BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO)- The battle for the Dakota Marker is less than a day away, but so is College GameDay, which will air Saturday morning in Brookings. It turns out SDSU wasn’t always ESPN’s top choice.
“We always have big FCS games on our radar, even back before the season starts. I’d be lying if we thought that this time last week we thought this was going to be the likely destination, but some of the outcomes last week, kind of helped the starts align, to get us here,” College GameDay coordinating producer Drew Gallagher said.
“We always say that where you are is another character in the show and you want to give the proper respect to that and touch that the proper amount of times and give it it’s due, but you’re still covering the entire day of college football,” College GameDay Host Rece Davis said.
Unlike some of the past Dakota Marker match-ups, this year’s game is expected to be a perfect fall day, but that doesn’t please everyone from College GameDay.
“I’ll be honest with you, I kind of wish it was snowing a little bit. I mean we’ve done shows in inclimate weather before; Kalamazoo a couple years ago, comes to mind. It’s fun and when you’re flipping around Saturday morning and you see a blizzard behind the guys and Bear Fallica is bundled up and he’s got the wind blowing in on him. I mean that’s good tv,” Gallagher said.
The GameDay crew arrived in Brookings a couple days early, which allowed them to visit downtown Brookings and meet with some of the fans.
“Last night, I went out for a little while just to get a feel for the town and stuff and to have people come up to you and say, ‘Thank you for coming,’ you don’t really know how to respond to that, because you want to thank them for hosting you and you want to thank them for caring enough about our show that they want to be part of it,” College GameDay Host Rece Davis said.
As for the game, the crew has been doing a lot of research on both teams to prepare for the show on Saturday. The crew didn’t want to give away too much before the show, but they also weren’t afraid to share a little of their opinion about the Dakota Marker game.
“It’s a big rivalry obviously and we cover big rivalries so we know what that’s all about. Obviously we have two young quarterbacks, who have waited their turn to get their opportunities. I think everyone is really curious to see how they respond in this setting and this atmosphere and this particular game,” ESPN College GameDay analyst Desmond Howard said.
“I love their (SDSU) offense, like it’s really fun to watch the misdirection, the rpo’s, the QB run game. The first thing I did was watch you guy’s (SDSU) against Minnesota because I wanted to go see that game and study it and see what you guys did well and what you guys didn’t do well. I like your defense and think your defensive line is really good. I think it’s going to be a great game,” ESPN College GameDay analyst David Pollack said.
The GameDay crew wouldn’t admit to who they are picking for the Dakota Marker game just yet, but ESPN GameDay analyst David Pollack did bring up an important fact.
“I think this will be a competitive game and the last team to beat North Dakota State was who… I’m just saying,” Pollack said.
College GameDay begins at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at 11:00 a.m. with the game between SDSU and NDSU kicking off at 2:00.