Florida A&M University and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced Monday that ESPNâ€™s award-winning College Football GameDay presented by Home Depot, the two-hour live broadcast which proceeds the networkâ€™s varied weekly televised games, will air live from the Florida A&M University campus Saturday, Nov. 15 beginning at 10 a.m.
The broadcast is the first on a historically black college or university campus (HBCU) and precedes the Rattlers and Hampton Pirates MEAC matchup scheduled to kickoff at 1 p.m. Saturdayâ€™s broadcast is also the first appearance by the crew at a NCAA D-I FCS campus this season.
â€œWe are pleased that ESPN will host College GameDay presented by Home Depot on one of our prestigious MEAC campuses, Florida A&M University,â€ said Commissioner Dennis Thomas. â€œThis broadcast underlines endless efforts by the MEAC to promote the 12 outstanding institutions, coaches and student-athletes on a national platform. We are extremely pleased with our on-going partnership with ESPN and their continued commitment to diverse programming.â€
Saturdayâ€™s broadcast will take place at the FAMU quadrangle with the main set located in front of the Coleman Library with the Lee Hall Administration Building as the signature backdrop of the set.
â€œIt is an honor to be the first historically black university to host ESPNâ€™s College GameDay,â€ said FAMU President James H. Ammons. â€œThis historical broadcast will provide ESPN viewers with a great opportunity to become familiar with the many academic and athletic accomplishments that FAMU has accumulated over its 121 year of history. We look forward to having ESPN on our beautiful campus as we take on the Hampton Pirates.â€
The GameDay crew will feature veteran anchor Chris Fowler, along with Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard. The broadcast will preview all the dayâ€™s top college games, highlight key football personalities and close with predictions of selected top nationally ranked matchups.
The Florida A&M University campus and the City of Tallahassee will be highlighted throughout show and will include various segments on the universityâ€™s landmarks, rich history in education and athletics and campus atmosphere. The world famous FAMU â€œMarching 100â€ Band, under the direction of Dr. Julian White will also appear during the broadcast, along with cheerleaders, student body and fans.
Many subplots are present for the Rattler/Pirate matchup. In addition to two of the MEACâ€™s top offensive and special team units, the greatest interest will surround the coaching staffs. FAMU head coach Joe Taylor joined the Rattler program this season after spending 16 seasons leading the Hampton program. This will be the first meeting between Taylor and his former team.
The Rattlers enter the game with a 7-3 overall record and 3-3 mark in conference play. FAMU defeated North Carolina A&T 45-7 in their last outing.
After leading the conference throughout most of the early part of the season, the Hampton Pirates are 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the MEAC. They have dropped their last three games including a 17-6 defeat to Bethune-Cookman in their last game.
ESPN and the MEAC are in year four of a seven-year agreement. The agreement highlights MEAC sports each year including football, menâ€™s and womenâ€™s basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball, and bowling. In addition to the annual televised contests, the MEAC and ESPN have partnered together to host the MEAC-SWAC Challenge.
The MEAC also marked another first with the ESPN partnership this year as the Morgan State Bears menâ€™s basketball team will participate in ESPNUâ€™s BrackBusters slated to tip off in February. The Bears are the first MEAC team to participate in the annual basketball event.