After two weeks of clamoring for college football’s biggest pregame show to come to Lawrence, the University of Kansas finally made the cut on Saturday night.
Next week, when the 5-0 Jayhawks take on 4-0 TCU at 11 a.m. Saturday, ESPN’s College Gameday will be in Lawrence to feature the Kansas football program for the first time in program history.
ESPN announced the news on Twitter on Saturday night.
Gameday has been to KU for its college basketball show on several occasions in the past. But the fact that it’s coming to town for football in Lance Leipold’s second season in charge of the program is just the latest wild sign that the program has turned a serious corner.
Winning games, talk about bowl eligibility and national rankings and having a quarterback find his way into the Heisman Trophy conversation were all wild enough.
But this takes things to a whole other level. I mean, the college football slate next week features Oklahoma-Texas and Alabama-Texas A & M. Yet, it's Kansas that gets Gameday.
All week, ESPN will promote its trip to Lawrence, making the KU campus the center of the college football universe for at least one week.
"This is another reminder that anything is possible at KU," Kansas AD Travis Goff told the Journal-World on Saturday night. "I'm so happy for our student-athletes, Lance and his staff and our incredible fans."
One of the biggest factors in hosting Gameday is figuring out where the set and stage will fit into the landscape at each stadium.
While KU will have many options, the most likely recommendation will be for the ESPN crew to set up at the top of Campanile hill so that the shots of the show feature David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium and the tailgate scene on the hill behind them.
It remains to be seen if that’s actually where it will be staged.
Either way, even if the show were filmed in the most nondescript and bland spot on campus, the mere fact that Gameday will be in town is big enough.
Kickoff for KU’s Week 6 game against the Horned Frogs is slated for 11 a.m. on FS1.
The meeting between KU and TCU will be the 39th in the series, with TCU holding a 25-9-4 edge.
Sept. 1 - Pittsburgh, Pa., for No. 17 Pitt vs. West Virginia
Sept. 3 - Columbus, Ohio, for No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 5 Notre Dame
Sept. 10 - Austin, Texas, for No. 1 Alabama vs. Texas
Sept. 17 - Boone, N.C., for Appalachian State vs. Troy
Sept. 24 - Knoxville, Tenn., for Tennessee vs. No. 20 Florida
Oct. 1 - Clemson, S.C., for No. 5 Clemson vs. No. 10 NC State