ESPN's 'College GameDay' Headed to Temple for Week 9 vs. Notre Dame

Justin Ferguson@@JFergusonBRCFB National AnalystOctober 26, 2015

Temple WR Robby Anderson
Temple WR Robby AndersonMitchell Leff/Getty Images

After an extremely long wait for a couple of fanbases on different sides of the country, ESPN's College GameDay finally announced that it is headed to Philadelphia in Week 9 for undefeated Temple's home game against top-10 foe Notre Dame.

While GameDay normally reveals its next stop late on Saturday night or on Sunday morning, the popular pregame show didn't make the upcoming visit official until Monday.

College GameDay @CollegeGameDay

We're coming to Philly! See you Saturday, @Temple_FB and @NDFootball. https://t.co/g0EVhjJMAn

According to ESPN senior PR director Keri Potts, GameDay will be live from Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Saturday morning. Temple and Notre Dame will square off at Lincoln Financial Field at 8 p.m. ET on ABC later that night.

Keri Potts @MsPotts_ATL

. @CollegeGameDay will be live outside Independence Hall this weekend for Notre Dame at Temple.

Over the weekend, the prevailing thought was GameDay had two top choices for its Week 9 stop—Notre Dame vs. Temple or the Pac-12 North showdown between Stanford and Washington State.

As Nate Scott of For the Win noted, the massive distance between Washington State and the show's Week 8 stop at FCS school James Madison could have played into ESPN's decision to send its crew to Philadelphia:

To pack up the set and get to Pullman, Washington would take 37 hours according to Google Maps, and that’s as long the GameDay trucks don’t hit traffic in Fargo.

On top of that, Kirk Herbstreit is a contributing factor in this. He works on both College GameDay in the morning and in the booth for the Saturday night ABC primetime game, which this week is Notre Dame at Temple. So it always made sense for the show to be in Philadelphia.

On Monday, show producer Lee Fitting said that the call between Temple or Washington State, whose fanbase has famously flown a team flag at 171 straight College GameDay shows, was extremely difficult.

Lee Fitting @leefitting

Toughest @CollegeGameDay call in my tenure. Looking forward to @Temple_FB this wkend in Philly. @wsucougfb we'll get there one day, promise.

This weekend will mark GameDay's first visit to Temple, which is 7-0 for the first time in school history.

Led by All-American candidate Tyler Matakevich, Temple is off to its record start mostly because of its excellent defense, which is ranked 14th nationally in total defense and eighth in scoring defense.

While the No. 21 Owls opened as 10.5-point underdogs to No. 9 Notre Dame, according to Odds Shark, Temple already has experience knocking off a big-name program at home this year.

In its season opener, Temple recorded 10 sacks in a 27-10 victory over Penn State at home. The win snapped a 39-game losing streak against the Nittany Lions.

Notre Dame RB C.J. Prosise and QB DeShone Kizer
Notre Dame RB C.J. Prosise and QB DeShone KizerJeff Haynes/Associated Press

Now the Owls will face a much stiffer test, especially on the offensive side of the ball, from a Notre Dame team that is looking to stay alive in the race for the College Football Playoff.

The Fighting Irish are fourth nationally in offensive yards per play this season despite an outbreak of injuries to several starters earlier this year.

After its road loss to undefeated Clemson, Notre Dame's offense—featuring star quarterback DeShone Kizer, running back C.J. Prosise and wide receiver Will Fuller—put up 41 points in back-to-back wins over Navy and USC.

A win against Temple would give the Irish even more momentum as they navigate through the back half of their road-heavy schedule, which includes games against one-loss Pittsburgh and Stanford.

A victory for Temple, on the other hand, would give the Owls another serious boost in their chase for the "Group of Five" conferences' spot in the coveted New Year's Six bowl games.

Statistics courtesy of cfbstats.com.

Justin Ferguson is a college football writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JFergusonBR.