For the first time in the history of the Iowa State football program, ESPN’s College GameDay will be broadcast live from Ames on Saturday morning, showcasing an up-and-coming program and an underrated national rivalry. This year’s CyHawk game is as anticipated as any in recent memory. Even the I-35 and Highway 30 on ramp got opened in time. Iowa State has spent the week preparing a broadcast location and figuring out parking logistics. Fans are celebrating the occasion by preparing their tailgates and expressing excitement on social media.
However, on the eastern side of the state, fans are singing a different tune.
College GameDay wouldn’t come to Ames if it wasn’t for Iowa https://t.co/mlfEE2NTLA— Travis Granberg (@t_granny21) September 8, 2019
They’re all so gonna pick Iowa State because they don’t know about either team and want to please the crowd.— Jack Bacon (@Jrbacon50) September 8, 2019
Which is fine. I’m much less concerned than I was at the start of the year but it should still be close either way.
Seriously though. if you don't believe Iowa has anything to do with Gameday coming, you have to look in the mirror & say with a straight face, "Yes, I believe a 3OT win against FCS opponent & an idle week is really turning heads at ESPN"— HawkArtSean (@hawkart_sean) September 8, 2019
Under the assumption that everything was about themselves, the University is now facing backlash for their decision to clear an area in front of Kinnick Stadium and building a set to host the show for themselves.
”We were so excited for the opportunity to bring Lee Corso and crew back to Iowa City for the first time since losing 31-6 to Ohio State in 2006 and collapsing to a 6-7 finish,” said University President Bruce Harreld. “When ESPN told us that the show was in Ames, we couldn’t believe that we had to give credit to someone other than ourselves.”
Many are saying Iowa hasn’t been this embarrassed since the 2016 Rose Bowl, after becoming outraged by the Stanford marching band making fun of them for being farmers.
When reached for comment, Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta said, “We heard from our fans, and honestly, it’s been a busy time with the athletic department. After wins over Miami (Ohio) and Rutgers, we got right to work on Coach Ferentz’s next extension. We’ve also been settling lawsuits and resolving radio scandals, while trying to offer jobs to the rest of the Ferentz children. Frankly, we’ve always believed that everything is about us. We are shocked to learn of this development.”
Instead of backtracking from the embarrassment, Iowa fans seemed to have doubled down, continuing to promote the game as the “Super Bowl” and skipping online classes at Kirkwood to camp out for the game.
Iowa State of course earned the right to host the show after winning 8 games in back-to-back seasons with 5 wins over top 25 teams. Iowa has only 2 wins over top 25 times over the same period of time. Coach Matt Campbell’s Cyclones have made tremendous strides over his 3+ seasons in charge, with John Heacock’s defense becoming a staple for defending spread offenses across the sport.
College GameDay producer Jim Gaiero was also surprised by the development.
“We’ve heard about Iowa being the fake ID of college football for years, but we didn’t think things could get this far. With losses in each of their 2 opportunities to host in the past, we didn’t expect Iowa to be this eager to have the show in town again.”
When asked about what the plans are for the unused set, Barta was defiant. “Georgia and Notre Dame may be playing next week, but Middle Tennessee is coming to town. We are the only game that will actually matter, so we assume that ESPN will be here.”