ESPN College GameDay Returns to Rocky Top For Saturday’s SEC Opener

ESPN College GameDay Returns to Rocky Top For Saturday’s SEC Opener

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – For the first time since the 2016 season, ESPN College GameDay— college football’s longest-running and most celebrated pregame show­—will originate from the University of Tennessee campus as the Volunteers host Florida for their Southeastern Conference opener on Saturday in Neyland Stadium.

The show airs live on ESPN from 9 a.m. to noon ET Saturday. Live shots will also take place Friday for various ESPN programming and on Saturday morning’s SportsCenter prior to the show. The broadcast location will be announced soon.

Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS from a sold-out Neyland Stadium.

It marks the 10th time that Tennessee will host College GameDay and the 22nd time that the Vols have appeared on college football’s most popular pregame show.

Including this Saturday, the past three times that Tennessee has hosted College GameDay has been for a matchup with the Gators. The last occurred on Sept. 24, 2016, a game that saw the 14th-ranked Vols rally from a 21-0 deficit to beat 19th-ranked Florida, 38-28, as quarterback Joshua Dobbs accounted for five touchdowns.

Saturday marks the ninth Tennessee-Florida game that College GameDay has broadcast from. The series is tied for the third-most frequently visited matchup by the show, trailing only Alabama-LSU (11) and Ohio State-Penn State (11). Alabama-Georgia has also been a part of nine broadcasts.

No. 15/16 Tennessee is off to its first 3-0 start since the 2016 season. Led by sixth-year senior quarterback Hendon Hooker, the Vols own the nation’s fourth-highest scoring offense (52.0) and are third in the FBS in total offense (553.7).

No. 18/21 Florida enters the game with a 2-1 record following a 32-28 victory over USF on Saturday night in Gainesville.

Saturday’s UT SEC opener will also see the return of #CheckerNeyland, which showcases the Vols’ iconic checkerboard pattern through Neyland Stadium.

Fans are encouraged to wear orange or white, depending on their seat location. To find out if your seat section is orange or white, go to CheckerNeyland.com and enter your section/row/seat number as it appears on your digital ticket. Fans in the North End Zone Party Deck are encouraged to wear white. 

Fans are strongly encouraged to arrive early and have their digital parking passes and tickets ready. Gate 21 Will Call opens at 11:30 a.m., and gates to Neyland Stadium open at 1:30 p.m.

All-Time Tennessee ESPN College GameDay Appearances

1995
Sept. 9, 1995; Georgia at No. 8 Tennessee                                    
Oct. 14, 1995; No. 6 Tennessee at No. 12 Alabama                       

1996
Sept. 21, 1996; No. 4 Florida at No. 2 Tennessee               

1997
Sept. 20, 1997; No. 4 Tennessee at No. 2 Florida               
Jan. 2, 1998; No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 2 Nebraska Orange Bowl (Miami, Fla.)

1998
Oct. 10, 1998; No. 4 Tennessee at No. 7 Georgia              
Jan. 4, 1999; No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 1 Tennessee     
BCS National Championship Game / Fiesta Bowl (Tempe, Ariz.)

1999
Sept. 18, 1999; No. 2 Tennessee at No. 4 Florida               
Nov. 6, 1999; No. 24 Notre Dame at No. 4 Tennessee    

2000
Sept. 16, 2000; No. 6 Florida at No. 11 Tennessee               

2001
Dec. 1, 2001; No. 5 Tennessee at No. 2 Florida                

2002
Sept. 21, 2002; No. 10 Florida at No. 4 Tennessee              
Nov. 9, 2002; No. 2 Miami at Tennessee                           

2004
Oct. 2, 2004; No. 8 Auburn at No. 10 Tennessee             
Dec. 4, 2004; No. 15 Tennessee vs. No. 3 Auburn SEC Championship (Atlanta, Ga.)

2006
Oct. 28, 2006; No. 8 Tennessee at South Carolina            
Nov. 11, 2006; No. 13 Tennessee at No. 11 Arkansas          

2012
Sept. 15, 2012; No. 18 Florida at No. 23 Tennessee                        

2016
Sept. 10, 2016; Virginia Tech vs. No. 17 Tennessee Battle at Bristol (Bristol, Tenn.)
Sept. 24, 2016; No. 19 Florida at No. 14 Tennessee             
Oct. 8, 2016; No. 9 Tennessee at No. 8 Texas A&M

2022
Sept. 24, 2022; No. 18 Florida at No. 15 Tennessee

Note: College GameDay was originally scheduled to originate from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for No. 10 Tennessee at No. 4 LSU on Sept. 24, 2005, but the game was postponed to Monday, Sept. 26, due to the approach of Hurricane Rita.

-UT Athletics

ESPN College GameDay / Credit: UT Athletics

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