ESPN GameDay On Its Way?

Sept. 26, 2003

Before fans of Coach Kirk Ferentz’s Iowa Hawkeyes get too excited about a visit from Chris, Lee and Kirk — the ESPN GameDay gang — next Saturday when Iowa returns to legendary Kinnick Stadium, first things first.

If things fall the way of the Black and Gold Saturday afternoon, the Hawkeyes could get a call from ESPN GameDay as early as Saturday night.

There’s a game to be played and it’s a biggie — the nationally ranked Hawkeyes open their 2003 Big Ten Conference schedule Saturday at Michigan State. Winning in the Big Ten isn’t easy. Winning on the road in the Big Ten isn’t easy. Beating a Spartan team that dealt Notre Dame a loss in South Bend won’t be easy.

But, when asked during Friday night’s 10:30 p.m. edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter who had the most to gain on Saturday, Lee Corso announced boldly, the Iowa Hawkeyes.

“If they win, ESPN GameDay’s coming!” the smiling Corso said to his partners, Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit.

The triumvirate visited Iowa City last spring for the Hawkeyes’ Thursday practice prior to the 2003 Coca-Cola Classic Iowa Football Spring Game. A crowd of more than 2,000 showed up at legendary Kinnick Stadium on the rather gray and blustery April afternoon. The turnout sealed the deal: Iowa City was added to the short list for ESPN GameDay, 2003.

UI Athletic Department officials have been in contact with ESPN regarding the possibility. If the chips fall properly, a decision could be made by ESPN as early as Saturday night.

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