appears as though the ghosts of Christmas past are sitting in front of you on your HDTV trying to give you nonsense insight into the day’s games.

    And many times it also seems like the “College GameDay” guys are wearing more makeup than the cheerleaders on the sidelines.

    Enough is enough, ESPN.

    Loving sports, covering sports, and talking about sports should be a passion that shines through each and every member of the “College GameDay” crew.

    And yes, sometimes that comment rings true.

    But consistency is key and I’m nearing the end of my rope with the current crew.

    Not to say they’re all awful and need to be shown the exit, but changes absolutely need to begin being made.

    That begins (Lee Corso, 1987-present) and ends (Kirk Herbstreit, 1996-present) with you, ESPN…


    Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at