After the long and anticipated wait, ESPN finally announced that College Gameday will be coming to the City of Brotherly Love in anticipation of the primetime Halloween matchup, which will air on ABC at 8 PM ET, between the 21st-ranked Temple Owls and ninth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
This week's decision had a lot of media attention behind it because the location of College Gameday is usually announced on Saturday night or Sunday morning. However, Sunday came and gone with many fans and members of the media constantly refreshing their Twitter feeds to see if any news came out about the decision. On Monday around 1 PM ET, the decision was announced on College Gameday’s official Twitter.
This decision also had all of social media arguing whether Gameday should be awarded to Temple or the Washington State Cougars.
Those who were supporting the Owls to get Gameday based their argument off of their historic start to the season. Currently, the Owls sit at 7-0 on the year, which is their first ever 7-0 start in school history. Their record has led them to being ranked 22nd last week, the first time Temple has been ranked since 1979. Currently, Temple sits at 21st in the AP Top 25.
As for the fans who wanted the Cougars to be awarded College Gameday, they based theirs off of the matchup and a flag. Yes, a flag. Washington State is 5-2 on the year and face off against the eighth-ranked Stanford Cardinals, both of which are at the top of the Pac-12 North Division. The winner of this matchup will most likely go on to play in the Pac-12 Conference Championship game. Also, Washington State has had a connection with College Gameday dating back to October of 2003.
At the last 171 College Gameday’s, the Washington State University logo has been seen on flags in the crowd during broadcasts. Every ‘Wazzu’ fan was pleading for Gameday to come to Pullman, WA, the home of Washington State University's campus, so the flag could be joined by their fellow fans and make the experience even more enjoyable.
However, ESPN decided to go to Philadelphia, PA and host College Gameday before a Top 25 matchup with impacts on major bowl games and the College Football Playoff.
College Gameday will setup shot in front of Independence Hall on Chestnut Street, instead of Temple’s campus. This location makes sense because there are virtually no locations on Temple’s campus that could host an event this large. The lawn in front of Independence Hall, which is adjacent to the Liberty Bell, has a large enough space to fit the Gameday stage and hold hundreds to thousands of people.
The location being Independence Hall also hints as to why it took so long to find out why the decision for the Gameday location took longer than usual. The lawn in front of Independence Hall is registered as a U.S. National Park. To set up something that big on the lawn, it needs permits from the National Park Service, whose offices are closed over the weekend. Filing the proper paperwork to host College Gameday takes more than one day to complete, which shows why the decision needed to wait until today. ESPN did not know if they had the clearance to use the lawn in front of Independence Hall until today, and then they could announce it after they figured out they were allowed to.
Still, College Gameday will be in the fifth largest city in the United States on Saturday for the second time, the first being back in 2002 when Gameday was at Franklin Field for the Ivy League clash of the University of Pennsylvania Quakers and the Harvard Crimson.
Halloween morning in Philadelphia could be more alive than Halloween night in Philadelphia, except at Lincoln Financial Field for the actual game. All in all, it will be an incredible experience for Temple University, the Owls, and all of their students.