For the sixth time this season, Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit and the “College GameDay” crew are heading to ACC country — this time, for the conference’s championship game.
The matchup between No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 3 Clemson is peculiar for several reasons, and not just because the staunchly independent Fighting Irish are part of a conference championship game. This is also the first time since the 2012 BCS championship game between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama that “GameDay” has featured the same matchup twice in a season: The show was in South Bend, Ind., in Week 10 to watch the fourth-ranked Irish upend Clemson 47-40 in double overtime.
And that’s not even considering the College Football Playoff implications heavy in Saturday’s game. A loss all but ensures Dabo Swinney will miss the Playoff for the first time since 2014. Notre Dame has much more leeway, and can still squeeze in if Clemson wins a close one. Would a blowout knock the Fighting Irish out of contention? Maybe, but at least Brian Kelly can argue that his team split with Clemson this season.
Then there’s the return of quarterback Trevor Lawrence to face the Irish; the consensus No. 1 overall pick was absent in the first meeting because of a COVID-19 diagnosis. Backup D.J. Uiagalelei was more than serviceable in replacement of Lawrence (he completed 29 of 44 passes for 429 yards and two touchdowns, adding another on the ground). Can Lawrence improve on that performance?
We’ll see. Until then, here’s everything you need to know to watch “GameDay” as it previews the game from Charlotte, N.C.
Where is ‘College GameDay’ location for conference championship week?
- Location: Charlotte, N.C.
- Matchup: No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 4 Clemson
This will be only the second time “GameDay” has made its way to Charlotte, N.C., for the ACC championship game. The first time came in 2017, under similar circumstances: One-loss, top-ranked Clemson and one-loss, seventh-ranked Miami were fighting for the conference’s playoff berth. The Tigers won handily, beating the Hurricanes 38-3 in that matchup. In all, this will be Notre Dame’s 32nd matchup on the show; the Irish are 14-17 all-time. As for Clemson, it will be their 27th matchup on the show; the Tigers boast a more impressive 17-9 record.
‘College GameDay’ schedule on ESPN
- TV channel: ESPN
- Start time: 9 a.m. ET
The “College GameDay” crew of Davis, Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack will preview conference championship week’s college football action live from Charlotte, N.C. Corso, whose health is at greater risk should he contract COVID-19, has to this point set up a remote office in his home.
The game will be broadcast on ABC, with kickoff set for 4 p.m. ET.
“GameDay” should make its next appearance on New Year’s Day, picking between the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The matchups of those semifinal contests will be determined after Saturday’s games.
|Week||Matchup||Location||Guest Picker||Corso’s Headgear||Outcome|
|2||No. 1 Clemson at Wake Forest||Winston-Salem, N.C.||Chris Paul||Tigers||Clemson 37 , Wake Forest 13|
|3||No. 17 Miami at No. 18 Louisville||Louisville, Ky.||Bill Murray||Hurricanes||Miami 47 , Louisville 34|
|4||Florida State at No. 12 Miami||Coral Gables, Fla.||Stugotz||Hurricanes||Miami 52, Florida State 10|
|5||No. 7 Auburn at No. 4 Georgia||Athens, Ga.||Omari Hardwick||Bulldogs||Georgia 27, Auburn 6|
|6||No. 7 Miami at No. 1 Clemson||Clemson, S.C.||Alex Rodriguez||Tigers||Clemson 42, Miami 17|
|7||No. 3 Georgia at No. 2 Alabama||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||Derrick Henry||Crimson Tide||Alabama 41, Georgia 24|
|8||No. 18 Michigan at No. 21 Minnesota||Minneapolis||Vince Vaughn||Wolverines||Michigan 49, Minnesota 24|
|9||No. 3 Ohio State at No. 18 Penn State||University Park, Pa.||Trace McSorley||Buckeyes||Ohio State 38, Penn State 25|
|10||No. 1 Clemson at No. 4 Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||Chase Claypool||Fighting Irish||Notre Dame 47, Clemson 40 (2OT)|
|11||The Masters||Augusta, Ga.||Jack Nicklaus||Brooks Koepka||Dustin Johnson|
|12||No. 14 Oklahoma State at No. 18 Oklahoma||Norman, Okla.||Trae Young||Sooners||Oklahoma 41, Oklahoma State 13|
|13||No. 22 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||Joe Namath||Crimson Tide||Alabama 42, Auburn 13|
|14||No. 9 BYU at No. 14 Coastal Carolina||Conway, S.C.||Dustin Johnson||Cougars||Coastal Carolina 22, BYU 17|
|15||Navy at Army||West Point, N.Y.||Condoleezza Rice||Midshipmen||Army 15, Navy 0|
|16||No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 4 Clemson||Charlotte, N.C.||Joel McHale||Tigers||TBD|
Who is the guest picker on ‘College GameDay’ for conference championship week?
Actor Joel McHale — known for hosting “The Soup” and his role on “Community” — will be the celebrity guest picker for “GameDay.” McHale doesn’t have any affiliations with Clemson or Notre Dame, but was a practice squad member for Washington’s football team.
Notre Dame vs. Clemson odds
Clemson is considered a 7 1/2-point favorite in the rematch against Notre Dame. Sporting News’ Bill Bender picks the Tigers to win 33-24 and cover.