When is the First College GameDay of the Season?

ESPN’s College GameDay is an institution at this point. After debuting in 1987 it grew slowly and then very rapidly and eventually became part of college football’s fabric. The show is back for its 36th season this fall, which should be even more interesting given the surprising news that the show’s longtime coordinating producer Lee Fitting has been let go by the network. Pat McAfee’s first season brought a lot of energy alongside many familiar faces but an offseason retooling saw the departures of David Pollack, Chris Fallica and Gene Wojciechowski.

So like a few other high-profile properties, there’s some intrigue to see what happens after the iconic theme song plays for the first time. Our first look at that will come in Week 1 on Sept. 2 as the show rolls into Charlotte for the North Carolina-South Carolina tilt.

This was chosen over a few other contenders like Ohio State-Indiana and West Virginia-Penn State. If you’re already looking ahead to Week 2, there’s a clear No. 1 option of Texas-Alabama in Tuscaloosa. McAfee already announced that would be the first venue for his Saturday simulcasts but made it clear that he does not know if the entire production is coming to hang out with Nick Saban or not.

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