For Pete's Sake

Iowa State excited to be center of college football world thanks to ‘GameDay’ visit

Rob Riggle returns to KU for ESPN’s GameDay: ‘I want to be here to support the Jayhawks’

Actor and comedian Rob Riggle, who graduated from Shawnee Mission South and KU, was back in Lawrence on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, to be a part of ESPN’s GameDay show from Allen Fieldhouse prior to the Jayhawks' Big 12 showdown with West Virginia.
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Actor and comedian Rob Riggle, who graduated from Shawnee Mission South and KU, was back in Lawrence on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, to be a part of ESPN’s GameDay show from Allen Fieldhouse prior to the Jayhawks' Big 12 showdown with West Virginia.

Iowa State is ready for its close-up.

ESPN’s “College GameDay” will be broadcasting from Saturday’s Iowa State-Iowa football game, and while there is always a buzz leading into the annual battle for Cy-Hawk, it’s gone to 11 this year.

“I had some people in class ask me how I felt about ‘GameDay’ coming,” Cyclones offensive lineman Josh Knipfel told the Des Moines Register. “I said it was cool, it’s a cool thing. But we don’t really get to experience it — we don’t really see Lee Corso put the mascot head on, which, for a kid growing up was always like the coolest thing ever. … I think everybody’s excited around campus. “

Iowa State has waited a long time for its big moment.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde, only 10 Power Five Schools have yet to host the football version of “GameDay,” including Kansas. ESPN was at one KU home game: the 2007 “Border War,” but that game was played at Arrowhead Stadium.

Being in college football’s spotlight should be a boon for the Cyclones.

Chris Park, a senior associate athletic director at Washington State, told the Ames Daily Tribune that a study found last year’s “GameDay” visit to Pullman was worth $1.5 million of free advertising for the school. It also determined there were about 1.1 billion social media impressions around ESPN’s broadcast.

ESPN’s visit was a hot topic this week in the The Iowa State Daily, the student newspaper, as well as the Register and the Daily Tribune. All had multiple stories about “GameDay.”

“Welcome to Ames, the center of the college football universe,” Daily Tribune sports editor Travis Hines wrote. “For a few days, at least ...

“For the Cyclones, its further validation that they’re on the right path for the success that’s largely eluded them for the better part of, oh, about a century. GameDay doesn’t mean you’re getting a spot in College Football Playoff or a ritzy bowl game, but it means, for at least this weekend in September, your football program truly matters.

“And, really, hasn’t that been what the Cyclones have been desperately trying to achieve for decades?”

Iowa State fans have been buzzing all week about ESPN being on campus. Here is a sample of what they were saying:

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