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ESPN’s College GameDay Starts Third Straight Season at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game

ATLANTA (Aug. 17, 2010) – For the first time in its history, ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot will open a third straight season in the same location at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.

The expanded three-hour College GameDay – now beginning at 9 a.m. ET on ESPNU and continuing at 10 a.m. on ESPN – telecast will originate from Centennial Olympic Park Sept. 4.

College GameDay will get the day started with the country’s most popular live college football show. Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard will break down all the match-ups throughout the three-hour program on the first Saturday of the season and set the stage for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game that evening. Erin Andrews will co-host the additional first-hour of the program on ESPNU and serve as a contributor for the two hours on ESPN.

This year, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game features No. 16 LSU vs. No. 18 North Carolina to open the 2010 season with the weekend’s most anticipated match-up of top-ranked teams. The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game kicks off at 8 p.m. ET and will air nationally on ABC.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have three compelling BCS-type match-ups in our first three years,” said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. “There’s nothing more exciting than starting the season with two top-20 teams on the opening weekend, and we thank ESPN for celebrating the Daytona 500 of College Football with ESPN’s College GameDay.”

“With top-ranked teams, elite conferences and a great host venue, you have all the elements for the country’s premier season-opening event. We’re proud to be a part of kicking off the season in Atlanta again this year,” said Dave Brown, ESPN vice president, programming and acquisitions.

Known as the Daytona 500 of College Football, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game has quickly established itself as the leading season-opening game in college football by creating a BCS-style event weekend around the game.

Fans will also experience a Fan Night at the Georgia Aquarium Friday night, a Kickoff Cook-Off tailgating experience following College GameDay on Saturday, team-specific tailgate parties for both LSU and North Carolina Saturday afternoon and a pre-game FanZone presented by Coca-Cola Zero fan experience and pep rally leading up to the game.

Last season, No. 5 Alabama defeated No. 7 Virginia Tech 34-24 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game using the game to springboard them to a national championship and a Heisman Trophy-winning campaign for tailback Mark Ingram.

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game was created by the Chick-fil-A Bowl, in partnership with ESPN. The game matches two top teams in the best neutral-site game of the first Saturday of every season.

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