How well does gentle piano music mix with a college band? We’re about to find out, because College GameDay is headed to Augusta.
Yes, in this most unusual of all sports seasons, yet another twist: ESPN’s landmark Saturday morning college football program will broadcast live on Saturday, Nov. 14 from Augusta National Golf Club. Yes, while the third round of the Masters is taking place.
There won’t be hordes of sign-waving fans in the background this time; the Masters will be closed to patrons this year. Instead, the College GameDay team will set up overlooking the placid Ike’s Pond and the Par 3 course behind Butler Cabin, a short distance from the 18th green. The show will broadcast from 9 a.m. to noon Eastern, just prior to CBS’s coverage of the afternoon.
The different time of year presents some logistical challenges for Augusta National and CBS. The first two rounds of the tournament will use a split-tee start, with some groups going off Hole 1 and others off Hole 10. Additionally, the tournament broadcast day will end at 5 p.m. on Saturday to make room for Alabama-LSU in the evening, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday to make room for CBS’s afternoon NFL slate.
College GameDay will have ample opportunity for walk-on guests. Justin Thomas went to Alabama, for instance, and there’s a whole contingent of Georgia golfers in the field. Plus, the secretive members of Augusta National might just have a college football legend or two among their green-jacketed ranks…
Anyway, a few key questions remain:
Who will be the guest picker? Jack Nicklaus? Gary Player? Tiger Woods?
With no patrons in attendance, who will hoist the Wazzu flag in the background?
How will Lee Corso sneak an elephant head onto the grounds of Augusta National?
A tournament unlike any other gets a College GameDay unlike any other. That seems about right.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him with tips and story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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