There’s a first time for everything, or so they say. Next Saturday, that’ll be the case for ESPN’s College GameDay as they head to Ames for the first time.
We had an idea this could be the case for some time with a limited number of solid matchups on the docket next week. Iowa State fans have been pushing for this really since they found themselves ranked in the preseason for the first time in 40 years (no really, that’s not a dig, it’s the first time since 1979 ISU was ranked preseason).
It seemed to be a bit of a long shot after Iowa State needed three overtimes to hold off FCS UNI in week one. The struggles nearly knocked them out of the top 25. And with a bye in week two, there was a real possibility the Cyclones would find themselves unranked yet again heading into next weekend.
However, a slew of teams on the fringe struggled themselves on Saturday. When Syracuse, who was ranked 21st heading into the day, got throttled at Maryland, the idea of traveling to New York for their matchup with #1 Clemson went out the window. Only a few hours later, ESPN confirmed they’d be making the trip to Ames.
It’s sure to be a big deal for Cyclone fans. Not only is this their first time hosting GameDay, it’s their first time being featured in a GameDay game. It’s also the first time in the history of the Iowa-Iowa State series that both teams have been ranked.
For Iowa, this will mark their 8th appearance. The Hawkeyes have hosted twice before. The last time ESPN came to the state in 2006, things didn’t end so well for Iowa.
Kickoff is set for 3pm CT. The game will be televised on FS1 despite the ESPN presence for the pregame festivities.
Here’s hoping the host team has a similar outcome in 2019 as in 2006.