It’s officially 24 hours until ESPN’s College GameDay hits the air from in front of UW’s Suzzallo Library. Want to know why ESPN decided on that location? Well, you’ll have to keep reading, then.
— From our story today with a few notes about GameDay:
Lee Fitting called it a no-brainer, this visit to the University of Washington by ESPN’s College GameDay crew.
Fitting is a senior coordinating producer at ESPN, and as the producer of GameDay, the popular college football pregame show, he is among the group of “four or five” people who sit down to decide where the traveling show will film each week.
After Mississippi lost last week, removing much of the intrigue from its game this weekend against Texas A&M, Fitting said UW’s matchup with No. 2 Oregon was an easy choice, because it fulfilled the crew’s weekly goal of finding the best story.
“When you look at these few things – you look at national title contender on the road at an arch rival in a hostile environment; matchup of two highly-ranked teams; arguably best game on paper of the day; throw in the fact we’ve never been to Washington before,” Fitting said during a phone interview earlier this week. “All those ingredients make for a really nice recipe for a great College GameDay.”
ESPN chose to film from centrally-located Red Square instead of on the waterfront near Husky Stadium, Fitting said, because, after all, the show airs at 6 a.m. Pacific Time. It’s going to be dark for the first hour-plus.
So they needed a backdrop that not only represented the campus, but would accentuate itself without the benefit of daylight.
Suzzallo Library fit both requirements – its Gothic-style nobility stands out to anyone who visits, and it is always lit at night – so the decision was made to construct the GameDay set in Red Square with the library in the background.
“That whole library is going to be lit up beautifully and be really stunning on TV,” Fitting said. “If you see this building lit up for half the show is remarkable, if we went down by the lake, there’s going to be nothing lit in the background and it’s going to be a dark blob behind us.”
— Here are some notes and video from Steve Sarkisian’s media availability yesterday.
— Percy Allen has some more on GameDay coming to UW.
— ESPN’s Rece Davis led his GameDay kickoff column with the Huskies for the second consecutive week.
— Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated wrote about the Huskies.
— Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated predicts UW will win.
— Sarkisian was asked about the USC job again on The Dan Patrick Show.
— This Wall Street Journal story yesterday examined whether Seattle is too civilized for UW to live among college football’s elite.
— One scout calls UW running back Bishop Sankey “the second coming of Emmitt Smith.”
— Oregon coach Mark Helfrich talked yesterday about UW, among other things.
— Washington State defensive lineman Toni Pole is well-supported.
— Oregon State plans to play plenty of nickel and dime coverage against WSU.
— Dennis Erickson says Utah will continue to use two tight-end sets.
— A Colorado freshman linebacker continues to fly under the radar.
— California will be without a key defensive player for the rest of the season.
— The Bears’ offense throws a ton, but that doesn’t mean they’ll beat UCLA this week.
— Some Cal players are excited to play in front of family in Los Angeles.
— Arizona State coach Todd Graham says his team will be more aggressive this week against Colorado.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple